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I don't know how much you make on selling a physical cart but would assume you would price the ROM to be similar or a little more. That way cannibalization isn't the issue (at least with LTO Flash) and it opens the market a little more for people who don't want the physical media. I enjoy collecting and playing the carts so I prefer the boxed copies even though I'm running out of space in my game room :)

 

What I don't like is getting shut out of games that are in limited supply. I appreciate that you make your games more widely available.

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I’ll chime in. 
 

I am a huge supporter of all physical media. CIB is my thing as I love to look at my collection and enjoy what I have accomplished in collecting. 
 

I love to play the games as well; however, I am a big Raspberry Pi fan. I have made my own “Ultimate 2609” console with a Pi inside an original case while still utilizing the oem intellivision controllers. I love playing my games in 1080P.
 

this brings up the question about ROMs. 
 

Yes I do have an LTO flash, and I have supported and bought ALL ROMs that were available, and unfortunately locked to my LTO. This means I have to play them on an original hardware 2609. 
 

I for one would LOVE all my ROMs to be played on my PI just because that is my personal system of choice. 
 

I would love for this to happen (unlocked Rom releases), and I would support it financially; however, how many times do I need to buy the same game title? Common sense needs to kick in. 


I hope we can (as a community) find a solution that would be fair for the end users, and also to the publisher. 
 

just my two cents. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, cvga said:

I don't know how much you make on selling a physical cart but would assume you would price the ROM to be similar or a little more. That way cannibalization isn't the issue (at least with LTO Flash) and it opens the market a little more for people who don't want the physical media. I enjoy collecting and playing the carts so I prefer the boxed copies even though I'm running out of space in my game room :)

 

What I don't like is getting shut out of games that are in limited supply. I appreciate that you make your games more widely available.

The problem with selling physical carts, is that how much you make really depends on how much you sell. The costs don't scale. For example, at my printer in Canada, the cost of the boxes are virtually the same for 500 boxes or 1000 boxes. If I order 500, the price is maybe 100 dollars less. Delivery charges don't change one cent. I would love to purchase just 200 boxes for some titles if the final cost was 20 percent of the final cost of printing 1000 boxes. There really is no need for some publishers to limit copies to 100 or 150. However, I've found that the more copies that people think are available, the less urgency that they have to purchase the game. When my 2018 games came out, they sold under 100 copies. I was a bit shocked and disappointed. My guess is that everyone who knows that we don't generally limit quantities took a pass and decided they'd buy them some other time or put their money into some other 'limited' release.  That is the main reason that the first 3 Kai Magazine games don't have boxes yet. The cupboard was bare after those three games sold fewer than 100 copies. (Steamroller, Miner 2049er and Hover Bovver). 

 

So, if you have a programming cost of $4000, how do you break that up? If you sell 100 copies, that means that each cartridge has a $40 US programming cost. If we sell 100 loose carts, we still lose money as a cartridge is over $10 US. Not to mention that we had people boycott the sale of Ninja Odyssey because they didn't like the fact it was a loose cart. 

 

Certain people can cut costs by doing digital printing of low numbers of boxes. However, if your programming costs are high enough, low numbers ensure that you lose money. The trick is to find the balance. Lately, I've been considering limiting my numbers to 250 copies with two runs. The initial run of 150 and then a follow up run of 100 copies. 

 

To tell you the truth, I have one more game in development at this time (currently being written). Nothing else is in the pipeline or planned to be in the pipeline. I'm taking a break. 

 

 

Edited by Games For Your Intellivision
typo

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16 minutes ago, Kamikazi26 said:

I’ll chime in. 
 

I am a huge supporter of all physical media. CIB is my thing as I love to look at my collection and enjoy what I have accomplished in collecting. 
 

I love to play the games as well; however, I am a big Raspberry Pi fan. I have made my own “Ultimate 2609” console with a Pi inside an original case while still utilizing the oem intellivision controllers. I love playing my games in 1080P.
 

this brings up the question about ROMs. 
 

