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Kayn Slamdyke
Dec 10, 2008


Red_Mage posted:

...The downside to it was, of course, that WotC noticed lots of people subscribing for one month every so often, doing a million compendium queries, updating the offline character builder, and then unsubscribing

Yeah. I figured it would be something like this. I could argue that if Insider's updates was worth paying the $8 a month for in those people's eyes it wouldn't happen but we all know there'll be people out there who don't care no matter how awesome the Dragon updates or errata fixes are.

Wizards has a hit or miss relationship with the 'net in my opinion. For all it's goodwill promotional ties to Penny Arcade or it's Compendium, there have been pulling PDF sales over piracy concerns or waiting until the end of it's edition cycle for beta testing it's online gaming table or making it difficult if not impossible to house rule their online character builder.

If Insider really is going to be WotC's spearpoint in it's next release, it'll need to master any insecurities it has about the net and how people tend to use or abuse it. That of course is no tiny undertaking but I'm just hoping they consider third party developers in the process, choosing to issue a clean little API at the expense of having some abusive apps that purely exist to scrape content. That'd be a lot of work they wouldn't have to do when it comes to toolsets if they did it right.

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Vanadium
Jan 8, 2005



Kayn Slamdyke posted:

Wizards [...] have been pulling PDF sales over piracy concerns

I'm rather curious about it. Is piracy really all it is about and do they think this is the way to go up against it, or is this some scheme to again distance themselves from cheap independent products that are sold as pdfs on someone's geocities website? Or something else?

Echophonic
Sep 16, 2005

Kirby Gear Solid 3:
Snake Eater

lighttigersoul posted:

DoKs and Rogue's Den

NGDBSS posted:

Newark

Current Delaware goon (Wilmington, specifically), checking in. My FLGS of choice is Between Books in Claymont. From my understanding, the guys that opened Rogue's Den were regulars there until they opened that place in a dance studio within spitting distance. Rogue's was REALLY nice the few times I was in there. Had an absurd amount of space. Seemed like they put more focus on the play-space and less on stock, but like I said, I wasn't really in there much and it sounds like lighttigersoul knows that story pretty well.

Between Books is really more of a bookstore, but Greg has a pretty large gaming collection. A lot of it seems like older stock, but it's always fun to look through. It's not at the expense of newer stuff, either. He always has newer card and board games and new releases for a pretty good variety of games. I really have to try to not buy something new every week I play D&D there, to be totally honest. Last time I almost bought this dystopian supers game called Brave New World. He's also pretty hard to stump on special orders. I need to really be out on the fringe of newer small press for him to not be able to order it for me.

Delaware goons

clockworkjoe
May 31, 2000

Rolled a 1 on the random encounter table, didn't you?

Vanadium posted:

I'm rather curious about it. Is piracy really all it is about and do they think this is the way to go up against it, or is this some scheme to again distance themselves from cheap independent products that are sold as pdfs on someone's geocities website? Or something else?

They probably want to eventually sell their own ebooks on their own website instead of using a third party merchant.

Dr Nick
Oct 16, 2008

This baby is off the charts

Vanadium posted:

I'm rather curious about it. Is piracy really all it is about and do they think this is the way to go up against it, or is this some scheme to again distance themselves from cheap independent products that are sold as pdfs on someone's geocities website? Or something else?

From what I heard at the time (this is, of course, just rumor) one of the online pdf retailers was selling pdfs of the game books and not reporting the sales to WotC. I don't know how true it is or what the scale of such a thing would be but that's what I heard.

Additionally, if you look at the timing and consider other rumors regarding 4e, it's entirely possible that despite it's popularity 4e wasn't making its target sales numbers and WotC was looking for a scapegoat. In any event, it's all speculation so your guess is as good as mine.

Nuns with Guns
Jul 23, 2010

It's a pretty good day for Viktor


Kayn Slamdyke posted:

If Insider really is going to be WotC's spearpoint in it's next release, it'll need to master any insecurities it has about the net and how people tend to use or abuse it. That of course is no tiny undertaking but I'm just hoping they consider third party developers in the process, choosing to issue a clean little API at the expense of having some abusive apps that purely exist to scrape content. That'd be a lot of work they wouldn't have to do when it comes to toolsets if they did it right.

