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SJ Games: Gloom and Doom, Not So Much....

posted Aug 6, 2012, 2:09 AM by Douglas Sun
Originally posted: March 17, 2009

The other day, Steve Jackson Games posted the results of an informal customer survey, asking about their fans’ prospects for buying games this year, as well as their hopes, dreams and fears for the new millennium... or something like that.... The executive summary is here, as is a link to the full results.

My executive summary of the executive summary: Basically, 75% of the respondents said that they would buy just as many, or more games as they did last year. An even higher percentage said that price would not deter them from buying a particular game, as long as they felt they were getting good value for their money.

Paul Chapman, who posted the news on the “Daily Illuminator” blog, seems mildly surprised at the overall consumer optimism expressed in the survey, given that we’re being told on a daily basis that the world economy has fallen into the Springfield Mystery Spot. But I’m not surprised at all.pastedGraphic.pdf

Games are, and always have been, an excellent entertainment value. They’re really quite inexpensive, despite gamers’ chronic complaints about how much money they spend on games. In a recessionary environment, you will hold off on buying a house or a new car, but you can still spring $25 for the new Munchkin expansion or $30 for the new GURPS supplement. 

More significant than the current unemployment rate or the credit crunch is the fact that fuel prices are now a shadow of what they were during the panic-stricken spring of last year. I live in the Eastern half of Los Angeles County, and the price of gasoline here peaked at a little over $4.50/gallon last summer. It’s now about $2.10/gallon. If you girded yourself for a future of expensive gas last summer, you are now receiving a monthly windfall that, I would wager, is enough to buy a couple of GURPS books, with enough left over to get a Six Dollar Burger at Carl’s Jr. instead of the Super Star on your way to meet up with your game group.