So after reading that headline you may be thinking:
But search your feelings--or in this case, the internet--because it's TRUE.
If you're just tuning in, Fantasy Flight announced at GenCon this weekend that their new Star Wars RPG, Edge of the Empire is available in beta for $30. They acquired the license after Wizards of the Coast failed to renew with Lucasfilm.
So, call me crazy, but I'm a big believer that beta tests should always be FREE to testers? None of this "You get the pleasure of playing the game! Without art and certain thematic material!" Make it a downloadable PDF at no cost, or at least print-on-demand as a secondary option, please/thank you.
See, it's pretty easy actually:
- I download your product.
- I test your product, play with it, find out what works and what's broken.
- Then it goes back to you with my feedback. This is where the MAGIC HAPPENS because...
- You make it better (i.e, fix the broken stuff, put in the "art and thematic material" that comprises all that licensed stuff, and other general awesomeness).
- THEN I pay you money I earned by working my a$$ for 40+ hours to play the REAL product--the one with all the actual Star Wars spaceship zoomin', blaster firin', wookie growlin' fun in it.
Fantasy Flight, I rooted for you (though with some reservations) when you acquired the license and because, frankly, you're a hometown gaming juggernaut here in the Twin Cities. You put out exceptionally high quality games with incredible art. Arguably the best in the industry when it comes to manufacture and packaging. I really did hope this would be a step in the right direction. But you've started out in bad form.
Even Pathfinder got this right when they beta tested their version of D&D. AND GOT AN AWARD FOR IT.
Star Wars is a top-tier property and probably the single biggest science fiction license in the history of everything. It literally needs no introduction. It's both adult and kid friendly. If I were Lucasfilm, I'd be irate at the Jabba-esque deal you've doled out to the fans.
I don't follow your other RPGs close enough to know if this is "standard procedure" with your other games. But whatever that process may be--those aren't Star Wars. So it's not gonna fly with fans.
Enough griping--here's the serious part: rethink your strategy. You're coming into the license fresh and have a chance to really rally the fans who were feeling beleaguered after Wizards' dropped the ball--and introduce yourselves to others who aren't familiar with your RPG products.
Use the Force--and it's okay to take the blast shield off once in a while.