A friend of mine recently suggested that Wizards might have better luck with a DDI program if it worked somewhat like Steam/a DLC store. You'd buy and download the base program and later you could pick and buy individual patches with Dragon/Dungeon material, errata, or new book rules. Maybe people could also submit their own houserules and really good ones could get featured on Wizard's site. I thought it was a cool premise but I have no idea if that makes good business sense.

Laphroaig
Feb 6, 2004

Drinking Smoke

The DLC model (buying the base package and then getting updates) was initially how the system was going to work before it was scrapped. You would use a code in the books to gain online access to all content bought in a physical book.

This is just a step away from selling the online access alone, but the approach never came to be. I believe early 4e Player Handbooks still mention it though, but I could be wrong.

ToxicSlurpee
Nov 5, 2003

Kiss Me, I'm Hateful!

Nuns with Guns posted:

A friend of mine recently suggested that Wizards might have better luck with a DDI program if it worked somewhat like Steam/a DLC store. You'd buy and download the base program and later you could pick and buy individual patches with Dragon/Dungeon material, errata, or new book rules. Maybe people could also submit their own houserules and really good ones could get featured on Wizard's site. I thought it was a cool premise but I have no idea if that makes good business sense.

The problem there is that Hasbro is greedy. Subscriptions look like they'd make more money than one-shot charges for books because, well, some people are going to buy the base books and never anything else ever.

As we've seen with Steam, though, the one-shot charge can be wildly, wildly successful.

The thing with downloads is that the cost of transmitting a .pdf is ultimately negligible. What I'd like to see WotC do is release something like 5e D&D lite through a download service and then use that as the hook to buy other books. You can use D&D lite and then buy more things if you want but, you know what, no pressure, you know?

I find myself wondering if what they're trying to do is get D&D more profitable or make it a cash cow on the level of Magic. We all know that Magic makes WotC belligerent amounts of money. I must wonder if they're trying to do similar things with D&D, even though they are wildly different products.

In the end, though, they'll never axe D&D any time soon. That would be a PR nightmare. It isn't the most profitable thing in the world, but deliberately ending D&D would cause WotC to be absolutely loathed. They'd be forever remembered as the company that killed the original RPG. If it just kind of faded into obscurity, there'd be some rumblings of discontent, but nothing like an angry mob with pitchforks and torches.

Laphroaig
Feb 6, 2004

Drinking Smoke

ToxicSlurpee posted:

The problem there is that Hasbro is greedy. Subscriptions look like they'd make more money than one-shot charges for books because, well, some people are going to buy the base books and never anything else ever.

I find myself wondering if what they're trying to do is get D&D more profitable or make it a cash cow on the level of Magic. We all know that Magic makes WotC belligerent amounts of money. I must wonder if they're trying to do similar things with D&D, even though they are wildly different products.

In the end, though, they'll never axe D&D any time soon. That would be a PR nightmare. It isn't the most profitable thing in the world, but deliberately ending D&D would cause WotC to be absolutely loathed. They'd be forever remembered as the company that killed the original RPG. If it just kind of faded into obscurity, there'd be some rumblings of discontent, but nothing like an angry mob with pitchforks and torches.

Hasbro is a business, with real people who work at it making real money to put real food on their families tables so they don't real starve and real die.

Nerd entitlement aside, you can bet your rear end they'd drop D&D in a second if it was not currently making money. It is; to the (unsourced) tune of $4.2M a year in DDI subscriptions.

The way D&D would make as much money as Magic would be if it became as popular as Magic. I'd like that to occur. I'd think it would save the hobby, because ultimately it means bringing in tons of new players, which is what tabletop gaming needs.

ToxicSlurpee
Nov 5, 2003

Kiss Me, I'm Hateful!

Laphroaig posted:

Hasbro is a business, with real people who work at it making real money to put real food on their families tables so they don't real starve and real die.

Nerd entitlement aside, you can bet your rear end they'd drop D&D in a second if it was not currently making money. It is; to the (unsourced) tune of $4.2M a year in DDI subscriptions.

The way D&D would make as much money as Magic would be if it became as popular as Magic. I'd like that to occur. I'd think it would save the hobby, because ultimately it means bringing in tons of new players, which is what tabletop gaming needs.

