Monday, July 13, 2009

[Hiatus] Every Day is Ferbieday

It is with great regret that I must announce an extended hiatus of Adventure Game News.

I began this news blog two months ago with two goals.

First, I wanted to get back into the game news gig; I love the adventure games industry, every genre of it, from roleplaying games and board game to miniatures game and trading card games. I love games in all forms for the sake of games themselves, as I believe games to be the second-best form of social interaction possible. Hunting down information, putting together news articles and reviews, reading and playing games for reviews... I could easily spend all my waking moments working on game news; back in my Krause Publications days, sometimes, I did spend every waking moment working on it! I enjoy every aspect of the game news biz... except one.

There's no longer any percentage in it, i.e., there is no money in it. At least, not in the current economy, and not under current market circumstances. Were I independently wealthy, or had a job that could pay the bills and leave me time to publish game news on the side, this would not be an issue. So when I began Adventure Game News, it was with the the idea that eventually, it would reach a point where it would actually pay for itself, or at least, supplement my income enough that I could honestly say that the time spent on supporting the site was at least equal to the time lost working on products for Adventure Games Publishing.

Unfortunately, I do not now see that happening during the current recession. In fact, I would argue that we are not in a recession, we are in fact in a depression. History has shown that games are generally recession proof, at least, since the last great recession in the early 80's. Games weathered every recession since with flying colors; since the recession of the early '80s, it was the ups and downs of the game market itself that has caused dislocations in the game market. From the TCG boom and bust to the d20 boom and glut, it was always the cycle of popular games and game fads that caused the booms and the busts. But this time... this time it is different.

Between advances in home publishing, print on demand, PDF sales, and the growing interconnectedness of gamers through blogs and social sites, the adventure game industry had already taken no few hits to its viability as an industry... essentially, the hobby had again caught up with the industry, so that hobbyists at home could produce games that, if not truly professional, at least were good enough... and especially when the price was right, i.e., usually free! This, combined with the current worldwide general economic depression, may be the death of the adventure game industry as we know it. Maybe... or maybe not. All I know is that right now, if I want to be able to continue publishing in the games market at all, I need to concentrate my efforts on either Adventure Game News or Adventure Games Publishing.

And as I still have obligations under Adventure Games Publishing, and as it is the only one of the two that has proven that it can at least make some money, it wins, for now.

So Adventure Game News is going on hiatus. It is likely to be an extended hiatus, through to the end of the current economic dislocation. Once the economy recovers, if it recovers, and if the adventure games industry recovers with it, we shall return.

I thank those of you who have sent materials for review; I will publish reviews for products sent to date here, on my personal game blog, and in Adventure Games Journal. However, please do not send further products for review unless you want them to be reviewed on my personal game blog and in the Journal, as once I finish the reviews for products currently on the review pile, I will cease all posts on Adventure Game News.

I want to thank all the readers of this news blog for their patronage in the past. Please check in here every couple months, especially once the economy has recovered, to see if we have started up again...

James Mishler
President, Adventure Games Publishing

1 comment:

  1. Awwww, that is, indeed, a sad Ferbie.

    Thanks, James, for your tireless work. I've become a fan and, more importantly, a consumer of your C&C work.

    I'm a CEO/Exec Director of a nonprofit with very stable funding and we have seen the negative effects of the economy in a big way. You are right, I think. It is different this time around.

    You're almost halfway through the first week of wedded bliss. Hope all is well!