How's it selling?

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supergyro
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How's it selling?

#1 Postby supergyro » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:54 pm

Savage Rifts has been out for a bit now... how's it selling?

Are the sales numbers high enough that we can look forward to some pretty extensive next steps (like an entire book devoted to Europe?)

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Re: How's it selling?

#2 Postby Ndreare » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:24 pm

Their are rumors about that there is another KS being worked on now. Details will not be released until the products are finished.
Pinnacle has a very good practice of not starting Kickstarters until they are ready.

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Re: How's it selling?

#3 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:48 pm

There are Kickstarter rumors? Did you just start those?

PEG has said they're doing more books for the line. That's all they've said, with firmness. So, they'll tell us when they won't feel guilty about taking our money.
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Re: How's it selling?

#4 Postby supergyro » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:57 pm

But does anyone know how the sales numbers have been?

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Re: How's it selling?

#5 Postby blackwingedheaven » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:40 am

supergyro wrote:But does anyone know how the sales numbers have been?


Given that the Kickstarter raised half a million dollars, the post-KS sales are almost irrelevant to determining how well the line is doing.
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Re: How's it selling?

#6 Postby Ndreare » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:50 am

ValhallaGH wrote:There are Kickstarter rumors? Did you just start those?

PEG has said they're doing more books for the line. That's all they've said, with firmness. So, they'll tell us when they won't feel guilty about taking our money.


The source of the rumors that they are working on more is from SPF's Patreon March 23rd update. No details that could get anyone in trouble, but perhaps jumping in and supporting would gain access to his current work load.

I am not a developer, but I would not be supposed if in a year we start getting either more products for sale or another Kickstarter.

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Re: How's it selling?

#7 Postby supergyro » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:05 am

blackwingedheaven wrote:
supergyro wrote:But does anyone know how the sales numbers have been?


Given that the Kickstarter raised half a million dollars, the post-KS sales are almost irrelevant to determining how well the line is doing.


I don't see how that is true. isn't kickstarter supposed to be development money? That kickstarter money is what has brought us the current crop of savage rifts products..

But if no one is buying them once developed, that would limit future activities, or cause shifting to higher selling lines.

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Re: How's it selling?

#8 Postby Gordon » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:11 am

Kickstarter is also a very effective marketing tool.

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Re: How's it selling?

#9 Postby Radecliffe » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:31 am

I would agree that sales post Kickstarter aren't completely irrelevant. However, when your Kickstarter takes in nearly 55 times more than you asked for that's a pretty huge incentive to do more development on that line. I'd also argue that a Kickstarter is often just a way to put the cart before the horse in that it's a way to generate pre-paid, pre-sales for a product you haven't made yet.

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Re: How's it selling?

#10 Postby ValhallaGH » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:33 am

Generally, if you want this kind of information, you're better off posting in the Hey Pinnacle section of the forum.
supergyro wrote:isn't kickstarter supposed to be development money?

Not the way PEG uses it.
The reason books can be released (in pdf) as soon as the KS ends is because they already did the development. The money is being raised to print physical books, and finance various stretch goals.
SR was a bit slowed because the stretch goals included doubling the length of the player's guide with various extra materials (gear, d-bees, etc.), but that same basic model applied.
PEG has said all of this over the last several years and their various Kickstarter projects.

I won't speculate on PEG's success-level, business model, or revenue streams.

As for supporting they line, they are.
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Re: How's it selling?

#11 Postby supergyro » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:56 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:Not the way PEG uses it.
The reason books can be released (in pdf) as soon as the KS ends is because they already did the development. The money is being raised to print physical books, and finance various stretch goals.



These are development expenses, as I said. If you're going to parse the difference between 'development' and 'production'.. I guess they are production expenses too.

ValhallaGH wrote:I won't speculate on PEG's success-level, business model, or revenue streams.


Given how my original question is asking about exactly that, I don't see why one jumps in to answer the question with a refusal to speculate on the answer.

"There are more books in the works" says almost nothing beyond 'the line has not been discontinued', which is nice, but if the sales numbers were really good, then it's pretty certain we'll see more and bigger books. If the sales numbers are low or modest, future entries may similarly be low or modest (Binding the existing published adventures with one or two new ones into one volume would technically be a "new book"...).