Yes I do have an LTO flash, and I have supported and bought ALL ROMs that were available, and unfortunately locked to my LTO. This means I have to play them on an original hardware 2609. 
 

I for one would LOVE all my ROMs to be played on my PI just because that is my personal system of choice. 
 

I would love for this to happen (unlocked Rom releases), and I would support it financially; however, how many times do I need to buy the same game title? Common sense needs to kick in. 


I hope we can (as a community) find a solution that would be fair for the end users, and also to the publisher. 
 

just my two cents. 

 

 

One thought is to sell LTO Flash! ROMS that are encrypted until a critical level of sales is achieved, such as 150 ROMS for example.

 

Once that level is hit, everyone who purchased the ROM could be mailed the unprotected ROM as a thanks, and then sales of unprotected ROMS could proceed at a higher cost and the encrypted ROMS could continue as a low cost alternative?

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1 hour ago, Games For Your Intellivision said:

The problem with selling physical carts, is that how much you make really depends on how much you sell. The costs don't scale. For example, at my printer in Canada, the cost of the boxes are virtually the same for 500 boxes or 1000 boxes. If I order 500, the price is maybe 100 dollars less. Delivery charges don't change one cent. I would love to purchase just 200 boxes for some titles if the final cost was 20 percent of the final cost of printing 1000 boxes. There really is no need for some publishers to limit copies to 100 or 150. However, I've found that the more copies that people think are available, the less urgency that they have to purchase the game. When my 2018 games came out, they sold under 100 copies. I was a bit shocked and disappointed. My guess is that everyone who knows that we don't generally limit quantities took a pass and decided they'd buy them some other time or put their money into some other 'limited' release.  That is the main reason that the first 3 Kai Magazine games don't have boxes yet. The cupboard was bare after those three games sold fewer than 100 copies. (Steamroller, Miner 2049er and Hover Bovver). 

 

So, if you have a programming cost of $4000, how do you break that up? If you sell 100 copies, that means that each cartridge has a $40 US programming cost. If we sell 100 loose carts, we still lose money as a cartridge is over $10 US. Not to mention that we had people boycott the sale of Ninja Odyssey because they didn't like the fact it was a loose cart. 

 

Certain people can cut costs by doing digital printing of low numbers of boxes. However, if your programming costs are high enough, low numbers ensure that you lose money. The trick is to find the balance. Lately, I've been considering limiting my numbers to 250 copies with two runs. The initial run of 150 and then a follow up run of 100 copies. 

 

To tell you the truth, I have one more game in development at this time (currently being written). Nothing else is in the pipeline or planned to be in the pipeline. I'm taking a break. 

 

 

Thanks for that explanation. I didn't realize that the sales volumes were so variable so it makes complete sense. I know this is a labor of love and appreciate what you (and other publishers) are doing that much more! I love the original 125 but you (collectively) keep breathing so much life into these older consoles with amazing new games.  Thank you!

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Willy you could tell me otherwise but I believe I have bought more physical copies of your games than anyone else (other than maybe resellers), and I have bought every ROM you've put out even though I'm not 100% sure how to use my LTO. 😂 My point is your initial pitch on the club isn't something I can justify price wise and I don't like the idea that those of us that have previously supported you would have to wait 6-12 months to get a CIB copy (or 2).

 

Having said that, you know that I have a pretty good sense of the costs involved in getting these games made and how much the producers are having to shell out out of pocket to get these made. I think the preorder model you went with for Swords was great in that it helped get the game programmed and the components paid for and the folks who subscribed knew full well that they would get their game based on your excellent track record.

 

I would be more than happy to pay for a couple CIB copies and maybe another $5-10 on top of that for an LTO ROM if that helps with the funding gap. Once CIB copies have been sent out maybe unencrypted ROMs could then be sold for $20? I'm sure there's no perfect model but I like that this discussion is occurring so that we can ensure our small community continues to see great games get made for our favourite console. My 2 cents. 

