Indulging In Futurism
Posted by Nathan P. on June 16, 2006
The changing role of the distributor will be the main pressure that changes how games get into the hands of customers. Distributors will begin dropping RPG titles that don’t turn them a profit, concentrating on other hobby gaming things (CCGs, collectible minis, etc). Only the biggest publishers (WotC, maybe WW, maybe SJG) will be worth carrying – and I bet that those will start looking more towards mainstream book distributors, to expand their market. Hobby game distributors will either fold, or re-constitute themselves as only carrying high-turnover products. More services like IPR will spring up, each serving a different facet of the market. The FLGS will either begin talking directly to those kinds of services, or directly to publishers, or just stop carrying RPGs in general. Publishers will take advantage of direct contact with retailers and customers to more closely tailor their print runs to their audience, hopefully taking more time to create good product, resulting in happier customers and healthier, smaller, businesses. D&D will continue to do well, carried in bookstore chains and supported by its online iterations as well as the pen-and-paper game.
I hope to look back in 10 years and wonder why everyone got so bent out of shape over this crap.