Sunday, June 10, 2012

Robotech Miniatures cancelled - Going back to 1/200 Scale

Gave it my best but it looks like the Robotech miniatures aren't going to fly.

I guess it's back to working on the 1/200 scale stuff for fan games. I already have a full range of the Nichimo models so all I have to do now is finish painting them and get some terrain together.


14 comments:

  1. After reading more into what HG does with the Robotech IP...they've got everyone by the balls and won't give an inch. I have a hard time understanding why they won't update the Robotech line and actually make money off of a product/s that fans are craving.

    For my own part I was incredibly excited about the minis game and was ready to line up at the retail store. I'll be sending a letter to HG to let them know that four potential customers are sad at their current stance.

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    1. *ahem*

      Meant Palladium not Harmony Gold.

      *ahem*

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    2. What you said applies to both companies, but probably more to HG than Palladium.

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  2. When I talked with Tommy Yune at HG he was very positive about the project and I have nothing but good things to say about him.

    This is not anything specific that was said by anyone at either company, but it's stuff that I think might be influences.

    One of the major issues with Robotech is it was a very hot property at one point and had partnerships with major companies like Hasbro. That has set the bar very high when dealing with outsiders trying to make inroads to working on Robotech products.

    What those toys companies spend to make a single 30 second TV commercial would dwarf the entire start up cost of a miniatures line. So when you consider the scale with what they are used to dealing with even a great selling miniatures game is going to be a very small blip on that radar.

    Had they been approached about miniatures a few years back it may well have gotten off the ground as the Robotech property was in a bit of a slump, but as many of you are aware Toby Mcguire (spiderman) has a production company that is toying with making a movie based off the series.

    That unfortunately gets everyone geared up in expectation that it will be a hot property again and makes any prospect of working out product rights very complicated. It gets the lawyers and business managers all riled up as they drool at the prospect of big money being on the table again.

    Had it been another point who knows. The limited contact I had with HG was excellent and they seemed very positive. It was Palladium that opted not to proceed futher.

    Palladium is a publishing company, they have no prior background with miniatures and I don't feel they are willing to risk any money on a market they don't properly understand.

    While they have done plenty of research into the prospect I personally don't feel that they have been asking the right demographic of people. As most any miniature gamer or miniature company will tell you wargamming and role playing are two entirely seperate animals in terms of product expectations and purchasing habits.

    The demographic should be made of miniatures gamers, however Palladium's core audience at current is made up of role-players and fans of clix games so it will of course give you very skewed and widely differing results. Their opinions will not lead you anywhere close to understanding wargaming products.

    I've been a miniatures gamer for close to 25 years at this point and know the miniatures audience much better than they ever will. All I do is eat, sleep, and work with miniatures (yes I know how sad that sounds). Unfortunately they don't grasp the level of experience and market attunement that I would bring to the table. And they decided to pass on the project.

    From a buisness stance I completely understand their posistion of not wanting to take a risk on an unknown market and with an untested company. There's a lot of money involved, from a pragmatic stance the only "safe" bet is the one that means not playing at all.

    If they do decide push forward with making miniatures at a future point I really hope that they re-evaluate their research pool. The miniatures industry is a tight knit group of hobbyist and sculptors. No amount of "polling" is going to land you a sucessful product.

    You are either attuned to the scene because you attend the conventions, play the events, and know the gamers otherwise you're simply on the outside looking in with a list of wistful thoughts and a flawed perspective on what the heart of miniatures gaming entails.

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  3. Check out Palladiums weekly update:

    http://www.palladiumbooks.com/index.php/about-palladium/weekly-updates/607-palladium-booksr-weekly-update-june-7-2012

    Highlighting a few sections which may or may not have inspired their choice.

    "I have spent the last six weeks doing a lot of market research. It started at the Palladium Open House and intensified the last two weeks. My calls to Ultimate Insiders, Insider Benefactors and freelancers/friends contributed to it. The reason for the research was that a number of potential “new opportunities” have presented themselves to us, including doing miniatures for Robotech®, among other things. My thanks to the Benefactors, Insiders and others who have knowingly and unknowingly contributed to this vital research."