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I think a phased model that involves distributing unencrypted ROMs as the "last step" makes sense.

In the end, everybody gets a chance to play the games, and the publisher gets a chance to recover his costs in a more predictable way. 

Feels like a win-win.

 

Along those lines, a few variations:

 

Model 1:

- encrypted roms provided with CIB pre-order

- then follows the CIB release

- then digital release (encrypted / unencrypted with price differentiation)

 

Model 2:

- CIB release

- then digital release (encrypted / unencrypted with price differentiation)

 

Model 3:

- CIB release

- encrypted rom release (cheaper)

- unencrypted rom release (more expensive)

 

Model 4:

- encrypted rom sold first (not necessarily with CIB pre-order)

- then CIB release

- unencrypted release last

 

Models 1,2,3 would not be as appealing to digital-only consumers.

All make them wait. Model 1 imposes significant additional cost with a CIB they don't want to be able to play earlier.

 

Model 4 feels like a good compromise.

Gives everybody a shot to play the game sooner.

Gives publishers an idea of the pull for a CIB release.

Publishers can also do digital+CIB combos to upsell consumers originally thinking about the encrypted rom only.

Combos can also be done for digital encrypted+unencrypted.

 

There are probably other variations...

 

Edited by cmadruga
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Ok, how about this?
 
I have a finished game called 'Cat Attack!!!'.
 
How many people will commit to buy a DRM free copy for $10 US before I even sell it 'complete in box'?
 
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
...
 
We could do something silly like you send me the money before you get the rom. If we reach the goal, (what is the goal?), then the rom goes out. If not, I'll give you a $10 credit on your next purchase or refund the money. 

I’ll purchase a copy.

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I can pay in advance the CIB game so as to help the project. Then, if it doesn’t come out, I’ll have a credit for the next game you’ll make...

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I've mentioned on the podcast several times that I'm all in favor of having every game playable via emulation of some kind.  So I'm very happy to see discussions that involve unencrypted roms as a possibility.

 

I like cmadruga's post showing various potential phased roll-out models.  If there is a concern that rom sales (of either kind) would cannibalize CIB sales and/or would make the ability to predict the numbers of CIB sales difficult, then maybe those two should always be linked together for a period of time (like was done with Dragons and Swords).  Which I believe is his model number 1.  That model also has the benefit that the pre-order encrypted rom sales can help defrag the printing costs of the CIB release.

 

I think it's fair to make folks who want the cheaper rom-only experience to wait a bit.  They're "paying" a bit with their time.  Pay more and get it right away, or wait and pay less.  The waiting for rom-only purchases could guarantee the publisher doesn't take a financial hit that would become a problem.

 

I worry that cmadruga's model 4 might make it tough to break even on the CIB sales after roms are already out there in the community -- assuming that the rom sales do indeed represent some eating into the CIB numbers.  But the various publishers would know more about those specifics than I would.

 

Personally, I'm in a position where I can also join a gaming club (like the CollectorVision one) just to benefit the publisher in some way.  So while I recognize that it isn't always a great deal, depending on the platform and publisher I'm willing to buy in because I want the publisher to keep publishing.  I know not everyone is in that position, and there might be other ways to show such support.

 

 

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I'm leaning towards selling the ROM encrypted at a discount with the CIB order, and then when the magic number of ROM sales is met, everyone who bought the ROM encrypted with the CIB copy would get it emailed unencrypted.

 

Encrypted ROM sales would continue, and when the magic number is met, unencrypted sales at a higher rate. (to be determined) 

 

My way of thinking is that rom sales directly pay for programming as there are no costs involved in delivering the ROM, so they could be tied to the amount invested in the programming.

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Thanks for commenting, @Rick Reynolds.

 

Hopefully I'm not stepping on anybody's toes with that post. Of course I'm not a publisher.

On the other hand, interestingly, I'm having to grapple with implications from "digital channels" in my line of work as well.

So I thought why not join the brainstorming in a different context.

