17 May 2008

The demise of TSR

It’s well known that what killed TSR was...

...you know what? I don't think it’s that simple. (Even Ryan Dancey’s well-informed opinion.)

I don’t think it is what TSR did that killed them half as much as how they did it.

In other words, don’t assume a business plan is doomed simply because it may have some superficial similarity to what TSR did.


Matthew James Stanham said...

I have recently been thinking the same thing myself, Robert. I don't think the fragmentation of their product had nearly as much to do with the collapse as did the saturation of the market, and let us not forget CCGs and CRPGs were real competitors for the cash and time of potential consumers. I know I quite happily played in all of the different settings TSR produced and never identified myself as an 'X Player'.

Robert Fisher said...

True, but...

I suspect the people that ran TSR into the ground could have done it with the best business plan in the most advantageous market.

Probably the only other thing I should say on the matter is this: I really would like to hear the Blumes’ and Ms. Williams’ sides of the story. It’s not that I don’t believe Gary. I do. But I know the limitations of my own point-of-view when it comes to my stories. I’d like a more complete picture of the TSR story.

In absence of that, however, I have to assume they were every bit as bad as Gary’s depiction.

I wonder if they’ve ever been asked to talk about it.

Matthew James Stanham said...

That stirs a memory. Yes, Williams was asked to talk about it, I seem to recall, but I don't rememeber where I read about it. Must have been on one of the lengthy Dragonsfoot threads.

Monte Cook's depiction of the TSR offices when he was hired on is actually not at all unflattering. You might have to dig through his website to find the article.