Wizards of the Coast announcement

There have been several questions lately regarding the future of the Star Wars Miniatures and Roleplaying Game and until now I haven’t had definitive answers to give you.  After a lengthy evaluation, Wizards of the Coast has decided not to renew the Star Wars license with Lucasfilm. We’ve had a long and fantastic run, but with the economic downturn, we have made the tough decision to discontinue our Star Wars lines.


The license officially ends in May this year, with WotC product available through August. In the meantime, we have awesome new products still coming your way. This week, we released The Dark Times minis and Galaxy of Intrigue RPG. We’ll have more coming with Masters of the Force minis in April, which will have some of your most favorite characters along with rare creatures from the Dejarik Holochess game that have never appeared in our game. We’ll also release The Unknown Regions RPG in April, which includes entirely new planets and mini-adventures for each world.


We are finishing the line with a bang so look for special programs at your local game store to stock up on favorite sets before they go into the vault. We will continue to support our Star Wars forums on the Wizards Community site so you can reach out and chat with us and other fans.


While I know the news is disappointing, we wanted to make this announcement as soon as possible and thank you for being such great fans. It’s been a fantastic ride with the Star Wars community and working with Lucasfilm. We hope you enjoy the next several months of great products. You never know when we may circle back again!


Greg Yahn


Director of Marketing, Wizards of the Coast

Ha ha im down for a luke but only if i dont have anything else on my mind lol.
I still need a chewbacca sad as it is but im not a bag of money and i focus on the ones i really want first as im a collector.
And the books are really good.They did fantastic on the legacy of the force books with Jacen Solos fall to the dark side, and right now there on the next nine book set.The following stories after that technically if im correct shoyuld turn towards the Darth Krayt/Imperial Knights era. God only hopes!
I just bought a Dark Times booster yesterday and I pulled my 5th Chewie.  I think I am set on Chewbaccas.



I need a Chewie from this set.  You can send one of your extras to me.

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Ha ha im down for a luke but only if i dont have anything else on my mind lol.
I still need a chewbacca sad as it is but im not a bag of money and i focus on the ones i really want first as im a collector.
And the books are really good.They did fantastic on the legacy of the force books with Jacen Solos fall to the dark side, and right now there on the next nine book set.The following stories after that technically if im correct shoyuld turn towards the Darth Krayt/Imperial Knights era. God only hopes!



I did read the Legacy of the Force books.  I guess it hasn't been THAT long (a little over a year) since I read a SW book.  It seems like it has been 2-3 years for some reason.  I did download the first book in the next series (Outcast?) to my Kindle, but I haven't read it yet.

Come to think of it wasn't the Order 66 book out in 2009?  I read that one and I am waiting for the next one in that series (501st) to go to Kindle. 

 Any Edition

I just bought a Dark Times booster yesterday and I pulled my 5th Chewie.  I think I am set on Chewbaccas.



I need a Chewie from this set.  You can send one of your extras to me.



What do you have to trade?  Kir Kanos?

 Any Edition

Sorry I don't have any R/VR from DT yet to trade but I have a ton from the earlier sets.

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The fact of the matter, whether anyone wants to agree/believe/extrapolate on it is this: Rob was let go about a year ago after finishing the work on the current sets, up to, and including, Masters of the Force. WotC knew then they were getting out of the SWM business, and let Rob seek other employment opprotunities. Peter was brought in to see the line to it's completion, nothing more. He is their closer (see DDM). whether you like it has nothing to do with the facts. They made the decision a year ago. This coincides with several of their internal problems with proprietary lines.

Thay are sinking, and fast.

Everyone that wants to tow the Wizos line, feel free, the truth will be evident soon enough.

A couple things to consider about the SWM game being cancelled.

First, until last year DDM and SWM had very similar distribution formats (i.e. total random).  I assume the productions costs of the two lines were very similar as well, with the excption of SWM having to pay Lucas.  To make up for this greater cost SWM had one less fig per booster (7 vs DDM 8) and had the additional rarity of VR to encourage more buying.

Last year DDM changed distribution formats so it would be hard to compare the two lines.  However, later this year DDM is going back to a similar distribution model as SWM but with a couple changes.  First, the new random boosters will only have 6 minis ad now DDM will have the VR rarity.

So extrapolating to the SWM line if they did continue to produce the SWM then we would probably get boosters of 4-5 minis for the same cost as the 7 fig boosters we currently get.  I am sure that would not sit well with the customers and would probably cost them sales.

Another point I made on my last post is that many people (like myself) are probably losing interest in the product as the new figs get into more non-mainstream SW stuff (e.g. KOTOR and Legacy) and as the mainstream stuff (e.g. movies) are dulplicated over and over.

Given these two points I am not surprized to see the line cancelled.


Good points. 

I don't know if they would have ever gone down as far as 4-5 minis, but I wouldn't be surprised if they raised the price.  In this economy, and for a collectible luxury item, anything above $15 is a hard sell.  They may have tried playing with the rarities, but there isn't a whole lot more they could do there.  Their best hope would be to invest in marketing and try another mass market push (through Target, Walmart, etc) in conjunction with the CW television show in an effort to widen their consumer base.  Granted, there would be pushback from independant retailers (game stores), but it would really be best for the line (which would eventually be good for the game stores that were smart enough to play their cards right).  However, this would require additional investment of funds, and would then necessitate a greater return.  It would be a gamble.  Honestly, I'm surprised they didn't try one last push before the license expired to try to make it worth renewing... and to a certain extent that speaks to the fact that the decision not to renew was probably a foregone conclusion.

As for the repitition of key figures and the obscurity of others: that's part of the product life cycle of this type of game.  Fortunately, Star Wars has a lot of lore to draw off of and has allowed them to make a lot of great sets.  Unfortunately, SWM isn't really the kind of game that can just 'reboot' to extend its lifespan with a new edition and luckily, WotC seems to have learned its lesson from trying to do that with DDM.  I would have liked to have seen an attempt at mass combat or tweaking the standard playstyle (adding item cards, equipment cards, etc), or another shot at Starships, but I don't think any of these would have 'breathed new life' into the game.  Varying our formats (150, 200, Dynamic Duo, Scenario, etc) every week seems to have helped keep people interested, but even that will only go so far.  Eventually, developers run out of good ideas.  It's quite possible that SWM could have continued for another year or two with good ideas, but I doubt the licensing terms were that forgiving.  I personally wouldn't want to be locked into five or ten years worth of fees if I only had two years worth of ideas.

Like I've said, I am not happy about this decision, at all.  Star Wars Roleplaying and Miniatures have always been amongst my favorite games, and the local SWM community is one of my favorite groups of players as a game store owner.  Not to mention the fact that Star Wars sales are amongst my best selling product lines (after Magic, Warhammer/40k, and World of Darkness), so my very livelihood is affected by the decision.  I fully intend to support the product for as long as I have willing players.  That said, it is almost silly to believe that a company cancelled a 'profitable' line to save a 'less successful' one, especially when all actual evidence is to the contrary. 
As a LGS owner, Matthew, were you as blindsided as the rest of the people were (beforehand) when the distributors announced that the game was over? Whether or not you own a game store doesn't enter into it. WotC is bleeding out at an uncontrolled rate. The money thye are offering M:TG players for tourney wins is something they can't clot. Cutting that would insure the death of an already unstable game.
Cutting the resources they alloted to other games to shore up the one game they own in its entirety (DDM and D&D is now a loss) is the only solution they have. The company has made so many poor business decisions that they are on the edge. The shoring up is to keep numbers where they should be bfore Hasbro cuts them loose entirely.
No this is not speculation, Yes this is based on insider info, no I won't share.
They are a sinking ship. 4e killed the D&D brand, believe it or not. Cutting SWM was a cost decision based on trying to promote other, "in house" brands. that are sinking, and sinking quick. It had nothing to do wth overall profiatability, it had to do with putting a band aid on an arteial wound.

Watch, and then judge. WotC will be gone in a year.

P.S.- If they had spent one tenth the money they spent on M:TG  on SWM, there would be no discussion, the game would be running rampant and making them a fortune.

