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RPG market share in the general game market.

Martin de guerre

Registered User
Validated User
Do you think that rpgs get a good share of the general gaming market? How does the rpg selection compare to the selection of miniature, card, or board games at the game stores or online sites that you shop?

The reason I ask the above questions is that it seems that more and more game stores which used to carry many different rpgs are cutting back on rpgs in favor of other things. Miniatures and card games were sold much more often than rpgs at my college game store. Fortunately, I've moved to a city with stores that have a good selection of rpgs other than the typical D&D3e and White Wolf stuff.

Hopefully, "hardcore" game stores won't be forced to sell paintball products, host-a-murder party games and Pictionary in the near future but I guess retailers have to do whatever is necessary to stay in business. It was just a shame to see the game chain that Dr. Rotwang works for selling Ty Beanie Babies to soccer moms.
 

Creslin

Current game: In Nomine
My first gaming store used to have a decent collection, but it became less and less. At this moment, it's so bad, that he sells DVD's as a main form of income. ( He still has some WW, and D&D )

And I while back, another store changed it's main product from RPG's to miniatures and boardgames....

I have to scrape my RPG's from conventions and such, at this moment. Sad, so sad....

Cres
 

Deathlok

Bark!
Well, I have first-hand experience with 2 different LGSs. The one in Jacksonville sells ccgs, RPGs, some minis, and gamer-type board games (like Settlers, Twilight Imperium, etc... not Scrabble). I was talking to the owner one night and he said sales for the last month were something like 32-30-30 ccgs-rpgs-minis/board games, with the balance being things like LAN time (a new addition, only 3 computers, and mostly used for Diablo II or CivII) and snacks.

The LGS near Davidson sells CCGs, minis, and RPGs as well, but his sales seem to be more CCG/board games/minis (maybe 120 feet of shelf-space; I don't know how to estimate for things like blister packs), with RPGs having maybe 60 feet of shelf space. But they still move, and I think the owner said he sold like 20 copies of Wheel of Time, which implies god-knows how many copies of something like the PHB and DMG. He tends not to have little indie stuff, but he can order it if I ask. But RPGs seem to be a healthy chunk of his sales, even if they aren't the main mover.


Josh Morrow
 

Dr Rotwang!

Totally wears this tie.
Martin de guerre said:
... It was just a shame to see the game chain that Dr. Rotwang works for selling Ty Beanie Babies to soccer moms.
Thing of it is -- a chain our size HAS to diversify. Trust me. After 21 years in the biz, it's a lesson The Game Preserve has learned.

Yeah, we sell Beanies to soccer moms. It's OK, they buy 'em. We get some scratch.

That money pays for the overhead, and it also pays to employ role-players who care about their hobby, and about helping you.

Dude, we hate the Beanies, but we shrug it off and sell lots of Adventure! just the same.
 

Martin de guerre

Registered User
Validated User
How is the rpg selection in Bloomington these days?

I noticed the Indy Fashion Mall store has drastically cut back on rpgs. How's your store doing?
 
N

NPC Alex Knapik

Guest
1st post: "It was just a shame to see the game chain that Dr. Rotwang works for selling Ty Beanie Babies to soccer moms."

Later post: "Dude, we hate the Beanies, but we shrug it off and sell lots of Adventure! just the same."
---------------------

And maybe they come back if one of their kids gets into Harry Potter CCG or Magic or D&D, as long as they're treated with respect when they come in.

Or maybe if the game store's a little forward-thinking, they put other kinds of games that might appeal to those soccer moms next to the beanie babies (Once upon a time, etc.)

This is no offense to the first poster (I see this opinion a lot), but I can't for the life of me see how getting different types of customers into a game store is a bad thing.
 

Redforce

Press 'Play' to Scarlet
Validated User
I agree with Alex about the soccer moms coming back in to buy more stuff. One thing I have noticed at a lot of 'bad' game stores is the way they treat their customers, as well as run their business in general. They tend to forget they are running a Business in the Customer Service Industry and not their Own Private Candy (or Game) Store. I don't mean letting gamers game in the back (that's definitely good for business, to have a loyal core clientele); I mean the guy that stands there and watches anime on the VCR while he talks with his buddy on the phone and IGNORES customers, especially people who don't 'look' like gamers or that want to ask lots of 'stupid' questions. That don't bother me none, because I know what I am looking for. But, back in '84 I had my dad's 2nd wife out looking for 1st edition Champions in Houston, and she got treated badly in the game store she went to (she told me this, I guess the guy thought she was just a 'stupid woman' or something). I wonder how many times this has happened? Here in ATL there are 2 games stores, Sword of the Phoenix and the War Room, where the OWNER actually STANDS AT THE COUNTER and says 'Can I help you?' and actually ANSWERS QUESTIONS! *gasp!* If store owners (and gamers) want more people in the hobby, they need to be more inviting and less insular and cliquish. Just my two cents, for what it's worth (probably about 1 cent)
 

Martin de guerre

Registered User
Validated User
Good customer service is necessary no matter who the customers in a game store are. It can be a good idea for game stores to diversify in the items they sell. When those stores alienate gamers just to sell the "hot" item of the week like Pokemon cards, Beanie Babies, then it's a sad thing.

I mentioned the Beanie issue because the management of a game store once allowed a horde of soccer moms to block access to the rpg section of the store while they were rummaging through Beanies. Also, at my college game store, the owner ignored me when I was trying to buy Unknown Armies and another customer had completed a purchase of paintball items and, after he left the checkout area, he came back and wanted to look at paintball guns. The problem I had with this was not that the customer was rude it's that the game store owner allowed it.
Generally, it's a good idea to bring new customers in but if those new customers cause a loss of game store "regulars," then it may not be worth it.
 

Dr Rotwang!

Totally wears this tie.
Re: How is the rpg selection in Bloomington these days?

Martin de guerre said:
I noticed the Indy Fashion Mall store has drastically cut back on rpgs. How's your store doing?
We sold more Adventure! than anyone else in the chain, keep a wall full of Reaper miniatures, and do entirely too brisk a trade in Warhammer 40K.

Howzzat?
 

Martin de guerre

Registered User
Validated User
Great! Maybe Game Preserve should make you folks the flagship store? I hope you sell independent stuff like The Last Exodus and Little Fears, etc.

Martin de guerre-Bane of Beanie Babies
 
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