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GamersHaven

The future

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Dear Spartan Games,

I have been a longtime supporter of your products from both a retailer and consumer point of view. My experience with Spartan games starts back with the first edition of Uncharted Seas. Since then I have put both time and money towards your product lines. We have shared our enthusiasm and taught many people over many years to play your games in my store. In fact, I believe we have stocked and run all your games to one degree or another over the years. And we are one of the few stores it would seem still has your product in stock. Unfortunately, your actions over the last 24 months have put us in a very difficult and stress-filled place. We want to see your brand grow and have a strong future, yet you continue to make this harder and harder form where I sit. A lack of communication, failure to put action to what little communication we do get, followed by what seems to be a shift to a very direct to player business plan has led to a troubling position for me.

Please be aware that your level of communication and follow through on actions have been forcing me to look at you with a different set of parameters. I am not sure you see how the way you are doing business is hurting stores and making it nearly impossible to put your product in front of anyone for any reason. Your decisions erode the monies a store might have made. When you do things that cause players to say “**** it, I am not buying anymore Spartan games until they get their **** together,” what are we to do. My sales and your forums don’t lie.

Just to be clear you don’t owe me anything. You don’t have to sell to me and I don’t have to stock your products and sell your products. Yet with that said I hope you see that I would not be taking the time to write this if I did not want to still share your products. I want to help, so many of us do. Your actions have pushed us to believe that you do not want this help and you do not believe you need it. If that is so I wish you all the best and we can part ways.

Actions not words at this stage are of great import. I hope you see that you don’t have much time to change the perceptions the most important people, your customers. We are going to move on if you don’t show us action. We live in a great time with so many games to choose from. Yet with so many to choose from not all of them will stand the test of time. What actions are you taking and showing to us that your game is one we should invest time and money with?

I would like to help, just not sure you want the help anymore.

 

PAX

 

 

 

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Good post, Rob.  Probably time to vote with your dollars, shelf space, and table space, my friend. At some point, this dynamic stops being anything other than deliberate and either malicious or incompetent. Its too bad...we had what 12 players or so buy PF stuff? 

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@child9 I suspect it is already too late.  PF 2.0 will be released someday, and it will likely be a good game.  But customers won't come back because SG ignored the primary rule of hobby sales...

    People buy games/models because of the enjoyable experience they have when interacting (playing games, painting minis, reading fluff, etc.) with them.

When a company ignores (SG), forgets, or foregoes (GW's "we make models") the idea that their responsibilities extend beyond a single sale and into the shared realm of the customer's experience, they will not be successful. 

The Gamer's Haven is one of the most successful mini-centric game stores in the Western United States.  Rob specializes (to a degree) in mini games with lots of table space and convention support.  He bought a ton of FSA and PF and taught the game to the customer base. The fact he is on here is indicative of how bad the situation is. When he replaces SG's product with something else...SG is very unlikely to ever get that space or promotion back.  

Which might be ok (but it really isn't) if they are going direct to consumer sales channel approach, which the Kickstarter indicates.  The problem then becomes the lack of development and customer engagement.  

Bottom line...a lack of integrity and communication kills every business. If you don't talk to your customers (both players and retail) and if you don't speak the truth when you do...no amount of create game/mini design will over come that. 

 

 

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Personally, I'm worried about the future. I've discovered Dystopian Wars about 4 years (or so, just after the launch of 2.0 I guess) ago. I really liked the steampunk world that was created and the models. After a hiatus of more then 10 years, I decided to get back into wargaming with one of my good friends.

When Planetfall was released, we both decided that the miniatures where awesome so we started playing that as well. For mor then a year Spartan kept releasing new Planetfall stuff every month or so. However, we started to notice that the Dystopian Wars releases had been reduced to a very low level. 

Once all the Planetfall helices were completed and Halo came around, everything went silent for both games. We did get a balance update for both Dystopian Wars and Planetfall, but for the Planetfall I guess it was to late.

I'm happy that Dystopian Wars now sees a flurry of activity with the kickstarter, but I'm also worried that after the kickstarter finishes, Dystopian Wars will be left to fend for itself again.  I really think the level of interaction shown by Spartan Games during the kickstarter (adjusting models based on backer feedback etc.) is great and I think shows all the good things that Spartan Games is capable of. 

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