Valve is a business with real people who work at it making real money so they don't starve and real die, but they literally give Team Fortress 2 away, which is one of their most popular titles. The game is free. The whole thing. You can pay for the extra goodies, but you don't really NEED to.

Anyway, the day D&D quits making money is the day it fades off into obscurity. I think that's really a moot point, as piles of people are obviously still playing and buying books. They'd never make 5e if they thought it would lose them money, I was really suggesting that, so long as it at least breaks even, they're not going to axe it.

I remember a story a while back to the effect that one of D&D's highest level guys basically said "the profit D&D makes are drops in a bucket as far as Hasbro is concerned so they just let us do whatever we want with it."

I think that, as the internet just gets bigger and data transfer gets continually cheaper, we're going to see more and more free stuff given out even by giant companies. Reason being, it's effectively free publicity. MMORPGs are really jumping on this bandwagon by allowing players to play for free for some or, in some cases, all of the content. You need to pay to get absolutely everything, but a casual player that just wants to kill a week of boredom can download the game, play it a bit, and then never look at it again. Some games are perfectly enjoyable to casual players forever and they don't need to pay. Obviously, hardcore players will want the extra features and what not, and the companies generally offer extra goodies to paying customers, but still...with how small .pdf files are, I imagine a company that makes RPGs could do something similar.

ToxicSlurpee fucked around with this message at Jan 21, 2012 around 21:30

lighttigersoul
Mar 5, 2009

Sailor Scout Enoutner 5:
Moon Healing Escalation


Echophonic posted:

Between Books

I've heard great things about this place, but I've never been there. Slower Lower, and all that.

quote:

Delaware goons

Seriously, there seem to be a good number of us now.

Red_Mage
Jul 23, 2007
I SHOULD BE FUCKING PERMABANNED BUT IN THE MEANTIME ASK ME ABOUT MY FAILED KICKSTARTER AND RUNNING OFF WITH THE MONEY


ToxicSlurpee posted:

In the end, though, they'll never axe D&D any time soon. That would be a PR nightmare. It isn't the most profitable thing in the world, but deliberately ending D&D would cause WotC to be absolutely loathed. They'd be forever remembered as the company that killed the original RPG. If it just kind of faded into obscurity, there'd be some rumblings of discontent, but nothing like an angry mob with pitchforks and torches.

Ummm... I think you vastly overestimate the scale of a PR hit this would be. I doubt their magic playing fanbase is going to stop buying magic cards because that dude who reeks of catpiss who is always raging about evil wotseeee is raging harder this week.

Dr Nick
Oct 16, 2008

This baby is off the charts

ToxicSlurpee posted:

Valve is a business with real people who work at it making real money so they don't starve and real die, but they literally give Team Fortress 2 away, which is one of their most popular titles. The game is free. The whole thing. You can pay for the extra goodies, but you don't really NEED to.

Anyway, the day D&D quits making money is the day it fades off into obscurity. I think that's really a moot point, as piles of people are obviously still playing and buying books. They'd never make 5e if they thought it would lose them money, I was really suggesting that, so long as it at least breaks even, they're not going to axe it.

I remember a story a while back to the effect that one of D&D's highest level guys basically said "the profit D&D makes are drops in a bucket as far as Hasbro is concerned so they just let us do whatever we want with it."

I think that, as the internet just gets bigger and data transfer gets continually cheaper, we're going to see more and more free stuff given out even by giant companies. Reason being, it's effectively free publicity. MMORPGs are really jumping on this bandwagon by allowing players to play for free for some or, in some cases, all of the content. You need to pay to get absolutely everything, but a casual player that just wants to kill a week of boredom can download the game, play it a bit, and then never look at it again. Some games are perfectly enjoyable to casual players forever and they don't need to pay. Obviously, hardcore players will want the extra features and what not, and the companies generally offer extra goodies to paying customers, but still...with how small .pdf files are, I imagine a company that makes RPGs could do something similar.

Is the number of DDI subscribers anywhere near the number of TF2 players (let alone the number of steam subscribers?). Microtransactions are a volume game.

Catastropost
Feb 17, 2011

by angerbrat


Valve is one of the most successful computer game publishers, ever.
WOTC is one of the most successful publishers of a sub-niche of tabletop gaming.