 

Wanted to elaborate on a very valid point you have raised below:

19 minutes ago, Rick Reynolds said:

I worry that cmadruga's model 4 might make it tough to break even on the CIB sales after roms are already out there in the community -- assuming that the rom sales do indeed represent some eating into the CIB numbers.  But the various publishers would know more about those specifics than I would.

Digital cannibalization is the key question here, and if we don't figure it out then it will be hard to make significant progress in making homebrews available to more people.

 

As an example, there is huge pent-up demand for a certain recent release, and there are neither carts available nor digital options.

Unfortunately, some of that demand from the current buzz will be lost as people move on.

There is $$$ being left on the table, and people that could otherwise be joining and supporting this small Intellivision homebrew community.

 

If we look at the cannibalization effect, it probably wouldn't happen when it comes to the hardcore collector crowd.

Publishers can reliably bank on it towards breaking even on a CIB release. 

 

At the other end of the spectrum there are folks that will never buy a homebrew unless it is digital.

Intellivision fans from South America come to mind for instance, due to shipping and exchange rate costs. Maybe that affects folks in Europe as well, who knows.

For publishers, that crowd means extra $$$ that they don't see today. So that's an opportunity.

 

The question is more about those in between, the selective buyers and/or those on a budget.

Of course there will be some cannibalization, but then again, by making more digital roms available there can be MORE PEOPLE buying them.

So maybe that can offset the cannibalization at the end of the day.

 

Thoughts?

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For what it's worth I enjoyed the Swords model.  It had instant gratification with the encrypted ROM and then eventually a fancy cart release.  I know this does not apply to those who have no interest in the cart.  

 

Curious how the Wizard of Wor and Cosmic Avenger release did considering there was an encrypted ROM release and then a later CIB release that was not tied to the ROM purchase.  Did the ROM potentially eat into the cart release?  Not sure there is a way of knowing that.

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Perhaps Joe would be entertained to develop an inexpensive USB hardware dongle that essentially contains a key that a future version of jzintv could read, making it possible to play personal, encrypted ROMs in the emulator with the dongle attached? I mean for those not interested in a full LTO! Flash at $139, or who don't even own a working Intellivision console. Then again I have a feeling that those asking for ROMs for emulation are not that interested to pay more than $2 (certainly not $25) anyway, so it might be an unfeasible formula (cmp. the 2600 discussion).

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9 hours ago, carlsson said:

Perhaps Joe would be entertained to develop an inexpensive USB hardware dongle that essentially contains a key that a future version of jzintv could read, making it possible to play personal, encrypted ROMs in the emulator with the dongle attached? I mean for those not interested in a full LTO! Flash at $139, or who don't even own a working Intellivision console. Then again I have a feeling that those asking for ROMs for emulation are not that interested to pay more than $2 (certainly not $25) anyway, so it might be an unfeasible formula (cmp. the 2600 discussion).

I’m not sure how large of a contingent we are, but there is a group of Intellivision fans who play exclusively via emulation and are willing to pay a reasonable price for quality new game ROMS. I’ve purchased a number of unencrypted ROMS from Carl, Dave and Oscar in the past and would love to purchase a few games from Elektronite as well. The $10 per ROM price for those seemed fair, $15 would probably be ok depending, but $25 seems a bit high. I guess my point is that there is definitely a market out there that would not cannibalize CIB or encrypted ROM sales. There are a number of games I’d happily purchase tomorrow were they available as an unencrypted ROM. In the end, I love Intellivision like everyone else here and would like the opportunity to play all the great new homebrews while also supporting the developers who make them possible. Call it blasphemy, but I’d just rather play them with an Xbox 360 controller on my RetroPie than on the original hardware I grew up with!

Edited by ts-x
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On 3/15/2021 at 6:15 PM, Games For Your Intellivision said:

One thought is to sell LTO Flash! ROMS that are encrypted until a critical level of sales is achieved, such as 150 ROMS for example.

