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Mr.Platinum
First of all I have been in the Industy for over a year now from game design to play testing CCG's.

Seeing the many faces of the Industry from Manufacturing , to distribution to the Retail Front Line.

When i seen this posted that FanPro shadowrun home page it enraged me to see a top company screw the lil guy and they most important people in the Industry, the Hobby Stores alike.

When you go Direct you hurt the Sales of the hobby store, Have none of you people read the articles from ICV2 about the decline of the Industry in the States? do you not care that you further the decline in the U.S.A?
I work to hard for all of the Gaming Manufacturers from the around the world to keep this industry going, far to hard, I spend many hours and long nights trying to keep this industry going and i have an amazing team behind me who are fighting this decline with success and now one of My fave companies are going direct? is it really that hard to order from a legit store on the internet? No!

I would like to see some hard core justification why this amazing company is willing to hurt the industry further by cutting out They most important people in the industry, the Hobby Stores.

Please give me a possitive reason, cause with out the Stores the Industry Dies.
Moon-Hawk
What are these stores of which you speak? Are they something similar to the places on the internet where goods and services can be purchased? Are they something from the dreaded, "outside"?
Aren't there bears outside?
Konsaki
Ok, Colbert... biggrin.gif

I admit that hobby shops might suffer, but if they have a big enough and loyal enough fanbase in the area, they shouldnt be effected much. Most people would like to be able to find a group in their area and local hobby shops are used sometimes as a meeting place, sorta like bars for shadowrunners.
Other times, like in my case, finding a group is rather hard so I have to resort to playing online through forums. Even though I could buy the PDF from the site directly, I like the feel of having a book in my hand, though now that I have a laptop that I can take with me, I might change over.

Still, in my situation, no hobbyshop is suffering due to me buying a PDF version of the books...
Fix-it
yeah, hobby stores are for the social aspect, you can find opponents to lay the smackdown upon.
nezumi
I haven't seen Fan Pro products in a brick and mortar store (except for SR4 when I wasn't shopping for it) for years. I don't know what you're talking about, cutting out the middleman though. I hadn't heard anything about Fan Pro selling direct, and I really don't know why it's a bad thing if they do. From my experience, many big manufacturers sell direct and generally speaking, their prices are HIGHER than what you get through other online stores.
Grinder
FanPro German has its own online shop for years, so no big deal: http://www.f-shop.de/index.php
dog_xinu
FanProDirect.com (or whatever the URL is) wont keep me from going to my local stores and buying games, supplies (ie dice, etc), or what not. Now if a book is released and my local game store doesnt get it in for some odd reason, then I will start buying it online. That is simple supply/demand issue. I have a demand for the item, and whomever has the supply will get it.

Now if FPD.com sells the book at MSRP just like all the game stores, how does it undercut the "little guy"? And it purpose is probably serving those guys that dont have a local shop(s).

I have traveled all over the US and in many cities the "local gaming" stores are not existent or so understocked that it is pitiful. When I was in Tampa, the local gaming store was way into scifi/comics and games was a kinda add-on area. I was interested in several games at the moment, none of them really old or odd but they had nothing. They had DnD from TSR and that was it. They didnt even have all the misc other DnD boxes from the hundreds of other companies producing DnD products. And that was the one store. And they were not interested in ordering books for me. So the next time I traveled to another city, I stopped by one of their stores to get my books. I was luck y at the time since I was traveling 2-3 times a week/every week so I was able to hit another city to get my stuff. 99% of the people out there cant. Now if FPD.com was live back then I would have bought my stuff from them since the "local gaming" store wouldnt.

Now I am a very big internet shopper. I have bought everyone of my christmas gifts online (excluding my new tv since I am not going to order a flat screen over the web). I buy all my gifts and most of my stuff online. I am a geek. that is me. But for some odd reason I tend to buy all my gaming materials at the local stores. It is something about going down there, thumbing through the books before I saw "sold". I was convinced that I wanted the book before I went to the store, but the whole hands on it first it kinda important to many. Even to us buy-on-the-internet-only geeks. I know that it is weird but it is a gaming thing. And yes, I have bought every one of my SR4 books (along with SR2/SR3) at either the local gaming stores or at GenCon, mostly the local stores.

so just because a vendor/supplier sees a need and wants to fill it doesnt mean they want to screw their sales chain/channels. I think you are panicking over nothing.

just my jaded opinion,
dog
Butterblume
I've seen a lot of those stores die over the time. Some overextended themselves (trying to sell crappy trading card games), others where just badly managed ('Don't buy this Shadowrun game, you have to throw about 50 dice'). One was killed by Fanpro, I believe (they opened a Fantastic Shop around the corner, with more stuff to sell, more staff and lots of space to play, thus catering to the social aspect).

