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Made in us
Leader of the Sept






So, its the lifecyle of life, games come in, they sell a bit, then die in the area. There might be a strong presence online, tournaments are filled. But if you mention it in your area you get a "ITs Dead Jim"
has anyone ever seen games bounce back from that? Like at all? Like stores stopped carrything, clearenced all their stock, then BOOM a new edition is released, new army, and then it makes a comeback?
There are some games like this in my area. Mostly Dropzone and WM/H. there are several stores in my area. 4 withing driving distance, none carry dropzone, one carries WM/H and all that is old mk1-2 stock.
Has anyone ever seen a game bounce back from this in their area? OR is once a game is dead, should you move on.
BTW, I am mostly Defining Dead as no longer carried in the area and impossible to do PUG..

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Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

Yes all the time, however it typically takes at least one person with a lot of dedication and drive and charisma as well as some money - this ignores outside influences like the parent company.

Eg if the parent company dies that's a bit nail in the coffin and makes it a LOT LOT harder. However equally the parent company having a big sale or big community drive or just releasing more models or a new rules edition etc.. can help spark things along.


Now as for the local scene it takes someone dedicated. Someone who is going to find somewhere to game, setup games, organise them, run them week after week. It also typically takes some skill as getting new people in helps if you've got at least two well painted beginner armies and a good looking table. After that its a case of getting the word out - advertising advertising and recruiting new gamers as well as tempting others back.

If they can get some fans together they might get the local store involved, show them there's a market, encourage them to at least take mail order if not stock the game etc...

Sometimes its going to work; sometimes it might take ages, other times it might work really well.



The big key is having somewhere to game; regular events; lots of energy and drive; good models and table; and often as not a lot of advertising.

Show them the game is fun; show them it can look great; show them its alive; show them that you're reliable and dedicated; show them that there's something social and good to get involved with etc...

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Made in us
Ultramarine Chaplain with Hate to Spare





Upstate, New York

Not quite that level of dead, but we used to do this with some CCGs. And it might fit your definition of dead, depending on stock and the level of old clutter in the bottom of game bags.

There was a core group of us regulars at the FLGS. While MtG was always going on, we sort of rotated alternate games. Jyhad, Shadowfist, L5R, Doomtown, others. There might have been some dusty stock on the shelf, but we broke out out old cards and played. Now as the regulars, there were a number of people who wanted to join in, so they’d pick up some cards, the FLGS would get some more boxes in, it would take off again. Now when the Min/max, WAAC crowd started to learn how to break the game, it became less fun, so we’d shift to something else. Eventually the old WAAC crowd mellowed, some new ones started up, and the cycle continued.

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Armpit of NY

Based on my personal experiences, comebacks are a rarity. It's been mentioned needing a very dedicated person is key; that may be even more of a rarity.

I fear for the future of the local game store. With market conditions like they are, more and more saturation, trying anything else has gotten to be too big a gamble for the little guys. Pretty much all the stores within a couple of
hours of me have become totally homogenized - the miniatures section rarely has anything but GW and Star Wars in stock.

It's a self-fulfilling cycle - we don't stock anything new, therefore, nothing has a chance to grow. Meanwhile, the store owner will tell you he can't take any risks; mistakes are too easy and costly to make these days. So the stores are increasingly filled with 40K and Star Wars :(
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut






Baltimore, MD

Eh, i think it's been that way for a while. Five years ago, it was literaly "nothing by GW and Warmahordes." Five years before that it was, well, basically still usually GW and Warmahordes.

Maybe I'm forgetting games, but I really haven't seen a time when there was a robust set of games played past GW at most stores. I've seen a few come and go (FOW had a moment, Malifaux has adherents, and now guildball is bulding up steam), but the closest to a long term #2 the hobby has seen is probably Privateer Press, and they imploded. If anything, I look at the continued popularity of the FFG star wars games as a good thing.

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[MOD]
Villanous Scum






 Overread wrote:
Yes all the time, however it typically takes at least one person with a lot of dedication and drive and charisma as well as some money - this ignores outside influences like the parent company.

Eg if the parent company dies that's a bit nail in the coffin and makes it a LOT LOT harder. However equally the parent company having a big sale or big community drive or just releasing more models or a new rules edition etc.. can help spark things along.


