• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

The future of GURPS

Wei

Registered User
Validated User
I’ve been playing GURPS for about 20 years now, and I remember the time when it was one of the most popular systems, at least among my friends and colleagues, here in the UK. It’s clear that the community is getting smaller, you don’t see as many add-ons as you used to, even the Pyramid is gone now. There is almost no advertising, Munchkin seems to be getting all the attention instead, and in general, I don’t think that GURPS is going in the right direction.

Do you think that it still has a future and innovativeness in it? I absolutely love it and I hate to see my dear system dusty on the metaphorical shelf.
 

Adam Reynolds

Registered User
Validated User
It's really ironic that you post this at the same time as someone else posted a thread about exactly the opposite. Though I think you are much closer to correct.

The problem today is that there is much more competition than there has ever been before. So GURPS clearly has a declining market share, because there are so many other games coming out in the first place. Most of which are generally dedicated to a particular setting and type of gameplay. So if you want gritty military combat there are a half dozen dedicated systems. If you want post apocalyptic play there are another half dozen I can think of. If you want a fairly easy to run generic game there are examples like Fate or Savage Worlds.

The biggest thing GURPS has going for it is the volume of reference materials, something no recent game seens interseted in trying to beat. Unfortunately that works both ways, as it is also a barrier to entry.
 

Wei

Registered User
Validated User
Sorry, I have no idea how I’ve missed that one. You can close this topic if you want.
 

Sleeper

Red-eyed dust bunny
Validated User
So GURPS clearly has a declining market share, because there are so many other games coming out in the first place.
Does it have a declining market share? There's still a steady flow of PDFs, and the occasional big project. While it's a long way from the huge library of print books they used to have in distribution, that was also a long time ago. Sounds like they've found a reasonable stable niche, and are still experimenting with different methods in a changing market. Stakeholder reports suggest Kickstarters like DF are on the positive side, print books released through traditional distribution networks like Discworld and Mars Attacks! are not, and there's been an on-going struggle with POD (though it's a growing library, so from a consumer perspective it's a win even if the margins aren't what they want).
 

Wei

Registered User
Validated User
Does it have a declining market share? There's still a steady flow of PDFs, and the occasional big project. While it's a long way from the huge library of print books they used to have in distribution, that was also a long time ago. Sounds like they've found a reasonable stable niche, and are still experimenting with different methods in a changing market. Stakeholder reports suggest Kickstarters like DF are on the positive side, print books released through traditional distribution networks like Discworld and Mars Attacks! are not, and there's been an on-going struggle with POD (though it's a growing library, so from a consumer perspective it's a win even if the margins aren't what they want).
It used to be one of the main systems out there, the only one really if you didn’t want to play D&D (and most of my friends wouldn’t). It used to have a lot of add-ons all the time, A LOT of cool mechanics posted on the forums, vast pbp community... it seems like most of it is gone now. D&D kept its market share but GURPS failed miserably. I haven’t seen any ad for it or really anything marketing related in many a year.
 

Malckuss

Game Design Hobbyist
Validated User
Maybe some impassioned fan could make a case for a new version of GURPS to Steve at GenCon
 

Wei

Registered User
Validated User
I think that with no marketing, barely any social media influence, almost nothing on YouTube, they simply gave up their market to other companies. I don’t think that people would buy a new edition, but you can probably make a lot more people buy the current one.
 

Scurrilous

Registered User
Validated User
Maybe some impassioned fan could make a case for a new version of GURPS to Steve at GenCon
While I have no proof of it, I expect this has happened many, many times.

It's really pretty simple. If you want more GURPS, run more GURPS, talk about GURPS more, heck, buy more GURPS, I've given away a lot of copies over the years and even now that I'm selling it, I make a point of giving a good discount on book I. Admittedly, that's because I'm more of an obsessive maniac than a business owner but I want more GURPS.

Right now the best tools we've been given are GURPS Disc World and GURPS Vorkosigian. They're both one stop point of entry books that aren't too complex. Dungeon Fantasy is nice, it really is, but it's a bit higher on the complexity scale.
 

Old DiceMan

Registered User
Validated User
I would guess that SJG's business model for GURPS is based on an assumption that there is a stable fan base of completionists that will buy anything GURPS puts out, and then they factor in slow annual attrition as those fans die off. The maths probably are telling them they have several years left before even PDFs are unprofitable. The idea of growing the GURPS fan base is totally off their radar, IMHO.
 
Top Bottom