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Getting Stores To Support The Game


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#1 Traitor

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:20 AM

So this is something that's really been troubling me lately here. How do you get a store to actively support the game? Where I live, the store makes almost all of its money off Magic/Yugioh/Pokemon, so they're… well, I wouldn't say antagonistic to A Game of Thrones, but certainly apathetic. They've said they're willing to stock it on the shelf for me, but that's about it. They won't put an LCG event on the calendar, they won't point customers toward the game, they won't pass out flyers or have a sign up sheet to organize players, because they basiaclly don't think it's worth their time or effort to do anything other than sell and support CCGs. Heck, they don't even seem willing to impliment some kind of subscription plan in order to guarantee sales.

 

So how do you convince a store to do any of these things, or other things that might help a playgroup start and grow? How do you convince a Magic driven store that anything else can be profitable? Is there a way? Have any of you had to do similar convincing? Have any of these or other suggestions been workable in your area?



#2 Badmojojojo

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:24 PM

Right there with you, brother! I had this problem when I started interest in Heroclix. Answer: you beat it into their heads with volume of guaranteed sales. You need to prove that there are a minimum amount of player base at the desired location that will devote their time and money to the game. To quote a famous movie "If you build it, they will come."

#3 RobotMartini

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 03:29 PM

AGoT is a weaker product for retail than any popular CCG. Bullet points:

+ Without rarity, retailers can not sell singles at steeply marked up prices

+ Without random distribution, players buy less product to enter the game and stay competitive

+ Without rotation, retailers must stock more individual products in AGoT. (since every pack is legal and may be needed, but many packs are less popular and thus sit on shelf for ages, which screws with retails naturally tight cash flow)

+ Without an equiv to draft events, players have little incentive to buy products at retail hosted events.

+ Without easy quick-start rules and decks, AGoT is very complex and time consuming to teach new players, making all the financial disincentives above even less exciting. Why spend the resources on a niche game when you can make more money for less effort with a CCG or a big box euro game (if you are crazy enough to try and teach 4 people to play melee)? The complexity only gets worse with each cycle, as more mechanics are added and the errata/restricted list gets longer.

This is all a double edge sword, really. Much of the above is actually good for individual consumers: we spend less, there's no incentive for card theft and anyone who wants to can keep up with the evolution of the game. Downside: it chokes community growth and probably chokes retail sales of the product, which can't be good for FFG's enthusiasm for developing the product.

Your best bet is to make your retailer your game night destination, and bring your friends and their decks on a regular basis. if your 5-10 players all buy the new CP when it comes out every 4 months, your retailer may cut the group a discount knowing that they will get something for it vs just losing sales to superior priced online shops. Make sure you let people know it's happening too: post events on Meetup.com, facebook etc. get the word out and you may find new players in the area to join in (and more retail sales, making the retailer want to support the game more)

Really, it's about making up for the products weaknesses because you like it and doing the work for the retailer (and FFG) for them. 

 



#4 mdc273

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:34 AM

RobotMartini said:

Your best bet is to make your retailer your game night destination, and bring your friends and their decks on a regular basis. if your 5-10 players all buy the new CP when it comes out every 4 months, your retailer may cut the group a discount knowing that they will get something for it vs just losing sales to superior priced online shops. Make sure you let people know it's happening too: post events on Meetup.com, facebook etc. get the word out and you may find new players in the area to join in (and more retail sales, making the retailer want to support the game more)

Really, it's about making up for the products weaknesses because you like it and doing the work for the retailer (and FFG) for them. 

 

Can't agree more with this. You have to put them in a position where they think they're losing money by not supporting the game. Right now it sounds like they think they'd be losing money if they DID support the game. You're going to have to be the promoter. On the bright side, FFG has really stepped up their in house support. See if they'll buy you a league kit if you pay for it. It could be a good place to start.






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