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Nephilim of Sin
16-12-2007, 06:54
Nephilim-

The original, strongest backlash against D&D was in the early 80s.

If it was the religious right that killed TSR- they did so in the 80s. Since TSR did not go down in the 80s, it was not the religious right. Even with "conditions" in the American bible belt, they did fine and went strong for decades- which is why the religious backlash isn't the cause of their downfall, since it didn't spike again in conjunction with TSR getting wobbly.

Yes, it started then. I will agree. And the 'Right' continued throughout the '80s. There are varying reasons, which I admitted, and I am sorry if I implied that the 'Right' singularly killed TSR. What I was trying to get at was the outside factors that they had to deal with, as opposed to GW. Here is what I was getting at....

-Steam-Tunnel Incident: 1979
-Mazes and Monsters, book about said incident, 1981
-Hobgoblin, another book about the evils of D&D 1981
-Mazes and Monsters, the movie! (starring Tom Hanks?!) 1982
-BADD established, 1982, friviolous lawsuits against TSR ensue
-Dark Dungeons, Chic Tract about D&D = Satanism, 1984
-Straight talk on Dungeons and Dragons, another "it is evil" book 1984
-Leith Von Stein Murder Case (Dm and group kills his parents), 1988
-The Devil's Webb: Stalking Your Children for Satan, 1989
-Blood Games a loose book about the 'D&D' Killings, 1991
-Honor thy Mother, a movie about 'Blood Games', 1992
-Cruel Doubt, tv miniseries about the murder, 1992
-Magic: The Gathering, debuts in 1993 (perhaps the nail in the coffin
-Should a Christian Play Dungeons & Dragons?, another book, Around '96 (By this time, the hype and myths of D&D were mainly ignored, I will note)

What I was trying to say is that it is not as simple as how they mismanaged themselves. Things like this can seriously hurt a company, which could be why they have to churn out loads of product. Did they come out with some subpar products? Yes! (Thieves screen, anyone?) Did they mismanage themselves? Yes! Yet, since GW does not have to deal with this crap, we really don't know how it would affect them. That is why, IMO, comparing the two seems moot without adding in the factor of these external problems. But, again, that is my opinion, which I will let rest. But don't let that stop anyone from ripping it apart :).

Turning away from this, one thing I would like to know is how does GW business practice differ from M:TG? There are a lot of similarities between the two companies in how they handled their customers. Shoddy rules being constantly updated (you could kill someone with the size of the FAQ and Errata), waiting for people to collect the cards and then ban them, invalidating collections based on 'cycles', mass-producing inferior products (Fallen Empires, Homelands). The price of entering M:TG is comparable to Warhammer ( about $110 for 36 packs). The customer feedback of the veterans was heavily against wizards (infact, out of everyone I knew that started, I am the only one who still has my cards). I do not know why WotC was bought by Hasbro, or let themselves be bought, but I think it is interesting to compare those two businesses on their similar practices.

BrainFireBob
16-12-2007, 09:27
The main difference I see there is that M:tG caters to biasing the game in your favor, to the point your opponent might as well not sit down- there's a random element, but the whole concept of deck building revolves around synergies that are intended to be unbalanced. GW supposedly tries not to.

EDIT: On that note, it will be interesting to see what happens to Warmachine by the end of the decade.

Brandir
16-12-2007, 09:27
Personally I don't think that the 'religious right' had any impact on the demise of TSR. The reason TSR collapsed was bad management who made a series of bad decisions. Whilst one does need a good product and good staff, the key to a successful business is the CEO.

aenarion67
16-12-2007, 10:27
i think it does. anything that blackens the name of the bussiness is not good. think of it. things like this can be spread rather quickly. if it is branded satanicly many people and adults wouldn't let their kids go near it.

Etienne de Beaugard
16-12-2007, 12:40
Nephilim -

While Dungeons & Dragons was a first target in the mid 80s scare, every 'hobby' game that dealt with was also impacted. None of them died from the "Religious Right." Almost every bookstore in America carried T$R product, and sales expanded significantly after the release of 2nd edition. Sorry

On a brighter note, your analysis of M:tG fitting into a pattern with GW games is valid. M:tG, like D&D and WH is a 'common culture' game of its genre. It's getting stale and has a lot of years of change a growing bad feeling to work against.

While I think the T$R/GW comparison is valid, I agree GW has more wiggle room. MMORPGs seem more of a threat to traditional RPGs than a threat to table-top gaming. Also, while Warmachine and Flames of War are gaining traction in the market, neither have reached the larger market that GW reaches. By the late 90s White Wolf games and WEGs Star Wars were getting as much shelf space as T$R products.

Reinholt
16-12-2007, 15:24
I don't know how we got on the topic of the 'religious right' and TSR, but I want to throw out a few points:

- For most people playing, we didn't hear a damn thing about it and...

- If we had, we considered it a positive for D&D to be attacked by those kinds of people.

Sure, they probably lose a few sales, but they probably gained a few sales elsewhere. I'm sure there's at least one kid who started playing after his parents were ranting about how evil it was.

But back to GW and TSR - this is actually a common problem in business. You have something like an "S" curve for the expansion of companies. Very early on they are slow growers as they get their feet under them, then you experience a period of rapid and explosive growth as they start to take market share in their industry (especially if they also have a popular Niche product, like LoTR). After that, they have grown, saturated the market, and capitalized on their success, so there's a problem that emerges:

- Without anywhere obvious to grow to hide flaws in increased revenue, do they know how to manage?

That is the precise point at which a lot of companies wither and either get bought out or die. The best ones overcome that and continue to make loads of money and produce quality products. GW has saturated their native market (the UK), and while there is likely some organic sales growth there, that cannot provide future success to the company of the magnitude they have had in the past, most likely. Without a cohesive strategy for the US / mainland Europe and better management of the business, they'll be stuck in this rut until they either go bust, someone buys them, or they go bust and then someone buys them.

