I just read an article over at How Not To Run A Game Business in which the author, Fugaros talks with John from Merlyn’s, the game store in my hometown. In a few months, I’ll be returning to my hometown, and will become a regular customer at Merlyn’s again. I’m very excited.
In the article, he talks about how there needs to be more introductory box sets for games, and says that there are only two in the store: the Pathfinder Beginner Box and the Dr. Who RPG. I can think of one more, the One Ring RPG, but that’s not the point I want to make today.
You often see things online sold as a bundle. On Amazon, you are often given the option of bundling the product you’re buying with another product at a small discount. Why can’t game stores do the same?
Say someone comes in and wants to try out RPGs. They aren’t really into fantasy, but like things like Indiana Jones and Barsoom. The game store owner hands them the Savage Worlds RPG bundle, which includes the Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition, a set of dice, some character sheets and cutouts of templates, all for $20. You’re ready to go! Head out the door with your new hobby!
Or, if they want to play 4e, give them a bundle of the Heroes of the Fallen Lands, The Rules Compendium, Dungeon Master’s Kit and Monster Vault, along with a set of dice, for, say, $60. You’d be offering this all together at less than you’d sell the products individually for, but it would provide the perfect starter, and would encourage the person to come back for more. Hell, when you sell it, you could give them a coupon for 20% off their next D&D purchase at the store, to encourage them to come back for more stuff.
“This is all well and good,” you say (since you apparently speak like someone in the 50’s), “but these bundles don’t teach you how to play like the Pathfinder Beginner Box does.” True enough. What if a game store offered a $5 “Learn to Play D&D” or “Learn to Play Savage Worlds” seminar? Three hours, for anyone who wants to show. They can sit down and learn how to play this new game they’ve gotten. A few weeks later, offer an Advanced class, that would delve deeper into how to play, offering expert D&D advice and the like. I think people would swarm to it.
Those are my ideas. Do you think they hold any weight? If you were a new player, would this interest you?
John, if you’re reading this, I’d be more than happy to run some seminars for you when I come back to Spokane in June.