Now as for the local scene it takes someone dedicated. Someone who is going to find somewhere to game, setup games, organise them, run them week after week. It also typically takes some skill as getting new people in helps if you've got at least two well painted beginner armies and a good looking table. After that its a case of getting the word out - advertising advertising and recruiting new gamers as well as tempting others back.

If they can get some fans together they might get the local store involved, show them there's a market, encourage them to at least take mail order if not stock the game etc...

Sometimes its going to work; sometimes it might take ages, other times it might work really well.



The big key is having somewhere to game; regular events; lots of energy and drive; good models and table; and often as not a lot of advertising.

Show them the game is fun; show them it can look great; show them its alive; show them that you're reliable and dedicated; show them that there's something social and good to get involved with etc...


This, I have resurrected Babylon 5 A Call to Arms in a small way locally by blagging people to play. As was noted it helps that I have all the stuff for it and it took a while but I am now getting in games regularly, both in person and on Vassal, and ACTA died many years ago and is no longer supported by any company.

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Made in fi
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Yes. Games living or dying depends on players. Players can revive the game just as they made it live locally in the first place. Obviously not going to be easy but there's for example small revival of LOTR here locally.

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Lit By the Flames of Prospero





land of 10k taxes

Nope, sell it all off.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka






At our club, Games Workshop games did that over the last couple of years. We're also seeing some tiny green shoots of new Warmachine growth after a drought for several years.

Of course, as a club we're not constrained by what a shop chooses to stock, so the revivals are driven by people bringing old models out of storage again, not by buying new ones.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

Another point I forgot to mention - club size.

Smaller clubs are typically going to support fewer games than big ones at the same time. This doesn't mean you won't get variety, its just that at a smaller club the number of potential people to play is far fewer, so they tend to end up playing quite similar games at around the same time. Of course small groups can also be easier to lead into new games or changes because you've a smaller pool of people to influence.


Bigger clubs have far more chance for supporting multiple games at once, which is why in my earlier post advertising and getting the word out was so critically important. Spreading awareness and recruiting new people and getting local gamers involved etc... - growing the community strengthens it and gives it a more robust diversity to support more games.

A club of 6 or so people is probably all going to play the same game or only one or two at around the same time. A club of 30 could easily be running five or more different games all at the same time with each niche of players getting varied games in.

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Killer Klaivex







The only one which leaps to mind is the GW Lord of the Rings series. A few enterprising gentlemen went above and beyond in promoting it and setting up the Great British Hobbit League, which resulted in a reasonably sized independent fan-driven resurgence around the UK despite complete neglect by the owner company.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/18 10:11:42



 
   
Made in gb
Council of 13 Runner Up






I guess the local FLGS owners play an important role in it.

If their bottom line is fine and dandy without Game X? Do they need to take the risk of stocking it? This I imagine would at least partially depend upon available shelf space, and how the other lines they carry are doing.

In the meantime, as a game starts to build up steam? There's a risk they'll lose sales to online sellers, who have lesser stock restraints. If the head of steam proves to be more a puff of smoke which soon peters out, by the time they've arranged a restock (they may not have a reliable supplier, or the cash on hand to simply drop on the investment), they could be left with Dust Magnets.

It's a tricky one.

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London, UK

Flames of War died a hard death at my local (back in Ireland), everyone just stopped playing just as I was thinking about getting into it and that was that, didn't get to play the game.

Warhammer 40k has also gone the same way with people favouring pen and paper RPGs like DnD and Pathfinder. There are a few people getting into the game again, but they're mostly beginners.

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MN

It can happen but it is rare.

Typically, a store owner will get one stock of game, see how it goes and never refill as it doesn't sell that well.

However, most small LGS do not even bother taking the risk int he first place.

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God-like Imperator Titan Commander




Halifax

Probably more likely where gaming is centered around a club rather than a retailer.
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran





I have been around long enough to have seen lots of things. Sometimes a game will dry up in a store or on a side of town only to start up again later. Other times a game will die entirely in a state or larger region and be reborn.

I know we are talking minis here, but DnD was all but dead a while ago. Pathfinder stole its lunch. Then there was a new edition and DnD is huge again.

In general it is the big name games that stand the most chance of coming back. As most other games are discontinued before they can make a comeback. However, with the advent of ebay and the internet people have resurected old games. Again a non-mini example, but closer, I see alot more people playing old Avalon Hill games these days.

