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Subject: Players who aren't buyers rss

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Lewis Pulsipher
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You might be interested in: http://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/18924/buyers-versus-player...
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(quoting the initial paragraphs)

In earlier posts I’ve wondered what the effect of free to play (F2P) video games would have on tabletop gaming. We already know that it’s a disruptive force in video gaming. F2P games have helped put pressure on AAA console games and have helped ruin the market for mid-level console games. They also put video game developers in a dilemma, because F2P requires the game to hold back some of the things that make it enjoyable in order to persuade the players to spend real money. It creates a divide between the players who don’t spend money, and consequently must spend time to equal the advantages of those who spend money, or who simply cannot attain the same advantages. This is why some people call free to play “free to die”, “free to lose”, or “pay to win”.

As for the effect on tabletop games, on the one hand we could hope that if players are buying fewer video games they’ll have more money to buy tabletop games. On the other hand, the perception that games are free might make people less likely to spend $40 or $60 and more on a tabletop game.

We certainly see that the market for individual tabletop games is decreasing rapidly, although it may be that the total number of tabletop games sold is steady or even increasing.
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Aaron Bohm
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lewpuls wrote:
You might be interested in: http://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/18924/buyers-versus-player...
plus 29 comments

...

We certainly see that the market for individual tabletop games is decreasing rapidly, although it may be that the total number of tabletop games sold is steady or even increasing.


It's hard to take seriously anyone who discusses anything "as they see it" but writes it up as fact.

For anyone else who doesn't understand exactly what is being said here (and doesn't want to read the novel), essentially the concern is how it's perceived that hobby gaming as an economic force may be at a disadvantage and dwindling due to the fact that 1 person can buy a game that many people can enjoy without, themselves, spending anything.

There are a lot of problems with his and your write up so I'll point out the highlights:

-Anytime anyone tries to correlate the electronic video game market to the board game market, it's problematic. I know to you all you see is (possibly) younger adults playing something but really each is very distinctly different from the other. The two industries, for one, are built completely different as far as formats, costs assosiated with production and target markets. Players of the two differ quite a bit and each has different social aspects (for example, many board gamer's have a group they like to play with, video gamer's can mostly online groups).

-You can't say X is because of Y without thinking it through. One of the things discussed is how brick and mortar stores are closing, and this is an example of lesser purchases. Causality and even correlation are the hardest to prove but people so often say "I think this, because I see this." In other words, "Every time I see a rainbow it rains, the rainbows must be causing the rain."

In actuality this could be the result of board game purchases becoming more popular, not less. Before, the only stores to offer games would be hobby stores. Now, due to the recognized popularity, stores like Target, online discount stores like Coolstuff.com, and even Barnes and Nobles carries board games. The competition is widening making it harder for small stores to compete but also their business model, as you allude to, is historically based on the revenue generated from the low cost/high profitability of CCGs. CCGs certainly appear to be waning and so would any business that depends on them.

-The economy is bad. I know this sounds general and possibly controversial but many industries are under strain. There is higher unemployment, historically low fixed interest, low consumer confidence and many aspects of life are affected by this. I wouldn't take any analysis seriously that didn't put this into consideration.

-And the big one. Just because one person buys a game that another player enjoys, does not mean that player will not eventually buy it. If we want to take personal examples, I see quite the opposite all the time. One player brings a game to group that the others enjoy, they like the game so they pick up a copy for them to play with other groups.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Never Knows Best wrote:
For anyone else who doesn't understand exactly what is being said here (and doesn't want to read the novel), essentially the concern is how it's perceived that hobby gaming as an economic force may be at a disadvantage and dwindling due to the fact that 1 person can buy a game that many people can enjoy without, themselves, spending anything.

That was true when George S. Parker published Chivalry in 1887.
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Brook Gentlestream
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The F2P model is a very divided issue that is only barely being explored. The above information only presents one half of the story, based on opinions against the F2P model, and presents this as "facts" or "problems". If it was a problem for game designers, game publishers, and players, people wouldn't be doing it.

I think the F2P model still has a lot of potential, although I do agree that it hasn't been used very well to date, and that its becoming synonymous with certain other exploitative techniques (pay for open beta!) (link with facebook!) (temporary purchases!) designed to milk the player base for all a company can get out of it.



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Brook Gentlestream
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The whole reason I got into board games is because a friend explained the economic value of Twilight Imperium to me. "Bah! $80. Someone would have to be crazy to pay that. I could get a top of the line video game for $50."

