Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Started by xiombarg, April 28, 2004, 12:28:17 PM
QuoteVampire's sales never really declined past what's expected for the general annual shrinking of the industry, but it became more and more difficult to write revelant Vampire material. This is not just a metaplot problem. It also had to do with the setting. I once sent a proposal for Mage book that had to do with a secondary element of the setting. It was refused because it was too obscure. When I mentioned a similar book for Vampire the developer noted that Vampire was at the stage where it *had* to mine that secondary material. When a game's come to that, it's time to pull the tirgger, or else you end up with bloodline books and similar cruft.
Quote from: xiombargTo me, this is a shining example of what's wrong with the "supplement treadmill" that the distribution system imposes on the market. The need to produce monthly supplements is so high that one can "mine out" a popular game and be forced to "pull the trigger" on it. Contrast this to games sold mainly through direct sales, which rarely have this problem, even if they are reasonably popular...
QuoteYeah, I still have bruises from when the distributor enforcers came to my office and imposed their way of thinking into my head!
Quote from: Ron EdwardsHello,I think the issue of "must take care of employees" is a red herring. No one has a responsibility to carry employees; they are fireable.
Quote from: Ron EdwardsHello,That would be the so-called "industry" Red Herring #2.As I see it, a business is a business if it has any expectation of making money, and continuing to do so - regardless of how many people are involved. A hobby is by definition a hobby when it is a money/time sink (or rather, if the payoff is measured in "fun"). My company, Adept Press, has one owner and member: myself. It is a profitable corporation. I consider it to be a successful business, in that it drains no money from me nor does it require outside funding of any kind. It is not a hobby (unlike my role-playing activities) and it is not my career (primary source of income). That doesn't fit into your framework of reference at all.
Quote(this term would provoke gales of laughter from anyone engaged in an actual industry).
QuoteOn this we can agree, though I might apply it to print publishing in general, which is really a ghetto for the vast majority of producers. Still, it's possible to run an RPG company as a sustainable, profitable small business ($500,000 to $5,000,000 in revenues). Like the pizzeria or laundromat owner, though, you'll probably need the occasional employee.
Quote from: Ron EdwardsI think the issue of "must take care of employees" is a red herring. No one has a responsibility to carry employees; they are fireable.
QuoteThe real issue, in my view, is a matter of who is the customer.
QuoteI know you wrote this humorously, but it also demonstrates the self-blinding distraction I see all the time among people in the so-called "industry."
QuoteEffectively, the distributors have (at certain points) exerted exactly this kind of control over publishers, for example, when they pushed for and received full voting membership status in GAMA.
Quote from: Matt SnyderFirst, disclosure: I AM one of those goons selling PDF and (sorta) Print on Demand products.
QuoteYou're right to bring revenue up. It's what makes the company able to pay me, and all my co-workers. I suspect you're also right to say that companies can make the "supplement treadmill" work.
QuoteNow, I know who you are, and I know you're a pretty savvy guy. I therefore assume that you do NOT think that simply churning out product is the real way to generate revenue. It is merely one way. And, it's probably a very time-intensive, largely inefficient way.
QuoteAnother CRUCIAL way to make money is marketing. Understanding your audience. Finding and reaching new audiences. You could do all of this, creating NEW revenue, with a handful of tidy, well-done game books and supplements. It appears as though too few companies make this happen. No one's using marketing to create any substantial portion of their revenue. No one's really doint anything at all except pushing books out the door and reaching the same, aging demographic of geeks.
QuoteHowever, I'm not seeing sophiticated marketing -- on par with serious publishers or media / content companies -- at any level, even WotC (who generally does the best job).
Quote from: FFG GregHey Ralph,See my comments on gross margins in the previous post. The range of revenues I listed was just a way of categorizing "small business" for the practical purposes of the RPG "industry" (damn I'm using a lot of quotes). You're right, but as I note, gross margins on RPG products are actually very good. It's a little bitty market niche, though, so volume is a typically a real problem.