On a more meta-point, why have any hesitation to 'speculate on their revenue'? We talk about movie ticket sales in hard numbers, as we do on sales of fiction novels or computer games, Why can I talk whether Marvel's new movie had a 100 million dollar weekend yet get bizarre refusal to speculate on the sales numbers of an rpg book?

That aspect of gaming culture always confused me... people will talk about a game being a success or a failure, a hit or a bust, they'll talk about everything... except number of copies sold. Coincidentally, Kevin Simebeida was the king of this, a decade plus of describing every new Palladium book as a 'hit' or 'mega-hit'... and then all of a sudden announcing the company was near bankrupt. It turns out judgements sans context of sales numbers are meaningless.

Savage Rifts just had its proverbial 'opening weekend'.. I'm curious as to its proverbial box office take, aren't you?

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Re: How's it selling?

#12 Postby Ndreare » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:20 pm

I agree it is something i would love to know also.
But to be fair most RPG companies are privately​ owned so they are not obligated to disclose hard figures.
I find this is true with most small business' in general.

Honestly, I think most RPG writers are working for love rather than pay checks. In that case I would speculate even a modest profit anything to effectivity $20 per man hour would be considered a huge success. Because it allows the creators to continue working on stuff they love even if they could be making a stable wage of the same amount, but with retirement benefits in the general labor force.

However a few like Evil Hat have shared this information and in their models a lot of the expenses go to shipping of all things.

Perhaps Jodi and Clint Black will share information. But I would be surprised if they do choose to share that information.

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Re: How's it selling?

#13 Postby ValhallaGH » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:22 pm

supergyro wrote:These are development expenses, as I said.

Generally when people talk of "development expenses" in RPGs they're speaking of the expenses to actually develop the product. Design, editing, art, layout, etc. Printing costs are generally a separate thing entirely.
Nothing in your posts implied that your usage differed from the norm.

supergyro wrote:"There are more books in the works" says almost nothing beyond 'the line has not been discontinued',

Literally all I've seen reported is "More books are in the works."
Anything else is baseless and wild speculation. There's enough of that crap in the rest of the world, ruining things I love and poisoning opinions before facts are known. I refuse to perpetuate that evil.

supergyro wrote:people will talk about a game being a success or a failure, a hit or a bust, they'll talk about everything... except number of copies sold.

That's not how distributors talk about books. They don't talk about number of volumes, they talk about revenues. A $100 book sells one copy and a $10 book sells nine copies. To the distributors, who report sales numbers, the book that sold one copy has better sales numbers.

Due to the complex, arcane, and middle-man focused nature of book sales, there is a real difficulty in getting hard numbers of volumes sold. And without real numbers, everyone is just pissing in the wind.

supergyro wrote:Savage Rifts just had its proverbial 'opening weekend'

You mean the last four months? I envy you your "weekends". Though I may not envy your "work weeks" if they're proportional.
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Re: How's it selling?

#14 Postby Ndreare » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:49 pm

Deleted:
Because after thinking on it, this comment was counter productive and could be considered a personal attack.

I am sorry ValhallaGH, if my challenge offended you.
Last edited by Ndreare on Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How's it selling?

#15 Postby ValhallaGH » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:57 am

It's how I talk, write, and otherwise communicate.
There are some additional reasons (rage, training, pain, aging) that probably have an influence, but mostly it's just how I learned to communicate.

I'm not sure how it comes across as aggressive (I have my own ideas about why someone might think that, but I'm not a mind reader so I may be off-base).
I strive to keep my posts conversational and as on-topic as my tangent-enjoying brain allows. I also strive for fact-based accuracy, a standard I hold others to. I admit I'm not always successful with those efforts, but those are my goals.
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Re: How's it selling?

#16 Postby Mad Paladin » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:49 am

ValhallaGH wrote:Due to the complex, arcane, and middle-man focused nature of book sales, there is a real difficulty in getting hard numbers of volumes sold.


And it gets even weirder if you look at advances and royalties in traditional publishing, too. And don't forget the divide between physical and digital distribution, and different expenses for each.

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Re: How's it selling?

#17 Postby supergyro » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:29 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:
I'm not sure how it comes across as aggressive.


Well, let's see..

For starters there's a general willful mis-understanding problem.. like when I described this period as a.. let me directly quote myself "proverbial opening weekend" (A reasonable reader would see the word 'proverbial' and understand it to mean 'initial period' as it's hard to really nail down the 'literal' opening weekend since PDF's were on sale months ago, but hard copies only just became available, and books don't sell at the same rate as movies with anywhere near the same "starting gun' sort of sales that movie tickets do..

