The Sorry State of the RPG Industry

Recently, Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff podcast asked for sponsorship from their listeners. You can see the rates in the PDF linked to in that article. Hopefully I’m not reading too much into this…

Ken Hite and Robin D. Laws are pretty well-established people in the industry, who are very talented, very experienced and seem to have an endless pool of knowledge from which to draw on. Still, they are selling time on their podcast for the price of 25 dollars per spot (there are higher costing spots as well). That’s not much. Since each hour long podcast takes several hours to research, author, and record, not to mention going through comments, questions and other feedback, that doesn’t accumulate to much of a renumeration even if they could get several more sponsors.

Is this really where we are? Even the luminaries aren’t doing all that well? Can’t say I’m really that surprised, but this is a more concrete indicator that not everything is right. Obviously, the industry is small and there are a lot of people who are enthusiastic about it and will work for little or no reward (well, I’m writing this with no expection of a monetary reward for example, but than again, I have a pretty dependable source of income outside gaming), actually making money with all the competition is hard. I would still have expected that these luminaries would be making a bit more than that.

I guess that’s the price you pay for working in the industry, but it shouldn’t be. Since I’m not going to go against market forces on this one, I don’t really know what the answer to this problem would be, besides buying more products (I’m actually happier now, that I took part in Laws’s Hillfolk KS).

(Our readership is quite small, but hey, if I can help, I will. So, if you happen to have a business which might benefit from a spot in a show for the more sophisticated roleplayer, give it a thought. You’d be helping a great part of the community.)

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