Jim Crocker of Modern Myths on RPG's at Retail
'Marketplace Is Changing'
Published: 01/03/2013 02:16am
Jim Crocker of Modern Myths, Inc. in Northampton, Massachusetts read Scott Thorne's recent column regarding the current RPG market (see "Rolling for Initiative--The Decline and Fall & Hopefully Rise of the Print RPG") and had this to say.
Thanks for giving Scott some space to talk RPGs. It's undeniable that the marketplace is changing, but I don't think it means that RPGs can't work for shops willing to invest the time and effort in getting the right games into customers' hands.
The winnowing of the mid-list that Scott talks about is a very real phenomenon; we've found that the key to selling RPGs in the new market is to work at making sure we're selling them to people who don't already play RPGs. There's plenty of space for retailers who run events and are good at teaching people to play to sell plenty of product, especially when we keep in mind that the accessories are where you can really rack up profitable sales: dice, maps, terrain, single and bulk minis, etc.
The other aspect of the emerging PDF marketplace is an explosion of small press RPGs and 'Story Games' that are consumed and enjoyed in a manner much close to premium board games than the expensive 'supplement treadmill' of the traditional market exemplified by Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, and FFG's 40k line (and now Star Wars). For the stores willing to invest the inventory and expertise, there's plenty of opportunity from suppliers like Indie Press Revolution and the like to open up RPGs to new audiences and programs like Bits & Mortar and the Margaret Weis Preferred Retailer Program that help us provide PDFs to hedge against the digital revolution.
You can still sell RPGs, and plenty of them; they just don't sell themselves any more like they used to.
The opinions expressed in this Talk Back are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.