Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One Bad Egg...Now cooked!

Well it looks like One Bad Egg is going out of business as of TODAY. While they have supported 4E WOTC since the beginning, their inability of getting big sales (300+ on their products with most of them did even reach 100. His words not mine!) and not enough creative desire to keep themselves going is what killed them. While it sucks that ANOTHER RPG company has gone down in flames , I have to wonder, if they had followed mine or even Gareth's business model, maybe they would still be operational. It is not really that complicated to stay in business if you are a RPG publisher. I mean if I have been doing this for nearly a decade and my business has brought me 5 computers (4 desktops and a laptop), several trips to Indianapolis, New Orleans, Baltimore, California and Las Vegas, countless meals, hundreds of thousands of written words, thousands for pieces of artwork and my 2003 Honda Civic, so you could do it too. But don't forget, it is actual work I am doing. Maybe One Bad Egg forgot it was. Talk to you later...


  1. Well, it's not quite how you're describing it -- it's not another RPG company that's gone under, really. One Bad Egg was run by the folks who run Evil Hat (publishers of SPIRIT OF THE CENTURY, SWASHBUCKLERS OF THE SEVEN SKIES and the forthcoming DRESDEN FILES, among others), and in fact Fred is also the art director for Hero Games.

    So, it's not so much that "another RPG company has gone under", as it is "they decided to kill the 4E-specific brand because the sales weren't there." They're continuing with Evil Hat (and Hero, obviously).

  2. Man, if I approached game design purely as work I would be writing some terrible stuff. Good thing it's a hobby instead and I only do it when I can conceive of feasible, useful projects that I'll enjoy doing.

    There are some things that are more important than making money or surviving, even when running a business. I think I'd count being able to maintain a level of quality and produce the kinds of products that you can be proud of on that list. If it turns out I can't do that without losing a bunch of money, I'd rather shut down operations than change to a business model that doesn't match what I want to do. That's what independent publishing is about: the freedom to make your own choices about how you do things.

    While I was only a tangential writer for OBE, I definitely understand where the decision makers are coming from and fully support their choice as the right decision for OBE, not the unfortunate result of a failed business model.

    Just my $0.02...

  3. Sorry Jonathan but when you pay money for some thing that you plan to sell you really have to think, "business". To many people use the word "hobby" to cover a "failed business". If the sales were what they wanted, would have continued? I think too many in the RPG industry are missing the business part of this whole thing. If OBE isn't a failed business model, then what is it? People in the "RPG business" should really check out ABC Shark Tank or the BBC Dragons Den to see what "business" is really about.

  4. One Bad Egg was specifically conceived as a hobby side project, Louis. We didn't want to follow a joyless business model (I don't often get the impression that Gareth or you actually enjoy grinding out product support for some of the lines you do; some of them, yes, but not all, and not with all the relentlessness).

    We were doing it for fun; the money was a side-effect. It's not a case of having to think business or not; it's a case of minding our own happiness and being crystal clear about our priorities. Because of that clarity, we knew when to pull the plug.

  5. Hey Fred! Personally I like the grind. I have been a graphic designer for over 15 years and the grind is what a normal day is for a designer. So for me the grind of putting out stuff in a relentless schedule is a normal day at work. But of course, it is not for everyone, but I love it.

    Just wondering, if you enjoyed doing this as a side project why not just release it for free?