It would be a good solution.👍 I bought recently some selected CIB games, but definitely encrypted ROMs for LTO Flash! would allow me and a good number of prople to access to games.

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I have agreed with my wife to reduce my space requirements in the house.

That being said, it would need to be something amazing for me to buy a physical cart at this point.

 

I have purchased almost every available rom.  I missed a few a while back that required my LTO ID.  As in the glut of collectibles, I could not locate my LTO Flash!

I have since located it.  I have yet to try it.  I did spend some time tracking down the roms I purchased and putting them all in 1 folder.

I need to figure out how to load them now!  and I need to set up my Intellivision again.

 

Like others, I have the Ultimate Flashback and that has been my only method of playing Intellivision for a few years now.

 

I will continue to buy roms.  But I must say, the Ultimate Flashback is my best method of playing them!  So.. A USB dongle or a method of DRM free is preferred.

Some of the roms I have, have my name embedded in them, so if these got leaked, everyone would know it was me.  That is a cool method!  However, the labor must be increased?

Unless at the time of purchase, the rom could be injected with the name data in the process of zipping and emailing.

 

I think we are also seeing a little bit of the 1983/84 problem again.

When we couldn't wait for the next release.. Heck, the FIRST released intellivision "home brew"  ..used as a general term..

 

Now if you are a completest, you better have some serious cash on hand! 

Best thing that ever happened to me was getting pissed off about missing some small run games.  LOL

 

Once I realized I would not have everything, I started only buying stuff I wanted to play, or if I had some extra $ I would support another release.

I do want to try everything, so buying roms is easier to swallow.  But even these will have a limit! 

 

In the past I have made certain I didn't miss any roms to try to help others.  Carl and Nanochess.  Somehow I had missed two of Oscar's games and was happy to buy the roms.  He has even released these for free!

 

I was more than happy to buy Christmas Carol CIB even though I had the rom.  In fact, I was on the fence until I played the rom.

I know that took a long time to sell out.  All I can say is... If you haven't played this, you are missing out.  I can say that about many of the recent releases of course.  Just an example.

 

Elektronite, I have many of you games x2 ( working on x1 sadly ) If the roms were always readily available.  I would have gotten them all by now.

I am out on the club because I am not looking to acquire another CIB of almost anything.  Even the physical Amico games coming, I was on board at first.  Now, I just want to play the games.

 

Do I represent the marketplace?  I don't know.  This is just were I am at this time.

 

I certainly have enjoyed what you have put out for us.  I hope you can figure out a model that keeps you going!

 

I understand all the different publishers want to use a custom method.  But I certainly think some collaboration would reduce production costs.  Bulk Board production or cart shells etc.

Not having a hand in this, I am speculating and this may already be happening?  Just trying to keep the community strong.

 

Best of luck!

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On 3/16/2021 at 10:29 PM, Sinjinhawke said:

For what it's worth I enjoyed the Swords model.  It had instant gratification with the encrypted ROM and then eventually a fancy cart release.  I know this does not apply to those who have no interest in the cart.  

 

Curious how the Wizard of Wor and Cosmic Avenger release did considering there was an encrypted ROM release and then a later CIB release that was not tied to the ROM purchase.  Did the ROM potentially eat into the cart release?  Not sure there is a way of knowing that.

I gave away the "A Tale of Dragons and Swords" rom with every preorder as I have said before, as proof the game was finished and a reward for pre-paying for the game. I found that many of the people who had LTO Flash! units still had them shrink wrapped. I was a bit surprised by this. I believe that the LTO Flash! is like my dad was with a microwave oven. One year, we gave my dad one for Christmas and it sat in the box for years. One day, his stove broke, and he pulled out the microwave oven and used it and found out how convenient it was. I don't think that he used the stove much at all after that. I'm hoping that the more people see how ROMS are a great way to have your entire library at your fingertips, the more people will buy LTO Flash! roms. 

