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RPG market share in the general game market.

Dr Rotwang!

Totally wears this tie.

Martin de guerre said:
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
We've carried Little Fears and TLE; problem is, we don't sell them. We got a copy of each, and sold each one, but slowly.

Don't get me wrong; the other manager and I are always on the lookout for cool games; I'm championing Terra Incognita right now, but...uh...it's not moving.

There's the rub. Not everyone wants the smaller-press stuff. But we try, oh yes, we try.

Ian Absentia

Angry gigantopithecine
Re: Doubtful.

Dr Rotwang! said:
There's the rub. Not everyone wants the smaller-press stuff. But we try, oh yes, we try.
So I guess the real question to you is: Does your store have a good supply network for special ordering less popular titles? That's key, I think, because a lot of stores I've visited seem to a) not be serviced by suppliers who carry odd titles, and/or b) not want to go to the trouble of tracking down something they've never heard of.

~Ian (who is eerily familiar with your neck of the woods after spending a week in Greencastle over 7 years ago)


Active member
Validated User

Having worked in retail - particulalrly managing a local gaming store - I find it intriguing how many shop owners claim that there are not enough people who buy roleplaying games. Yet the majority of our actual game sales were roleplaying and boardgames - with Warhammer and card games coming a close second.

Part of the reason was that we would demo games in our store. I pushed the staff to run roleplaying games in the back gaming room - and we had a boardgame set up in the front room everyday. It worked. The problem lies in the fact that many retailers seem to think that they just stick the product on the shelves and it'll move. It doesn't - sure some die-hard players will buy just about any new release that comes out, but the idea of retail is to build up a customer base and keep building it. This means selling the product to your customers.

And in turn this means (shock! Horror!) that you need to be familiar with what you are selling. I am amazed by the number of shopkeepers who don't bother to understand the basics of what they are selling. They don't need to be fans or even need to like the product that much. But they do need to know what it is, what it does and how to sell it to customers. A large contributor to the slow development of RPGs as a hobby is due to a lack of active exposure. Many companies promote to the existing market, not many try to break out to the larger gaming community. (i.e. everyone who plays some sort of game.)

Now you may say that not many people would really be interested in RPGs - but how many of them play Cluedo? Monopoly? How to Host a Murder? Final Fantasy? Chess? all these games have elements of roleplaying in them. The number of people who go on murder mystery weekends is staggering - yet all they are actually doing is being involved in commercially organised LARPs. How about the people who play theatresports? They are also roleplayers.

Roleplaying has a bad rep based on some poorly researched media - and the companies that produce the games have never really tried to fight back and boost their rep. WoTC now has the resources to boost both its and roleplaying's reputation (by association) which it has been doing, if somewhat slowly. This will hopefully lead to a wider recognition of roleplaying as a legitimate hobby.


Captain Howdy

sudsy powers of hell!
Validated User
I think it's fine for a game shop to toss in the odd box of Beanie Babies or incense burners (or whatever). The folly of Gamer's Paradise, a out here in Chicago-land, is a bit more wretched.

In the store where I had the pleasure of working for a couple months, there was half a wall of statues and ceramic figurines, an aisle entirely stocked with stuffed animals, at least a hundred Lava-Lamps, and a special, magical case full of whips, handcuffs, and dildos.


That shop's an extreme case, I think. Probably not much of an example as a cautionary tale. And it *did* stay in business, in what turned out to be a very dried-up mall. But, I'm sorry, once your shop has fewer RPGs than Waldenbooks (and more stuffed animals than most toy shops), the point of staying in business is kinda moot.


Captain Howdy

sudsy powers of hell!
Validated User
Apologies to G... that store.

Perhaps I shouldn't have named them... sorry.

I should mention that their Chicago shop isn't at all like this. Lots of non-sex stuff in there. All good.



Cooler than Carrottop
Re: Apologies to G... that store.

Scott Leaton said:
Perhaps I shouldn't have named them... sorry.

No, you definately were right to name them.

If my girlfriend drags me out shopping and I see a game store and say, "Hey honey, mind if we pop in there for 5 minutes after we get your stuff?" I really don't want to have to explain the sex stuff. That goes about triple for some kid with his Mom.

Its amazing how many game stores I've been to that weren't even clean. And my heart sings when I see an attentive retail staff.

Marius B

Validated User
I think my FLGS would probably enhance it's public image by selling whips and dildos.

Around these parts, I kind of get the feeling, that whips, handcuffs and dildos are less suspect than gaming material... :p

My FLGS sells virtually every kind of games imaginable, which I think is cool. I'd think it was even cooler, of course, if they also carried Mac games and I've tried repeatedly to convince them to do so but to no avail...

Hey, I play other kinds of games too. If I were to open a store one day, that's the kind of store I'd open. Except I'd have an entire wall with Mac games, of course! :)

JJ Mohareb

New member
Once again: Mississauga Sucks

Actually, to be honest, I can't think of a single game store I've ever been in that practiced good customer service.

Even Fandom II, which is pretty darn good, seems like a bit of an unfriendly place. The Hairy T is okay, but there's issues with the structure of the place (it's crowded and smells like someone's been cooking with oregano).

But being in Mississauga really sucks. There's no good game stores here. None. There's a mall based comic shop which has a poor selection of non D&D/WW/Palladium/GURPS stuff (the store owner decided to put everything that wasn't in the G&GR top 4 in the 75% off bins), and that, AFAIK, is it. And I've looked.

A town with 300,000 and not one good gaming store.

At least it isn't Kitchener. They've got three mediocre ones all close together.

JJ Mohareb

Dr Rotwang!

Totally wears this tie.
Re: Re: Doubtful.

Ian Young said:
So I guess the real question to you is: Does your store have a good supply network for special ordering less popular titles?
Yes. We deal with two distributors who keep us in just about anything we need. Some stuff is harder to get than other stuff, grant you, but we try to get whatever people want -- as long as what they want can come from our distributors.
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