Wednesday, July 15, 2009

James Mishler's take on the Gaming Industry

The blogosphere (or at least the nerdier parts of it) is abuzz about a post by former editor of Comics and Games Retailer James Mishler about his take on the health of the gaming industry. In short, he's not too keen on the long term sustainability of widespread tabletop gaming publishing. Check out the article here, and the myriad comments on that page, as well as James Maliszewski's Grognardia blog. Oh, more over here at enworld, too.

My take, as I've shared in a few of these forums is this - Wizards of the Coast and before them TSR have likely always treated the core books as a loss leader, or in layman's terms as the Gillette "Give away the razor, sell the blades" model. The money for larger companies is in selling the adventures, accessories, splat books, and other upsells over time. It's tougher to do that on a smaller model.

All that said, I think online publishing, p.o.d. and other approaches can give some opportunity to the smaller independents. Mishler touches on a lot of this. (and his "Begun the PDF Price Wars have..." passage is brilliant.)


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