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"Too Many Games?" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 May 2018 8:11 p.m. PST

"Recently, the Dice Tower podcast has been discussing the notion that there are too many games to possibly play, review, or even process the flood of games coming at consumers and reviewers from all sides…."
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FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 3:08 a.m. PST

Much like many other things the zealous will grab them all, the cautious will wait for a review and the tired will settle on a few.

UshCha15 May 2018 6:01 a.m. PST

Who cares if a game is a commercial success? If a game meets your niche it may well never be a commercial success. Most successes are like films, lowest comments denominator products. Shakespeare is not a massive success commercially but to those who like such things it is unequalled. There will always be somebody to tell about the niche games and personally who cares for commercially successful games, they have long since gone down market to maximise sales.
The more the merrier I say, the rise of Internet publishing is thankfully limiting the big players from influencing plates by restricting what is available.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 7:51 a.m. PST

It's true we lack a good sorting mechanism. As more unique stuff becomes available--books, music, box games, rules, film and TV--not only is the consumer unable to assess them all, even the full-time professional reviewer can't give them all the time they need. I expect the ultimate solution is a division of labor among critics, but it's still sorting out.

It is getting to be a problem--and it's been discussed here--that in the absence of common rules sets, it's harder of miniatures gamers to find opponents, especially for the more complex systems. There I DO expect a sorting out, and a thorough one. It's going to be rough on the guys who self-published the losers, though.

UshCha, the accepted English usage is "lowest COMMON denominator" not "comments." You might also ask yourself who counts as a "massive commercial success" if Shakespeare does not. He was the most successful playwrite at a time when theaters were very much a popular medium--aristocrats usually preferred the masque--and has remained in print and on stage almost continually for four centuries. I do not think you could watch all the film adaptations at a movie a night for a year. Next to Shakespeare, Bill Goldman isn't in the running.

If you need examples of people who were not commercial successes in their own time, but who are today respected in their field, try Jane Austen, Robert E. Howard, Herman Melville or H. P. Lovecraft.

Of course, the reverse it true, and many once widely respected authors have been out of print for a generation. I'm still waiting for the James Warner Bellah revival myself.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 10:00 a.m. PST



Pythagoras16 May 2018 6:24 p.m. PST

There is never too many games….. just never enough time….

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP17 May 2018 10:07 a.m. PST

too many games to possibly play, review, or even process the flood of games

So, basically, this is a complaint that their profit margin isn't large enough to staff enough skilled people to keep up with current sector-wide activity? Do any consumers out there expect to or actually want to play every game?

Black Hat Miniatures18 May 2018 12:37 a.m. PST

I don't see why this is a problem – there have been "too many" books published for years and yet the industry survives and people find entertaining books…


Russ Lockwood22 May 2018 7:27 a.m. PST

lack a good sorting mechanism.

True to an extent. Sorting mechanisms used to be print (Courier, MWAN, WI, MW, etc), and to a certain extent conventions (HMGS chapters), but these 'fixed number' of mechanisms fragmented exponentially expanded with the coming of the internet into hundreds? thousands? of blogs, YouTube videos, and social media websites like Facebook and TMP.

That's not a bad thing per se -- you can search and find information on just about all rules, games, figures, etc instantly without waiting for a publishing schedule. The trick is to find a consistent analytical voice that matches your own expectations and tastes.

Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the same product multiplication happened to computers, software, and accessories. Magazines spring up to review them. You still had to wait two months for a paper copy to arrive in your mailbox, but the expertise of the staff and freelancers covering the industry, interviewing execs to tech support folks, and reviewing products provided that sorting mechanism with quantitative testing and qualitative evaluation.

The bottom line was that a magazine like PC Magazine or Personal Computing magazine could charge $25,000 USD per page retail rate for advertising, discounted for increased pages and frequency, to pay all those editors and freelancers to keep track and review all those products.

Wargame magazines? I'm not sure what one advert page in WI or MW cost, but I suspect it's under $1,000 USD retail rate. I couldn't find ad rates on their web pages, but Ancient Warfare is 380 pounds (about $500 USD or so?) for one-time, one page ad. Not a heckuva lot for a full-time staff.

GW and Battlefront are large enough, but as people have observed, miniatures industry consists of a lot of one-man shows…and yet, we still have ever increasing variety.

Perhaps, and I'd have to think about this theory some more, as more and more people create more and more games and figures (including 3D printed ones), KickStarter becomes the sorting mechanism. If the general public thinks an idea is good, it gets backed. If not, not. That still leaves analyzing whether the finished product matched the expectations…

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