If you got a good shop nearby, go there and give them your money (in exchange for their merchandise, of course wink.gif).
Squinky
In my area, I usually only see one shadowrun book in every store, and thats the main book.....and there is only one....ever...

I somehow don't think this online store will hurt the game stores in my area....
eidolon
Ditto, sales of SR4 stuff have been fairly good at the FLGS here, and I wouldn't even say that our RPG community is all that huge.

I personally can't find any reality behind the argument that one vendor taking their products online is going to kill of brick and mortar stores. Probably 75% of the business my FLGS does is in minis and cards, and they have a pretty good selection of board games. Oh, and snacks and drinks for the constant groups of minis and card players.

As to the slippery slope that is "maybe not if one vendor does it, but what if they all do", I hate to be the one to say it, but for one, it's a slippery slope argument wink.gif, and for two, I'd say that for the most part they already have, and it's too late for that particular argument anyway.
Mr. Man
Back when SR4 was released in the Support your FLGS thread I wrote that I would give a FLGS that had disappointed me in the past another shot. For the first few months after release I stayed in contact with the owner. Each time I spoke with him he said that he expected to be getting the SR4 BBB I had ordered from him "soon".

It is now over a year later. I am still in the market for a play copy of SR4. The FLGS owner still has my number. At any time he could pick up the phone and make money from me. He has not exercised that option.

I don't want to hear about how hard-up FLGS are. Mine seems to be doing just fine without my business.
Fortune
QUOTE (Mr.Platinum)
I would like to see some hard core justification why this amazing company is willing to hurt the industry further by cutting out They most important people in the industry, the Hobby Stores.

Personally, I have a problem with this phrase. I do not believe that Hobby Stores are the most important, or even anywhere near the most important people in, or even associated with the RPG industry.
Tanegar
QUOTE (Mr. Man)
SR4 BBB

Sorry to go off-topic here, but I keep seeing the acronym BBB. What's it stand for?
Grinder
Big Black Book - the SR main book.
nezumi
Yeah, I am kinda curious why FLGS are the MOST important link. They don't really market the products to new audiences (why would you go into a gaming store if you're not a gamer?), they oftentimes do a poor job of marketing Shadowrun to current gamers (just my observation, and maybe with good cause, FanPro is under the impression that a quality product every six months is better than a trashy one every month. While that is better for the gamer, it doesn't make the store owner a lot of money.) They don't necessarily offer me better prices (since they may be cheaper online) or a place to game (since I can game anywhere, and do a lot of it online).

So what role do they really play in all this? And why should we let them continue to play that role when it might be better served through a different medium?
BookWyrm
My solution: Use FanProDirect for information only, such as releases & ordering numbers, then when you have a confirmed release, let your FLGS know you want said item (provide all necessary info, such as title, ISBN number, price, ect.). They place the order & get the business they want to stay in....well, business.

The shop I go to usually uses Previews to order anything special.
Lovesmasher
The retail shop is eventually going to be a thing of the past. As large companies engulf every meatside retail market, the only way to compete is to go online and sell your product. This can be done either direct from the company which leads to knowledgable sales people and customer service as well as lower prices, or through a retailer like drivethruRPG which offers many products, but less of the other stuff.

Personally, I prefer moving to an electronic format.
TheRedRightHand
^ That's crazy talk. People love to shop, to look about and hold and touch and smell things. There is no way retail stores are going to go away. Not in our lifetimes at least.

And I do think retail stores are vital to trying to save the dying RPG industry. If my local comic shop didn't carry RPG books when I was a kid I would never have gotten involved with roleplaying. And I would say that 100% of all my new game system purchases were from seeing the book sitting next to the one I came to the store to buy. That's how I got into Vampires back in the day, the original rule book was sitting next to a shadowrun book I was looking for. It was the same with many other games, I would be in the store looking for one book, and come across another that I also ended up buying. Infact I would never have gotten into shadowrun first edition if I hadn't been in the store looking for the new Champions book.

This type of "impulse" buy is almost non existant on the internet, especially at direct stores which won't advertise any of the competitions products next to their own.

