Forums Gaming Chat Roleplaying RPGs, Genres, Big Concepts: How are new games marketed?

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  • #560946
    • Posts : 4638
    • Drider

    In the beginning there was only D&D. It created an entirely new category of game – to begin with it wasn’t even called a “role-playing game” – and just happened to be based on heroic fantasy stories. It could as easily have been closely inspired by Arthurian legend, new wave science-fiction or British military campaigns of the 1800s, but we got fantasy.

    In short order there were alternative takes on the idea and people began to branch out into sci-fi, espionage, Superheroes, age of sail and so on. For quite a while D&D was used as a synonym for role-playing. As new games appeared they were very often aimed at filling a genre gap, so it was enough to say that your game was about Three Musketeers gaming, or time travel, while fantasy games very often tried to find their space by describing what made them different to or better than D&D. Then came the generic systems, then games mixing multiple genres or offering a genre with a twist – it’s the Three Musketeers, but with zombies!

    And now? I don’t know. Because I read about new games more than I buy them I’m not really the target market, so in many cases I’m missing the particular selling points and appeal. That’s not me being snobbish or dismissive (I’m interested to find out what’s grabbing attention these days), but perhaps inevitably I frequently see a new game and think “Yeah, but I could easily run that with X.”

    So, let’s have a different perspective. When you’re looking for a new game or deciding to back a Kickstarter, what’s grabbing you? What are the factors making you part with your cash and invest your time? If it’s no longer enough to sell a game simply as being an RPG representing a particular genre, how are they being pitched to appeal to you and stand out from a very crowded market?

    Hafwit 2.0
    • Posts : 160
    • Orc

    I’d like to say I’m rational about it, but I’m really not. I spend a lot of time on G+, which is Shill Central sometimes, and having someone talk enthusiastically about a product may be enough to get me to unlimber my wallet.


    Some other things which appeal to me:


    – Pretty art. Colorful and imaginative stuff that makes me go “WTD(1) is that?”. This is why I own a copy of The Strange that will never see use.

    – A system I already know.

    – A substantial quickstart document which lets me play around with the rules before buying.

    – It’s made by people I find pleasant. This say nothing about the quality of the game, of course.

    – Online community. It really helps if there’s a group who likes the game, write fan-stuff for it, and don’t mind answering questions.

    • Posts : 57
    • Bullywug

    I typically find and support new things by word of mouth; I listen to actual plays or talk with other people who have played a system and if it sounds interesting, I look into it. Outside of that, it just has to grab my attention and excite my imagination. If I can imagine a cool thing to do inside a system, I’ll give it a try.

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