@GVEMatthew, I just wanted to thank you for sharing your industry insider POV. Your posts have been enlightening and enjoyable to read. It's good to see someone who obviously knows and has followed the business end of wotc for years post their findings on here so we consumers can be better informed about the wotc decision. Thank you.
Here is a link to the Orphans list I maintain: http://www.desmoinesfanforce.net/Orphans.htm Life-sized Tile Wars: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAXn5ZwopPc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o64M5_J1JHs Geoncon08: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srArBLLHYBQ
@GVEMatthew, I just wanted to thank you for sharing your industry insider POV. Your posts have been enlightening and enjoyable to read. It's good to see someone who obviously knows and has followed the business end of wotc for years post their findings on here so we consumers can be better informed about the wotc decision. Thank you.

Thanks for the kind words.

I'm neither trying to defend nor bash WotC for their decision.  On a personal level, I am upset by it.  On a business level, I completely agree with it.  It can be hard for me to reconcile those two perspectives, but the best I can do is continue to support the line locally and help my players find other games that they might enjoy. 

As for me, myself, I have a lot of 40k stuff that I'm sure will get painted a little bit sooner than expected.  ;)

As a LGS owner, Matthew, were you as blindsided as the rest of the people were (beforehand) when the distributors announced that the game was over? Whether or not you own a game store doesn't enter into it. WotC is bleeding out at an uncontrolled rate. The money thye are offering M:TG players for tourney wins is something they can't clot. Cutting that would insure the death of an already unstable game.
Cutting the resources they alloted to other games to shore up the one game they own in its entirety (DDM and D&D is now a loss) is the only solution they have. The company has made so many poor business decisions that they are on the edge. The shoring up is to keep numbers where they should be bfore Hasbro cuts them loose entirely.
No this is not speculation, Yes this is based on insider info, no I won't share.
They are a sinking ship. 4e killed the D&D brand, believe it or not. Cutting SWM was a cost decision based on trying to promote other, "in house" brands. that are sinking, and sinking quick. It had nothing to do wth overall profiatability, it had to do with putting a band aid on an arteial wound.

Watch, and then judge. WotC will be gone in a year.

I actually was not exceptionally surprised by the announcement.  I was certainly disappointed, but I predicted it almost two years ago.  In fact, my business partner and I almost didn't carry Star Wars when we opened our own store for that very reason: it's days were numbered.

Anyone who paid attention knew the license was up this summer, and anyone who followed the sales figures would have guessed that renewal was unlikely.  Heck, anyone that flipped through the WotC sales catalog in the past three months would have had pretty good evidence in hand that they weren't pursuing an aggressive Star Wars production schedule.  The only real surprise to me was that they announced it so close to the release of the Dark Times set.  I expected the announcement to come this spring. 

Like I've said, your 'inside' information is either false or colored by personal biases.  I'm looking at hard numbers, and seeing that a lot of your claims (pro-tour financing, 4e sales figures, etc) are quite simply not true.  The one truth in your statements is that DDM continues to underperform, which is more accurately linked to an industry wide shift away from pre-painted collectible miniatures games (that WotC is even still trying with D&D minis' current business model is shocking to me) and that 4e books aren't selling at the levels that they should be (largely due to the number of players opting for DDi rather than hard copies [which affects store owners like me much more than it does WotC]).

P.S.- If they had spent one tenth the money they spent on M:TG  on SWM, there would be no discussion, the game would be running rampant and making them a fortune.

This is one area in which we (kind of) agree.  The Star Wars line has always seemed to be underfinanced and undermarketed.  However, it is my opinion that WotC has been spoiled by the success of previous licenses (specifically Pokemon) and expects licensed products to perform well based on the value and popularity of the license alone.  To a certain extent, this is true... after all, that is why you license a popular IP: to piggy-back off of its success.  However, Star Wars is a fairly unique creature: there is a saturation in Star Wars memoribilia that forces you to almost compete against the rest of the license. 

I don't know about 'running rampant and making them a fortune', but I think that it could have had Pokemon levels of success if it were managed differently. 
@GVEMatthew, I just wanted to thank you for sharing your industry insider POV. Your posts have been enlightening and enjoyable to read. It's good to see someone who obviously knows and has followed the business end of wotc for years post their findings on here so we consumers can be better informed about the wotc decision. Thank you.



Agreed.  It's also nice to see some numbers posted.  Lots of people talk about "evidence", but never actually post any.  
IMAGE(http://home.comcast.net/~jps201/mst3k_files/ms_seats.gif) "An opinion is not a right to be express whenever it is false/incorrect/a lie." -LOL
Here are some facts:



I would call those more "half-truths" than "facts," and I will explain what I mean, point by point:

- D&D currently holds over 70% of the roleplaying market, and has for the past 5 years.



By this I infer you to mean D&D 4th Edition. So the question is, what is the size of the market? How does that compare to 5 years ago? To 10 years ago? Does it specifically consist of tabletop roleplaying, or does it take in tabletop gaming, or all gaming? I suspect the answer to that last question is A, and that the "market" is strictly RPG. Given how few RPGs are out there now with active support and WotC's overzealousness at keeping the product in people's faces at every opportunity, it's no surprise it has such a majority. 
 
- Magic: the Gathering is WotC's most profitable line (by a significant margin) and has been every year except 1999-2000 (which was the year of the Pokemon).



No debate there, however as sales declined on every other product WotC has produced, so I believe they have declined with Magic, if not at the same rate or amount. I'll come back to this point in one of the next slides.  

- Magic is at an all time high in tournament participation.



Okay, this is subjective at best, and ignorant at worst. First of all, it's not an apples to apples comparison. WotC has made some substantial changes in how they allow tournaments to be conducted over the last 2-3 years that yes, have brought the numbers of tournaments per area up. But what this statement overlooks is that fewer and fewer of those tournaments are taking place in actual stores, and this statement doesn't take into account the number of players from what I can tell, unless you meant something that isn't apparent here.

- In its first six months, Magic 2010 boosters outsold Tenth Edition boosters in the U.S. by over 70%



Again, an apples to strawberries comparison. OF COURSE 2010 outsold Tenth. 2010 had 50% new cards while Tenth was straight-up reprints. That would be like saying Alliance and Empire outsold Rebels and Imperials. Which by the way brings me to my next point.

- In its first three months, Zendikar boosters outsold Shards of Alara boosters in the U.S. by over 55%



Apples and bananas. WotC implemented what was little more than a desperate gimmick to boost sales with Zendikar, and if I remember correctly, produced fewer print runs with Zendikar than it did with Shards to drive up demand. The redistribution of older cards into one out of every two to three cases (not boosters, not booster boxes, but CASES of booster boxes) drove prices up and sent stupid gamers (I'm sorry, but there's no getting around that) on an insane mission to try to find high-dollar cards. It was as far as WotC could bend their own self-imposed reprint rules without breaking them. The release of Zendikar, by the way, is the day I stopped buying Magic cards, and have all but quit playing the game almost completely. I refuse to reward WotC for their money grab attempt.

Those are facts.  Those are not my opinions.  You can say Magic and D&D are "failing" all you want, but it's quite simply not true.



Well, like I said, more half-truths than facts. Guys, hothie, please don't rush to pat this poster on the back so fast. He's either been spoon-fed some skewed information or he is doing the spoon feeding for others. It's true that Magic and D&D may not be "failing," but let's face it. WotC is having to pull out all the stops and put all their energy into keeping those lines going, to the point that they are turning away customers and revenue for other products that could have been equally if not more sucessful than what they are trying to save. And I'm not just talking about the SW brand when I say that, either.
@GVEMatthew, I just wanted to thank you for sharing your industry insider POV. Your posts have been enlightening and enjoyable to read. It's good to see someone who obviously knows and has followed the business end of wotc for years post their findings on here so we consumers can be better informed about the wotc decision. Thank you.



Agreed.  It's also nice to see some numbers posted.  Lots of people talk about "evidence", but never actually post any.  

Unfortunately, I don't have as many hard numbers to give out as I would like.  Most of what I can throw out are percentages, marketshares, and general industry guidelines.  Many of the specific terms of licensing are not public, and are unknown even to people who work on individual products.

