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View Full Version : Will there be more Path to Victory Gamebooks?



dram
13-01-2014, 21:31
Or is the series dead?

budman
15-01-2014, 12:52
I spoke to some one off the record on this At a gaming event and they were a big flop in terms of sales.

shadowhawk2008
15-01-2014, 15:26
Well, it didn't help that one of the books shipped with a big error that made the whole thing unplayable. Something to do with a dice roll determination or some such. And they didn't really push the marketing on those either. Marketing is the big game today and if you don't market something well, you can't expect it to sell as well as you want it to. This is the case for both the publishing industry, and for comics as well.

DarkChaplain
16-01-2014, 11:27
Marketing's also very important in the gaming industry - something big publishers spend millions upon millions on for their big releases. More often than not, the marketing budgets rival those for the actual development.
Smaller studios also have to invest heavily in marketing - not with funds, but in time and effort, by maintaining a more open relationship and making their presence felt on forums, twitter and especially events. Having sales on Steam helps them a lot, due to the exposure, but if you want steady sales rather than the occassional spike followed by lows, you have to stay in the game and push your products with good publicity, and get yourself out there.

And getting yourself "out there" is something GW and especially Black Library seem to struggle with. The fact that most of their video uploads to Youtube are set to unlisted, meaning they won't appear in subscription feeds, the channel's page or the search, is just the tip of the iceberg. Heck, if I was a cynical individual (which I am, of course), I'd say that GW makes more buzz in the media due to their continued legal warmongering than with their actual product lines.

It doesn't help that they guard their information so heavily, and even when leaks of new releases appear online do they not let the cat out of the bag, but try to keep their secrets just a few weeks longer. They do not play ball with fan outlets and news sites, and they also restrict usage of their own product pictures, going as far as to prohibiting their use by independent retailers.

And let's be realistic - the Path to Victory books were direct only. Were they even carried by GW stores? I kinda doubt it. This is another case of them trying to maximize direct profits via their own store only at the loss of product exposure and wider availability.

shadowhawk2008
16-01-2014, 11:39
With regards to usage of pictures and other materials by outside outlets:

Last year a friend of mine put together a kickstarter for an anthology of SF stories that focuses on the kaiju. It was put together in part by two other friends who run the new small press Ragnarok Publications. We had brainstormed some of the authors and I had suggested a few 40k authors for the anthology. When contact was made with GW/BL to allow them to use 40k/WHF images as part of the promo for the anthology on Kickstarter and elsewhere, the answer was a big NO. And we do have some BL authors in the anthology, including James Swallow, so w/e. This kind of response shows how myopic their approach to marketing is. The Kickstarter was a pretty huge success, relatively and it hit all its stretch goals as well. It was an excellent opportunity for cross-marketing and draw a sort of a different crowd towards WHF/40K, but GW was fine with ignoring it. Who cares right?

narrativium
16-01-2014, 12:36
A company objected to the use of their imagery marketing someone else's product? Hardly a big deal. It's not just about whether the readers of kaiju stories might like to read Blood Angels stories when they've done; the imagery wouldn't just be marketing, it would imply endorsement, just as it does when a product advertisement (or a political party) uses popular music in a broadcast. I'm assuming your friend had no problem listing the authors as people who've written for Black Library, to attract readers of BL books, but not supplying pictures of Titans in combat doesn't sound like something worth criticising.

Back to the topic, though - the Path to Victory books have struggled. 13, print-on-demand, and you'll only see a copy before you buy it if you can borrow one or if you attend an event BL is attending or organising. They're not on the shelves of GW stores. The whole virtue of POD for BL was that they could release experimental products without dealing in warehouse space and unsought copies, and that's fine because gamebooks are an experimental thing these days, but the word isn't out and it costs a lot to hire an author. Not to mention how difficult these things are to copyedit (multiple continuities are difficult to keep straight). So, it's understandable that they've stopped at four, but if they made more, I'd buy them too.

MiyamatoMusashi
16-01-2014, 15:57
I only played the zombie one, and it was awful. I don't remember the details, but it was something like you have six rounds of ammunition, each shot kills a zombie on a 4+, and even the shortest route to finding more ammunition involved fighting 6 zombies without any way of killing them. So you had to roll a 4+ six times in a row, or lose... in other words you had a less than 2% chance of even getting out of the first area, no matter what option you chose (unless you just cheated, in which case what's the point?).

I've inevitably got the numbers/details wrong (it was quite a while ago and I immediately put the back on the most well-hidden part of my bookshelf in disgust) but it demonstrated to me with absolute clarity that I would not want to play any more such books from BL. If my view is at all representative of others, and if BL heard that feedback, I wouldn't expect to see any more.

shadowhawk2008
16-01-2014, 17:59
A company objected to the use of their imagery marketing someone else's product? Hardly a big deal. It's not just about whether the readers of kaiju stories might like to read Blood Angels stories when they've done; the imagery wouldn't just be marketing, it would imply endorsement, just as it does when a product advertisement (or a political party) uses popular music in a broadcast. I'm assuming your friend had no problem listing the authors as people who've written for Black Library, to attract readers of BL books, but not supplying pictures of Titans in combat doesn't sound like something worth criticising.

I'm not really even sure what to say to that.

narrativium
16-01-2014, 18:41
You brought it (your friend's Kickstarter, GW's non-participation) up. I'm wondering why you thought it was unexpected enough, or significant enough, to mention here.

shadowhawk2008
18-01-2014, 05:19
Because it shows how close-minded they are with regards to their marketing. Its a symptom of the bigger problem they have. You don't increase your marketing presence by close-walling any chance at cross-promotion or anything similar.

Either way, yes. One of the reasons that there probably won't be any more Path to Victory is because of the lack of marketing, lack of proper distribution, and some general mistakes handled at the printing press level.