Sometimes a game is discovered by newblood or younglings. These new groups can be tight knit, dedicated (remember when you were young and everything was new) and keep things going.

I will echo what others have said, it takes a dedicated group.

You mentioned pick up games. Things here are in a very sad state. It is difficult to get pick up games for almost anything. Everyone here uses the net to schedule games. It is heresy, and reminds me of parents who schedule playdates for their kids. To me organization is the antithesis of play and creativity.
   
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Winged Kroot Vulture





Yes, it's possible...but is it worth the wait?

Some games will have amazing rebound capabilities and make it easier for them to wax and wane.

While others, once they are dead and unsupported in your community, that's it. It might take some effort to bring a community back but it would require people to reinvest.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka






 spaceelf wrote:

You mentioned pick up games. Things here are in a very sad state. It is difficult to get pick up games for almost anything. Everyone here uses the net to schedule games. It is heresy, and reminds me of parents who schedule playdates for their kids. To me organization is the antithesis of play and creativity.


That's the complete opposite to me. I don't think I've ever turned up to a club night without previously having arranged a game. I find it increases the creativity, because with some planning, I'm not wasting time working out an army list and scenario on the fly, or having to settle for whatever passes for "standard" at any given venue.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut







People, even gamers, can be a fickle and flightly pack of things. If a core group of people get together, they can get a game started in an area or bring a game back to an area. But beyond a certain point, it's a popularity contest that doesn't matter to some people.

There's a bunch of guys who host an annual Bolt Action event in the area. They set everything up, provide all of the figures, and just provide the opportunity for everyone else to join in. That's their fill and then they work on their next game.

Disclaimer: I have 40k models that are almost twenty five years old. I've left those figures on the shelves sometimes for years at a time due to various reasons. Figures for other games have gone through similar cycles. Not everything comes back, or should come back, but if you've got a big enough collection you can do what you want.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

I think one big bonus today is that whilst a local game store certainly has a dramatic impact on the local scene; the internet is not the scary place to buy stuff that it once was. So even if there's no local stock many gamers are open to making purchases online.

So a dead game can still be supported provided there's the local interest.


I think one big key when restarting or starting a new local game is if the person/people looking to start it have at least two or more different armies/forces to display painted up. I think that makes a huge difference to drawing people in because then you can easily run demo games with new people. It also shows some of the diversity within the game, pair it with a good solid board and terrain etc.... and a good understanding of the rules and I think it can all go a long way to get ting people on board.

Heck its basically the minimum kit that PP Press Gangers were required to have - two starter forces etc...

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Awesome Autarch






Assuming you'll be able to find a pick-up game for any system is generally a bad idea. Short of 40K (and even that comes and goes) and the top card games...it's just not a thing anymore. Unless a store has a dedicated day or night listed and you see a decent flow of people, it's just not likely. That being said, why worry about pick-up games?

A game system never dies as long as two people play it. You won't find organized dates or tournaments for 99% of the miniatures games out there. If tournament/competition gaming are your interest, then you're in trouble - as you've chosen to more or less play a very narrow sliver of whatever game you enjoy. There are hundreds and hundreds of good miniatures games out there, and most of them are not designed or built with competition/tournaments in mind. They're just wargames.

If you like a game, the best bet is to hop on Facebook or download that Game4 app and see if you can find 2-3 likeminded individuals in your area to play it.

I design table top miniature games as a hobby, and most of mine are unpublished. Doesn't stop me and my buddies from playing them, but there sure isn't a "thriving community" of people playing either game. Just the ten people in my local gaming group.

So in short, if one other person (that you can stand) in your area plays the game...it's not dead. But if your expectation for any game is to get to 40K levels (particularly when an edition is new) that's unrealistic. Almost no games get to that level. That, itself, is actually one of 40K's largest selling points.

 
   
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Scarred Ultramarine Tyrannic War Veteran






It's dependent one why the game 'died' off.

Was support for it discontinued by the creator or did the creator go out of business?
In this case, the game is done for good and doesn't stand a chance of coming back unless another company buys the IP and reinvigorates the game.

Was is that the local players simply shifted focus to something else?
In this case, the game shifted away from will most definitely make a comeback. It's just a matter of time. Assuming that in that time frame the game creator does not discontinue the game and did not go out of business.

