Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Discussion: The Economy's Effect on RPG Purchases

Another Friday in the blogosphere so quiet, I can hear a virtual pin drop. But I'm here, you're here, and by gum, that calls for some conversation.

We're moving one town over this weekend, so I'm going to be all over the place, but I didn't want to get the pregame show to the weekend started with a little back-and forth:

Question: With all the economic worries worldwide and in the U.S. right now, has your gaming budget been affected (purchasing less, being more conservative with your choices, etc.)? Are you buying more or less RPG-related material than last year? Have you seen any change at your local gaming store or in your online communities?

Comment below, and, as usual, one commenter gets a free pdf copy of Introduction to Irrin (I promise I'll change up the freebie soon, but I've got to be frugal myself, you know).

17 comments:

DNAphil said...

I would say that I have been a bit more cautious about my purchases. I am buying more PDF's than Print versions of books, especially for supplements, and for games I am not running.

But my Gaming purchases have been on a decline for the past few years, as I realize that I do not have the time to read and run every game that catches my eye.

So before, I buy something, I do a little reality check, and decide if this is something I need, or something that would be entertaining to read, and do I need to get it right now. If I don't have a good reason to get it, I typically hold off for a week or two.

Geek Gazette said...

I'm much more selective about my purchases. I've also decided to pick a few favorite systems and only buy products for them. Which means no new systems for a while, no matter how great they may be. Plus I've started using half.com, and ebay a lot more if I'm looking for books. I haven't made the trek to the closest game store, about an hour away, for several months. If I can't find the book I want on half.com, amazon, or ebay I start looking for the pdf.
Still over all my purchases have been cut waaaaay down. I use to buy up to 4 books per month and now I am down to maybe 1 book every couple of months. Even with that I am searching out more deals and not buying at full price.

Joseph said...

Absolutely.

Not only are my purchases of new RPG and wargaming items way down, but I'm also foregoing a major purchase I had intended (Viking and Anglo-Saxon armies so I could play "Field of Glory"), as well as passing on GenCon this year.

I'm sticking with huge bargains on the after-market and only a couple of absolutely-must-haves in the new stuff (Pied Piper's Castle Greyhawk levels, for one) this year.

Viriatha said...

It's an interesting discussion and has sparked discussions elsewhere, too.

http://www.bardofvaliant.com/2009/02/how-much-would-you-pay/

Vulcan Stev said...

My purchases this year have been completely within the secondary market. However, I have purchased more gaming material as the economy has slowed due to the fact that having games around to play with the kids is cheaper than a family night out to the movies.

Lisandro Gaertner said...

In my country, Brazil, things are still calm. In the last years the dollar was very low and I bought a lot of things, especially OD&D stuff. Besides, I already got used to buy PDFs and use priting bureaus instead of paying expensive postal rates. When the crisis get here, I will have a large game library to enjoy. You know, like a (giant) gaming ant.

Chgowiz said...

I'm probably buying less, but I'm buying more than last year because I'm more into the hobby again. I'm buying more budget items though - PDFs and used items. I use half.com and ebay. I have a specific list of things that I'll get and I stick to that.

Alex Schröder said...

The D&D 3.5 books I'm getting I buy 2nd hand – but I've been doing that for a while now. Amazon marketplace, Ebay, Abebooks, Alibris. I haven't cancelled my two Pathfinder subscriptions, and I'm buying stuff new stuff from Lulu…

Randall said...

I've spend about $10 a month on RPGs over the last year -- medical bills from my wife's cancer treatments and the souring economy have been and are continuing to severely limit my purchases. I "wasted" $60 on the 4e core books even though I strongly suspected I would not like them, but all my other purchases have been PDFs of old school items like Fight On!, Knockspell, Spellcraft & Swordplay, etc.

Mad Brew said...

I have always been pretty frugal about where my dollars go, so my purchasing habits haven't changed much. I always go to Half-Price Books to see if they have something there before I decide to pay full price as the hobby store.

However, my boardgame purchases have actually increased because my daughter is loving them... and they are fairly cheap and have replay value (compared to a night at the movies).

I was in the local hobby stores this past weekend and was actually surprised how packed they were (The Game Preserve & HobbyTown USA) as well as how packed the local mall was. For being in a poor economic climate, it actually reminded me of the crowded holiday shopping season.

Derek said...

Since I've not played in years now, much of my purchases focuses on things that I will enjoy reading. With money tight, I pick up stuff in PDF more and I also check out the used book stores for stuff, since I don't need/want current things. I also tend to spend more times on things that describe places and settings more than mechanics or rules.

If I can talk 2 friends into playing again, it will most likely be Swords and Wizardry or OSIRIC and what I buy will be settings stuff, probably in PDF.

thanuir said...

I purchase very little and rarely, so no discernible effect.

Gleichman said...

No real effect on me, and unless the wife or I lose a job- that's how it will remain.

But I should note that I'm not a great buyer of things these day.

Robert Saint John said...

I *should* be squirreling away more money for the inevitable rainy day, but this past year has been a great time to go back and get high quality stuff published in the 70s and 80s at a great price. I think I spent more in 2008 than I did in 2007, but mostly on used games through eBay, Amazon market, some select online retailers. The exceptions have been Mongoose's Traveller, and the new old school stuff on Lulu.

Jeff Tillotson said...

I haven't bought that much RPG material in 2009. It has more to do with the amount of stuff I bought in 2008 than the state of the economy.

However the economy is a concern and my purchases will be affected somewhat. I probably won't buy any new game systems and put my gaming dollar towards fluff, or system generic, material. I'll do my own games and use rules systems I already own (tri-stat, Savage Worlds, etc).

With the amount of use I get out of my gaming dollar, it is money well spent. I consider $1 spent on a gaming aid to be equivalent to $20 spent at the movie theater.

Mark Gedak said...

I'm going to continue to make my purchases as normal. This include the Pathfinder subscriptions, stuff from OBE, stuff from Blackdirge and other 3.5 stuff that strikes my interest.

Sean said...

I'm not buying a TV. I'm not buying a new car. But games? Gotta have 'em! Come on, they're not that expensive compared to just about any other hobby.