Steam is an online store. WOTC could create it's own online store, but Paizo, Drivethru and others already have. Steam sells games in terms that rpgs aren't games.

In fact, adjusting for this, WOTC's subscription model is about as close as you can get to steam's model.

Catastropost fucked around with this message at Jan 22, 2012 around 04:36

ToxicSlurpee
Nov 5, 2003

Kiss Me, I'm Hateful!

Dr Nick posted:

Is the number of DDI subscribers anywhere near the number of TF2 players (let alone the number of steam subscribers?). Microtransactions are a volume game.

I have no idea, I've never seen either numbers, honestly. TF2 is on the level of a few millions or so. I don't know where DDI is at. I've also never used DDI so I have no idea how it really works. So my opinions may be slightly irrelevant from some assumptions I'm making. I'll admit that.

One thing I've always wondered is why WotC doesn't create some kind of virtual tabletop to play D&D on. It would need a tabletop that you can draw maps and put like markers for where the players are (and could even have an ART BUDGET and let people upload custom sprites!) and have a die roller and be as hard to the rules or as free form as the DM drat well pleases. It would make it easier for far-flung gamers to play D&D, that's for drat sure. Give it voice chat functionality.

I know there have been attempts to do such things in the pass, but if memory serves me right, none of them have ever been commercial and they've generally been mediocre at best.

Dr Nick
Oct 16, 2008

This baby is off the charts

They have. it's in beta now and it's part of DDI.

Chaltab
Feb 16, 2011

So shocked someone got me an avatar!


Is there anyway to try it out if you're not already in on the beta?

Dr Nick
Oct 16, 2008

This baby is off the charts

Chaltab posted:

Is there anyway to try it out if you're not already in on the beta?

I believe so. The beta is open to anybody with ddi now. I think its still open to nonsubscribers too. Pretty sure one person needs an accounf and he can generate codes for people to join his table.

Note I've never actually used it so its possible some of it has changed...

Gau
Nov 18, 2003

ASK ME ABOUT THE KEYS TO KICKSTARTER SUCCESS

Vanadium posted:

I'm rather curious about it. Is piracy really all it is about and do they think this is the way to go up against it, or is this some scheme to again distance themselves from cheap independent products that are sold as pdfs on someone's geocities website? Or something else?

I've talked a bit about this in my latest blog post.

MadScientistWorking
Jun 23, 2010

"I was going through a time period where I was looking up weird stories involving necrophilia..."


Kayn Slamdyke posted:

Wizards has a hit or miss relationship with the 'net in my opinion. For all it's goodwill promotional ties to Penny Arcade or it's Compendium, there have been pulling PDF sales over piracy concerns or waiting until the end of it's edition cycle for beta testing it's online gaming table or making it difficult if not impossible to house rule their online character builder.
I have a feeling that its large scale ineptitude in implementing the web tools. Its really disturbing on how kludged together certain tools are like the Compendium which is partially powered by the sample code from a Oreilly book.

Vanadium
Jan 8, 2005



Gau posted:

I've talked a bit about this in my latest blog post.

Awesome, I was wondering when you were gonna update.

Volmarias
Dec 31, 2002

This could be too paranoid to be effective, but it's a thought.

...

See, stuff like that make me confident in my decision to convert a Jovian moon mine shaft into a survival bunker!

Just finished reading the thread. Good posts by Gau, definitely food for thought the next time I walk into a game store.

Noktorn
May 30, 2008


I've been reading the blog for a couple weeks now, catching up on all the back entries, and I just wanted to pop in and say that I really love it as well as all the discussion in this thread. It's really interesting to get a look at the inner workings of the business, as well as to get sort of an insider's look at the actual traditional game community, which is something I was never really involved in up until recently.

I also want to echo the sentiments of a lot of people in this thread saying that they wish there was a brick and mortar game store available near them which was more accessible to "normal" people. I look the part of a pretty stereotypical metalhead (long hair, metal band t-shirt, etc.,) but I try to be courteous and respectful to staff at businesses and expect some professionalism in return. I went to an FLGS for the first time ever recently with some friends and was pretty horrified by it. Agonizingly creepy customers, terrible lighting/furniture/displays, employees that did their best to avoid doing work- pretty much everything described in this thread. I think my favorite part was when I wanted to buy about 20 assorted dice. After the guy rang me up, he just sort of stared at me and said "So... are you gonna need a bag for those?"