 

Right now, when we sell roms, we typically sell 30 copies. I have confirmed with a person who sells roms of his games that his number is very similar. His roms are not encrypted, but you cannot find them on rom sites. However, he believes that they are traded around message groups and that the person who puts the rom on a 'mediafire' download feels like a real hero making the game 'free' to the world. I don't know if encrypted rom sales would eat into 'CIB' purchases, but they certainly contribute towards paying for the programming costs. Free roms being traded around would not contribute to the cost of programming and could also have a detrimental effect on 'CIB' sales. 

 

There are a lot of factors I believe that determine how many copies of a game 'CIB' sells. Quality of the game is important. Number of copies that have been made is important. If you know that only 100 copies of a game have been made, you are more likely to grab it if you are a collector or a speculator trying to flip the game for profit. If you know that hundreds of copies of a game exist and that it is easily available, speculators won't buy, nor do regular customers as they believe that they can pick it up whenever they want. So, a crappy limited game might sell more copies than a game that is readily available but a much better game. Obviously, this situation does not encourage people to make more copies of a game available. 

 

I know that ultimate flashback owners and people who play games on emulators want me to release unencrypted roms. However, I would suggest that there is not one person who would buy the rights to sell roms for the cost of programming because they know that they would probably not break even, let alone make a return on investment for rom rights. I'd gladly sell the digital distribution rights for a new game for the cost of programming, but I wager that nobody would ever do it, or if they did, they wouldn't sell the rom unprotected.   

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4 hours ago, Games For Your Intellivision said:

 I don't know if encrypted rom sales would eat into 'CIB' purchases, but they certainly contribute towards paying for the programming costs. Free roms being traded around would not contribute to the cost of programming and could also have a detrimental effect on 'CIB' sales. 

👏👍

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FWIW, I think there are distinct markets, and maybe the key to larger sales is addressing them differently. Probably spending more energy than I have seen from Intellivision publishers. Disclaimer: I don't know what the ROI would be obviously. 

 

  • Collectors
  • Speculators
  • True play-on-hardware players
  • ROM-only players (LTO)
  • ROM-only players (everyone else) 
  • Emulation players
  • Nostalgic, disinterested buyers 

 

I think the players segments can be further divided into "hardcore" and "casual". Maybe if they are reached uniquely, and uniformly, a lot more titles could be sold. Atari Age forums and Facebook posts reach some of the first groups, but not the last group.

 

Maybe part of the solution is different versions of games. An (expensive) collector's edition requiring pre-order and a limited ROM version (cheap) to get an initial funding source for CIB and full ROM (LTO DRUID keyed). Expect that the cheap limited ROM will get on the internet, so make sure it has just enough to be playable but not complete, maybe include something to push people to get the real thing. 

 

And there's meeting the potential customers where they are, and the kind of game that's being sold. When Boulderdash, Defender of the Crown, or other high profile games are ready, advertising them outside if the regular outlets might make a difference. Selling on Etsy, getting stuff into Pinterest, having good searchable content for Google and Bing organic search bits to index, paying for ads in the same places where Plaid Stallions gets view, etc? I can imagine that someone in their late 40's/early 50's with a kid or spouse looking for a new kind of gift would get their "old man" a copy of DoTC to go with that Intellivision thing sitting in the attic. During the pandemic, a lot of spending has gone from "experiences" to "things" (for people with disposable income). Something pure fun like an Intellivision game would be just perfect, and who cares if the CIB doesn't get played more than a few times, when the unit is moved out of your stock? 

 

I think growing the audience has value in addition to trying to optimize how things are sold to the same incestuous Intellifaithful. All analogies break down, but in this case I see a lot of parallel between how I have seen Inty publishers sell and local kid sports teams:  I see the local booster club sells shirts and spaghetti dinner fundraisers to the same families over and over to make the same level of money. Conversely, I see Girl Scouts put tables in high traffic areas and sells cookies that everybody knows to people that generally don't care otherwise what the Girls do, and the Girl Scouts rake in the money. 