But that said, I think it is wise for FanPro to sell it's products online, espeically for all the people who don't live near any game stores (which is something I find amazing, since I live in a small Canadian town and there are a few games stores near-by with a couple of major ones only an hour away in Vancouver). I just wish the prices that online stores can offer wern't so much better then what you can get at a game store. It is that difference that is killing game stores.
Adarael
He's right.

After all, Amazon and other online bookstores have been putting severe pressure on local bookstores (like Barnes and Noble and Borders) for ages. Things are looking pretty grim.
The same goes for CD sales, too. I mean, bands like Gridlock, Dryft, Firewater and A Silver Mount Zion are all big enough where if I were to buy them online rather than at my local Warehouse Records (which of course, has such big-name bands) I'm going to be hurting the local sales.
Lastly, that's also why I won't use E-Bay. If I e-bay a cheap piece of clothing or a jacket, how is Macy's gonna get my money? It makes me breathe a little shallower just to think of it.

Yes, that was all hyperbole. I understand that certain industries are suffering, and I understand that many 'friendly local product X stores' can be hurt by both online sales or large chains, but you know what? I shop where people have what I want. Most of the time that's online or a large store, because my tastes tend to run to the strange, and most FLGS don't have what I'm looking for.
Kagetenshi
Echo that. I don't spend much time at gaming stores (friendly local or not), but I've always got a list of things that I look for whenever I go into one. Unfortunately, I almost inevitably come out with my list the same length it was when I went inand not because I found things to add to it, either.

I'm not sure how good an idea it is for FanPro to start doing direct sales, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the FLGS is worth saving.

(When I say I don't know how good an idea it is, I mean that with no further implication. I've seen direct sales go really well and really horribly, and as I'm no econ major or business analyst I'm not going to even try to speculate how this'll go.)

~J
nezumi
Maybe I'm coldhearted because I was never introduced to any game or book through a retail store, and I'm never ever an impulse buyer for anything that costs more than $5. It doesn't help that, as I've said, most of my FLGS don't carry Shadowrun, or at least don't carry any more than what you'd find at the Barnes & Noble down the street (which is in no danger of going out of business).

However, keep in mind that online retailers of all types want to encourage impulse buyers. Amazon does that by having the 'people who bought this also liked that' section, which I do peruse. And since the direct stores rarely compete in price with larger online stores, so the accusation that we won't get impulse buyers is not true.

If anything, online stores encourage me to send money to companies like FanPro. I am thrifty to the extreme, and only recently have I been able to afford to actually buy books new. For years, the majority of my books have been used, gifts, or borrowed. But now with online stores, I can peruse, compare prices at a bunch of different stores (which is very time consuming normally) and purchase at my leisure without having to arse myself with putting on pants. As of late, I've been buying far more books online than I ever did IRL.

All in all though, this is simply a change in how business is done. I don't buy 8-track tapes to support 8-track tape producers. While I appreciate that people are losing jobs, and that's unfortunate, we aren't the RIAA here. We need to learn how to advertise in the new age rather than complain that people are using cheaper, more convenient methods.
Lovesmasher
I'm from a small town where, while I was in high school, roleplaying games and paraphenalia were banned. Bookstores didn't have them, comic shops didn't have them and hobby shops didn't have them. I had to import them from my big city friends from summer camp. I mean, sure, I had 1st ed D&D from my half brother whos mom lived in Syracuse, but whoever thought that elf should be a class should be shot.

Now that I live in the city (Chicago!) and have the internet, everything seems all too easy to get my hands on, but I remember what it was like when stuff was hard to get. Maybe that's why I prefer the interweb.
bofh
I support my local game shops. I went to them first when I went looking for books. However if they don't have it, I'm not adverse to checking the 'net for my needs. I recently spent about $200 at the local store but I also spent $300 on the 'net.

While I do support the local guy, I also have a thrifty nature and am adverse to paying full price for a game book, especially when they compete in price with my real life computer books smile.gif

Carl
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Lovesmasher)
whoever thought that elf should be a class should be shot.

Heretic.

~J
BookWyrm
QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
QUOTE (Lovesmasher @ Dec 16 2006, 06:24 PM)
whoever thought that elf should be a class should be shot.

Heretic.