My friend compared it to other means of group entertainment and I had to admit that he was right. If we bought a board game instead of going to a restaurant or going to see a movie or even all playing video games against each other, we could get a lot more enjoyment at a bargain price and always have a physical copy that can be played again and again. The way he saw it, if he played any game about 2 times, it paid for itself already in the entertainment value for himself and provided to his friends.

We had both spent about $40 at the movies that day (each paying for one of our friends who lacked funds), so it seemed like a pretty strong argument.

Plus, it's an excuse for everyone to get together and we don't have very many of those anymore.

The only thing i can think of that's more economical is roleplaying games.
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Lewis Pulsipher
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1. Anyone who comments here, rather than on the entire post, implies that he hasn't read the post, and is commenting on the first three paragraphs. I don't know if that's actually true of the commenters, and will only say, anyone who comments based only on the first three paragraphs of a much longer work is being a fool.

But because some have commented here I will reply here.

2. Aaron Bohm, how is what you have written in any way different from "anyone who discusses anything 'as they see it' but writes it up as fact?" Not at all.

For example, your first assertion is typical tabledopism, "we can ignore video games because they're so different". Similar to the vidiots who say "we can ignore tabletop games because they're so different". Yet in many ways there's a convergence of the two. (For a longer exposition read Chapter 4, Section D in my book "Game Design: How to create video and tabletop games, start to finish" McFarland.)

And if you don't think video games compete with tabletop games for dollars and time, you're in your own little world, not the real world.

Your second assertion is simply insulting. You may think it's a good argumentative device, since you can accuse anyone of it without need for any kind of demonstration let alone proof, but it accomplishes nothing substantive. Are you saying I don't understand logic and causality? That's a pretty broad accusation to base on one blog post.

Third, yes, the economy is not good. So? And is it going to get much better, that is, is it merely temporary? It's not a typical cyclical poor economy, it comes from fundamental long-term problems of spending more than we create for decades, and ultimately we ran out of companies to sell foreign countries (that they were willing to buy), and ran out of places to borrow from. Again, however, what does this have to do with my observations?

Fourth, what you say is true. But it's similar to saying, "just because we can't prove something, doesn't mean it isn't true". So what?

3. I agree, tabletop games are one of the most efficient ways to spend money on entertainment. And video games were becoming quite expensive per hour in the current console generation as AAA games got shorter. But now, free to play games are even more efficient, as they cost nothing at all. And free-to-play games are popping up everywhere, even in the review sections of magazines that have formerly been bastions of expensive AAA games. (We also have mobile games that, though they may cost something, cost only a dollar or three, and consequently also compete strongly in dollar per hour.) So in the past tabletop games have had a big advantage, but now they are at a disadvantage. How is that affecting the younger generation, in particular, and their buying habits? Which is a major point of my original post.
 
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Aaron Bohm
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lewpuls wrote:
Your second assertion is simply insulting...


Woa, way to be combative right out of the gate.

First off, my comments were primarily directed at the article you linked. I took most of what you said as "I thought this article looked interesting" sort of way. The only thing about your statement I commented on was the F2P comparison. I disagree, I think the article wasn't well thought out.

As for your comments, I don't think I'm being hyperbolic when I suggest that the bridge between playing specifically Free to Play video games and playing board games is near non-existent. We could actually write a book on the differences between these two past times. I'm amazed this was the first connection made as I imagine it would have been much easier to go the "online board games will kill board gaming" route.

The big aspect I see as problematic for video games or F2P games is the social aspect. Imagine a bunch of your friends get together and want to go see a movie a movie at 9:00, you could either agree to go or stay home and play a video game. Keep in mind, the video game will be there both before you leave and after you come home but your friends are only available at 9:00.

Now, video games do have a solid place both in our social lives and time schedules - games like WoW will have set raiding and PvP times that people will skip other events for. Many, many people have online friends/real life friends who play the same games and connect over various medium such as Xbox live.

This does exist.

Board gaming, however, also offers it's unique experience, one of which being to physically mingle with others playing the game. I don't believe this experience has much substitute or competition in our culture. People like to get together to do things. Sure, people can decide to do other things instead of this hobby, but those things certainly are not limited solely to video games and in that case, definitely not just Free to Play games. The odds that someone is going to make the choice between whether to play board games or play a Free to Play game have to be pretty small for a multitude of reasons.