I do know some of the restrictions of the LFL license, including required production and max numbers of products per year.  Unfortunately, since that information was obtained under NDA I can't really share much of it. I think it was leaked by someone on the SW RPG boards back in the year leading up to Saga Edition, but I don't know if anyone's Google-fu is up to the task (or even if it's still around after all the forums flip-flopping of the past couple of years). 

I also know sales figures for my own store and three others over the last five years or so.  Again, this isn't really information I want to give out publicly except in fairly vague terms.  It's also not really statistically relevant either, since its from only a handful of sources and game stores vary widely from place to place.  Much more reliable are the Alliance and GTS rankings.  I believe that they are open to anyone who would be interested, though if you can't get them your local game store owner should be able to get them through their rep.  Again, I would suggest getting the numbers and looking at them for yourself.  Second-hand information tends to be filtered through emotions, and a lot of game store owners tend to take decisions like this to heart (and perhaps rightfully so, as it does effects their bottom line). 



Also, I figured I would pass this along.  It is from Chris Perkin's blog and came up in one of the many other conversations I have had over the last couple weeks on this topic (I had completely forgotten about it until I went back looking for some sales numbers in response to Boris' statements).  I don't know who has already seen it, but it makes for a pretty good summary of events.  Though it is obviously not entirely impartial, I have known Chris to be a straight shooter in the past and he is on the short list of people I really take at face value from WotC.

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If you hang out on our forums, you've doubtless heard the announcement concerning our Star Wars miniatures and RPG lines. Not the best news for diehard fans of our Star Wars games. I have a few thoughts I'd like to share that will probably have no impact on the angry few who wax hyperbolic on our forums, but they're good thoughts regardless.

First, who am I, you ask? I'm the lead designer for the Saga Edition RPG and the creative manager for our RPG and miniatures lines. I also edited a little-known magazine called Star Wars Gamer, which some of you über-nerds might remember from a few years back. I've been associated with Star Wars professionally for more than one-quarter of my life. The only one who has me beat at Wizards is my boss, Bill Slavicsek, who's been pushing Star Wars on you folks since, well, forever.

So here's my take on the Star Wars RPG and miniatures game: Both games have enjoyed success. Both games are very robust and fill a lot of shelf space. From a creative standpoint, we've explored all that we want to explore for the moment. The Saga Edition RPG is a solid game supported by a number of good sourcebooks, and I think the last book in the series (The Unknown Regions) makes a fine bookend, taking us to the very edge of the known galaxy. There's enough words in these books to sustain a SWRPG campaign for years. On the miniatures front, we've plumbed the depths of Star Wars lore to bring you interesting minis, including lots of obscure characters, but there comes a point where you just gotta stop and ask, "Does the world need a mini of 'Third Jedi from the Left' right now?" or an umpteenth Darth Vader mini? That said, we're ending the run in style. The Dejarik monsters kick mighty ass; your collection won't be complete without 'em. From a production standpoint, it doesn't help matters that the cost of painted plastic has skyrocketed. Everything was much cheaper back when the economy wasn't screwing with our bank accounts.

I think it's easy to forget that Wizards has finite creative and production resources. (We often forget that internally, so I can imagine what some fans think.) As a creative company, we're always looking for new challenges and opportunities. We like to try new things. We like to surprise ourselves and our customers with new and/or fun game experiences. We're looking at ways to expand and improve our own games and brands, as well as ways to inspire and grow the gaming community. We don't like to rest on our laurels. We don't like driving the same way to work every day. Contrary to popular belief, we're also quite smart, and we pay close attention to everything happening around us. In the gaming industry. In the entertainment industry. In pop culture. In business. For a company that revels in fantasy, we're pretty well grounded in reality.

In a nutshell, I feel we've done right by Star Wars. We put our best ideas on the table and scooped up a pile of awards for our efforts. I also feel a sense of bittersweet relief as I focus my energy on the cool projects that lie ahead, including things you won't hear about for another 6 to 12 months.

I hope folks enjoy our Star Wars games for years to come. After all, games only die when people stop playing them. Maybe 10 years from now, some kid at a convention will ask me to sign a copy of the Saga Edition rulebook he's using to run a game for his friends. That would be cooler than eating ice cream on Hoth!

One more thing . . .

I would like to thank the folks at Lucas Licensing for a terrific partnership. They not only encouraged us to fully explore the Star Wars universe in our products but also gave us great ideas for minis and RPG sourcebook content. They were hands-on in good ways and hands-off in good ways. They helped us make better products, so props to them. I'd especially like to thank Chris Gollaher for being an all-around super guy and a force of good in our galaxy. And also George. Thank you, thank you, for letting us take the Millennium Falcon for a spin.





(Thanks to Ghengis Ska for posting it in the first place, and sorry if he's already cross posted it here.  I'm not sure if he even posts here anymore... :D )
By this I infer you to mean D&D 4th Edition. So the question is, what is the size of the market? How does that compare to 5 years ago? To 10 years ago? Does it specifically consist of tabletop roleplaying, or does it take in tabletop gaming, or all gaming? I suspect the answer to that last question is A, and that the "market" is strictly RPG. Given how few RPGs are out there now with active support and WotC's overzealousness at keeping the product in people's faces at every opportunity, it's no surprise it has such a majority. 

This is simply to compare the sales of D&D against the sales of Saga Edition (which is part of the same LFL license as SWM). 

Also, going back to look up the year end findings D&D 4th Edition is actually around 55% (the 70% figure includes 3rd party and GSL products [such as Pathfinder] still in production).  World of Darkness is around 18%.  Fantasy Flight's RPGs are around 10%.  Pathfinder is around 5%.  Saga Edition is around 2%. Despite its many awards and very loyal fan following, it simply isn't selling as well. 

Why do marketshares matter?  Not only do they show what people have already purchased, but they also serve as a measure of relative demand for a product, a factor which certainly comes into play when determining where to invest resources.  The reasons for the disparity are largely irrelevant for the purposes of this discussion.  Could it be selling better under certain hypothetical situations?  Sure.  But as it stands, one product is vastly outselling another.  Vastly.

And yes, RPG, miniature, card, and comic sales remain steady (-5% - +15%) with where they have been in the last few years, which is almost surprising considering how badly other luxury sectors have performed recently.  
 
No debate there, however as sales declined on every other product WotC has produced, so I believe they have declined with Magic, if not at the same rate or amount. I'll come back to this point in one of the next slides.  

Not true, as I have given you very specific increases in sales.  And these are not local sales; they are global sales.  Sure, they are the result of marketing and promotion on behalf of Wizards of the Coast, but I fail to see how that matters.  The fact is that sales are increasing (not decreasing and certainly not struggling as you have claimed).  Yes, they are being promoted.  But those promotions are being well received and succeeding in a time when a lot of companies are tanking.

- Magic is at an all time high in tournament participation.

Okay, this is subjective at best, and ignorant at worst. First of all, it's not an apples to apples comparison. WotC has made some substantial changes in how they allow tournaments to be conducted over the last 2-3 years that yes, have brought the numbers of tournaments per area up. But what this statement overlooks is that fewer and fewer of those tournaments are taking place in actual stores, and this statement doesn't take into account the number of players from what I can tell, unless you meant something that isn't apparent here.

This is not subjective at all.  The total number of participants in Magic Events has increased.  The total number of events has increased.  The number of locations hosting Friday Night Magic events has increased.  The number of locations holding release events has increased. 

- In its first six months, Magic 2010 boosters outsold Tenth Edition boosters in the U.S. by over 70%

Again, an apples to strawberries comparison. OF COURSE 2010 outsold Tenth. 2010 had 50% new cards while Tenth was straight-up reprints. That would be like saying Alliance and Empire outsold Rebels and Imperials. Which by the way brings me to my next point.

