[EDIT: Scott Mathis pointed out in the comments that my intent for this post, to talk about how a particular marketing method doesn't work and use my experience as a case study, was only discussed well in the comments. Sorry about that, folks! I forgot about my own rule regarding using the specific alongside the abstract.]
…but I can’t. And that makes me a sad panda.
Specifically, I would like to spend money on the new superhero RPG by Steve Kenson, ICONS. I hear people already geeking about it now that they have their pre-order PDF copies, and that’s got me excited. Leonard Balsera was IMing me today about the characters he was making. That taunting bastard! :)
And if I could right now buy it, I would. But since I didn’t pre-order, it’s not available to me. From one of the posts on Adamant’s site:
The commercial PDF of ICONS will be available beginning June 1st, and the print edition of the game should be available to stores (and shipped to pre-order customers) by mid-June.
Well, fuck. I didn’t pre-order it even though I was genuinely interested, because I didn’t know where I was going to be living in mid-June. (And I still don’t, but hopefully I will in a couple weeks.) And I don’t have a lot of shelf space these days, so I don’t order as many books as I used to. Thus, I’m waiting on the PDF.
The PDF won’t be available for another 13 days.
That is a year in Internet time. That is a long time for me to lose interest in this “SQUEE WANNA BUY” state, enough time for something else to take up my impulse dollars, enough time to hear things about the game that would turn me off — not necessarily something that would make me not want to play the game, but something enough to cause me to stop being excited about it.
I like Kenson and his work, and if I had a PDF today, I might be able to get a pick-up game together at the Memorial Day con in L.A. — my vacation con that’s before June 1st. But since I didn’t pre-order, no dice. (Pun intended, baby. That’s how I roll.)
So while my friends are geeking on it, they’re doing so when that geeking can’t generate sales. And such excitement doesn’t last long. Hell, this blog post might even generate sales, since people click on shit (and I buy that “There’s no such thing as truly bad PR” philosophy). But by the time you can buy the PDF, this post will be old news. The only thing it’ll be good for is collecting spam.
(Now, maybe the PDF isn’t finished. But it’s not like the power to send purchasers an updated PDF doesn’t exist. That’s what Fred did with Dresden. And it worked pretty well, I think.)
But, yeah. Guys, on today, May 18th 2010, in response to the geekfest on my Twitter feed, I want to give you money. Might not have that interest on June 1st. And ICONS probably deserves better marketing treatment than this.