Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Thaenor

Chaosium closes it's office and warehouse

Recommended Posts

Less profitable only because they weren't marketed, distributed and advertised adequately.  If you have a product that is available only on your website and you don't bother to promote it vigorously, it is foolish to complain that it doesn't sell well.  I, too, will miss Ben Monroe.  He brought energy and a willingness to engage the customer that Chasium sorely needed.  "Getting the band back together" was somewhat of a misnomer if "band members" are physically separated, each have their separate and unrelated projects cooking, and are too old and tired and broke to come up with something new.  I've mentioned that appearances of Chaosium product are rare in my area.  Moon Design product has yet to make its debut here; they don't exist as far as my local game shops are concerned.  Broken record/dead horse time, but if your customer doesn't know you exist and can't readily examine and purchase your product, you're kidding yourself about running a profitable business.  Forget the Ennies.  Get quality product on store shelves on a regular, timely basis and promote it out the wazoo by every means possible.  Big Macs, not Faberge egg collector items that few people will buy.  History is mystery to the upcoming crop of potential players.  They don't know or care that Call of Cthulhu or RuneQuest ever existed, and there are a lot of titles out there that scratch the same itch.  They are going to play Pathfinder or FATE Accelerated unless Chaosium (or whatever this new entity is) reaches out, grabs them by the lapels and persuades them with evangelistic fervor that RuneQuest and/or Call of Cthulhu is the greatest thing since IOS 9 and Spiracha Taquis.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The bottom line is that Chaosium has been sliding into this state for a couple of years now, and it's going to take something drastic to drag it out. As someone inside the design industry who has seen quite a few practices stripped down to save costs and then die because of lack of re-investment of those savings into designers, I hope the new Chaosium is going to spend those savings on creative talent.

If all we're going to see in future is CoC, fiction, and boardgames - I'm sorry to say that as far as I'm concerned, Chaosium really wasn't "saved".

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again, nothing I've said is meant as a kick against you or Pete.  I want you to succeed.  Obviously you have personal experience with distribution chains while I do not.  However, I'm speaking now as a customer, one of the guys you want to persuade to put down the better part of a day's wages to acquire the book(s) you've worked so hard to write.  If I wasn't a regular participant on this website, I would have never known that RuneQuest 6 or Monster Island, etc., existed.  If I wasn't already a role-player, I wouldn't have gone to my local store and seen it (fleetingly) on the shelf.  And to succeed and prosper, you've got to do better than to go after aging old farts like me.  You've got to create new gamers, catch the attention of people who don't normally browse RPG.net or other role-playing websites, people who don't know that Chaosium or RuneQuest (or any version of both) ever existed.

Romance novels and Harley Davidson motorcycles are also niche products.  Yet, I know they exist.  They are available locally through multiple venues.  I am perhaps not the target market for either, but if I wanted to, I could get my grubby paws on them today.  Geek culture (including role-playing) is becoming increasingly mainstream.  You (and small publishers generally) must find a way to make your role-playing products generally known and generally accessible to potential purchasers.  You've got to find a way to turn your Faberge eggs into Big Macs.  You've got to put on your Henry Ford/Bill Gates/Ray Kroc hats, your goal being to put your creations in every garage, on every home desk, on every lunch tray.  If traditional distribution venues -- Alliance, Warpath, Esdevium -- aren't working for you, find a way to bypass them.  Think outside the box and search for other venues than bookstores, comics and game shops to sell your product.  It can be done.  The makers of Super Beta Prostate and Dinovite pet vitamins bombard me constantly with the fact that their products are available.  I've never seen their stuff at my local health food or pet stores, but I know how to get it if I want it.

To succeed you've got to ditch this "Geez, we're a niche market" nonsense.  Think BIG, dream BIG, plan BIG.  You must believe that you can get a copy of RuneQuest on every home bookshelf.  Your ultimate goal, of course, is to overtake D&D and Pathfinder in sales,eventually to buy out Paizo and Hasbro.  You've got to start thinking that way.