On other points, I have read both your post and your linked article in whole. I'd be happy to continue discussing, and keep in mind I stopped it on my time to comment on a thread I found interesting which, usually is what people want in a thread they post.

I didn't say anything insulting but I will caution that taking a definitive stance on an idea, rigorously defending it with harsh statements, and yelling at people who disagree is the easiest way to get people to not pay attention to your post.


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Only geeks will buy games. It's true to both video & board gamers. Casual players seldom buy games except for gifts. I'm a geek of both. I installed one F2P game on my PS3. Yes it's hard to win without paying for extra weapons but more important is you need to play everyday to accumlate XPs to level-up or you will be left behind.

Will I buy less video games after playing F2P games? No. I can tell you F2P games are different from most other video games. Most F2P games are for online matches only. There are no compaign or story mode in F2P games. It's fun to play online games with other players, but sometimes I want to beat a game on my own & saved my game progress.

If you are a video game geek & a fan of a game series, you will buy the game for collection even you don't have time to beat the game. Same goes for BG geek. If you check the collections of most active members on BGG, you can see that most owned more than a hundred games (some have thousands). Will all those games be played more than once? I doubt it.

In fact, I found it's much more difficult to get people to play bgs with me. To play a video game is easy. I just need to turn on the console & TV. But to play a bg, I need to arrange time & place with friends at least a couple of days in advance. To me board games are more for collection than for actual playing. Do you think people like me will care about F2P games or which bgs the game club has?

So will F2P games & game clubs affect people's willingness to buy games? I say no. If a geek really enjoys a game, he will buy it anyway even he knows all his friends also have it. But for casual players, they will never buy a game by themselves. Even they are interested & can afford to buy it, they would rather let the geek friend to buy it, then teach them how to play.
 
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A big barrier to adapting the F2P model to board games is that the friction of monetization is much higher when you have physical components. Monetization moments in videogames are often designed to be impulse purchases. You're having fun and you get stuck so you buy a power-up or a continue in order to keep the fun rolling. However, this only works if the purchase is quick and the effects are immediate. That's why successful games spend a lot of time reducing the friction of their monetization moments -- a extra button press might be enough for a player to say "Ahhh ... not worth the effort. Screw it."

Boardgame micropurchases require the player to have a much more deliberate attitude. Even ordering something on Amazon requires you to stop playing and log into your computer. Which means that a lot of the monetization tricks that videogames use just won't work in the boardgame world.

Probably the best example of a strategy that does work is CCGs. Selling packs of extra cards to add to your game is one way to get what's effectively a micropurchase into boardgame-like play space. One reason that it works is that the player only has to think along one axis of desire. More cards is always better, so seeing cards for sale in whatever venue becomes an instant low-friction monetization moment. An F2P boardgame would be something like Magic: The Gathering where you give the basic set away for free.
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John "Omega" Williams
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um... RPGs have been doing this since the 70s... Modules, minis, magazines, campaign sets, extensions and enhancements.

Dosnt really work with board games as if you withhold something its likely going to irk people, especially if it was an element that should have been in the core from the beginning.

Thats been tried before and usually fails.

Players dont mind expansions that ADD to a game. They get mad as hell when its a missing part of a game that they have to fork out for.
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TheHamsterKing wrote:
Probably the best example of a strategy that does work is CCGs. Selling packs of extra cards to add to your game is one way to get what's effectively a micropurchase into boardgame-like play space. One reason that it works is that the player only has to think along one axis of desire. More cards is always better, so seeing cards for sale in whatever venue becomes an instant low-friction monetization moment. An F2P boardgame would be something like Magic: The Gathering where you give the basic set away for free.


That's pretty similar to how I got sucked into Heroscape. I saw the base set on sale for a fiver in loads of random shops and eventually caved. Before long I ended up buying much smaller expansions at £10-£20 each. I'm a psychologist and know what a "loss leader" is, so I really have no excuse for my behaviour, but I guess the (practically) give the base game away strategy can work (If you're Hasbro and have the resources to take the up front hit it requires.)
 
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lewpuls wrote:
They also put video game developers in a dilemma, because F2P requires the game to hold back some of the things that make it enjoyable in order to persuade the players to spend real money. It creates a divide between the players who don’t spend money, and consequently must spend time to equal the advantages of those who spend money, or who simply cannot attain the same advantages. This is why some people call free to play “free to die”, “free to lose”, or “pay to win”.