   
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Longtime Dakkanaut





 hotsauceman1 wrote:
So, its the lifecyle of life, games come in, they sell a bit, then die in the area. There might be a strong presence online, tournaments are filled. But if you mention it in your area you get a "ITs Dead Jim"
has anyone ever seen games bounce back from that? Like at all? Like stores stopped carrything, clearenced all their stock, then BOOM a new edition is released, new army, and then it makes a comeback?
There are some games like this in my area. Mostly Dropzone and WM/H. there are several stores in my area. 4 withing driving distance, none carry dropzone, one carries WM/H and all that is old mk1-2 stock.
Has anyone ever seen a game bounce back from this in their area? OR is once a game is dead, should you move on.
BTW, I am mostly Defining Dead as no longer carried in the area and impossible to do PUG..


Been there, done that. I spent a lot of my free time in the last year promoting several games and some of them were past editions of present games. My experience: With the exception of BB, my audience was not inclined to play past or niche games. They claim either that they have no money to invest in a new game or no time to wrap their head around an old ruleset. Even Rumbleslam, a game which you only need a single mini to play with, was too expensive to them Oh man, I am glad that I have decided to not waste my precious time anymore in such a fruitless endeavour.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/19 21:38:40


 
   
Made in us
Leader of the Sept






This was mostly about whether I should sell some armies from other games TBH to get some stuff cleaned out. I have been holding out hoping they will come back, but I dont think they will

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[DCM]
Decrepit Dakkanaut




UK

If they're a game (or figures) you love, or a game you think you (as opposed to somebody else) might try and reintroduce hold on to them

(or if you've put a load of effort into painting/converting as you may well regret loosing them)

but

if they're just 'gaming tokens' with taletop paint (or none) and you've no interest in trying to revive the game (or any game) yourself you might as well let them go if you need the space

(the money is probably not going to be great for game your going to have to sell online as the local scene is dead)

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/20 15:20:18


 
   
Made in us
Awesome Autarch






Gotta agree with Orlando. If you're just holding an army thinking a "scene" will return...don't bother. If you actually like the minis and can think of a way to use them - then keep them.

 
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka




UK

In general buying back into any game nearly always costs more the second time around. So yeah I'd also advocate holding onto as much of it as you can unless space/money are super tight.

Also it can be good to hold onto anything simple for which you've got enough to hold a full game of. Got two armies for a modest game then hold into them because you might get someone local interested one day and you can at least have a game with them where they use one of your armies. Might not restart the game without more effort; but can let you get a game now and then.

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Anti-Armour Swiss Guard






Newcastle, OZ

Epic 40k had a resurgence at my club (and this was before GW were even thinking of resurrecting titanicus). Mostly because of the number and variety of other people doing SF6mm these days.

And the relatively high takeup of 3d printing amongst that community probably didn't hurt.

Same for BFG.

Prior to that, we have a 2nd ed 40k tourney every year. Sure, it's not a huge event, but it gets people to use their older stuff when the models had less detail but more "character".

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I'm from the future. The future of space

I would suggest that people end their dependence on local store scenes and other people's preferences and just collect two forces, suitable terrain and host games. Run them at nearby conventions and clubs.

Just imagine if board game players bought only half of each board game and hoped someone at the shop bought the other half.

If your rules of choice are sufficiently simple and the play space sufficiently modest, you can even be the guy who runs miniature games at local board game clubs if there's not a wargaming club around.

The down side to this is that if a game is complicated and requires that someone really knows the ins and outs of it to really enjoy it beyond a shallow introductory level, then it can be unsuitable for the hosting approach. For example, WM/H is pretty much no longer played in stores or at clubs around here, but if I hosted a game, it would almost certainly end with me assassinating the new person's warcaster. I'd have to do some sort of adjusted game for new players as the game really punishes unfamiliarity.

I'd definitely pick something like Bolt Action over WM/H for a game that still functions when a participant is a bit unfamiliar.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2019/06/21 13:23:24


Balance in pick up games? Two people, each with their own goals for the game, design half a board game on their own without knowing the layout of the board and hope it all works out. Good luck with that. The faster you can find like minded individuals who want the same things from the game as you, the better. 
   
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God-like Imperator Titan Commander




Halifax

Might also depend on whether the game continues to be played and bought in other areas.
   
 
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