Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Counter Culture: Wizards Changing Rules

As a retailer working at a local gaming store (that I make as friendly as possible), I appreciate it when Publishers remember the direct market that they distribute their products too. It makes me feel good, appreciated.

For years, Wizards of the Coast did this. But things have been changing and I don't think for the better. Late last year, WotC stopped being a distributor to local game stores as part of their initiative to make sure that Target, Wal-Mart, and Amazon could have better access to their products. 

Yes, you read that right, they stopped selling directly to me, the little guy, to strengthen their share in big box stores. No, its not shocking, but it hurt. Its not like I have a ton advantage over big box stores, so I enjoyed the benefits that a direct account with WotC gave me.

One of those was that we got DnD releases 10 days over everyone else and eventually exclusive covers.

However, that 10 day lead time is now gone. Its tough. What makes it tougher is that, according to people on the internet, GameStop is selling the Dungeons and Dragons Stranger Things box right now, a product that I and even Amazon don't get until May.

I love what I do and I'll find a way to adapt, but when a company seems to turn its back on you, it can be a tough pill to swallow and at the moment, thats what it feels like Wizards of the Coast has done.


Jeremy "frothsof" Smith said...

Wow. I hadn't heard about this. Kind of surprising given all of the stated support over the years to brick and mortar.

Mark Craddock said...

Its tough. I do understand WotC embracing a wider market, but it is a tough pill to swallow.

M Po said...

Wow. That's no good.

robsterdobster said...

As a smaller publisher we struggle to get into the game stores - we'd love to support you but we need you to look at other products - if WOTC is going a different route how about you look to the smaller publishers also putting out quality games?

vivaldi0 said...

No one buys the latest editions, unless they are new to the game or an activist. 5e is just an attempt at forced inclusion garbage. Old TSR rules will always be superior.

Daibelzian said...

I not only agree with " robsterdobster " but maybe you're store should look at other means of bringing in Tabletop Role Playing Games revenue, such as coordinating scheduling alternate game system teaching/learning sessions utilizing and offering a portion of the charge ($5.00 per person= $3.00 to you & $2.00 to to the GM) with the most experienced GM's who patron your store. You could also participate with Role Playing Games League (RPGL, RPGLeague) https://m.facebook.com/RPGLeague/

Mark Craddock said...

It is tough to get shelf space and I want to clarify that I do stock RPGs from Publishers of vastly different marketshare. Sadly, WotC and D&D are the 800 pound gorilla in the room.

The Stranger Thing issue with GameStop has helped me to turn to other games in an attempt to grow market share for other games faster.

J_Trend said...

all i can think of is either WOTC is hurting as a company and is doing these things to try and stay afloat so we can continue to get good products... or its just rampant capatalist greed trying to soak up as much profit as possible at the detriment to your loyal consumers.

I honestly dont like either scenario. :(

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