I play a certain F2P video game that involves driving a tank, occasionally since about two years. I've spent a small amount of money for increased playing comfort and options, but not to enhance any chances to win.
All my friends I'm playing with and me have an average win ratio between 45% and 55%. There's no "free to lose" or "pay to win". If there'd be, it'd be a shitty game and not as hugely popular as it is.

My decisions about buying video games and boardgames depend a lot on whether I like the game, not on how much I've spent on similar things lately; If I wanted to spent more on games I could easily buy fewer books to finance it, yet I find it easier to find interesting books than interesting video games.

I buy boardgames when I think a certain game will add to my gaming group. Absolutely no correlation with F2P video games.

Of course, all of this is anecdotal, but I resent the idea that because something does not need to be paid for in order to be enjoyed, it will destroy any existing market. Usually, faults for decline of entertainment markets lie within the entertainment companies, for being scared of anything new, for being greedy, for patronising their customers, for cultivating groupthink, for plenty of other reasons.

Sorry for the rant.
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On the Free to Play video game topic. Apparently they are doing very well.
Check out League of Legends. Completely free, no level cap which you need to pay to surpass, no weapons only available to paying customers.

I've played it for donkeys now and I do occasionally buy something with real money because I enjoy the game and I appreciate that it's paid for by the player and not advertisers. I have zero advantage over someone who chooses not to because about the only thing I buy with real money is the odd skin to make my character look better, that's it, absolutely no 'pay to win' there.

Yes I could spend a lot of money and have a load of extra champions to play with, but why would I? Each time I play I earn points and I can spend those points on champions, I might buy one if I really wanted to but since in theory they are all balanced, there's still no advantage.

So yeah, F2P can work.
 
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As far as F2P games that almost inevitably have "pay to win" aspects, I think the mark of a truly good F2P game includes the eventual acquisition of advantages some might choose to pay for.

The F2P game that comes to mind is Team Fortress 2. They've released a massive amount of weapons and hats and other items to choose from to decorate and equip your characters and these items can be found randomly or crafted over time, OR you can also buy these items.

And winning, in TF2, has a lot to do with skill with a particular weapon, as well as knowledge of what others around you might be capable of with their giving range of weapons. Strategy and skill are still 80-90% of the game.

Tabletop games, on the other hand, bring people together in a way that console and pc games simply never can. Actual in-person interaction and fellowship and memory-building is what board games bring to the table.

I used to be a heavier pc gamer than I am now... but after getting into the dynamics of tabletop games, I feel like I can't get enough of it. And where pc gaming with people I don't really know leaves me feeling a little socially starved, board gaming with friends is one of my favorite things to do. I think this notion will prevail enough within gamers to maintain the market of tabletop games.
 
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Alot of more favorably viewed FTP games with pay shops are the ones where the pay items are more cosmetic then power boosting. Players rarely mind overly vanity items unless its very excessive.

I liked the FTP format of Champions Online where the paying players got things like free access to more costumes and the ability to customize powers. Otherwise they were the same as everyone else.

I was an early alpha tester on AQ Worlds though and was a subscriber for over a year. The effects were mostly cosmetic and a little boost in enchanting limits and some extra class options. But when my subscription lapsed I saw just how poorly they were treating the free layers AND paying players whod lapsed subscribing. Havent played that since.
 
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Never Knows Best wrote:
CCGs certainly appear to be waning and so would any business that depends on them.
http://blackdiamondgames.blogspot.com/2013/01/how-we-did-in-... Nope, as this person who owns a shop would tell you.

In fact, having connections to some game companies I can confirm that in the US Yu-Gi-Oh sales are up nearly 20% from 2010, MTG is up around 35% from 2010, and the Pokemon TCG is doing pretty well too. CCGs have gone through a huge boom recently and are back on the up and up. The problem is no small company can realistically approach the market since by its very nature it requires dedicated regions of players to sink a lot of money into them and those investments are often large enough to prevent investment in other.

I would advise anyone interested in designing one taking it online before going to print just to test the waters.
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Aaron Bohm
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WretchedSpawn wrote:
Never Knows Best wrote:
CCGs certainly appear to be waning and so would any business that depends on them.
http://blackdiamondgames.blogspot.com/2013/01/how-we-did-in-... Nope, as this person who owns a shop would tell you.

In fact, having connections to some game companies I can confirm that in the US Yu-Gi-Oh sales are up nearly 20% from 2010, MTG is up around 35% from 2010, and the Pokemon TCG is doing pretty well too. CCGs have gone through a huge boom recently and are back on the up and up.