- In its first three months, Zendikar boosters outsold Shards of Alara boosters in the U.S. by over 55%

Apples and bananas. WotC implemented what was little more than a desperate gimmick to boost sales with Zendikar, and if I remember correctly, produced fewer print runs with Zendikar than it did with Shards to drive up demand. The redistribution of older cards into one out of every two to three cases (not boosters, not booster boxes, but CASES of booster boxes) drove prices up and sent stupid gamers (I'm sorry, but there's no getting around that) on an insane mission to try to find high-dollar cards. It was as far as WotC could bend their own self-imposed reprint rules without breaking them. The release of Zendikar, by the way, is the day I stopped buying Magic cards, and have all but quit playing the game almost completely. I refuse to reward WotC for their money grab attempt.

Like I said, what you call 'desperate money grab' some would call 'cool promotion'.  It's all a matter of perspective.  And its not like they didn't try some gimicks with Star Wars minis.  They just didn't work as well.  Zendikar led to people buying more packs.  Alliance and Empire led to people complaining about square bases and Rebels and Imperials... well... it was Rebels and Imperials.  Both of those were attempts at doing the same thing that 2010 and Zendikar did, with significantly less success. 

That's not an excuse, mind you.  If a promotion doesn't work, heads should roll.  Like I've said repeatedly, there were a lot of things that could have and should have been done differently. 

Well, like I said, more half-truths than facts. Guys, hothie, please don't rush to pat this poster on the back so fast. He's either been spoon-fed some skewed information or he is doing the spoon feeding for others. It's true that Magic and D&D may not be "failing," but let's face it. WotC is having to pull out all the stops and put all their energy into keeping those lines going, to the point that they are turning away customers and revenue for other products that could have been equally if not more sucessful than what they are trying to save. And I'm not just talking about the SW brand when I say that, either.

I'm not asking anyone to take my word on anything.  Sales figures and marketshare analysis are available to anyone who cares enough to look. 

I'm also not holding WotC blameless.  Like I've said, they seem to expect to not have to put a lot back into their license.  That just isn't the case for Star Wars miniatures, however.  With Pokemon, if you were into Pokemon you played the card game.  That's just the way things were with that particular license: it was new and it hadn't yet saturated.  The card game was one of the three core products for that license, alongside the cartoon and Game Boy game.  That was their last experience with a license.

Star Wars Miniatures, on the other hand, is a fringe market within the overall Star Wars license.  No one would argue that its in the top 3 Star Wars products.  Heck, its probably not much higher than the Dagobah Frog habitat.  Not all Star Wars fans are going to get into the miniatures games, and many haven't even really been exposed to it.  Is that a failing on the part of WotC?  Of course it is.  They have a very large untapped audience.  But Star Wars needed to be handled differently than previous licenses and they either never realized it or realized it too late for it to be worth further risk.
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If you hang out on our forums, you've doubtless heard the announcement concerning our Star Wars miniatures and RPG lines. Not the best news for diehard fans of our Star Wars games. I have a few thoughts I'd like to share that will probably have no impact on the angry few who wax hyperbolic on our forums, but they're good thoughts regardless.

First, who am I, you ask? I'm the lead designer for the Saga Edition RPG and the creative manager for our RPG and miniatures lines. I also edited a little-known magazine called Star Wars Gamer, which some of you über-nerds might remember from a few years back. I've been associated with Star Wars professionally for more than one-quarter of my life. The only one who has me beat at Wizards is my boss, Bill Slavicsek, who's been pushing Star Wars on you folks since, well, forever.

So here's my take on the Star Wars RPG and miniatures game: Both games have enjoyed success. Both games are very robust and fill a lot of shelf space. From a creative standpoint, we've explored all that we want to explore for the moment. The Saga Edition RPG is a solid game supported by a number of good sourcebooks, and I think the last book in the series (The Unknown Regions) makes a fine bookend, taking us to the very edge of the known galaxy. There's enough words in these books to sustain a SWRPG campaign for years. On the miniatures front, we've plumbed the depths of Star Wars lore to bring you interesting minis, including lots of obscure characters, but there comes a point where you just gotta stop and ask, "Does the world need a mini of 'Third Jedi from the Left' right now?" or an umpteenth Darth Vader mini? That said, we're ending the run in style. The Dejarik monsters kick mighty ass; your collection won't be complete without 'em. From a production standpoint, it doesn't help matters that the cost of painted plastic has skyrocketed. Everything was much cheaper back when the economy wasn't screwing with our bank accounts.

I think it's easy to forget that Wizards has finite creative and production resources. (We often forget that internally, so I can imagine what some fans think.) As a creative company, we're always looking for new challenges and opportunities. We like to try new things. We like to surprise ourselves and our customers with new and/or fun game experiences. We're looking at ways to expand and improve our own games and brands, as well as ways to inspire and grow the gaming community. We don't like to rest on our laurels. We don't like driving the same way to work every day. Contrary to popular belief, we're also quite smart, and we pay close attention to everything happening around us. In the gaming industry. In the entertainment industry. In pop culture. In business. For a company that revels in fantasy, we're pretty well grounded in reality.

In a nutshell, I feel we've done right by Star Wars. We put our best ideas on the table and scooped up a pile of awards for our efforts. I also feel a sense of bittersweet relief as I focus my energy on the cool projects that lie ahead, including things you won't hear about for another 6 to 12 months.

I hope folks enjoy our Star Wars games for years to come. After all, games only die when people stop playing them. Maybe 10 years from now, some kid at a convention will ask me to sign a copy of the Saga Edition rulebook he's using to run a game for his friends. That would be cooler than eating ice cream on Hoth!

One more thing . . .

I would like to thank the folks at Lucas Licensing for a terrific partnership. They not only encouraged us to fully explore the Star Wars universe in our products but also gave us great ideas for minis and RPG sourcebook content. They were hands-on in good ways and hands-off in good ways. They helped us make better products, so props to them. I'd especially like to thank Chris Gollaher for being an all-around super guy and a force of good in our galaxy. And also George. Thank you, thank you, for letting us take the Millennium Falcon for a spin.





(Thanks to Ghengis Ska for posting it in the first place, and sorry if he's already cross posted it here.  I'm not sure if he even posts here anymore... :D )



I have to call BS on the creative elemement. "Plumbed the depths"???? Look, I am not going to argue about certain obscure characters we haven't gotten, but just look at what is going on in the SW universe at the moment. You have to be creatively dead not to try to adapt what is being added to the universe in the next year and a half. The Clone Wars is an ongoing series, and is constantly adding some kick ass things to the universe that NEED minis (c'mon, that Assassin Probe put the Commandos to shame). Then you have TFU II, which I am sure would be popular. And then there is the treasure trove that TOR will provide. Hell, even the novel/comic stuff that John Jackson Millar is doing should be a great source of new stuff. Rising prices is a reasonable issue, I am not going to argue that. But you cannot tell me you cannot work around it, if a newcomer to the prepainted plastic game can do it.

EDIT: I have not really been upset by anything anyone wrote until I read that blog. Just saying that they were "creatively tapped" is such, such utter crap. How can they, when you just look at the horizon of Star Wars? I can understand that WOTC made a business decision, that is what happens with these games. And they hardly did all they could with SW. I think the loss of the league kits is what really hurt my area.
I have to call BS on the creative elemement. "Plumbed the depths"???? Look, I am not going to argue about certain obscure characters we haven't gotten, but just look at what is going on in the SW universe at the moment. You have to be creatively dead not to try to adapt what is being added to the universe in the next year and a half. The Clone Wars is an ongoing series, and is constantly adding some kick ass things to the universe that NEED minis (c'mon, that Assassin Probe put the Commandos to shame). Then you have TFU II, which I am sure would be popular. And then there is the treasure trove that TOR will provide. Hell, even the novel/comic stuff that John Jackson Millar is doing should be a great source of new stuff. Rising prices is a reasonable issue, I am not going to argue that. But you cannot tell me you cannot work around it, if a newcomer to the prepainted plastic game can do it.

I can definitely see where you're coming from.  However, it is probably worth keeping in mind that a license like this isn't a product by product thing.  Signing a licensing agreement typically locks you in for five years, with very specific targets and production requirements.  I agree that they could easily knock out a few more sets, especially with the ongoing Clone Wars series and some of the upcoming video games. 

