Hamsterprophecy: Prevision

It\’s All About Pen, Paper and People.

Indulging In Futurism

Posted by Nathan P. on June 16, 2006

My predictions?

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.

2 Responses to “Indulging In Futurism”

  1. Yeah, I don’t understand what the big deal is, either. Then again, I have little objection to buying stuff over the net. Not everyone feels the same way.

    I think you’re pretty much on target, and in fact the same predictions will increasingly apply to other media.

    The only questions I have is what effect these changes will have on the types of games that get produced and the ability of gamers to agree on specific games to play.

  2. Nathan P. said

    Well. I think it’s in Kuma’s post in this Story-Games thread where he implies that one potential problem is the fragmenting of social networks, as different groups of gamers drift farther apart as everyone finds or writes games more to individual taste.

    Now, I happen to think that the defining feature of this whole Web 2.0 thing is the ability to network between and among social groups in an easy and efficient manner.

    I think (hope!) that brand-loyalty to the one big RPG that was the first you ever played will dissapate, to be replaced with a culture where people will play in as many different groups as they have the time and inclination, each tailored to the preferences of that group of people.

    I think that there will be some development of ranking/rating tools that let people filter things to thier taste, more powerful and accurate that those we have now. This would be one of those media indutry-wide things, but it’ll impact the games you choose to play just as much as it impacts the music you choose to listen too.

    I dunno. In a year I’m going to look back at this post and chuckle, I’m sure.

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