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nicosharp
05-24-2013, 04:18 PM
Everytime I walk into a Brick and Mortar card store / comic shop the 12 year old in me comes out, and I get excited at the wealth of games and entertainment in front of me.

It pains me to say this, but these establishments are quickly going the way of blockbusters.

We can feel bad for the individuals trying to make a buck in their local towns, doing what they love, but times are changing. The face to face social interaction these establishments provide can not be replaced, but technology will not allow these entrepreneurs to thrive. While physical collecting and hobbyism creates some magnificent memories and tangible memorabilia to share with family and friends, it also presents a challenge. The need for physical space, increased costs to produce the good, and limited mobility of the good.

Technology has helped create opportunities to eliminate these brick and mortar barriers, and enhance our hobbyist experience. World wide tournaments, flying the best players from around the world to compete face to face (behind computers), streamed for everyone to see. Players from around the world unite over Skype to talk strategy and play a game. Forums and social media creating an environment for enthusiasts to share their knowledge and theorycraft.

I love every comic shop I go into, and have always felt the need to support them locally, but at some point we need to let go of an old culture of the physical retail hobbyism, and embrace the new technology that allows us to enjoy the same entertainment, in less time, in a more social way, with less money involved.

I hope for a day when old comic shop owners of the past evolve into Cafe and Bar owners of the future that play streamed live events, and offer high-speed wifi to the future Hex Tablet gamers of the world.

Here's to one less garage shelf full of cards and comics. Here's to not disappearing into the sweat filled dungeons of a card shop for a draft. Here's to having more time to spend with my family, while still having time to unwind as a geek. Even if we are not fully there yet, thank you Hex for moving a real TCG beyond brick and mortar.

RoyalNightGuard
05-24-2013, 04:37 PM
Basically, as the information and technology sector continues to eat the rest of the economy, everything becomes a coffee shop. Bookstores often have coffee shops, racks of physical books, and digital e-book devices. What happens when the digital books replace the physical ones? There's just the coffee shop. Universities often have coffee shops along with big lecture theatres and study spaces. What happens when free online courses and video lectures replace the physical ones? There's just the coffee shop.

nicosharp
05-24-2013, 04:41 PM
Basically, as the information and technology sector continues to eat the rest of the economy, everything becomes a coffee shop. Bookstores often have coffee shops, racks of physical books, and digital e-book devices. What happens when the digital books replace the physical ones? There's just the coffee shop. Universities often have coffee shops along with big lecture theatres and study spaces. What happens when free online courses and video lectures replace the physical ones? There's just the coffee shop.
The real question is..
What happens when you get your coffee digitized?

Hatchet
05-24-2013, 04:46 PM
One of the largest problems with brick and mortar stores is that they are owned by non-business people who fail to adapt with technology and their local clientele turns over every 5 years on average. If there is no one to replace the last generation of turn over they go out of business, lamenting the "online" industry instead of their own failures.

Kagim
05-24-2013, 04:52 PM
Well, there is still room for most comic shops, as well as any of these things.

I don't know about yours but mine sells more then just comic books and cards. It sells statues and t-shirts and other random brikabrak.

Not to mention sometimes the real thing is just better. I mean, the warhammer RTS didn't destroy the tabletop game.

And I'm pretty sure we will always have a need for real things. That's not to say digital forms are dead-ends, but there will always be a want for the physical. Afterall, at the end of the day i'd feel a lot better packing comic books and a novel into a backpack to go camping then a kindle or tablet.

Not to mention there are still studies going on looking at the difference between the minds interaction with a tangible object and a digital one. In the end it doesn't matter how much cheaper or convenient a digital medium is if actually handling the card/book/toy just supplies a better experience. For many it seems people just respond better to having and holding and touching something rather then clicking on it.

... Of course I could spend the next several weeks and write a couple essays on that... so... Kinda leave it at that.

BenRGamer
05-24-2013, 08:00 PM
Eh, game stores might not be able to take full advantage of Hex, but I'm willing to bet we'll eventually be seeing some Platinum or Digital Booster Pack cards or VIP Time Cards, like they have with some other MMOs around for people who don't have Credit Cards but still want to buy something.

