Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


An Open Letter to Marcus King

Dear Marcus,

I awoke this morning to see Green Ronin called out on the front page
of ICv2 as part of your commentary on PDF pricing,(
http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/14705.html ). Spurred by the Wizards
of the Coast sudden decision to discontinue all PDF sales of their
products, Green Ronin announced we were putting ONE product (our
True20 Core Book) on sale for $9.99. You ask "...would you also like
to drop the MSRP of your True20 core book to $9.99 -- so that your
distribution and retail partners can continue to support that title,
and your line?"

The answer to that question, sir, is NO. First of all, the retail
price of the True20 PDF is $17.95 while the retail price of True20
Adventure Roleplaying in printed format is $29.95. If we put the book
on sale for $9.99 we would lose money on every book sold. If my
distribution and retail partners need me to lose money on every book
in order to "continue to support that title" that's the kind of
"support" I can't afford. Secondly, this is a temporary sale in
response to ongoing events and changes in the marketplace. If you are
concerned that a $9.99 PDF if the rules is going to seriously undercut
your business as your price-conscious customers flock to buy electrons
during the sale, I would point to the True20 Pocket Player's Guide
which we've had available for sale since December 2006, at a retail
price of $14.95, put out to appeal to those very same price-conscious
consumers. I will also point out that Green Ronin has, and will
continue to, offer sales and special incentives to the hobby tier and
I know for a fact that you and your store have benefited from those
because I personally helped you move stacks of books to your GenCon
booth in advance of our industry-wide sale on our d20-logo products.

So, when I read "...I am insulted that my friends, my business
"partners" or "publishing suppliers" value another sales channel so
much that they would make a special effort to support that channel
over the one I have worked in for 20+ years, and hope to work in for
another 20" I will tell you that I match your insult. I am insulted
that you feel a sale in response to a marketplace occurrence entitles
you to some sort of cut, somewhere, regardless. You characterize our
sale as valuing another sales channel but that is not at all true. To
use an analogy, if you have a sale on your HD DVDs and a customer
complains that they "deserve" a discount on the BluRay DVDs, do they
get one? Are you valuing your HD customers over your BlueRay
customers, or are you responding to the conditions of the marketplace
(in which BluRay sales substantially outstrip HD sales)?

As Green Ronin's General Manager I reserve the right to set the price
of our products as we see fit and to engage in marketing and promotion
for my company and our products. I don't attempt to micromanage our
relationships with our distribution and retail partners and I would
appreciate the same respect.

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Green Ronin Podcast

I spent last Thursday chit-chatting with fellow Ronins Pramas and Sass for a new Green Ronin Podcast. Tune in to hear us discuss recent staff changes, game design versus game development, Supervillain's Handbook, the proper pronunciation of Leitheusser, True20 Freeport: The Lost Island, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, Flying Spaghetti Monster, Doctor Who, Mutants & Masterminds Second Edition's fifth printing, Freedom's Most Wanted, Wild Cards, the Green Ronin Online Store, the Green Ronin Character Record Folio, Family Games: The 100 Best, and Walk the Plank (plus shout-outs to some Friends of Green Ronin and their current and upcoming projects).

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Summit: the end


We took it fairly "easy" today but even so I'm tired and the guys all had that glazed look by the time we finished dinner, too.

Started late today, a nice lunch at Etta's Seafood for the guys as they'd wanted to do a little roaming Pike Place market and the weather wasn't crappy as it had been all weekend. After lunch we got started on some play-evaluations of games that we're considering for the 2008 schedule. We tried to fit a podcast in but got into a deep rules-crunch discussion that ran out the clock on the summit and followed us all the way to dinner to boot.

After a fine dinner at Judy Fu's Snappy Dragon, full of handmade noodles, dumplings, salted and peppered items, chicken, and crispy eggplant we called it a night and officially ended 2007's summit. Aside from taking Rob and Bill to the airport tomorrow, my summit duties are officially discharged.

It was an emotionally draining summit for some reasons, exciting for others. Green Ronin is going to look a bit different in 2008 than we anticipated and some of the things on the agenda were not decided on in the way I would have predicted.

My in-laws are in town starting Wednesday night. I'm sure this will mean more eating out, if nothing else. Maybe I'll remember to take photos this time!

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GR Summit Official Day Two

Today was a pretty good day all around. Food-wise, things were definitely much better, and knowing the food situation was taken care of allowed me to feel more relaxed about things. Gotta make sure my people are fed. If nothing else, people who work for me won't go hungry.

We started the day with brunch at Serafina. I'd stopped in on Friday to make sure they could accommodate our large group and we had a wonderful time. The waitstaff was incredibly attentive and helpful, giving great suggestions and bringing the dessert menu around so we could add some pastries to our brunch selections. The food was really excellent, the live jazz a nice touch. I don't get over to Serafina very often but I'd definitely give it a great recommendation. Evan lamented that he didn't eat there back in the days when the Games & Gizmos offices were mere blocks away.

We had a ton of things to cover and I feel really positive about the schedule and the projects we have in development through 2008. We have some rather substantial changes in our future, which can be a little unsettling but we have a lot of exciting opportunities as well. I set out some crackers and some of the noshes we didn't polish off yesterday but largely people were satisfied until we broke for the evening. Dinner was pizza and salads from Tutta Bella, which has become my favorite pizza place in very short order. We tried five different types of their standard pizzas and they were all fabulous. It's probably a good thing Tutta Bella isn't closer to the house or they'd know me on sight.

I had to drive up to get Kate from her dad tonight, too, so most of the guys stayed around the house and played Ticket to Ride until I got back. After my return I served up the Guinness cake and ice cream, which went over really well. My cake was a little lumpy and should have been stirred more but I had been nervous about over mixing and over compensated, but overall it was still as good as we remembered. Mmmm.

Tomorrow is more of a half day for us; we're evaluating new game designs and game proposals tomorrow afternoon. Fun!

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