Tuesday, July 27, 2010

More choices less choosing

     I've been so busy with Dicey Tales and life in general that I haven't had much time to keep up with whats going on in the gaming industry. Funny thing the "industry" used to be a bunch of companies like TSR, GDW, I.C.E, WOTC, White Wolf and Steve Jackson games. I always imagined these to be regular businesses with an office, a staff, and all the traditional trappings of a small to medium sized business (cubicles, copy machines, water coolers, cure receptionists, etc.). But now it seems that the traditional company is less and less a presence. Oh there are still the Big boys like WOTC and Steve Jackson, but since the creation of PDF software  and the "open license", the playing field has really opened up, and in some ways, been weakened. 

     I was at a store called Gamescape in San Francisco this weekend. Gamescape has been a Mecca for bay area gamers for more than 30 years. It's still every bit a wonderland that it has always been for me, but i couldn't seem to part with any of my money to buy a hardcopy of a game. they were just too damn expensive. and the reason they were so expensive is the same reason textbooks are so expensive- the print runs are so small that the cost of printing them is driven up. I saw the new supers game Icons there. the price tag was like 30 dollars. I winced, and set it back on the shelf. Back in the day I would have picked it up in a heartbeat, but these days I start thinking about all the other choices I have, the more affordable choices I have, and all the other supers games I have sitting at home on my hard drive. 

     All those thoughts gave me the freedom to say no. but it also helped contribute to the problem in the first place. 

No sale = a smaller print run next time = a higher price per copy. 

None of that had anything to do with the Icons game itself (although my experience with products from Adamant have been hit and miss), but the fact that Icons was an unknown entity to me helped make my decision to not buy it, a lot easier.  
I did pick up a copy of Thrilling Hero Adventures that I found in the bargain bin for $5.00
Thrilling Hero Adventures is a collection of Pulp adventures that were all previously released as PDF downloads, which are all sitting on my hard drive- go figure.