    "Fun Facts Revealed"

    "•20% want to see more miniatures and/or a miniature game for Rifts® or other Palladium settings. The number increases to 30% among Robotech® fans. Note: This comparatively low number surprised me, as several people have been pitching and hyping miniatures."

    "It’s ironic, but that was my plan from the start of this year. Now, I feel like an idiot having wasted so much time the past several weeks on exploring the development of new product areas, when I should have been cranking out the RPG books we already have in the pipeline. I think it is human nature to doubt and second-guess yourself, especially when you’re being lobbied by outside forces to consider new things that sound promising. I have always made it a policy to listen to our customers and consider what they have to say. Regrettably, that means sometimes you get drawn off target."


    It's my assumption that Tom and I are the ones mentioned in the last two quotes, ie being the pitching and hyping the miniatures, also tagged as "lobbied by outside forces".

    He mentions feeling like he's wasted several weeks of time dealing with ideas that led him off target. To me that translates as not seeing the miniatures venture as having enough demand among his current role-player base.

    Of course not, they friggin role-players! not miniatures gamers who'd be the core audience.

    I also feel a bit insulted that we "wasted a couple weeks of your time". I've spent months working on the rules, prepping it for convention play and namely creating the models. Sorry that you feel they were a waste of time.

    It's not every day that tallented people come up and offer to hand your company the ability to print money.

    Bah.

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    1. Tom,

      I'm sorry to hear all of this. At first I thought there might still be a path forward on this and that all of your effort might somehow be translated into a real product, but it's clear that's out of the question.

      Given these statements about Palladium's reasons for deciding against your minis, I'm surprised that they didn't reject Tom and his rules at the same time. It sounds like they've completely rejected the idea of a miniatures game, so I'm very puzzled as to why they still are still giving him the impression that they might want to publish his rules.

      I hope that you at least had some fun during the experience of putting together minis and rules and running them at the con.

      All the best,
      Lucas

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    2. And...I just realized I called you "Tom" instead of "Jon." Sorry.

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    3. Passionate comments asside, I did really enjoy working on the models and running the games at adepticon.

      It generated a bunch of notice with people and I got a lot of really encouraging feedback about the quality of the work.

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  4. I think that assessment is spot on. I'm a huge fan still of the defunct Mechwarrior:Dark Age line and will continue to be for as long as my eyes last. Been a fan of the Robotech property since it was released to TV, and have purchased every Palladium book for its RPG. Would I spend possibly hundreds on a miniatures version of a Robotech game? Certainly. Am I a table-top RPGer? Of course.

    You are correct in saying that they didn't give the idea enough of a look. With the Macross franchise still pumping out new products and shows I can see some cross-over between the fans. That would translate to sales.

    Short sighted of them. tsk.

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    1. There's also the fact that many Battletech fans will be grabbing these minis to use in that game, and MIGHT even try out this one too. Even if they don't, they're still giving you money right?

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    2. But from what I've seen of the work they'll be closer to 15mm scale(1/200) rather than the 6mm BTech scale. Which suits me just fine. I'm certain others will be happy with the larger units too though.

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  5. The prototype models I was working on for the Palladium attempt are aproximately 1/285th scale so they'd be in 6mm range and would fit batletech quite well. A few models may not pair up overly well as the veritechs are much biggger than the wasp and stingers that battletech uses.

    Here's a shot of a battletech warhammer next to the robotech tomahawk.

    http://i661.photobucket.com/albums/uu334/paulsongames/3d/warhammer_size.jpg


    Having potential cross appeal with other 6mm games was certainly a consideration with designing the figures. It would result in higher sales and as long as the minis sell who cares what system they would have been used with.

    It'd be nice if people supported a Robotech specific game, but if they wanted to use them for doorstops or paper weights they would be free to, all that'd matter is if they sold and it allowed the business to keep making more.

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  6. Sorry to hear that the rug was yanked out from underneath you.

    Best,
    JBR

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  7. My understanding is that HG does not own the rights to Macross(Japan) and they have had a number of additional genres like Macross 7. This may be an avenue you want to pursue to keep your dream alive of producing a 28mm Macross war-game

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