Ebynfel
05-24-2013, 09:00 PM
Not only that, I think Hex could make an impact at the local brick and mortar store supplying the wifi. They've already said they will support private leagues, and i am pretty sure that they will have Hex plat cards or draft packs or something i nthose old brick and mortars. I'm pretty sure my local game shop owner would allow us to host a league there, and actually get together with our tablets and soak up the wifi, especially if he had something to sell. And beyond that, putting Hex into the local stores helps sell other Cryptozoic products already on the shelves by expanding exposure potentially to Hex players. But it works two ways, because putting Hex into the Brick and mortars also shows the game and product to those people who frequent the stores but would not otherwise take a serious look at Hex. Imagine on Draft night for M:tG, the players see a draft pack for Hex on the shelf at 7 bucks. That may not mean a whole lot, but if private tournaments are supported(I think I saw something about this?), then those draft packs correlate directly into tablet players sitting down at their favorite local store and playing in a store draft.

Hex is one medium that can take away from the brick and mortars, but if played right it could be minimized. If giving players who prefer the environment of the shop an opportunity to buy there and play AT the shop amongst their peers, it could turn out to be a pretty decent trade. I'd love to head to my local shop for a Hex draft at the store, toting my tablet in to get into the action.

MasterPlan
05-24-2013, 11:43 PM
I have said it in other threads, but I really hope they make available to their B&M (FLGS) something like a gift card that they can carry that can be exchanged for boosters or starters. Something like time cards that are available to other MMO games.

volkmar77
05-25-2013, 01:44 AM
I think the future of Brick & mortar is in becoming more of a service.
Provide cool thematic rooms for your RPG needs, offer high tech equipment and large. comfortable spaces for people needing those and you are set. Even if all is digital, you still need some hardware to play it on. Even if tournaments would take part on computers, you still could keep your own custom tournament in the shop for local fame.

Basically, anything you can offer that would not fit someone's home would make a difference. What you cannot do is just do the same as 10 years ago, just sell physical products. That business will go on for some time still, but it is on the declining end of its lifespan.

A coffee shop integrated in your business is also very enticing due to the high profit you can have on beverages and simple snack, so offer membership with privileges, like you subscribe for X.XX a month, but you get a free 4-hours slot in one of the thematic rooms, 10% discount on the coffee and a free tournament a week/month ( a bit like they want to do the VIP here at HEX, no?).

I've the plan ready, but I am blocked by the lack of funds and the uncertainity of it all.. Meaning I do not know if people would be ready to pay for that on sa monthly basis when they could just use libraries, ya know? :D

Though my inner nerd tells me it would work :)

nicosharp
05-25-2013, 08:56 AM
I wasn't suggesting I want to see my local comic shop disappear, but it would be nice to find ways for game developers to promote local social events by subsidizing the price of in-game products to be sold by the store, and allow local events to be hosted and supported within their games.

There needs to be a level of creativity by game developers, and store owners combined to create opportunities for people to socially interact and keep physical spaces and jobs available to people with a passion for this kind of hobby. I agree that there is a different stimulant to meeting people and playing with them in-person, and having something tangible in front of you to touch and interact with in a game. There are also a lot of awkward things to the tangible games that require in-person social interaction, that anxiety can lead people to avoid.

It will be interesting to see what hobby shops will look like in 10 years, as more and more creative content is being moved into a digital space.

Talreth
05-25-2013, 09:03 AM
There are also a lot of awkward things to the tangible games that require in-person social interaction, that anxiety can lead people to avoid.

Yeah this is me, kind of. Well I also don't have a driver's license/car, but I'm much more comfortable playing on my computer especially because of the convenience and the 24/7 part. And I think online has equal potential for fostering good communities, so...I prefer to stay online.

Zdge
05-25-2013, 09:18 AM
When it comes to Hex I think there will be some eventual physical items that will tie into the digital game. However, I'm not exactly sure what they might end up being besides simply physical cards... Perhaps, CZE will make real packs that are just all random loot cards with scratch-off codes that you enter into the game to get the digital version for play. Most of which will be obtainable in the game anyways. BUT, a few of these loot cards from these real packs can ONLY be found in real packs from real, brick and mortar, shops. (You're welcome, Cory).