Well gently caress, dude, what does everyone else do, cram them in their loving mouths like squirrels?

S.J.
May 19, 2008

A storm is coming.


The FLGS I work for was specifically built to cater to normal god drat people and to attract street traffic, and that's (a few of the reasons) why it quickly became the most popular and successful one in the area. Nerds will come to your store regardless, and the plus side is that you will also end up attracting most of the nerds with hygiene and self respect.

Noktorn
May 30, 2008


S.J. posted:

The FLGS I work for was specifically built to cater to normal god drat people and to attract street traffic, and that's (a few of the reasons) why it quickly became the most popular and successful one in the area. Nerds will come to your store regardless, and the plus side is that you will also end up attracting most of the nerds with hygiene and self respect.

I think a lot of store owners either ignore (or don't care about) the fact that, unfair as it might be, the community that forms around a particular form of entertainment has probably as much impact on its survival as the quality of the entertainment itself. I played video games for a lot of years before even thinking of getting into tabletop RPGs simply because the stigma surrounding it put me off. I'm glad that I got over it, but I can't say that my impressions were entirely misplaced considering how a lot of tabletop fans act. If stores, companies, and gamers themselves would ostracize even the worst 5% of the audience (like the sort of people detailed in the Worst Roleplaying Experiences thread) I bet that the scene would make back that 5% and much, much more in a pretty short timeframe.

Rhandhali
Sep 7, 2003

This is Free Trader Beowulf, calling anyone...

My hometown has a "good" game store that opened fairly recently, maybe a year and a half ago. It's a nice place - clean, well lit with natural light, friendly, presentable staff, a product selection with broad appeal and a great location near the big mall in town. Their scheduled events are well run in their neat and tidy gaming area. They keep a small stock of some of the oddball stuff that the owner likes; things like Advanced Squad Leader and Star Fleet Battles, for example, but it's the smallest part of the inventory. They seem to be doing extremely well for themselves.

However, it also has a "bad" game store. Dirty, bordering on filthy (I don't think the carpets have ever been cleaned), badly lit, poorly stocked with old, out of date and oddball stuff. They would have, for example, five copies of some BattleTech sheet books, but no copies of the basic rules. There are sunfaded boardgames covered in dust that haven't been touched The staff aren't terribly presentable and neither are they terribly friendly. You can go in, browse the store and walk out without ever being acknowledged by the one guy WoWing it up on the store computer. The shelves of things that will never sell and are never marked down. Maybe six years ago some friends of mine got big into the Werewolf CCG, RAGE, and had a player's circle, setting out to build up a stock of cards from a CCG that was even then long dead. They offered to buy the dusty old card product at a discount but were refused and offered full price only. To my knowledge, the cards are still there. Their location is also crappy, it's behind one of the dead/dying malls on the edge of a crappy part of town and the anchor store in the complex is a Big Lots.

Somehow, the latter store is still in business. Every time I go home I make a point of stopping by to gape in awe at how, year after year, they are still in business despite being such a terrible store and as near as I can tell doing everything wrong. Maybe it's a testimonial to the force of habit that some people in the gamer demographic have; I don't know any of my friends back home that like the bad game store, yet they still patronize them in face of alternatives.

Rhandhali fucked around with this message at Feb 23, 2012 around 07:26

Noktorn
May 30, 2008


Rhandhali posted:

Somehow, the latter store is still in business. Every time I go home I make a point of stopping by to gape in awe at how, year after year, they are still in business despite being such a terrible store and as near as I can tell doing everything wrong. Maybe it's a testimonial to the force of habit that some people in the gamer demographic have; I don't know any of my friends back home that like the bad game store, yet they still patronize them in face of alternatives.

Honestly, I think it's worse than force of habit- the sort of people who go to those places when other options are available are those who specifically like that environment. I'm guessing they see it as more "authentic" or designed for "real gamers," since that's safer than having to confront the fact that they're odious people.

Rhandhali
Sep 7, 2003

This is Free Trader Beowulf, calling anyone...

Noktorn posted:

Honestly, I think it's worse than force of habit- the sort of people who go to those places when other options are available are those who specifically like that environment. I'm guessing they see it as more "authentic" or designed for "real gamers," since that's safer than having to confront the fact that they're odious people.