But could they pump out 2-5 products a year for the next 5-10 years?  I don't know the exact terms of the license they were being offered, but that's not an unreasonable estimate.  So 2 products a year times 5 years times 40 a set = 400 more miniatures.  At least.  With the most generous licensing agreement I can imagine LFL offering.  I don't know that I could pull that off, even if I assume that CW, TFU, and TOR are good for over a full set each (120+ miniatures: approximately 1/3 of the total).  There would still be 280 to go.  I'd really have to dig pretty deep into my wishlist to pull that off without hitting too many of the same figures over and over again, and my wishlist includes some pretty obscure figures (rocket jumpers, blaze troopers, and Emperor Krayt on Throne to name a few). 

And to be honest, I was a little disappointed with some of the Dark Times set list.  Despite my rampant fanboyism for the EU, and despite the fact that I've actually read all the Dark Times comics, and the Coruscanti Night trilogy, I just felt hard pressed to get too excited with some of my pulls.  There is a certain level of obscurity that is cool (Kir Kanos, Dash Rendar, Aurra Sing) and there is a level beyond that which is... admitedly less cool (looking at you Ferus Olin).  At a certain point it becomes harder and harder not to jump the shark.  I don't think they are there yet, but I can't say that I trust the design team to keep it going for 5 more years without hitting that wall.

I'm not saying it's not possible.  But I can see why it would enter into the equation. 


Oh, also worth checking out:

www.starwars.com/games/othergames/news20...

So there do appear to be plans... of some sort...
There is a certain level of obscurity that is cool (Kir Kanos, Dash Rendar, Aurra Sing) and there is a level beyond that which is... admitedly less cool (looking at you Ferus Olin).



'Obscurity' is pretty relative, my friend. What is an obscure character for one person might be almost as recognisable as Luke Skywalker to another. For instance, had I written the quoted sentence, Ferus and Kir would have switched places.
There is a certain level of obscurity that is cool (Kir Kanos, Dash Rendar, Aurra Sing) and there is a level beyond that which is... admitedly less cool (looking at you Ferus Olin).



'Obscurity' is pretty relative, my friend. What is an obscure character for one person might be almost as recognisable as Luke Skywalker to another. For instance, had I written the quoted sentence, Ferus and Kir would have switched places.

Kind of my point.  Once you hit a certain level of obscurity, which characters are worth producing is highly subjective.  Apparently, the line isn't as far out as I would have thought... either that or I've just got a soft spot for the oldies and am showing my age.  No offense was intended to either Ferus Olin or his family and friends.  I'm sure he's a cool dude.  ;)  He just doesn't excite me as much as, say, Darth Revan or Obi-Wan Kenobi. 


I can think of tons of characters that they could do and that I personally would LOVE to see.  However, I can't honestly say that I can think of more than a handful that I feel that they need to do and that would appeal universally to its player base.  Once again, it is not a matter of preference, but rather a matter of business sense and gauging where a product is in its life cycle. 



If it were up to me, I would have been injecting significantly more cool non-unique figures into Rare slots to increase collectibility of sets and save the Unique figures to spread out through additional sets.  Special droid models (like the T-series, assassin droids, etc), specialist clone- and stormtroopers (shadowtroopers, blazetroopers, etc), strong fringe figures... all could have been used as 'filler'.  And if they were solid pieces in play they would have become 'chase rares' worth picking up a few of... which would have possibly boosted sales.  They've done it in a very limited fashion, with Destroyer Droids and some other non-uniques taking up Rare slots, and I am of the opinion that it helped sales and that extending the philosophy somewhat would have helped even more.  I'm not talking about tons of non-unique Rares, just one or two per set that are 'key' pieces to their faction (like a rerelease of Battle Droid Officers, for example).  Having them in Rare spots and pushing Uniques into Very Rare would also help make for more gratifying purchases for those players that purchase in greater quantity.  Getting 4 Chewbaccas is worthless and more than a little disappointing (unless you are a wily trader).  Getting 4 Destroyer Droids was worthwhile and presented a fun squad building opportunity. 

Is using chase-rares a 'dirty trick to get people to buy more packs'?  Probably.  Could it have saved the line by making it more profitable?  Maybe.  Would that have been worth it?  Depends on who you ask.  I think it would have.  Maybe that alone wouldn't have saved the line, but in my opinion it could have helped. 



Something that I have given some thought to this morning (while shoveling the snow in my driveway ;) ) is that there may be evidence that pre-painted collectible miniatures are simply not a viable business model.  Their fixed costs are (out of necessity) significantly higher than comparable card games, and I would imagine that it goes so far as to effect their margins.  There are fewer figures per set than in card games, which limits the impact of random packaging on sales. There may well be good reason that collectible miniatures games underperform compared to CCGs, and it may be entirely related to the CMG business model.  In short, miniatures may not be able to use the CCG model and be as profitable as CCGs.  Perhaps they need to be handled differently...  something worth thinking about, I think.



Also, for what it is worth, I am going to try to extend some of the things that we are doing locally with SWM to the internet so that everyone can take a look and steal anything that strikes them as a good idea.  We have put together a full custom set list in our store, and are slowly but steadily putting together both the stats and converted miniatures. I'll try to post the pictures, stats, and instructions for conversion on the website when they are finished.  We've also run several large scenario battles (some more successful than others), with interesting rules and objectives: including an Order 66 battle that took place across 4 different maps, including a double-sized Jedi Temple.  I often don't have a ton of time to devote to sharing with the greater community, since I have my very specific part of the community to worry about, but I will try to at least make it available for those who want to dig for it. 
Well GVEMatt, I am certainly not trying to convert you to my way of thinking, as what's done is done and WotC is losing me and probably about 3,000 to 4,000 people as customers in just a few months' time. At this point even if they did renew the license somewhere down the road, I do not trust them enough to throw any more money their way ever again. They will get me for the final RPG book and probably MotF, but that's it.

So I will leave you with this: why would Chris Perkins - though I do agree with you that he is a "straight shooter" and one of the few people at WotC with whom I have enjoyed the opportunity to converse with face-to-face on more than one occasion - or anyone else from WotC really stand up and say, "We're in such a panick about making sure Magic and D&D 4th Edition continue to be profitable that we can't afford to commit resources to a license product or to any other new game design." ??

That would be corporate suicide for the company. And it's the same reason bank CEOs cooked the books right up until the day they had to admit the party was over and the company was in serious trouble. These guys get paid to show profits, not to admit the reality of the situation. So that is why I say your "facts" are half-truths. Let's say I had a classroom. (I'm not a teacher, but let's pretend.) A 60 is the minimum score for an D, let's say. Then let's say out of 25 students, 10 score exactly 60, 10 score exactly 70, and 5 score a 90. If I say 100% of the class is passing, that is literally correct. But when you break down the numbers and look at ALL the facts, it's not so clear-cut.

I think the same thing is true of your "facts" about WotC's performance. It's based on partial, skewed information that fails to take all of the data into account, and is presented in a way that makes the company appear to be doing better than it really is.


Finally, and I will leave you with this, the gimmicks are one-shot opportunities. There aren't any more "hidden gem" old money cards lying around in warehouses to be given away. So what is the next thing that WotC can do? Abandon its reprint policy? It's the last stop on the Magic train and once they pull it out, I guarantee you that things will start to turn south very, very quickly. 
Thanks for sharing your perspective GVEMatthew. Your numbers and commentary (outside of Magic which I have no interested in to even research) basically match what I found on my own.

In short, costs are up and sales are down and the products just sort of reached the end of their life cycle.

Note that I believe your comments about the LFL license with WotC are off even if that's more generally true in other licensing situations. We have anecdotal comments from WotC staff that seem to indicate the LFL license was renewed twice during he life of SWM, so well short of 5 years.

The comments from Chris Perkins are interesting as well. I've found him to be a pretty straightforward guy in the past so it surprises me to have to call shenanigans on at least part of his post. If SWM and the RPG were selling like gangbusters still, they would have zero problem making "the third Jedi from the left."