 

I love your optimism and can do spirit. Let me know wwhen you have a spare $500k available, plus the time and resources required to achieve this. Seriously, and without wanting to sound facetious, your plan and ambition is incredibly laudable but also incredibly expensive and high risk.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Step 1 doesn't require mega-cash.  As the liberal cliche goes, think globally, act locally.  Any town in North America large enough to host a college or military base (and that can be pretty small) potentially also hosts up to three comic book and/or game shops.  Get a list of such towns at your local library.  Use your existing computer with Internet service to search for those shops, their phone numbers, e-mail addresses and Facebook pages.  Call or otherwise contact them.  Let them know your game company and your award-winning products exist and ask them to carry your stuff.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Step 1 doesn't require mega-cash.  As the liberal cliche goes, think globally, act locally.  Any town in North America large enough to host a college or military base (and that can be pretty small) potentially also hosts up to three comic book and/or game shops.  Get a list of such towns at your local library.  Use your existing computer with Internet service to search for those shops, their phone numbers, e-mail addresses and Facebook pages.  Call or otherwise contact them.  Let them know your game company and your award-winning products exist and ask them to carry your stuff.

Another no cash option is to contact literary magazines that might be interested in doing a review of your game. I know it's a little off topic as far as d100 games go, but my d6 game "Horrors in the Night" is getting two reviews done in different magazines, one a major one. All you need to do is email and start asking questions. There are plenty of fantasy magazines and ezines out there that may be interested in reviewing a d100 game. I know I intend to start contacting them once "Eternity Realms" is done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly.  Nash and Whitaker have sweated blood to create RuneQuest and its assorted supplements.  Are their babies now to wither and die in obscurity for lack of promotion?  Most of the public -- including the portion of it that occasionally visits game shops -- doesn't yet know that RuneQuest exists.  They have never heard of Glorantha or Hero Wars and are totally ignorant of Chaosium's glorious 40-year history or its products, which have been few and far between of late.  We need a marketeer, someone frothing fanatical and butt-cheek twerking crazy about advertising product.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This reminds me that the only reason I ever found out about RPGs was an article in a general science fiction magazine (Space Voyager). Those things used to write a lot about RPGs - do they still do that? I haven't read one in a long time.

The need for marketing cannot be underestimated, and in the absence of your game being erroneously linked to not-actual suicides in steam tunnels you do need to find ways and means of efficiently spreading news to as wide an audience as possible.

Twerking might work, I guess?

Edited by Vile
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm immensely impressed with the work Loz and Pete Nash have done in fighting to keep the promise and reality of the name and brand Runequest alive. It has a solid base to build from and continues to remind me of the resilience of good gaming experiences supported by workable, adaptable rules, flexible enough to drive 'by the book' games or reasonable and well thought house rules variants.

All I am after is a chance for Chaosium/Moon Design/Design Mechanism (and others in the Cahosium team chosen to remain with them) to refresh and put their energies into rebuilding Chaosium layer by layer. Rules diversity and respect for differing gaming experiences- should drive this market now. It's up to us as consumers and fellow writers/designers to get behind this fresh start. 

Marketing on a large scale takes time and man power resources, not just cash well. I wish them well in the future.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2015-09-30%2009.52.15_zpsbhxs0dtb.jpg

:)

We're talking fantasy role-playing now.  Those bikinis need to be of chain mail or studded leather.  ;)

Otherwise, this is Step 4 or 5, as a billboard in a market city identified as a good sales area, containing the address, phone number and/or e-mail address of a local game shop that has agreed to carry Chaosium product.  Alternate scheme:  Place junk cars on their tops along the highway; spray-painted on their sides:  "I flipped for RuneQuest" and the phone number or e-mail address of said local shop carrying Chaosium product.

Edited by seneschal
Add comment
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This reminds me that the only reason I ever found out about RPGs was an article in a general science fiction magazine (Space Voyager). Those things used to write a lot about RPGs - do they still do that? I haven't read one in a long time.

Yeah... I remember poring over ads for RPGs in the various scifi/fantasy and gaming magazines to see what was new.

I've seen a lot of people on forums mention how only a small portion of the RPG hobby read gaming forums or listen to podcasts... and gaming stores are dying or at least not carrying much RPG content... so where does a person get casually exposed to new games nowadays?

Edited by Simlasa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Game shops and book stores in Missouri carry lots of RPG material. Granted it's almost exclusively D&D, Pathfinder, Star Wars, and MAGIC.

But honestly Wizards and Paizo put out SO MUCH material there's not room for much else. I still walk into my local Fantasy Shop a few times a year just to see what's new. I'd have a heart attack if I found a Chaosium section. There's not even Cthulhu in there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...