And a reader in good faith would see that and see that I used the word 'proverbial' as a catch-all for those concepts...

But no.. evidently the response suggests you thought I was *literally* asking about the 'opening weekend'..

There's also the self-contradictory 'know it all' response.. like follows.. and this is a good lesson.

ValhallaGH wrote:That's not how distributors talk about books.


Distributors don't talk about numbers of books? Hmm. Let me add some emphasis to your next sentence..

ValhallaGH wrote:" they talk about revenues. A $100 book sells *one* copy and a $10 book sells *nine* copies."



Tell me exactly how is a book seller supposed to determine their 'revenues' when they simply 'don't talk about' numbers of book sold?

Not even you managed to be able to talk about 'revenue' without talking about number of books sold (I highlighted it for you since you seemed not to notice it).

So please re-write your 'example'... do tell, how do distributors determine their revenue (and also production runs, shipping costs, etc..) when they simply 'don't talk' about numbers of books?

I'm fascinated at your discussion of the publishing industry....

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Re: How's it selling?

#18 Postby ValhallaGH » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:26 pm

supergyro wrote:For starters there's a general willful mis-understanding problem.. like when I described this period as a.. let me directly quote myself "proverbial opening weekend" (A reasonable reader would see the word 'proverbial' and understand it to mean 'initial period' as it's hard to really nail down the 'literal' opening weekend since PDF's were on sale months ago, but hard copies only just became available, and books don't sell at the same rate as movies with anywhere near the same "starting gun' sort of sales that movie tickets do..

And a reader in good faith would see that and see that I used the word 'proverbial' as a catch-all for those concepts...

But no.. evidently the response suggests you thought I was *literally* asking about the 'opening weekend'..

You seriously consider more than a fiscal quarter to be an "opening weekend"?
I am genuinely boggled by that.
I can understand comparing a month of RPG sales to a film's opening weekend. Going longer than that is stretching the metaphor all out of shape, but I could let it slide for a fiscal quarter.
At a third of a year, I have to make a joke. Can't avoid it.

If being the target of humor offends you then I am sadder.

supergyro wrote:There's also the self-contradictory 'know it all' response.. like follows.. and this is a good lesson.

ValhallaGH wrote:That's not how distributors talk about books.


Distributors don't talk about numbers of books? Hmm. Let me add some emphasis to your next sentence..

ValhallaGH wrote:" they talk about revenues. A $100 book sells *one* copy and a $10 book sells *nine* copies."

Tell me exactly how is a book seller supposed to determine their 'revenues' when they simply 'don't talk about' numbers of book sold?

Not even you managed to be able to talk about 'revenue' without talking about number of books sold (I highlighted it for you since you seemed not to notice it).

So please re-write your 'example'... do tell, how do distributors determine their revenue (and also production runs, shipping costs, etc..) when they simply 'don't talk' about numbers of books?

I'm fascinated at your discussion of the publishing industry....

This is written as a combination of wilful misunderstanding and trolling that I won't respond to.
If you'd like to rewrite this portion in a more communicative and conversational format, one that restores context to my quotes, then I'd be happy to talk about it with you.
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Re: How's it selling?

#19 Postby supergyro » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:52 pm

I'm wondering how seriously I should take someone who's so amazingly literal and emphatic as to how long a "proverbial 'opening weekend'" should or should not be.....

<scratches head>

It seems to me to all be an excuse to chime in on the subject of sales without any knowledge of what the sales actually *are*.

By my count, there were about 246 people who saw this post, and said to themselves 'I don't know how many books sold so I wont chime in'...

If only there had been 247...

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Re: How's it selling?

#20 Postby Brickulos » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:17 pm

supergyro wrote:I'm wondering how seriously I should take someone who's so amazingly literal and emphatic as to how long a "proverbial 'opening weekend'" should or should not be.....

<scratches head>

It seems to me to all be an excuse to chime in on the subject of sales without any knowledge of what the sales actually *are*.

By my count, there were about 246 people who saw this post, and said to themselves 'I don't know how many books sold so I wont chime in'...

If only there had been 247...


Chill man. You don't like his input. Just ignore it. You're not being a model of civility either.


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