I do think character obscurity hits them from another angle that is more related to sales and the life cycle issues (you need a 10th Luke and Vader for new players but you simultaneously embitter a segment of old-timers who were sick of Vader after 7 of them) rather than from a creativity standpoint.
There is a certain level of obscurity that is cool (Kir Kanos, Dash Rendar, Aurra Sing) and there is a level beyond that which is... admitedly less cool (looking at you Ferus Olin).



'Obscurity' is pretty relative, my friend. What is an obscure character for one person might be almost as recognisable as Luke Skywalker to another. For instance, had I written the quoted sentence, Ferus and Kir would have switched places.

Kind of my point.  Once you hit a certain level of obscurity, which characters are worth producing is highly subjective.  Apparently, the line isn't as far out as I would have thought... either that or I've just got a soft spot for the oldies and am showing my age.  No offense was intended to either Ferus Olin or his family and friends.  I'm sure he's a cool dude.  ;)  He just doesn't excite me as much as, say, Darth Revan or Obi-Wan Kenobi. 


I can think of tons of characters that they could do and that I personally would LOVE to see.  However, I can't honestly say that I can think of more than a handful that I feel that they need to do and that would appeal universally to its player base.  Once again, it is not a matter of preference, but rather a matter of business sense and gauging where a product is in its life cycle. 



If it were up to me, I would have been injecting significantly more cool non-unique figures into Rare slots to increase collectibility of sets and save the Unique figures to spread out through additional sets.  Special droid models (like the T-series, assassin droids, etc), specialist clone- and stormtroopers (shadowtroopers, blazetroopers, etc), strong fringe figures... all could have been used as 'filler'.  And if they were solid pieces in play they would have become 'chase rares' worth picking up a few of... which would have possibly boosted sales.  They've done it in a very limited fashion, with Destroyer Droids and some other non-uniques taking up Rare slots, and I am of the opinion that it helped sales and that extending the philosophy somewhat would have helped even more.  I'm not talking about tons of non-unique Rares, just one or two per set that are 'key' pieces to their faction (like a rerelease of Battle Droid Officers, for example).  Having them in Rare spots and pushing Uniques into Very Rare would also help make for more gratifying purchases for those players that purchase in greater quantity.  Getting 4 Chewbaccas is worthless and more than a little disappointing (unless you are a wily trader).  Getting 4 Destroyer Droids was worthwhile and presented a fun squad building opportunity. 

Is using chase-rares a 'dirty trick to get people to buy more packs'?  Probably.  Could it have saved the line by making it more profitable?  Maybe.  Would that have been worth it?  Depends on who you ask.  I think it would have.  Maybe that alone wouldn't have saved the line, but in my opinion it could have helped. 



It could be argued that Ferus is just as big a character as Dash Rendar.  He's been in his share of books.  Also, as a SW fan, I like looking up characters I'm unfamiliar with.  That's part of the fun.  By looking up a certain character, I may discover some great new book or comic.  So don't discount that appeal.  SWM need EU characters in sets just as much as it needed the iconic Vaders, Lukes and Hans. 

I do agree with you that there are only a few characters left that they absolutely need to do (Boss Nass, Watto, kid Anakin).  But that's not how you sell a product.  You can't just keep rehashing old characters for every set.  Even Jedi Academy (a set that did not have a Vader) was full of names like Sidious, Leia, Luke, Qui-Gon, Yoda and Kyle Katarn.  Those are pretty big names for what, some consider, was an EU set.  I think those characters appeal to the more mainstream SW crowd.

As for sticking non-Uniques into Rare slots, that did happend with Clone Wars (the beginning of the 40 piece sets).  However, the design of the 40 piece set defeated the market for both Gelagrub and the Chameleon.  There are several UCs that sell for around the same price as those too.  Now if we are talking 60 piece sets, the certainly is a scramble for those non-Unique Rares.  Of course I know several collectors and players that hate hunting down Destroyer Droids and Storm Commandos.  The market for those Commandos was crazy.  In their hey day, you were lucky to have 2-3 Commandos.  They were just too expensive thanks to their Rare status.  So I could see designating good non-Uniques as Rares backfiring for Wizos.  Customers might potentially pay more to try and acquire enough of those non-Uniques, but they very well might give up.  It is certainly discouraging for players and collectors alike.  Look at A&E.  Most of the non-Unique Rares are desirable, but those pieces certainly didn't drive up sales.  There's still stock of A&E lying around.  Wizos couldn't give the stuff away.

Ultimately, I think the VRs from the 60 piece sets were (for the most part) Chase Rares.  There was no guarantee you would get what you wanted after buying a case.  So diehards were more willing to purchase several cases.  That changed with the 40 piece sets.  The flipside, though, is that the 40 piece sets made it easier for the casual player to collect.  So the 40 piece sets weren't all bad.  Unfortunately that also meant fewer purchases were required to achieve a complete set.  So the market for 40 piece sets was a far cry from the 60 piece sets. 

As soon as Wizards moved to 40 piece sets, the writing was on the wall.   

EDIT: I should also address the issue of remakes (of older characters) and the more established SWM gamers.  Most had accepted that big names would be remade in later sets.  From a player perspective, a new Vader wasn't always bad.  As long as he did something different than previous versions, that usually satisified the long standing player.  For collectors, multiple poses and costumes are desirable as well.  So if a new Luke shows him in a costume not seen in SWM before, that's also a good thing.  The older, established gamers aren't as harsh as you would think.


I don't care for comics, but I might read the stories from that era if they turn them into books.  Maybe (I haven't read a SW book in a while -- so who knows).





I am a fan of Graphic Novels, and am pretty excited about Star Wars ones. I am busily catching up on all the ones I have missed in the passed few years.

Also to address other points, I absolutely love the EU. I can't get enough of it! It just shames me that there is so much I have not read. The problem is that I have little time to read material other than the material I am studying for university (Spanish Civil War and German Economic jargon atm) which leaves my star wars books under used.
Face it everyone, the end is nigh! Star wars minis and RPG are going but lets face it, we are never gonna stop playing it and loving it.Im gonna keep working on my collection and continue to love the game and just Star wars in general.
The economic pressure has forced them to drop this game, simply for the fact that the company itsself needs to keep alive.I dont blame WOTC i feel they did a great job all the way.It makes sense that though they will lose some customers and money but they make that ten fold on their other products.We cant be selfish for wanting a company to keep itself afloat.
All in all the fans will stay alive and keep up their hopes and who knows maybe they will return sooner than we think.
Like have Lucas co. actually said that they wont continue it...i think they bhave not...
Kudos to GVEMatthew for being neither a chicken with his head cut off, or a doomsayer predicting the end of times divined from looking at tea leaves. 

Seriously people, be bitter all you want. As someone who has been dissatisfied with the line for nearly its entire existence, I find your anger at WotC and praise of it quite amusing. But WotC is in good financial shape, no matter how bad you want otherwises. Ironically, it will survive because it doesn't waste time and money on games with diminishing returns (IE. SWRPG and SWM). 

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

How can you say that! you made this little ewok cry Cry. I hope you can live with yourself...

Kudos to GVEMatthew for being neither a chicken with his head cut off, or a doomsayer predicting the end of times divined from looking at tea leaves. 

Seriously people, be bitter all you want. As someone who has been dissatisfied with the line for nearly its entire existence, I find your anger at WotC and praise of it quite amusing. But WotC is in good financial shape, no matter how bad you want otherwises. Ironically, it will survive because it doesn't waste time and money on games with diminishing returns (IE. SWRPG and SWM). 



LOL. Dreamblade and Gleemax would like to differ.

Honestly, while I may disagree with the full extent of WOTC's issues, I do agree that the main reason that there is trouble. In this time, games NEED a good amount of money siphoned into support. All of SWM's lifetime, WOTC barely did the minimum to maintain the interest in the game. Sales of SWM apparently fell to where it wasn't financially feasible to make the game, pay LFL, promote the game (which is BS, since we need very little, as Dean and Jim showed last year), and make the preferred amount of profit. Boris has stated that Magic and D&D are doing so well because they are spending so much more money on the promotion of the game vs SW, which could easily be more popular if they put the needed effort in.

