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1 hour ago, Rick Meints said:

Out of curiosity, I see a number of people in this thread use phrases like "lots of people" and "loads of people" when it comes to the number of people interested in purchasing MW material.

Pretty sure only Soltakss did, actually - I said “Lots of people post stuff in the forums or to the downloads section.” Which has a somewhat different meaning.

What I’m getting at is I don’t think we (in a general sense) are making the mistake that there’s some huge untapped market for Magic World - I think precisely the issue is the general awareness of how niche it is, and difficult a prospect making a success of any sort of support product would be.

*shrug* Depending on how things go this year with real life ™ I may finally get round to doing something with what I have left from the unpublished Magic World projects I was previously involved with. What I couldn’t say, and it’s equally likely that work or other commitments will eat my time. But MW (or my personal hack of it for SF) is pretty much the only D100 game I play or run these days, so I’m likely to always be lurking on the fringes at least.

 

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In the end, The Chaosium can't sustain a product line on under 1000 sales of each item in that line.

Some simple math: If we pay decent wages to have someone write a book, and decent wages to edit, lay out, and create the art for a book then we are investing $5,000 or more. Printing 1000 copies of even a basic black and white layout book in softcover is another $3000, color hardcover far more. We'd be lucky to sell a lot of a 128 page B&W book for that much.

Let's say that 128 page book sells 1000 copies for $34.95 retail, which yields us $14 for each copy sold through distribution. We sell all 1000 copies and make $14,000 gross.

The numbers get tight on good sellers. A few ok sellers and you don't make anything for all your time and effort. Magic World didn't sell 1,000 copies. Far less.

The money just wasn't there.

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Gotta go where the profit is. Understand that. God knows I did some work promoting both MW & BRP. Wish I had discovered the wonderful material sooner. I'm an avid Roleplayer with hundreds of books several systems and never picked up a book from either of these two games. How many players are just like I was? I'm betting a lot. When I pushed MW in my group, my local game stores, even on line in PBP games, no one was familiar. I know I hooked a few people on the system but...

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This is kinda why everybody, including old Chaosium,  dipped into the D&D 3E OLG pool last decade (seems like yesterday). Bigger fanbase, more potential sales. So there is a certain point where the returns aren't worth the investments, financially, and Chaosium isn't owned by a multimillionare who can just keep funding it for years while losing money (i.e. David Brown and Aston Martin in the 70s).

Of course part of this is the higher production values coming back to haunt us, too. The prettier a RPG looks, the more color, art, and the nicer the layout, glossy paper, hardcover, all increase the investment in terms of cost and time, and thus the higher the return required to be profitable. That higher return can be somewhat offset by a higher price tag, but also requires higher volume of sales. So there is a trade off.

Of course if the PDF sales Magic World would to suddenly skyrocket, things would probably change. But the only possible way for that to happen is probably by third party (=fan produced) stuff. 

Maybe someone would like to do a Magic World fanzine?

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14 hours ago, Rick Meints said:

Let's say that 128 page book sells 1000 copies for $34.95 retail, which yields us $14 for each copy sold through distribution. We sell all 1000 copies and make $14,000 gross.

The numbers get tight on good sellers. A few ok sellers and you don't make anything for all your time and effort. Magic World didn't sell 1,000 copies. Far less.

The money just wasn't there.

Thanks Rick! Appreciate the insight... 

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I like the idea of a Magic World zine.
When I first took interest in the OSR the zines for some of the games were a big attraction.
I'd be happy to do some drawings for it... and dredge up ideas from my files.

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On 1/16/2019 at 11:19 AM, Atgxtg said:

Maybe someone would like to do a Magic World fanzine?

Nice! A product all twelve of us can enjoy 😀

I'd be happy to add some underwhelming projects to it.

Maybe we could call it The Chroniclers Companion.

*ugh still too soon😖*

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Someone will take a chance on a Magic World license. The problem of course is expectations. There are Stormbringer fans and fans of the MW setting itself.  Everyone will want something a bit different. So navigating that could be intimidating. Still, I think there are plenty of opportunities out there. 

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