Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Discussion: Gaming Companies That Get It Right

For the past 2 days, many of us have spent considerable time alternately dissecting and railing against the latest WotC gaffe of PDFGate. We’ve seen a lot of online reactions along the line of “I won’t be supporting WotC any more” or “I’m going to try a new pdf publisher”.

Well, let’s talk about other publishers, then. If people want other options, let’s showcase some other options. I don’t usually do a discussion post until Fridays on this blog, but I think this is a fitting topic.

What are your recommendations for gaming companies that “get it right?” We’re talking companies that have excellent:

-Customer Service & Support
-Fan Relations

What do you feel they do best? To what sort of gamer would you recommend their RPGs? Is there an interaction you’ve had with them that sticks out in your mind?

And my challenge: if you’re bent out of shape over WotC’s latest mess, talk about companies that do the right things. Post it here or at your blog/forum. Give the “good guys” some press.


Ryan said...

Pinnacle Entertainment Group's
Savage Worlds was a great game even before the $9.95 print version of the core rules.

Almost all of their in house settings offer a Player's Guide PDF for a reduced cost that comes with permission to print and share it amongst your players.

The Pinnacle forum is frequented by very knowledgeable fans and Pinnacle staff. I've never had a rules question go without an official answer for more than about 12 hrs. The forum is also one of the friendliest I've seen. The Admin said he had only been forced to ban 4 or so people since it's beginning.

They also provide plenty of free support in the form of GM Screen inserts, adventures, pregen characters.

Pinnacle has made licensing Savage Worlds free with Pinnacle approval which has opened up a slew of great licensee products.

Finally Pinnacle supports fan participation by contributing to and encouraging Shark Bytes, the free fan ezine.

Stuart said...

I've heard good things about Pinnacle too. I just ordered the Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition.

White Wolf has made their Exalted 2nd Edition PDF available as a *free* download on RPGNow (reg. $40). I haven't been a WW fan for a long while, but I'm warming up to them.

Paizo Publishing also seems like a good company which gets the Product / Customer Service / Fan Relations right.

Chuckn said...

Yep, Savage Worlds. Great forums. Great support from PEG Inc and their licensees. Lots of fan support.
Plus easy to run and play. Easy for beginners to lear but still crunchy enough for experienced players

Geek Gazette said...

My choices would be Exile Game Studios, Green Ronin, Paizo, Kenzer & Palladium. All of whom have given me great customer service customer service, the few times I've needed help. While the quality of products vary for each of them, with Paizo and Exile being my top choices, the others aren't far behind. Plus every single person I have every spoken with/met from these companies has been top notch.

TMan said...

Paizo has a great setup here. Buy the physical book and get the PDF free.

Of course, this is much easier for them - every customer has an account and is easy to tie that download to.

For WotC to do the same would be a horrendous logistics pain.

clash bowley said...

It's hard to top PIG for Small Press customer service. Brett's always working to find a way to add value to the relationship for the customer.


Robert Saint John said...

Rogue Games is ahead of the curve on this, IMO. Colonial Gothic and Thousand Suns are top notch games, RG has always made a ton of free preview and support PDFs available, Yahoo Groups for each of the games, open discussion about the design and dev process through their blogs and, most recently, uploaded a ton of stuff to Scribd. Pricing for the books and/or PDFs is very affordable with a number of options available. If I look back at 2008 at where my gaming dollars went, RG wins hands-down, with Precis Intermedia a close second.

Great, positive subject btw.

Ryan said...

Because I just gave him some money, I'll mention Neoplastic Press.
Dread: The First Book of Pandemonium
Spite: The Second Book of Pandemonium

Both sold through RPGNow and Lulu.
In both cases the Players section of the book (150+ pages) is available for free.

Questing GM said...

I would say so far I see Paizo doing a good job with customer/public relations.

Their staff is always present in the forums to answer any queries that fans might have. They listen and interact with them but if there's one thing I give them thumbs up over WotC is promptness and quick to have an official answer.

Managing and opening up a beta playtest for their soon-to-be flagship game to the public just goes to show how much are they concerned and care about fan's input and listening to their feedback. That's a testament for them.

They seem to be learning from WotC mistakes so that they don't make them in return. Paizo has my support.