I'm not bitter at WOTC. They made a business decision. What I do have issue with is certain reasons that are complete bs. Seriously, the SW canvas is only growing. TWO different companies and lines have figured out how to make the CMG model work.
I died a little inside when I heard.

I got my first starter of Rebel Storm at DragonCon, it was the last one they had at the WotC booth.
But it wasn't until PAX '07 that I found enough people to play with.

I forgot how to play MtG, almost. (sigh) I hear it's a different game than what I remember playing.

I do love the SWM game and mechanics, I'm a gamer and a StarWars fan.. Best Game EVER!

Tragedy and Dark Times indeed.


"I've got a bad feeling about this."
Kudos to GVEMatthew for being neither a chicken with his head cut off, or a doomsayer predicting the end of times divined from looking at tea leaves. 

Seriously people, be bitter all you want. As someone who has been dissatisfied with the line for nearly its entire existence, I find your anger at WotC and praise of it quite amusing. But WotC is in good financial shape, no matter how bad you want otherwises. Ironically, it will survive because it doesn't waste time and money on games with diminishing returns (IE. SWRPG and SWM). 



Hmm. A poster I've never heard of with a reference to D&D 4th Ed. in his sig praising a fellow never-before-seen poster about his skewed data. Seems like you two probably know each other, but that is neither here nor there.

In any case, don't confuse bitterness with insight. Just because someone says "this is how it is" doesn't make it true. I recently bought my wife the complete series of The West Wing, and we've been through the discs. The relevance is, in an episode from a couple of nights ago, the staffers are discussing some polling data about a political issue, and the consultant they are talking to tells them a vast majority of the people polled believed the issue was significant and should be dealt with. But a different consultant later tells them the poll didn't ask the correct questions. While it was correct as presented, the consultant explained that in her own poll, only a very small minority considered the issue important enough to influence their voting decision. "The only place this battle is being fought is in Washington," she told them.

It's similar to the discussion here. The only place this battle is being fought is in Seattle, and really it was over before it began. People like GVEMatthew have information that is technically correct, but it doesn't ask the right questions. It doesn't give any weight to the factors. It compares apples to oranges and strawberries, and it ignores the things that are wrong, the problems and mistakes the company is having to deal with due to mismanagement and poor leadership.

Sithborg called it. Dreamblade and Gleemax would like to differ. So would Hecatomb, DuelMasters, D&D 3.5, D&D Miniatures, Kids Next Door, D20 Modern, and the Avalon Hill boardgame line. Those failures affect the company's bottom line, whether you or anyone else want to recognize them or not. Magic and 4th Ed may be doing okay by comparison of the SW brand and other game lines at WotC, but what happens when there is nothing left? And what happens when WotC runs out of marketing strategies for Magic? At the risk of being labeled a doom and gloom conspiracy theorist by people with their heads in the sand, Chris Perkins claimed the company is tapped out on creative ideas for the SW brand, specifically the minis. Seriously? Well if that's the case, then I can't imagine it will be very much longer before they are tapped out on ideas for the Magic and D&D lines as well. 


Hmm. A poster I've never heard of with a reference to D&D 4th Ed. in his sig praising a fellow never-before-seen poster about his skewed data. Seems like you two probably know each other, but that is neither here nor there.



Irrelevant.  Whether you've heard of him or not has no bearing.  And if his data is "skewed", how do we know your thoughts aren't skewed, either?


Just because someone says "this is how it is" doesn't make it true.



This statement contradicts the rest of your post.  Just because you tell us "how it is" doesn't make it true, either. 
 


Hmm. A poster I've never heard of with a reference to D&D 4th Ed. in his sig praising a fellow never-before-seen poster about his skewed data. Seems like you two probably know each other, but that is neither here nor there.



Irrelevant.  Whether you've heard of him or not has no bearing.  And if his data is "skewed", how do we know your thoughts aren't skewed, either?


Just because someone says "this is how it is" doesn't make it true.



This statement contradicts the rest of your post.  Just because you tell us "how it is" doesn't make it true, either. 
 



It's so fun to see people who have nothing constructive to add try to attack people by attempting to turn their words back on them like a 3rd grader would do. Saying that things are "facts" like GVE did is not at all like what's going on from the more intelligent members in this discussion. Anyways, I'm so sick of "arguments" like this one C-3P0 "made". They have no actual insight or argument so they try to fabricate double standards in other people's posts.  
Do you want to help advance the game when Wizards pulls the plug? Go Here: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75862/22337613/Minis_YOU_want_to_see:_The_first_step - - -


Hmm. A poster I've never heard of with a reference to D&D 4th Ed. in his sig praising a fellow never-before-seen poster about his skewed data. Seems like you two probably know each other, but that is neither here nor there.



Irrelevant.  Whether you've heard of him or not has no bearing.  And if his data is "skewed", how do we know your thoughts aren't skewed, either?



Which thoughts, exactly? The ones where I demonstrate WHY the data is skewed, and present the relevant additional information? To quote one of my favorite television characters of all time, "That which you know, you ignore because it is inconvenient, and that which you do not know, you invent."

But you ask, how can you know my thoughts aren't skewed? Well I can tell you how. Because I look at ALL the data, not just the stuff that is spoon-fed to me (ie product x did something product y did not and thus yielded better results as opposed to straight up saying product x outsold product y and thus must mean that Brand Z is increasing in sales and customers). My thoughts are based on ALL the data and I pay attention to everything that is said and written, not just that which defends my own argument. I have yet to see or hear anything that says things at WotC are fine. In fact, WotC people will be the first to tell you that things are not fine.
I've been around here a very long time. If you are having to ask that question of me it means you either don't know how serious I take the decision to offer an opinion, or you are just ignoring that fact. Either way, you need to understand that I trust my instinct and I believe in educated opinions 100 percent. The same cannot be said for others here.


Just because someone says "this is how it is" doesn't make it true.



This statement contradicts the rest of your post.  Just because you tell us "how it is" doesn't make it true, either.



Fair enough, but let's keep in mind I am not the only one saying it, and there are people saying it with a lot better resources and contacts at WotC than I have had over the last few years.


It's so fun to see people who have nothing constructive to add try to attack people by attempting to turn their words back on them like a 3rd grader would do. Saying that things are "facts" like GVE did is not at all like what's going on from the more intelligent members in this discussion. Anyways, I'm so sick of "arguments" like this one C-3P0 "made". They have no actual insight or argument so they try to fabricate double standards in other people's posts.  



Glad you find it entertaining.  Kind of makes me wonder why you didn't make the same comments about others who did the exact same thing earlier.  I practically quoted someone, in fact.  Wink  

Previous posters have made many points as to why others statemetns are BS or skewed or incorrect.  ome have even made point-by-point refutations of things others have said, picking apart their arguments, and gone as far as telling people they clearly have no idea what's going on and to back out of the conversation.  So, if I decide to point out why I don't buy someone's argument, why is it that you suddenly decide to jump on me?  And please, take your insults elsewhere.  It is very unbecoming.

Which thoughts, exactly? The ones where I demonstrate WHY the data is skewed, and present the relevant additional information? To quote one of my favorite television characters of all time, "That which you know, you ignore because it is inconvenient, and that which you do not know, you invent."

But you ask, how can you know my thoughts aren't skewed? Well I can tell you how. Because I look at ALL the data, not just the stuff that is spoon-fed to me (ie product x did something product y did not and thus yielded better results as opposed to straight up saying product x outsold product y and thus must mean that Brand Z is increasing in sales and customers). My thoughts are based on ALL the data and I pay attention to everything that is said and written, not just that which defends my own argument. I have yet to see or hear anything that says things at WotC are fine. In fact, WotC people will be the first to tell you that things are not fine.
I've been around here a very long time. If you are having to ask that question of me it means you either don't know how serious I take the decision to offer an opinion, or you are just ignoring that fact. Either way, you need to understand that I trust my instinct and I believe in educated opinions 100 percent. The same cannot be said for others here.