~J

Nah, you mean whoever thought that Kender should be a class should be shot.
Squinky
QUOTE (Lovesmasher)
I'm from a small town where, while I was in high school, roleplaying games and paraphenalia were banned. Bookstores didn't have them, comic shops didn't have them and hobby shops didn't have them. I had to import them from my big city friends from summer camp.

So, it was like footloose....but with RPGs....
Lovesmasher
QUOTE (Squinky)
QUOTE (Lovesmasher @ Dec 16 2006, 06:24 PM)
I'm from a small town where, while I was in high school, roleplaying games and paraphenalia were banned. Bookstores didn't have them, comic shops didn't have them and hobby shops didn't have them. I had to import them from my big city friends from summer camp.

So, it was like footloose....but with RPGs....

Actually... exactly. Especially considering that Kevin Bacon owns a house there.
mfb
except that if you'd hosted a big gaming tournament to convince everyone that gaming is cool, the BO would have wiped out half the state!
nezumi
Look, it's not BO, it's natural musk, okay? If incites a sexual response in females.
mfb
well, asphyxiation is sexy.
Sir_Psycho
Who would risk letting people SEE you go into a FLGL?!
Konsaki
I used to go to a FLGS, while I was in Abilene.
Course the game store was mainly minatures but the owner would order anything you wanted, usually at a 10% discount so he could still make a profit and provide a bonus to his customers that buy stuff through him. (He paid 60% standard listed price and sold it to me at 90%) Another reason I would go there is to play the minature games or board games with a bunch of friends on Saturdays. I would spend 12-13 hours there on average just hanging out.
It also helped that he had wall to wall weaponry: swords, knives, polearms and airmaster guns. Most of them were fake for idiots to buy, but he had a select few that were true weapons, which we would drool over but didnt really have the money on hand to buy them.
I also found a P&P group there, which I had alot of fun with that group before I moved.
Kagetenshi
I wouldn't risk letting someone see me go into one until I found out what the second "L" stood for.

~J
Grinder
My FLG is one hour away - and has the best online store I've ever used. They have a really large amout of books and minis ready and ship send usually one hour after you placed an order. And they're cheaper than most other stores. So hey, maybe FLG can sell their products online too? Just an idea.. wink.gif
NightmareX
QUOTE (Mr. Man)
Back when SR4 was released in the Support your FLGS thread I wrote that I would give a FLGS that had disappointed me in the past another shot. For the first few months after release I stayed in contact with the owner. Each time I spoke with him he said that he expected to be getting the SR4 BBB I had ordered from him "soon".

It is now over a year later. I am still in the market for a play copy of SR4. The FLGS owner still has my number. At any time he could pick up the phone and make money from me. He has not exercised that option.

I don't want to hear about how hard-up FLGS are. Mine seems to be doing just fine without my business.

I've got a good one up in Winnona (30 miles north) but the one in town is exactly like you said. Pretty sad whe they're too lazy to sell things.
Lindt
I love my FLGS to death, its this tiny little cramped as hell hole in the wall. If I can, I try and order from there just to help the guy out. However hes in such a hole its gotten to the point where he cant actually ORDER anything anymore.
Now the decision, to support Shadowrun (and thus Fanpro) by ordering the new sr4 crap (imo folks, imo), or to buy out the remaining sr3 stuff he has around.
nezumi
Or buy both! I notice your location is I-495 South. Can you be more specific? I've been looking to pick up more copies of some of the SR3 books.
eidolon
QUOTE (Grinder)
My FLG is one hour away - and has the best online store I've ever used. They have a really large amout of books and minis ready and ship send usually one hour after you placed an order. And they're cheaper than most other stores. So hey, maybe FLG can sell their products online too? Just an idea.. wink.gif

I've come across quite a few that do. In fact, I placed a pretty good WH40K order with a brick & mortar store here in the contiguous when I was in HI.

A lot of times you won't find their sites as easily as you can the e-vendors, because for a lot of them it's viewed as a "secondary" line of sales at best. But when you do find them, they can be a great source, especially if they carry used and OOP and have an online listing of it.

(And unfortunately no, no links for DSers. Sorry, they got wiped a year or so ago when my HDD bit it, and I never sought them back out.)
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Lindt)
to support Shadowrun (and thus Fanpro) by ordering the new sr4 crap (imo folks, imo)

Dead serious question, and one that applies to anything (Shadowrun is irrelevant here): why would you support the production of, in your opinion, an inferior product?