Edit: To the post above, I can assure you MMORPGs are a threat to tabletop gaming. WoW is the damned reason I'm never going to finish this Chaos army I have, because I'd rather spend time hanging with some friends I never get to see across the country in WoW than panting Black Legion guy #56.

VetSgtNamaan
16-12-2007, 15:50
While trying to avoid talking about the 'religious right' (which every large organized movement always has its extremist elements this is not just imited to religion.) Wotc/Hasbro has produced a much more overtly satanic work in its Book of vile darkness which does include such things as drug addiction, human sacrifice, slavery, swearing allegiance to demons and even games effects of selling your own and trafficing in others souls. TSr never could have gotten away with any of this not because of the any opposition groups but rather they were an easy target being a relatively small company. Any one trying to sue hasbro would quickly find out that they would have a very expensive and protracted legal battle on thier hands. TSR was diening a slow death for years and even former higher ups in the company admitted thier downfall was producing things they though was cool over thier customers wanted.

While I know there is alot of things I do hate about the company itself, but the only game that comes close to activity levels in the realm of table top mini games is Flames of War(In my area at least). But then again there have always been a horde of world war II hobby enthusiasts so tapping into that market is no doubt the reason for thier rapid rise. I suspect that it will be slow to finally go under and slow to recover as well.

Templar Ben
16-12-2007, 15:51
The RR attacks were very different growing up deep in the bible belt. They would have book burnings about every 6 months where I lived where they burned D&D books alongside records and tapes.

Seriously.

Easy E
16-12-2007, 16:42
The RR attacks were very different growing up deep in the bible belt. They would have book burnings about every 6 months where I lived where they burned D&D books alongside records and tapes.

Seriously.

Dang, that's scary.

We may want to spin-off the discussion about the influence of the Religous Right in gaming to another thread. I find this topic fascinating and would love to have a discussion on it.

As for Kirby, he should never have had both positions to begin with. It's a mark of sloppy oversight by the board to let it continue for so long.

Templar Ben
16-12-2007, 17:15
I am sorry for dragging that so far off topic. I could pretend that I was going to segway into a discussion of deamonettes and then to the CEO but no that was just not germane to the topic at hand.

Did they have to change CEO so far out from the mid year report or was that a decision they made for some other reason? The reason I ask is this, if you knew you were going to take a bath in the midyear report why wouldn't you want to have the change in hands occur at the same time, Kirby falling on his sword as it were to give the new CEO a holiday of good fortune as the new guy.

I know though that there are limits in announcements in the "quiet period" in the US and I don't know if something similar exists in the UK.

Wintermute
16-12-2007, 17:21
Dang, that's scary.

We may want to spin-off the discussion about the influence of the Religous Right in gaming to another thread. I find this topic fascinating and would love to have a discussion on it.

It would be wise, but I suggest you do it in P&R ;)

Wintermute

Nephilim of Sin
16-12-2007, 17:25
I am sorry for dragging that so far off topic. I could pretend that I was going to segway into a discussion of deamonettes and then to the CEO but no that was just not germane to the topic at hand.
No, that was me, not you. Sorry guys. :angel:


Did they have to change CEO so far out from the mid year report or was that a decision they made for some other reason? The reason I ask is this, if you knew you were going to take a bath in the midyear report why wouldn't you want to have the change in hands occur at the same time, Kirby falling on his sword as it were to give the new CEO a holiday of good fortune as the new guy.

I know though that there are limits in announcements in the "quiet period" in the US and I don't know if something similar exists in the UK.

Well, if their sales are boosted because of Apocalypse and Christmas, would placing someone new in during this time give them the appearance that things are headed in a new direction? Perhaps to boost confidence?

rkunisch
16-12-2007, 23:01
I think, it would be a good idea for GW to find some teaser games to get new people into the stores. Should this be a new version of Space Hulk or Hero Quest? While I love those games and would insta-buy a new version of them, I think they are not the answer for today. GW started to put it IP into computer games and is quite successful with it (DoW anyone?). What I do not understand is the missing link for those who played the game. I think you need a DoW starter box with familiar terrain, models and vehicles. Apart from a small article about how to paint the Marines, there was nothing. It is really a missed opportunity.

On another topic, I think a lot of the success of Apocalypse was because of the deals you got. If this is anything to judge by, a new approach about sales could be healthy. Maybe the new guy is the one to find this new approach. I wish him luck as I hope GW will stay in business and further produce minis and rules for the games I like.

Have fun,

Rolf.

Crazy Harborc
17-12-2007, 00:58
By not throwing Kirby out the door (all the way)....his golden parachute doesn't kick in. That's why so many CEOs and excutives have GPs. Stockholders do not like it when a CEO or other excutive is trash canned and collect big, BIG bucks......Cuts back on the money needed for those stock dividends.

Osbad
17-12-2007, 12:17
Reports in the UK suggest that pre-christmas toy sales are down by 6% when compared with last year and footfall 5.9%.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=G1JESRKTCISYHQFIQMGSFF4AVCBQ WIV0?xml=/news/2007/12/15/nchristmas215.xml

Interesting observation there Brandir.

If GW have had a good Christmas under these conditions then they have every right to congratulate themselves.

Trying to replicate it in the cold, hard January frost will be tricky, but one challenge at a time eh?!

Crazy Harborc
18-12-2007, 01:21
According to the national news last week......retail sales are down as far as the projections for what the shopping season $$$$ should be for this year.

I do hope GW beats the odds and is ahead of the retail sales results for the major shopping areas on this side of the pond.