But here's the problem, Boris.  When you say you look at ALL the data, how can any of us know that, and verify what data you have?  And who has been "spoon-fed" data?  Where's the proof of that?  I'll be honest, when someone makes a statemtent, and then someone else says "you don't know anything", or "you don't know the facts", but then does not present anything of their own, I don't buy it.  I see a lot of people caliming things on this thread, but not a lot of proof.  Some good theories, but it's hard to tell who to believe.  So much of it requires that I take a baseline trust in the person who is making the statement, which I just don't like to do.  Saying I need to understand that you trust your instict and believe in educated opinions 100 percent is asking me to trust and accept that as true.  But, I am skeptical by nature.  I asked you a few pages ago to calrify something you had claimed, and never heard a response.  Now, before you think this is personal, it really isn't.  I'm just pointing out that so many of the arguments being made here are based on the credentials/claims of the people making them.  This isn't a personal challenge to you, Boris.  It's just how I question things. 





At the risk of being labeled a doom and gloom conspiracy theorist by people with their heads in the sand, Chris Perkins claimed the company is tapped out on creative ideas for the SW brand, specifically the minis. Seriously? Well if that's the case, then I can't imagine it will be very much longer before they are tapped out on ideas for the Magic and D&D lines as well. 



Well said.


I'm another member of the faction that is almost happy about the fact that [after MotF] WOTC will never again see a dime of my money.  They've utterly destroyed AD&D, a game I've been playing for over 30 years, for which they'll never be forgiven.

On the bright side, while we really love SWM, there are a few rules which we'd love to tweak even more than we already have with our house rules.  Maybe now we'll just completely re-write some  sections of the rules.

- - - - - "The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." - Gary Gygax

Which thoughts, exactly? The ones where I demonstrate WHY the data is skewed, and present the relevant additional information? To quote one of my favorite television characters of all time, "That which you know, you ignore because it is inconvenient, and that which you do not know, you invent."

But you ask, how can you know my thoughts aren't skewed? Well I can tell you how. Because I look at ALL the data, not just the stuff that is spoon-fed to me (ie product x did something product y did not and thus yielded better results as opposed to straight up saying product x outsold product y and thus must mean that Brand Z is increasing in sales and customers). My thoughts are based on ALL the data and I pay attention to everything that is said and written, not just that which defends my own argument. I have yet to see or hear anything that says things at WotC are fine. In fact, WotC people will be the first to tell you that things are not fine.
I've been around here a very long time. If you are having to ask that question of me it means you either don't know how serious I take the decision to offer an opinion, or you are just ignoring that fact. Either way, you need to understand that I trust my instinct and I believe in educated opinions 100 percent. The same cannot be said for others here.



But here's the problem, Boris.  When you say you look at ALL the data, how can any of us know that, and verify what data you have?  And who has been "spoon-fed" data?  Where's the proof of that?  I'll be honest, when someone makes a statemtent, and then someone else says "you don't know anything", or "you don't know the facts", but then does not present anything of their own, I don't buy it.  I see a lot of people caliming things on this thread, but not a lot of proof.  Some good theories, but it's hard to tell who to believe.  So much of it requires that I take a baseline trust in the person who is making the statement, which I just don't like to do.  Saying I need to understand that you trust your instict and believe in educated opinions 100 percent is asking me to trust and accept that as true.  But, I am skeptical by nature.  I asked you a few pages ago to calrify something you had claimed, and never heard a response.  Now, before you think this is personal, it really isn't.  I'm just pointing out that so many of the arguments being made here are based on the credentials/claims of the people making them.  This isn't a personal challenge to you, Boris.  It's just how I question things. 



Well you need to go back and reread my responses to GVEMatthew. I did in fact explain the data and why his results were half-truths. Is there something specifically that you don't understand, because I don't know how I can make it any plainer.

As for you asking me to clarify something, I don't recall that post. I will go back and look for it, and try to answer it.

I do not feel you are personally challenging me, by the way. Cool

That really really sucks.
My thoughts are based on ALL the data and I pay attention to everything that is said and written.  ***snip*** If you are having to ask that question of me it means you either don't know how serious I take the decision to offer an opinion, or you are just ignoring that fact.



lol, you sound like big brother, all knowing and all seing... infallible!  as for how serious a situation is before you offer an opinion?   lol, you've got 5k+ posts.  you obviously are not soft spoken nor is your threshold for expressing your opinion very high.  you have valuable knowledge and insight to the game and community but that doesn't mean your opinion is the end of the discussion.  two people can look at the same set of facts and express different conclusions based on their spin yet still be both correct. 

Well if that's the case, then I can't imagine it will be very much longer before they are tapped out on ideas for the Magic and D&D lines as well. 



well, if they do, they can apparently alienate their customers again and dump 4th ed to come out with 5th!  it'll be the same ideas, just repackaged with a slightly different candy coating.
My thoughts are based on ALL the data and I pay attention to everything that is said and written.  ***snip*** If you are having to ask that question of me it means you either don't know how serious I take the decision to offer an opinion, or you are just ignoring that fact.



lol, you sound like big brother, all knowing and all seing... infallible!  as for how serious a situation is before you offer an opinion?   lol, you've got 5k+ posts.  you obviously are not soft spoken nor is your threshold for expressing your opinion very high.  you have valuable knowledge and insight to the game and community but that doesn't mean your opinion is the end of the discussion.  two people can look at the same set of facts and express different conclusions based on their spin yet still be both correct.



Nor did I mean to suggest it was the end of a discussion. You twisted what I said a little bit too. I didn't say I wait until a situation is serious enough for me to offer an opinion, I said I take my decision to state an opinion seriously, and after I have done my homework on the subject.

Also, the point I am making with GVEMatthew and the others that have rallied around him is that we are not looking at the same set of facts. His statistics as presented were based on apples to oranges comparisons that ignore critical details about WHY one particular product did better than the other. Since that post on my part in which I tried to point out the differences, the details have all but been ignored in favor of arguing the rightness or wrongness of the final points. To be honest, I'm not longer sure what the point of this discussion is, but I do know that to say SWM sets sold worse in the last 2 years is to ignore the fact that the set sizes were reduced, and that that had an impact on the sales. The same is true of the crap GVEMatt was spouting about one Magic set vs. another.
By this I infer you to mean D&D 4th Edition. So the question is, what is the size of the market? How does that compare to 5 years ago? To 10 years ago? Does it specifically consist of tabletop roleplaying, or does it take in tabletop gaming, or all gaming? I suspect the answer to that last question is A, and that the "market" is strictly RPG. Given how few RPGs are out there now with active support and WotC's overzealousness at keeping the product in people's faces at every opportunity, it's no surprise it has such a majority. 

This is simply to compare the sales of D&D against the sales of Saga Edition (which is part of the same LFL license as SWM). 

Also, going back to look up the year end findings D&D 4th Edition is actually around 55% (the 70% figure includes 3rd party and GSL products [such as Pathfinder] still in production).  World of Darkness is around 18%.  Fantasy Flight's RPGs are around 10%.  Pathfinder is around 5%.  Saga Edition is around 2%. Despite its many awards and very loyal fan following, it simply isn't selling as well. 




Thanks for actually sharing what I have always assumed based on what I saw first-hand while working at Borders.

Saga Edition came out and we had about 4 sales of the Core rulebook in the first month.

D&D 4th ed came out, and we had the Players Guide, DMG, and MM on the top 20 best sellers for the week.

Star wars minis came in, and we usually got about 6-12 boosters through it's entire run (with me, an employee, purchasing 2-4 boosters just because I could buy them on release day with a hefty discount while waiting for my cases)

D&D Minis came in, and we would have 20ish boosters and get re-supplied every month or so (less after the miniatures game died, but still)

I don't have any other core facts (I could have looked them up, if i still worked at borders) but just firsthand I can tell you, D&D can give away PDF's of some of their adventures and still outsell the competition hand and fist.

When i saw this picture, I thought it was hilarious and true.

Photobucket
RS 55/60; CS 54/60; RotS 55/60; UH 46/60; CotF 60/60; BH 44/60; A&E 58/60; FU 49/60; LotF 60/60; KotOR 57/60;
CW 40/40; IE 39/40; JA 40/40; GaW 40/40; DT 39/40; MotF 40/40
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