I think people are misinterpreting what I'm advocating for, so here's my hypothetical plan regarding reprints to make it clear:
I feel this is a pretty important point that needs to be recognized. It's all hypothetical, and you do not know if it will work; however, instead of consistently saying it's a suggesting, and saying that it should work, you've implied as such that you know it will work. Having used words like "clear and obvious", and you "know" for a fact of what developers want along with some other claims, really just appears to be self-serving and does not help others want to further the conversation.
Many of your responses have also been rather smug, and to be perfectly honest, a bit pompous at times. Now I know you might want to say, well, other people started it first, yet, you're certainly not helping the situation neither in responding to them in a manner that doesn't involve saying that you're always right, and everyone else is always wrong. In all fairness to you, you've had moments where you made some good points, but you've also had more moments where you were acting rather obtuse, and instead of responding with an argument, you just goad them into having more incoherent arguments that lead nowhere. And just to be clear, I'm not trying to be a dick here, but this is just what I've been observing, and my opinion on the interactions you've had with people in the previous thread, and even now, this thread.
It seems you want to have a conversation, but at times, you really limit yourself from having a proper one as a result of many of the actions and behavior pointed out above. Take it with a grain of salt if you like, but I do think a conversation can be had in regards to your points, so here goes.
And just remember, these are opinions, and some based off of previous conversations with LRG staff, so some of the information provided as evidence is because of those conversations.
- LRG currently suffers from two main issues: their higher profile releases selling out in minutes and fair chunk of their releases being scalped online for 2x the price. People obviously get upset at missing a release and being forced to pay eBay prices for a game they wanted to buy. This instant-sellout, gone-forever business model is arguably turning away customers and disenfranchising current ones.
My main qualm with this specific point is the way you are portraying this particular issue as an issue for LRG.
Firstly, the issue of resellers scalping their games for 2x the price. Here's my thinking with this particular issue. So what? Is this really a problem for LRG, or is it more of a problem for us as the consumers? Also, what proportion of these games relative to the total count of the games that they've sold? I'm not sure that this can really be called an issue/problem when there is not a significant number of them being sold when compared to the overall numbers of people who purchased them from their store directly. I just don't really see this as anywhere close to high priority when it comes to fixing their system.
Now, I can also see part of the argument that it may be turning away customers because of the current model they have, particularly for more popular titles. However, you've noted yourself; "arguably" turning away customers is different than actually turning away customers. The real question is whether those customers that have been turning away have really affected the releases. So far, it's not clear if it's really had any impact at all. As long as the games keep selling out, it's hard to say that this is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately. We may all make noise on forums, and complain when these things happen, but it's clear much of it is more blusters, than action.
I just don't feel this is really a problem that needs to be addressed as it doesn't appear to have any direct impact on their business yet, and nor is there evidence of it other than "what that guy said on a forum".
- Reprinting higher profile releases and legacy titles, whose prices have skyrocketed, is a solution to both these issues.
Personally, I am one of the people that would not appreciate this idea because I originally bought the titles knowing they would not be reprinted by LRG. As was brought up before in the previous thread as well, there may, and probably will be backlash from many as it relates to this matter. Just because you wouldn't mind, does not mean others wouldn't either. From a PR standpoint, I do believe that this will also have consequences if there is a reprint as many of us were under the assumption they would never be. Of course, there may be a balancing out from the new customers that will be brought in with this suggestion as well, so it's not completely without it's benefit in theory. But again, saying that it's a solution would still be implying that there was a problem in the first place, and as explained above, I don't believe it is a problem for LRG, but just for those of us who are sick of seeing the listings on eBay at inflated prices.
- It would put more copies of the games in the hands of people who want to own them and would undercut scalpers.
A combination of the first point, and the second point. Let's use this assumption, and use Shantae (both versions) as an example. Counting up all of the copies on eBay, there is a total of 76 copies of the game sold out of 12,000 copies. Now we make a rough estimate of the people that bought two copies, and count them as a single customer, let's say 70% of the total inventory was sold as two copies (one of each Shantae) per transaction, so that leaves us with 4200 customers that bought two copies, and 3600 customers that bought one copy, which totals to 7800 separate transactions. Now let's account for the copies that were sold on eBay, and are currently listed, and scale that to the total number of separate transactions, and what we end up with is less than 1 percent of the total quantity was not put into the hands of people who missed out on the sale. Just going off the numbers alone, I don't feel this is really a concern that should be all that important to LRG, as their margin for error is extremely low in regards to making sure all the people that were there that day got a copy, and a significant amount doesn't go to scalpers/resellers.
Of course, the argument of, "well, it's clearly not meeting demand, and they're leaving money on the table" is still there. But just refer to the first point (on the list of your points that is) I made about what I believe constitutes an issue/problem, and what we can see for ourselves after each sale day/weekend as evidence to what is success.