I don't really consider my friends to be odious people, even when compared to the many non-gamer types in my life. They actually like the "good" store, and have given them custom, but they also still spend money at the "bad" store. Nostalgia is a powerful force.

Noktorn
May 30, 2008


Rhandhali posted:

I don't really consider my friends to be odious people, even when compared to the many non-gamer types in my life. They actually like the "good" store, and have given them custom, but they also still spend money at the "bad" store. Nostalgia is a powerful force.

I guess it must be. I was more thinking along the lines of those who would refuse to patronize the good store out of some sort of misguided principle; in your friends' cases, I guess it really must be raw nostalgia motivating them to go there. If they weren't actually aware of how bad it is, they would probably just be hapless geeks, but the fact that they know it and still go there kind of amazes me. Kind of sucks that they won't vote with their wallets as to what business practices they want to support, but I guess that's why there's so many bad game stores out there managing to survive.

chrisoya
Nov 29, 2006


Do people really play WoW on the job? I mean "if there's time to lean there's time to clean" isn't universally applicable (there is not enough time, ever, to clean some game shops) but WoW is a pretty active game. Reading something or playing something you can pause, writing erotic pony crossovers with your pathfinder PC, sure, but playing MMOs on the job is anti-customer service in every way.

"I can't take your money in exchange for goods as is my job, I am too busy grinding bear ears gently caress I just died you're banned from my store"

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007

Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952

chrisoya posted:

"if there's time to lean there's time to clean"

Goddamn right there is. I worked game store retail for... six years if you count video games, 4 otherwise. I hated getting nagged about cleaning, but I also refuse to stand around in public in a messy environment I was responsible for.

Plus it was Berkeley, we had some loving skeezy people come in. Like the homeless person who bought chess sets more often than he bathed, or the very scary woman who came in for batteries for her walkman and ended up spilling cockroaches all over the counter. I went through so much loving windex after that...

InfiniteJesters
Jan 26, 2012


mllaneza posted:

...or the very scary woman who came in for batteries for her walkman and ended up spilling cockroaches all over the counter. I went through so much loving windex after that...



Was she like the ontology world's equivalent of a crazy cat lady or something?

AgentF
May 11, 2009


Entomology

Rhandhali
Sep 7, 2003

This is Free Trader Beowulf, calling anyone...

chrisoya posted:

Do people really play WoW on the job? I mean "if there's time to lean there's time to clean" isn't universally applicable (there is not enough time, ever, to clean some game shops) but WoW is a pretty active game. Reading something or playing something you can pause, writing erotic pony crossovers with your pathfinder PC, sure, but playing MMOs on the job is anti-customer service in every way.

"I can't take your money in exchange for goods as is my job, I am too busy grinding bear ears gently caress I just died you're banned from my store"

Well, this guy sure was. The place is a shithole, but until the "good" game shop opened it was literally the only store in town. Even before it became the only game shop (barring a place that specialized in miniatures and wargames) in town I think people only went there because it was the oldest shop, it's been around for 30 years now. That, and they had a loyalty card, a buy 250 dollars worth of product, get a 25 dollar gift card sort of thing. That ended pretty much immediately after they became the only store in town.

InfiniteJesters
Jan 26, 2012


AgentF posted:

Entomology

Once again, I am reminded that I should get more sleep these days.

Thank you for catching me on my stupid.

I have no clue what a crazy cat lady that was obsessed with the nature of being would be like. Crazy Schrodinger's-cat lady?

Volmarias
Dec 31, 2002

This could be too paranoid to be effective, but it's a thought.

...

See, stuff like that make me confident in my decision to convert a Jovian moon mine shaft into a survival bunker!

Noktorn posted:

I think my favorite part was when I wanted to buy about 20 assorted dice. After the guy rang me up, he just sort of stared at me and said "So... are you gonna need a bag for those?"

Well gently caress, dude, what does everyone else do, cram them in their loving mouths like squirrels?

This gave me a fantastic mental image of getting into an argument with someone, then them shouting "OK, gently caress it. Roll initiative," and shooting a d20 out of their mouth. Because they are always ready to roll.