It's not a stretch to assume that something like this will happen. If you consider how Cryptozoic used WoW TCG loot cards with WoW the MMO. Cory is all about that multi-product tie-ins/integration (I believe there is a industry name for what I'm trying to explain but not sure what it is exactly).

nicosharp
05-25-2013, 09:22 AM
When it comes to Hex I think there will be some eventual physical items that will tie into the digital game. However, I'm not exactly sure what they might end up being besides simply physical cards... Perhaps, CZE will make real packs that are just all random loot cards with scratch-off codes that you enter into the game to get the digital version for play. Most of which will be obtainable in the game anyways. BUT, a few of these loot cards from these real packs can ONLY be found in real packs from real, brick and mortar, shops. (You're welcome, Cory).

It's not a stretch to assume that something like this will happen. If you consider how Cryptozoic used WoW TCG loot cards with WoW the MMO. Cory is all about that multi-product tie-ins/integration (I believe there is a industry name for what I'm trying to explain but not sure what it is exactly).

Wouldn't it be awesome if they allowed 3 extra Wow TCG loot cards in each set, that were instead exclusive equipment for Hex TCG? I could really see them building in unique items that are obtainable through going to play another one of their TCG's locally. Lot of cross-over options, but the limitations are within the licenses of the differing products, and a need to bring people together to a physical space for some reason.

Talreth
05-25-2013, 09:23 AM
Wouldn't it be awesome if they allowed 3 extra Wow TCG loot cards in each set, that were instead exclusive equipment for Hex TCG? I could really see them building in unique items that are obtainable through going to play another one of their TCG's locally. Lot of cross-over options, but the limitations are within the licenses of the differing products, and a need to bring people together to a physical space for some reason.

I really dislike policies of using one game you have to pay for to offer exclusive items in a different game. :\

Zdge
05-25-2013, 09:27 AM
I really dislike policies of using one game you have to pay for to offer exclusive items in a different game. :\

I agree with this. I think "forcing"your player base to adopt a whole different game just to help them in Hex is too far... That being said, if I were in charge I would make these real pack exclusive cards (and any other exclusives through other games or whatever else) tradable so players who limit themselves to digital play only can still obtain them.

nicosharp
05-25-2013, 09:30 AM
I really dislike policies of using one game you have to pay for to offer exclusive items in a different game. :\
Yeah, I get it. I was using a model already used by CZE. WowTCG is not WOW. They already had that problem with strictly WOW players having to go on a secondary market to pickup loot cards that they wanted for WOW, since they didn't want or care about the WOWTCG at all..
There are other ways, even if it is subsidized drafts (cheaper), if you queue up on your tablets against the players in the room. etc.

Lazybum
05-25-2013, 10:04 AM
use to go to a local card store or 2 when i was in high school, but when i moved out of state i really stopped going since all my card playing friends were left behind and it was about then when i quit playing mtg and such. and since it has been prob close to 12 years since i been to a card store.

any cards i did want when i still collected mtg or loot cards for the wow game i could get off ebay. and usually boxes of boosters were cheaper on ebay then they were in the card stores as well

Hibbert
05-25-2013, 10:18 AM
I wasn't suggesting I want to see my local comic shop disappear, but it would be nice to find ways for game developers to promote local social events by subsidizing the price of in-game products to be sold by the store, and allow local events to be hosted and supported within their games.

CZE is in a unique position among digital game developers to make this happen. They already have a relationship with the distributors so they could get some sort of redeemable "plat/card pack" into game/hobby shops. If they threw in some sort of exclusive promo card, they could even drive people who normally never visit these stores there to get the new shiny card.

They also have a direct relationship with these stores through their event coordination for WoWTCG. It would be super cool if they worked on a "game store account" feature, where shop owners could create their own tournaments or leauges with special prize support(think arena lands or FNM promo cards). As cool as being able to draft whenever I want in Hex is, the idea of being able to have in person digital tournaments is exciting too. When MTGO launched, Wizards had no incentive to do this since they didn't want to cannibalize their paper card sales. Also when MTGO launched, there wasn't anywhere near the ubiquity of portable computing/wifi.