While true that Magic remains a presence, even with them all the "numbers" I hear regarding their good years usually include the branding as opposed to just the card game itself - Magic Online has grown to be quite the presence in it's own right.

And when I refer to CCG, I'm not just talking about the "big" ones in general, but referring back to an era when many CCGs thrived and the CCG model could do no wrong. Games like Overpower, Myths and Legends, Pokemon, Illuminati (which I miss) the original Star Wars CCG (although we'll have to see how the new one does). Even older CCGs that are still around that might have embraced more of the so called "LCG" line like L5R feel like they are struggling.

It might be hyperbole but aside for perhaps a younger market, I definitely think that the "buy but not know what you're getting" model has had diminishing returns and will not be as embraced in upcoming years.
 
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Never Knows Best wrote:
WretchedSpawn wrote:
Never Knows Best wrote:
CCGs certainly appear to be waning and so would any business that depends on them.
http://blackdiamondgames.blogspot.com/2013/01/how-we-did-in-... Nope, as this person who owns a shop would tell you.

In fact, having connections to some game companies I can confirm that in the US Yu-Gi-Oh sales are up nearly 20% from 2010, MTG is up around 35% from 2010, and the Pokemon TCG is doing pretty well too. CCGs have gone through a huge boom recently and are back on the up and up.


While true that Magic remains a presence, even with them all the "numbers" I hear regarding their good years usually include the branding as opposed to just the card game itself - Magic Online has grown to be quite the presence in it's own right.

And when I refer to CCG, I'm not just talking about the "big" ones in general, but referring back to an era when many CCGs thrived and the CCG model could do no wrong. Games like Overpower, Myths and Legends, Pokemon, Illuminati (which I miss) the original Star Wars CCG (although we'll have to see how the new one does). Even older CCGs that are still around that might have embraced more of the so called "LCG" line like L5R feel like they are struggling.

It might be hyperbole but aside for perhaps a younger market, I definitely think that the "buy but not know what you're getting" model has had diminishing returns and will not be as embraced in upcoming years.
Perhaps, and a lot of that could be attributed to how the CCG economy works. We could probably fill an entire thread of its own on that subject. However, buyers investing from the start of a CCG end up causing a market inflation that makes it hard for players to join later while newer games have the problem of people who would be interested in the medium having already invested a huge amount of money into another product. I wouldn't say there is a monopoly in CCGs but the market structure itself leads to that happening over time.

That's not to say I don't think a new CCG couldn't succeed - however it would need to add something significantly different to the formula to stand out. Massive derail though.
 
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'We certainly see that the market for individual tabletop games is decreasing rapidly, .'
Based on what? Games are appearing in Walmart. So the opposite conclusion seems to appear.
 
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davedanger wrote:
'We certainly see that the market for individual tabletop games is decreasing rapidly, .'
Based on what? Games are appearing in Walmart. So the opposite conclusion seems to appear.

The public appears to be more aware of tabletop games; whether this has happened because so many people now play video games, or for some other reason, who knows?

So it isn't surprising that some hobby games are seen in Target or even Walmart. (This is not the first time this has happened. Avalon Hill games were common in Toys R Us for a while, years ago.) It's unclear to me whether total sales of board and card games (as opposed to CCGs and other collectibles) is increasing. What IS clear is that the number of games being published is increasing. And the market is becoming more hit-driven (or perhaps perennial-driven). The median sales of new games are going down, more gamesdividing a smaller piece of the pie.

The same is happening in books, more books published, fewer copies sold per book.

From a game designer's (or book author's) point of view, that's bad. Because no one can reasonably expect his game (or book) to be a hit.
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WretchedSpawn wrote:
Never Knows Best wrote:
CCGs certainly appear to be waning and so would any business that depends on them.
http://blackdiamondgames.blogspot.com/2013/01/how-we-did-in-... Nope, as this person who owns a shop would tell you.

In fact, having connections to some game companies I can confirm that in the US Yu-Gi-Oh sales are up nearly 20% from 2010, MTG is up around 35% from 2010, and the Pokemon TCG is doing pretty well too. CCGs have gone through a huge boom recently and are back on the up and up. The problem is no small company can realistically approach the market since by its very nature it requires dedicated regions of players to sink a lot of money into them and those investments are often large enough to prevent investment in other.

I would advise anyone interested in designing one taking it online before going to print just to test the waters.

The perennial CCGs are doing well. As I understand it, new CCGs have little chance, even if you have the $2 million you need to get one started in the market (freebies, advertising, organized play).

