Thursday, May 24, 2012

Is This Stupid?

Reading some stupid comments from some stupid people on how DnDNext feels like OD&D (on stupid ENWorld, of course) and had a stupid thought--if they wanted sales from fans of all editions, why not just sell all editions?  Saves development costs and everything.  I guess I'm just being stupid though.

9 comments:

  1. First, having not now (or ever for that matter) it could well appear old school to someone who has seen nothing but 4e or such.

    And no sir, you are not stupid...there is this 's*** from shinola thing'...you got it, they don't...and stop giving them free marketing advice. Make'em pay you! :)

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  2. duh...'having not read'....

    these days are getting to long again

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  3. You pay some lip service, do some playtesting, release a new edition and BAM! You'll have nerds knob-slobbing from DC to Alaska.

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  4. It feels so much like 0D&D after reading the play test materials that I have decided to run DCC as my next game, not Next as my next game ;)

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  5. 'Whatever you do, don't cross the revenue streams. That would be very bad.'

    With the reprinting of AD&D, not clue why that was not explored either. Maybe because of pathfinder and having people go after new, shiny stuff?

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  6. I think it might be stupid. For one, I'm a 2nd Ed fan, and I already have all my 2nd Ed core books. I've even decided which ones I don't like and got rid of them. I wouldn't be interested in buying 1st Ed books at all (even though they're available), and all things considered I think I like Dark Dungeons better than the Rules Cyclopedia. Not to mention, they'd be going up against retro-clones.

    Also, 1st Ed players would play 1st Ed, 2nd Ed players would play 2nd Ed, OD&D players would play OD&D, and so on. With a new edition they have a chance of getting people from different editions to come together, which massively increases the potential player base.

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  7. I have seen a few reasons thrown out that do have some value.

    But I think I see their thinking here. Release one brand new ruleset that emulates most of the core of every product, then sell add-ons or aids that can be used with it or your favorite past editions.

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  8. While all of the older material is developed, they would need to go through and have people scan/edit/retype/format/photoshop/hyperlink it for digital download/print-on-demand. I've had to do this and it definitely takes time to do it right. While many old products would definitely make back the costs to do this, others probably wouldn't. And it would take even more work to try and guess which ones would and wouldn't make back their costs. Of course, this is assuming they are priced cheap. ($5-10 for a pdf, same+costs for PoD). As any first year econ student knows, pricing is a bugbear. The other issue is how much time they put in. A basic scan as pictures is quicker, but it's a lower quality product. OCR'ing it, correcting it, cleaning up bad art scans and hyperlinking it takes more time, but it's a higher quality product.

    They have to find a way to make this profitable without alienating the market. As for the market, it's not sure how big it would be. Estimates on the size of OSR vary greatly. I see the market as:
    * OSR folks that own the originals, but want digital copies and haven't pirated/scanned it already.
    * OSR folks that don't have originals completing their sets.
    * New schoolers looking to get ideas from older products.
    * New schoolers exploring older editions.
    * Retrocloners looking for ideas.
    * Subtract the people unwilling to give WotC a red cent or who will wait until these new old releases are pirated.
    Obviously I haven't considered everything, but it seem that most of the people above will only buy selected items.

    Note: while the long tail effect says that all of the old stuff will be profitable eventually, few businesses will incur expenses this year for a break-even four years down the road.

    Even if it is profitable, it's not likely to be more profitable than selling new material. And if I'm completely wrong and they make a huge amount of money on it, it then brings up the question - what do you do next year? Unless the old school starts expanding membership like crazy, the profits on these old products will drop to a trickle.

    As for D&Dnext, It does look like it's too OSR for the 4e crowd and too 4e for the OSR crowd. Now that I've seen it, it doesn't look like something I'd choose, but it's something I'd tolerate playing if that's what the group wanted.

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  9. Think the Enworld people are stupid? Have you visited the Wizards boards lately?

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