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Godlike print copies go fan-funded

January 12th, 2006: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Godlike print copies go fan-funded

Arc Dream Publishing recently announced that it would be following the lead of its co-founder, Dennis Detwiller, by going to the masses for print-run funding. Starting with the Godlike GM Screen, Arc Dream will collect pledges toward making the product available in print form. Fans who pledge for each product will receive a copy for no added charge, and each successfully funded product will be available to retailers. If the necessary cash isn’t raised for a product, Arc Dream may only end up selling them as ebooks.

This raises the question: Is print-run funding the way more game companies will go? It would give the company’s fans a more direct say in what reaches physical bookshelves next, and could save publishers from releasing a flop. This will also test the “downloadable versus print” preferences of Godlike fans, which could be equally interesting. Click below for the press release.

Arc Dream Publishing press release follows:

GODLIKE is now fundable!

Arc Dream Publishing (AKA partners Dennis Detwiller and Shane Ivey) announces a new approach to releasing supplements and accessories for its critically acclaimed roleplaying game GODLIKE: Superhero Roleplaying in a World on Fire, 1936-1946. Printing of Arc Dream’s new GODLIKE projects is available for funding by pledging the purchase price at Fundable.org.

If there are enough pledges to print the product, Arc Dream collects the pledged funds and it goes to press. Every fan who pledged will receive a copy in the mail at no additional charge, and the product will be available to retailers worldwide.

If there aren’t enough pledges, NO pledges are collected and the product does not go to press. However, most new GODLIKE projects will be sold as ebooks through such online retailers as e23 and RPGNow, even if they don’t go to press.

“We’re a small-press game company in a difficult market,” says Arc Dream President Shane Ivey. “Funding the physical production of GODLIKE supplements through pledges allows us to get around the cash crunch facing most small companies in this industry. And it allows us to test a project’s appeal to consumers in a very direct way.”

THE GODLIKE GM SCREEN: FIRST FOR FUNDING

The first GODLIKE accessory available for printing by pledge is the long-awaited GODLIKE Game Moderator’s Screen, a sturdy three-panel screen with stunning art by Sam Araya (Unknown Armies, Wild Talents).

To see the GODLIKE GM Screen, visit its Web page here:
http://www.arcdream.com/godlike/gmscreen

The GODLIKE GM Screen will be available for pledges until February 3, 2006. A pledge is $10, which gets you one copy of the screen AND covers shipping and handling to any country.

Unlike other upcoming GODLIKE projects, however, the GM Screen will not be available as an ebook. So make your pledge today – and make the GODLIKE GM Screen a reality.

Upcoming fundable GODLIKE supplements include a deadly adventure set in the battle for Saipan; an adventure collection featuring British Commonwealth soldiers in the invasion of Normandy; a covert equipment catalog for Talents in the SOE; a full-length campaign set in the Allied landings in North Africa in 1942, and more.

For more information, and to pledge for the GODLIKE GM Screen, please visit www.ArcDream.com.

5 Comments »

5 comments

  1. Chris says:

    The overwhelming view on the Gaming Indutry network is no. John Nephew from Atlas games believes it is for a much smaller tier company than ones his size. I did a little blogging on this very subject a few days back:

    http://gamingfool.blogspot.com/

    Have a glance if you care to….

  2. Krol says:

    Most wargame publishers have been doing this for years. The best example (and possibly the first company to do it, though I’m not sure) is GMT games and their P500 program. They announce a game, allow people to pre-order the game (with the price being usually about 20-25% lower than what it will retail for), and then when it hits 500 orders they charge and it’s off to the printers. If after a while the game never reaches 500 the project is killed off, and no one has lost a single dime.

    Hopefully ArcDream will let people know exactly how many “pledges” need to happen before something becomes a reality.

    -Scott

  3. Chris says:

    Totally Krol. I just think the techology to make this easier is the real story here….

  4. Allan Sugarbaker says:

    True, this has been done in the wargames market quite a bit. But to my knowledge, it wasn’t until a year or so back that we started seeing RPGs going the same route. One might think that RPGs are fading in popularity, just as wargames have been slowly fading, and have begun to reach the point where small companies have no choice but to solicit print-run funding from their fans. I don’t think that can be stated conclusively at this point, but time will tell.

  5. Mike Montesa says:

    Upon hearing this, I too, immediately thought of GMT. For quite some time I have felt the RPG business would possibly go a similar route. RPGs haven’t faded as much as wargames have but as an old cardboard counter puncher as well as role-player, I can easily imagine a time when RPGs are lucky to get 500 orders and enough $ to get them printed for an ever dwindling fan base.

    I’ve been a GMT P500 customer for many years now, and although they are doing well, I don’t see the wargaming aspect of the hobby growing. GMT tried to go a bit more mass market and jump on the “German” games train with a couple titles two or three years ago, and IIRC they tanked. I suspect it was mostly because their heart just wasn’t in it, and hex-and-counter (or these days, area movement) is their thing.

    I don’t think RPGs will disappear, but unless RPGs see some sort of resurgence that recruits a new and growing generation of gamers, I think the market for them will continue to shrink, and the companies that produce them *will* need to look for new and alternative ways to market and sell them.

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