In other words, any game designer who designs, on speculation, a new CCG is wasting his time. He should make it a "Living Card Game" as FFG calls it.

If you're commissioned to design a CCG for a particular IP, that's a different kettle of fish. Presumably the company commissioning this has the license and the money to market the game.
 
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Keep in mind the fundamental equation, what is the dollar cost per hour of any particular entertainment? Board and card games used to have a great advantage here, compared with movies, plays, traditional video games ($60 a pop), attending sporting events, and so forth. Though television has an even better ratio, sometimes even for those who pay for cable/satellite, many people just don't like television. The Internet itself is also a form of entertainment for many people, and some who might have played board and card games a lot, pre-Web, now will not.

But now we have F2P video games, where the ratio is as low as zero dollars per hour. How is that going to affect purchases of board and card games?
We also have mobile games that, though they sometimes cost something, cost only a dollar or three, and consequently also compete strongly in dollar per hour. So in the past tabletop games have had a big advantage, but now they are at a disadvantage. How is that affecting the younger generation, in particular, and their buying habits?

Yes, the "Everything is free" Internet zeitgeist makes a difference. Ask a young person how they get their music. There's a good chance they'll say "Youtube", where it's stupendously easy to copy high-fidelity music. Why buy it when you can get it there so easily? When my game design book became available in electronic form, it was downloaded illegally in a few months more than 15 times as often as it had been purchased in six months. And so forth.

But even without that zeitgeist, video games via F2P and mobile now provide a much better dollar cost per hour of entertainment ratio than tabletop games that you buy. Why wouldn't that affect purchasing habits? My observation is that purchasing habits are different among young people. Most of the young adults I know who play tabletop games, also play video games. Video games ARE competition with board and table games, just as any other form of entertainment is competition.

It may also be that many younger people save their money to invest in "necessities", such as smartphones and Internet connections, rather than in their hobbies. Especially when so many hobbies are "free".
 
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Joe B
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Lewpuls, you somehow seem to think that entertainment must cost money. Entertainment used to be around for much longer than bills and coins, and there are plenty of ways to be entertained without any costs other than time.

Boardgames aren't even considered "good" entertainment by a noticable fraction of the general population (shock, I know, I dont understand either). On the other hand, boardgames do have production costs that usually can't be eliminated by the internet, and I doubt people who like boardgames and have bought them in the past will stop buying them because of youtube or F2P videogames. I haven't found any evidence that spending on entertainment overall (!) is diminishing in the past 15 years.

The thing with so much stuff like bottled music or written stories (not necessarily printed) is that so incredibly many people produce it, and its a little bit similar with boardgames (I myself have like dozen designs, one of which I'm so far unsuccessfully trying to publish). It's a lot more fun than my daytime job (which isnt really bad either), no wonder so many people pushing into writing or music or design, and so comparably few people take a job assembling smartphones or programming them, or become electricians or similar laying internet cables.

To use a really stretched analogy: In most western countries drinkable water costs virtually nothing, quite different from cities in some developing countries (I've visited). I haven't seen anybody complaining about an "Everything is free" indoor plumbing zeitgeist, or how it negatively affected spending on entertainment.
 
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Aaron Bohm
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Appleton
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lewpuls wrote:
But now we have F2P video games, where the ratio is as low as zero dollars per hour.


You nor anyone has ever played an F2P game that's "zero dollars per hour."
At the very least, you need to associate costs that come with owning a computer/phone that can play them, internet fees, even electricity and that's before you count up all the extras paid for.

Take F2P MMOs for example and most people I know spend, on average, about $1,000 more per year than I ever did with WoW's subscription.

I would also take the level of quality and enjoyment as a factor as, let's face it, if all F2P were on a pie chart of what people would do if they had $1 million dollars, the good F2Ps would represent the "donate to charity" slice.
 
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Dwayne
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Never Knows Best wrote:
lewpuls wrote:
But now we have F2P video games, where the ratio is as low as zero dollars per hour.


You nor anyone has ever played an F2P game that's "zero dollars per hour."
At the very least, you need to associate costs that come with owning a computer/phone that can play them, internet fees, even electricity and that's before you count up all the extras paid for.


Those are sunk costs - I already have a computer, electricity and internet connection for other reasons. I guess you could argue that the electricity is a marginal cost, but my iPad uses so little electricity that you can pretty much round that down to zero dollars per hour.
 
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