 

 

 

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William needs to stake out the premium spot in front of Walmart for his next release.  Don't be afraid to knock down a few girl scouts if they get in your way.  Sweep the leg 😉

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I buy every ROM I can.. it's what I tend to prefer nowadays. I try to buy physical copies when I can too, but sometimes I miss out (more often than not it seems, but that's my fault 😅). Other times, it's hard to swing it since I also collect homebrews for other vintage systems too (Vectrex & ColecoVision, occasionally 2600 in my case), not to mention my many other hobbies.. I can only split my money so many ways. Then there's the having the room for actual physical copies part, but that's a whole other issue. 😜

 

ROMs are far more convenient, at least for me personally, especially if I missed out on a physical copy. Plus I still get to support the publishers/programmers who made them.  Whatever is decided, I hope ROMs will be more widely available in the future, because it is the future.

 

On the subject of a club, that would be cool if it was at the $125 level. I'll join. 👍 I'm pretty much a "strictly real hardware" kind of guy, so I definitely put my LTO (and flashcarts for other systems) to use. However, it would be nice to have the option to play them via emulation (and hopefully via a FPGA based console someday too, because that's also the future, as real hardware starts dying off). Anyways, hopefully some kind of compromise will be figured out for encrypted vs unencrypted ROMs. Y'all got my support either way! :)

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What if there was a way to do a "playcable-esque" model. 

 

As long as you pay your dues, you can download and play all the ROMS.

 

As soon as you decide to stop paying, your access goes away.

 

Maybe there could be different tiers of access. Like all the streaming services have.

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10 hours ago, First Spear said:

FWIW, I think there are distinct markets, and maybe the key to larger sales is addressing them differently. Probably spending more energy than I have seen from Intellivision publishers. Disclaimer: I don't know what the ROI would be obviously. 

 

  • Collectors
  • Speculators
  • True play-on-hardware players
  • ROM-only players (LTO)
  • ROM-only players (everyone else) 
  • Emulation players
  • Nostalgic, disinterested buyers 

 

I think the players segments can be further divided into "hardcore" and "casual". Maybe if they are reached uniquely, and uniformly, a lot more titles could be sold. Atari Age forums and Facebook posts reach some of the first groups, but not the last group.

 

Maybe part of the solution is different versions of games. An (expensive) collector's edition requiring pre-order and a limited ROM version (cheap) to get an initial funding source for CIB and full ROM (LTO DRUID keyed). Expect that the cheap limited ROM will get on the internet, so make sure it has just enough to be playable but not complete, maybe include something to push people to get the real thing. 

 

And there's meeting the potential customers where they are, and the kind of game that's being sold. When Boulderdash, Defender of the Crown, or other high profile games are ready, advertising them outside if the regular outlets might make a difference. Selling on Etsy, getting stuff into Pinterest, having good searchable content for Google and Bing organic search bits to index, paying for ads in the same places where Plaid Stallions gets view, etc? I can imagine that someone in their late 40's/early 50's with a kid or spouse looking for a new kind of gift would get their "old man" a copy of DoTC to go with that Intellivision thing sitting in the attic. During the pandemic, a lot of spending has gone from "experiences" to "things" (for people with disposable income). Something pure fun like an Intellivision game would be just perfect, and who cares if the CIB doesn't get played more than a few times, when the unit is moved out of your stock? 

 

I think growing the audience has value in addition to trying to optimize how things are sold to the same incestuous Intellifaithful. All analogies break down, but in this case I see a lot of parallel between how I have seen Inty publishers sell and local kid sports teams:  I see the local booster club sells shirts and spaghetti dinner fundraisers to the same families over and over to make the same level of money. Conversely, I see Girl Scouts put tables in high traffic areas and sells cookies that everybody knows to people that generally don't care otherwise what the Girls do, and the Girl Scouts rake in the money. 

 

 

 

As someone who works in content marketing professionally, I have to tell you that I like your audience segments/personas.

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