- The problem with straight reprints is how do you determine interest? If a game is reprinting but the demand isn't there, then it's a waste of money obviously.
Agreed. I mean, they already have issues determining their regular releases, so can you imagine how hard it will be for them to mull this one over, lol? And remember, you are not them. Even if it's clear to you, it does not mean they're going to think the way you do, nor should they have to. It's their decisions, and I feel it should be respected, even if you don't appreciate it. This is another one of those things that I felt was lacking in many of your responses, and the consistency of your positions previously, and now.
- The solution: Use a waitlist/reserve system to gauge interest. For instance, if the threshold of 2000 surpassed for a reprint of Dariusburst then the reprint goes into production. This all but guarantees a sellout.
- Once the threshold is reached, the reprint goes up for sale like any standard release. Possibly giving priority to those who put themselves on the waitlist.
So I guess I am still unsure exactly what you mean by this, as in the previous thread you actually did mention the word "pre-order" when you talked about this, so it did happen before just for the record, even though you are now saying it's not.
But I think I need to get a bit more clarification on this from you since you are now saying it's not a pre-order system.
I mean, reserve system means pre-order system, so maybe that word isn't the best word, but I am curious as to the waitlist proposal you brought up.
Is this something that is informal, or what is it exactly? If it's something that doesn't require people to lock, or put something towards the possible production of the product, then that sounds like something similar to a crowdfunding program, which sort of deviates from their core business model anyways, so they'd be hardpressed to want to pursue something like this, not to mention the people that hates these types of projects to begin with, and the backlash you will get from there. Again, I think I need some clarification on this a bit more because I'm not understanding if this is something informal, or something that will actually hold people accountable once they hit those numbers.
- These reprint opportunities would only happen a long awhile after the original release. Several months at the very least.
- This avoids the issues of reprints happening indiscriminately and potentially ruining the "limited hotness" value of initial printings, as there's no guarantee of reprints. And because of the above, even if there is a reprint it's far into the future.
There's one thing that you keep countering with when someone notes that it's already in their contracts, and I believe your response is to just renegotiate the contract. Going back to the very beginning, we are starting to get into the whole hypothetical to reality portion of the discussion now. You keep making it sound so simple to just renegotiate a contract, and people will just do it without any issue. Even if you believe you can walk into the room, and tell them you want a different contract, it does not mean that it will happen.
You also don't know exactly what was written in the contract to begin with. What if there is a clause in there that prevents them from renegotiating any contracts, or something written in there that would penalize them in doing so? What would the developers need to renegotiate the contract? What if during the renegotiation of the contracts there is a dispute as to the split of the revenues from the reprinted copies? You don't know what is in the contract, and nor do we, outside of the specific clauses that have already been mentioned by LRG in the other thread. While you may suggest it as a possibility, and I hate to keep going back to the first point, but it's really the way you keep suggesting it that irked me a bit, and I believe others as well. To make it sound like it's so easy to do is just disrespectful to what they're doing, and frankly, to everyone else that had ever had to do this as well.
Well, started to ramble on a bit too long with some of these points, so I'll try to make the final ones a bit shorter.
If I remember correctly from the previous discussions in the other thread, you did mention things like it's okay to have extra inventory on hand to just sell, and it's fine if things are around for a month as long as it sells out.
Let's take this into account, LRG is not a large operation. LRG staffing in shipping is still considered a small operation as they just have some people doing the shipping every so often whenever there are units that needs to go out. They are not a retailer, and they don't have a large warehouse to hold too many things. They still work out of a relatively small space, which is basically just office space, and not indicative of a larger operation like Play-Asia where they have a warehouse readily available for storing merchandise.
In scaling up the inventory to be sold, there will also be significant increases in the overhead costs. They will need to hire more people to readily ship things on a regular basis, rather than calling them in mainly during releases, and when merchandise arrives. Shipping out the merchandise as they receive them will save space, and not require them to have to possibly move to a bigger place in order to accommodate the extra merch they are receiving, particularly if some of them are sitting there.
At the end of the day, overhead needs to be taken into account because they are not a retailer, and can't just upscale their transactions unless these things are also taken into account. I remember what a nightmare it was at first when they started to really pick up in sales, and it took them FOREVER to figure out a good shipping team to go with, and even then, still has its hiccups.
It does sound like you may have abandoned this point since there's the waitlist idea, but thought I'd respond to that one anyways since it was brought up several times already.
At the end of the day, many of these things are just hypotheticals, and should be consistently treated as such. Once we start portraying these suggestions and ideas as facts and omniscience, I feel there is where thing start to get a bit muddled and incoherent again.
I welcome discussing this further, and would like to hear more clarification on certain ideas you mentioned as I mentioned above.
*end wall of text*