RPGs aren’t quite dead yet, although I and others on the internet have proclaimed the demise of the once popular game. It turns out that the game is still quite popular.
I stumbled upon an article written by Paul Alexander Butler, who is a store manager, and who would know a heck of a lot more about the state of RPGs than little old me. Here’s a little snippet:
There are those who will tell you that traditional table top Role-Playing Games are dead. More often than not, you will hear this cry from brick-and-mortar retailers. They will point to the popularity of online games such as World of Warcraft. They will direct you to the proliferation of PDF sales and suggest that they have cannibalized hardcopy sales. They will hold up examples such as White Wolf publishing, who, for all intents and purposes, now only publishes print-on-demand. They bemoan the fact that DUNGEONS & DRAGONS has fallen from its pedestal of “best selling role playing game.”
Role-Playing Games are dead?
On behalf of myself, our Assistant Manager George, every gamer who turns out every Thursday night for Open RPG night, and the whole staff here at Games and Stuff, I respectfully say: Bullshit.
The short version of this story is that I suck really badly. The second more interesting aspect is that RPGs aren’t really as dead as we might think. So why don’t we see Dragonlance, Greyhawk or Mystara material?
I suppose our good friends at Wizards of the Coast have decided it is not worth their time and energy to produce more material for these, or any other worlds, since the bottom line won’t benefit from it. I hold an MBA, so I know companies exist to make money and nothing else, however, I will also stipulate that there are ways to make money from these hitherto forgotten worlds.
Most likely I am dead wrong about this. Let’s face it, I have been dead wrong about a great many things in the past, but surely there must be some clever guy or girl at Wizards who can come up with a distribution model or something to make these worlds profitable again. Perhaps on a smaller scale than before, but still profitable none-the-less.