Steve Jackson, Posthuman, Pelgrane, Green Ronin States of the Union

Steve Jackson Games’ annual report says they’re doing well, and it’s all Munchkin all the time. No new RPGs and GURPS gets a small part of the overall update. Ah well, we still have one GURPS diehard in our gaming group that still gets the stuff.

Posthuman Studios’ annual report says they’re doing real well!  Releasing Eclipse Phase as a Creative Commons product (free on BitTorrent!) has, as usual, proved the “Piracy Kills!” crowd wrong as their sales are brisk. The only fly in the ointment has been fallout from leaving Catalyst Games, whose embezzlement scandal is well documented (I’ve been ignoring it lately, I assume there’s no big news there). Several people in our group are interested in Eclipse Phase but we have a bit of a “where do we start?” problem.

Pelgrane Press was worried about 2010 and is fretting about print but it seems to have worked out well for them, a lot of GUMSHOE out and more on the way including the slick-looking Ashen Stars.  Hint – keep publishing those adventures!  Whenever I buy some weird  high concept game, the thing I want right after it is adventures – that’s why Hard Helix sold 50% of the Mutant City Blues run.  I got it, and I got Little Girl Lost for Esoterrorists. And I see you have adventures coming hard on the heels of Ashen Stars, which is absolutely the right thing to do.

Green Ronin’s Message from the President indicates that they’re doing well, but the subtext is disturbing – they’re not doing much with their own games (True20, Freeport) and are focusing on the licensed properties – DC Adventures, Dragon Age, and Song of Ice and Fire.  But they note that those properties are tough because the licenseholders often dick them around (my translation).  I’m worried about such a large part of their product strategy being tied up with stuff like that; it seems like it would only take one of those deals going real bad to send them into a death spiral. Hopefully they’re sufficiently spread out. M&M Third Edition hopefully will bloom a lot – right now most of what’s for it is DC but that line seems somewhat unsatisfying in that it’ll be “four books then done…” I liked the original Marvel Super Heroes because of the adventure support…

5 responses to “Steve Jackson, Posthuman, Pelgrane, Green Ronin States of the Union

  1. I’m disappointed that we’ve seen nothing new of Green Ronin’s AGE engine. I’m not interested in Dragon Age, but I like the system quite a bit, and GR had suggested that they’d be using the rules outside the licence. Dragon Age itself seems to have stalled, so I’m not holding out hope.

  2. I was just doing some reading on the demise of West End Games and near the end they were also tied heavily into licenses and it was part of their fall. Their own IPs were not catching on and then the licenses started to fail as well. One thing I worry about Green Ronin is that M&M is fairly old and there really is not a lot of new material they can release for the product line. Their 3rd edition it is still fairly backwards compatible so they can’t rerelease the old material for the new edition. M&M may have run its course (other than adventures).

    • Yeah, GR used to be one of my main go to game companies, but looking at their plans, if all they get out is two DC books, a DA supplement and a Song of Ice and Fire supplement, it doesn’t look like I’ll be buying anything this year, which is sad. I’m not really into DA or SITF as properties. Maybe once the HBO series comes out they can capitalize on it, or the second DA game, but given the restrictions imposed by licensees they may not really be able to do anything other than the usual. And also the RPG industry has NEVER been able to do a licensed property tiein well, even WotC with Star Wars jut chugged along their own schedule, no mind to when new SW movies or other stuff was coming out.It’s funny, movies and other stuff for licenses come and go, but the only thing you see is some guy posting on the relevant gaming company’s forum saying “woot movie,” but never any promotion or tie-in. You’d think at least Hasbro would figure it out and show people how it’s done, they are the masters of licensed IP crosspromotion, but I guess they don’t really care enough about their low dollar properties to do much there.

  3. Hey – thanks for the feedback on the numbers. It was very quiet on the comment thread. Dead Rock Seven will be released pretty much back to back with Ashen Stars. It’s a big risk on the print run, but worthwhile.

    • Sure enough, glad y’all are doing well and appreciate you sharing the info.
      And keep up that print… Inventory is scary but I very seldom buy PDF as a primary vector. And however your distribution is doing it, it’s getting your products here to Rogue’s Gallery in Round Rock, TX, so that’s where I buys ’em!

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