I'm curious how many "Dirty" stores are patronized by the customers that the "Clean" stores turn away or ban outright. That's probably part of their profit; they're still the only store in town for disgusting cheeto fingers gamers.

self_invention
Dec 25, 2010

chibicop on the scene

In my own experience, the 'dirty' game store is owned by someone who isn't as concerned with making a profit as he is with having a pet game store. As such their failure threshold is set much lower than someone with business sense. Also, when their accounts with distributors finally freeze up, they just sell the store to someone.

There's also the store that is run as a hobby; trust fund kid/son of wealthy family opens up/buys a shop and runs it at a loss for whatever amount of time because they're just doing it for fun.

My own shop has essentially put the dirty shop two streets over out of business three times, but someone keeps strolling in and propping it up.

silvergoose
Mar 18, 2006

IT IS SAID THE TEARS OF THE BWEENIX CAN HEAL ALL WOUNDS


mllaneza posted:

Goddamn right there is. I worked game store retail for... six years if you count video games, 4 otherwise. I hated getting nagged about cleaning, but I also refuse to stand around in public in a messy environment I was responsible for.

Plus it was Berkeley, we had some loving skeezy people come in. Like the homeless person who bought chess sets more often than he bathed, or the very scary woman who came in for batteries for her walkman and ended up spilling cockroaches all over the counter. I went through so much loving windex after that...

Eudo or GoB?

Both good stores, actually. Eudomonia certainly catered more towards magic and videogamers (with a videogame cafe inside) and Games of Berkeley more towards casual games (chess, so I'm guessing that), but I honestly like both stores quite a lot.

Leperflesh
May 17, 2007

Dwarf tits for the blood god!

SPERG FOR THE SPERG GOD


Game stores are social meetingplaces for gamers. That's how terrible games stores stay in business for decades despite being awful. If you have twenty regulars who all know each other through the game store and are accustomed to meeting eachother there all the time, using the space to play games, and basically hanging out there, there's a lot of inertia that builds up. A lot of them have satellite friends and acquaintances who wind up visiting occasionally, not just to buy games but also to play with the people they know. Especially people who otherwise don't have a lot of gamers in their primary social circle; the local gamehovel becomes their go-to place for a casual game with someone who isn't a total stranger.

If you could get the entire extended social network to transplant to the nice clean new store, it'd probably work out. But nobody organizes these things, they're as organic as any other network of friends and acquaintances. Instead, for any given member of the bad-gamestore-social-network to stop hanging out there and go to the good place requires that they abandon that network. Maybe not totally sever of course, but it's a big change of habit and they will face a lot more people they don't know at the new place.

Perhaps there's also the "old place tolerates my odious habits, new place doesn't" factor but I suspect that's not the primary thing. Mostly it's "If I hang out at the new place, I won't be able to play Magic with Bob, Gunt, and Crazy Rod all the time like I do now".

(This is, not coincidentally, precisely why anyone desiring to open a game store probably must give consideration to creating an open playspace for customers to hang out and use all the time; not because the hangouters are going to be your best customers necessarily, but because becoming the defacto primary hangout for the core supernodes of the local gamer social web, you'll be attracting all of the minor nodes and sattelites of that network along with them. Of course, evict the toads and skunks, but keep the baby when you flush the bathwater or some other horribly mixed metaphor, you get what I mean.)

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nelson
Apr 12, 2009


Leperflesh posted:

(This is, not coincidentally, precisely why anyone desiring to open a game store probably must give consideration to creating an open playspace for customers to hang out and use all the time; not because the hangouters are going to be your best customers necessarily, but because becoming the defacto primary hangout for the core supernodes of the local gamer social web, you'll be attracting all of the minor nodes and sattelites of that network along with them. Of course, evict the toads and skunks, but keep the baby when you flush the bathwater or some other horribly mixed metaphor, you get what I mean.)

Insightful comment. The number one reason I spend money at my FLGS is because of open gaming. I used go, meet new people and play games with them but think to myself "Why should I pay more when I can shop online." But one day I realized that *that* was the reason I should pay more: So I could always have a place to play and meet new gamers. It also helps that they are very friendly (one of the owners knows me by name and always greets me when I walk in) and the store itself is kept very clean. All those things combined lead to a competitive advantage over both the "smelly" gaming store and, more importantly, online retailers.

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