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Shrapnell blog - why retail doesn't work - part 2

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Anonymous
March 30, 2005 4:05:01 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Hi,

Shrapnell's Tim Brooks wrote a second part in his "Journal of the fight
of the Indy games publisher"

http://www.shrapnelcommunity.com/blog/2005/03/29/part-t...

Well, to be honest : this blog entry rubs me the wrong way - as did
part 1 - so I reacted on it, but it hasn't appeared yet in the blog
comments section - vetting process ? - anyway here are my remarks :

- - - -

Firstly : I gather you mean "mid 4 numbers" unless you're really
selling 50.000 units ...

"We have had several companies copy our model with varying degrees of
success. " - what other companies ? - and what's so special about
having an online store ? - because that's what it basically boils down
to in evading retail.

"You won't find us jumping from market to market like some of our
competitors" - from the publisher who just announced a pen&paper rpg, a
turn-based fantasy game and a hardcore wargame - right :) 

And I wouldn't classify only 25% of my customers returning a success
....

- - - - - -

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx
Anonymous
March 30, 2005 8:12:16 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

eddysterckx@hotmail.com wrote:

> Firstly : I gather you mean "mid 4 numbers" unless you're really
> selling 50.000 units ...

Update : that figure got confirmed - whew - congrats to Shrapnel.

> And I wouldn't classify only 25% of my customers returning a success
> ...

Update : my bad - throwing away my math degree.

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx
Anonymous
March 30, 2005 7:23:35 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

"eddysterckx@hotmail.com" <eddysterckx@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:1112169901.205584.121410@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com:

> "We have had several companies copy our model with varying degrees of
> success. " - what other companies ? - and what's so special about
> having an online store ? - because that's what it basically boils down
> to in evading retail.

Everything has its pros and cons.

To me (purely my own opinion just for discussion), part of the difference
between Shrapnel (and other publishers in that marketing plan) vs the
retailers involves more than just how its offered.

The "onliners" tend to provide more immeadiate returns. They tend to go
with more publicity (news releases, getting reviews done of their
products, attending game shows, contests) and less advertising. They tend
to go with smaller batches of product and less packaging.

The "retailers" go the other way. Lots of packaging, lots of ad blitzes
(banner ads in online game mags, full page paper ads in hard copy gaming
mags, paying to get demos included in CDs with hard copy game mags),
large batches of products which can lead to discounted costs later.

Both have advantages. The onliner thing uses manpower, and the developer
gets profit checks right away. The retailer thing involves dollars and
the developer has to wait until the layout costs are paid back before
seeing any profit checks. The retailer thing CAN increase public
awareness of the game but personally I think its a gamble which I would
recommend only to people who have already published some games by other
methods. I would consider onliner to be something like "level 3
marketing" and retailer as "level 4 marketing".

Side note: the way things are going now.. I seriously think that there is
a level 5 where the developer should consider returning to level 3 after
level 4. So I wouldnt burn any bridges if it can be avoided. Even if the
retailer run works for them I would seriously consider taking the player
base with you back to the onliner level. Putting out a sequel in the
retailer market following a retailed one doesnt seem to have the same
payoff. Even worse to try and put out a new game. Im thinking that taking
the growth benefits and stepping back for the sequel has had better
results for the developer. IMHO

Gandalf Parker
-- If I knew more about the subject I could charge more for my answers.
What do I charge now? Oh this was offered for free.
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Anonymous
March 30, 2005 10:39:22 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

hehe he did responded to you at 5 am.
Anonymous
March 30, 2005 10:39:23 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

"Bloodstar" <george.washington@microsoft.com> wrote in news:D 2ekkp$29m$1
@sunce.iskon.hr:

> hehe he did responded to you at 5 am.

Or 8 pm if he happened to be on a trip in Australia :) 

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx
Anonymous
March 30, 2005 10:39:24 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Eddy Sterckx <eddysterckx@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:Xns9629C5A29821Eeddysterckxhotmailco@67.98.68.10:

> "Bloodstar" <george.washington@microsoft.com> wrote in news:D 2ekkp$29m$1
> @sunce.iskon.hr:
>
>> hehe he did responded to you at 5 am.
>
> Or 8 pm if he happened to be on a trip in Australia :) 

Heehee. On the MUD we used to shout
"Bless the Australians!"
"When they are online, you know that the world did not end today!"
(its already tomorrow there) :) 

Gandalf Parker
!