Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sounds like the 4E gravy train has slowed: Goodman Games may support The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game?

I saw this over at Paizo’s boards and I have to just say it, this is totally revisionist history BULLSHIT! After telling everyone how good sale are with 4E, you NOW want to support Pathfinder? OK, let’s take this one step at a time…

“2001-2004: 80%+ of RPG'ers were playing 3E. “

OK This is true.

“2004-2005: Some gamers fell off between 3E and 3.5, but still 75% playing 3.5. “

OK this is true.

“2005-2007: D20 variants multiply. Mutants & Masterminds, Iron Heroes, Arcana Evolved, Castles & Crusades, Conan, others. Most of the market is playing some version of 3E, but it's no longer all D&D. Various d20 publishers begin to release their own stand-alone RPG's (e.g., Runequest).”

This is true and don’t forget you are part of this group who wanted to develop your own D20 variant system. Does Wicked Fantasy Factory, Etherscope, DragonMech or Xcrawl ring a bell?

“2008: Most, but not all, of the RPG market converts to 4E. Market is now split between 4E and many varieties of 3E holdouts. Other systems proliferate, including Hackmaster Basic and the 1E retro-clones. "Old-school" goes mainstream. Goodman Games remains the only "d20 company" still primarily supporting WotC D&D.”

I am sorry but WTF?!?!??!?!?! Only “D20 Company” still primarily supporting WotC D&D. Joseph, I respect you as a business man and gamer, but that is complete bullshit and you know it. When you heard about 4E you we down with WOTC quicker than a $2 whore. Looks like some revisionist history bullshit to me.

“2009: Pathfinder releases. Fantasy RPG market is now split between 4E and Pathfinder, with another big chunk split to the other stand-alone RPG's (Castles & Crusades, Runequest, Fantasycraft, upcoming Dragon Age, etc.), and another chunk shopping online in the retro-clone market (which I personally have a fondness for). “

…And with that split, Paizo got support from several third party publishers who saw that Paizo did actually like it customers and third party publishers. What a crazy concept. Anyone willing to sign the 1st GSL? Anyone?

“2010: What's a module publisher to do?”

Well I supported 3.5 and then Paizo and Pathfinder, so I don’t have to ask this question. I just put out product.

“My primary love remains adventures, but the market is so fragmented that the customers who played DCC modules in 2004 are now playing 6 different systems.”

CRAP!! See this is the part that makes me laugh, those people were playing those systems back then in 2004 too. It is just you were making so much money with 3.5 you didn’t care about them. Now that 4E didn’t make the splash that you planned on and committed your entire company’s future to, you have to do some back pedaling to keep that cashflow going.

“Here's something I've been thinking about. What if a DCC were written in "native 4E" but there were downloads to support other systems? Or...what if the DCC had generic stats ("Orc, 6 hp, axe, chainmail")...and ALL detailed stats were available as a download? So if you play 4E you download the 4E stats PDF...if you play Pathfinder you download the Pathfinder stats PDF...etc. Tell me what you think.”

I think you made a mistake by supporting WOTC so early with 4E. I think you went full board with them trying to grab a section of the market. I think your sales were not what you expected, plus WOTC leaving RPGNow and the US recession didn’t help Goodman’s cashflow. 2010 looks a lot different then you though it would in 2007. I think it is a good thing long term for the industry if Goodman Games supports Paizo and Pathfinder. But don’t give me this revisionist history bullshit. You made a business decision, supported someone and it didn’t work out as you planned. Now you have changed your mind and want to make some money supporting something else. Stop trying to put a spin doctor on this and just be truthful on this. We have all made mistakes on who or what we supported in business, including me. Build a bridge and get over it. Talk to you later…