~J
Fortune
Just because he doesn't like the rules set does not mean that the World and Setting are useless. There are some people that still use older versions of the rules, but still buy every fluff book released for Shadowrun, which they couldn't do if the whole line died.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Fortune)
Just because he doesn't like the rules set does not mean that the World and Setting are useless.

In which case, his answer would be "I think part of it isn't crap, and I'm buying that part". He hasn't said that, so my assumption is that he's already decided that the bad outweighs the good. If that's incorrect, he needs to clarify.

~J
Fortune
Maybe he's buying it all, and thereby doing exactly as he claimed ... supporting Shadowrun and FanPro despite his dislike for the product itself.
Kagetenshi
Right. Which is why I asked "why", as it seems an absurd act.

~J
Fortune
Well, if the whole line dies off, then there won't be any more releases, either good or bad. I would think that his preference would be for the line to continue (and hence release more (fluff) books that he likes), so he is 'doing his part' to make sure that Shadowrun has a long(er) life.
SL James
QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)
What are these stores of which you speak? Are they something similar to the places on the internet where goods and services can be purchased? Are they something from the dreaded, "outside"?
Aren't there bears outside?

Echo that. I only go to the LFGS once a year... to remind myself why I don't go to the store to buy my RPG books.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Fortune @ Dec 18 2006, 03:02 PM)
Well, if the whole line dies off, then there won't be any more releases, either good or bad.

Probably true.

QUOTE
I would think that his preference would be for the line to continue (and hence release more (fluff) books that he likes), so he is 'doing his part' to make sure that Shadowrun has a long(er) life.

First, you're again assuming that he likes the fluff. He hasn't said that. Maybe it's true, maybe notI don't know, and that's part of why I'm asking.

If he doesn't like the fluff, and even potentially if he does, though, I find it a difficult position to understand, so I'm looking for an explanation of his motivations. One that, with all due respect, you probably won't be able to decisively provide smile.gif (unless he's explained it elsewhere and you can link me to that?)

~J
Fortune
QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Dec 19 2006, 07:18 AM)
First, you're again assuming that he likes the fluff. He hasn't said that. Maybe it's true, maybe notI don't know, and that's part of why I'm asking.

If he doesn't like the fluff, and even potentially if he does, though, I find it a difficult position to understand, so I'm looking for an explanation of his motivations. One that, with all due respect, you probably won't be able to decisively provide smile.gif (unless he's explained it elsewhere and you can link me to that?)

Oh, I know I can't really speak for him (and in reality I'm not actually trying to do that). But I'm here, and the discussion is not limited solely to the two of you. wink.gif

My point is that, if he doesn't like SR4 (and that seems to be the case), it is more than likely the new rules themselves that are the problem. Since he plays Shadowun (or at least hangs out here), there must be something that is pleasing to him about the game. If it isn't the rules, then we are mostly left with the Setting and Fluff.
lorechaser
I like pdfs. I can't get pdfs at my FLGS. Easy enough.

I'm also "in the industry." I have playtested a number of CCGs (which I think is far and away from being "in the industry"), and I've coauthored a number of pdfs.

Without the online retailer, I would just be a guy who playtests stuff. With the online retailer, I am a published gaming writer.

Yeah, I'm in favor of the intarwebs.

When I go to my FLGS, I go to pick up stuff I need in hardback, to get my comics, to find cool random things (A stuffed Abyssal Maw that no fewer than 12 people have independently called a "Rabid vagina"? That's quality entertainment), to chat, to see what's out there I haven't seen. *That's* the purpose of the FLGS in today's world.

Or perhaps "that's the Purpose of the FLGS in Today's world."
Moon-Hawk
In an effort to steer the "Why does Lindt buy SR products?" conversation back to the thread, maybe buying SR products that you think are crappy in order to support the line because you like the concept is sort of like shopping at your FLGS even though their selection is limited, their prices are non-competitive, and it's inconvenient because you want to support the concept of the FLGS, even though they suck. smile.gif
Actually, I DID recently buy the GM screen from a FLGS, just because I was SO happy to find a FLGS that actually carried SR4 products and DOESN'T devote 80+% of their space to Warhammer and/or crappy trading card games.
Demonseed Elite
I'm certainly not out to kill any industries or anything, but I haven't bought an RPG book from an actual FLGS in years. It isn't the case with everyone, obviously, but I never had great experiences with my local shops. But then, I also tend to do my gaming online too, so I guess it makes sense that I'd buy materials through the Internet also.
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