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Fantasy Grounds Virtual RPG Tabletop
Will the Fantasy Grounds monetization model change when it comes to Steam?
I would definitely be interested in Fantasy Grounds being added to Steam.

This program is one of the best virtual tabletops out there, granted, that was after they fixed all of the bugs over its long lifespan. There's also a pretty sizeable community that develops free ruleset adaptations for the program as well.

That said, the main sticking point for Fantasy Grounds has been the price. But I'm not going to just say "Oh, it's just too expensive"... rather, I think that the monetization model will need to be changed once it moves over to Steam, to take into account a broader audience.

So, indulge me a bit while I talk out my backside here (Call me on any shenanigans, Doug). When Fantasy Grounds was created and priced, it seems to have taken into account 2 things:

1.) The current pricing of video games and other software in 2003-2004
2.) What your typical real life tabletop gaming group would spend on the tabletop gaming hobby.

When you look at the pricing from that perspective, it's actually relatively cheap. Pricing for software around that time ran rather parallel to their pricing, depending on what software market you use as comparison, and pricing for Video Games were still fairly standard around that $60 and down. But that's fairly well known. Moreso the focus on pricing is the second point I made earlier. Many people who haven't really done much in the way of tabletop gaming in real life have no idea how much people actually spent on this hobby. You had the full color hardback books, which, in the case of Dungeons and Dragons 3.5, the Player's Handbook ran for about $35, and the Dungeon Master's book for $40 or $50, plus the Monster Manual and all of the campaign and supplement books... Then there were the figurines, which ran anywhere from $10-$100 (on the low end of the spectrum) a piece, depending on quality, material, and that's probably unpainted. Add in the costs for everyone driving to the same location, whether that be someone's house, or the local game shop, the cost of all the money you'd spend on food (We're talking 4-6 hour gaming sessions here, food is a must).

With all that taken into account, I reiterate that the pricing was pretty fair. But, that was then. Now, as far as the current market goes, things have changed greatly in both the video game and tabletop gaming arenas. Prices have dropped neccesarily in many cases, and monetization models have changed. It's also worth noting that the price for your software hasn't degraded all that much since launch, unlike video games in the conventional monetization model, where they eventually end up in the $5-$10 bargain bin.

So, where I'm going with this is:

Are you planning on going with a different monetization model for Fantasy Grounds on Steam? For example, maybe going primarily with a single license type that has both player and GM enabled, drop the price to reflect that everyone needs one of these to play, and make the DLC cheaper by requiring that all players own the DLC to play with it? Maybe a more decentralized model?

As I said before, your monetization model works for the old-timers who have played and/or still play tabletop gaming locally. But I don't think your pricing model will work as-is for attracting a broader customer base who are new to tabletop gaming. I just don't think many people outside of the tabletop gaming community would buy your product with the your current monetization model. If your answer to that is that you're primarily targeting tabletop gamers, then why even put your game on Steam? To be honest, while I love Steam, I don't think it would be worth your time and money putting your game on Steam simply to take advantage of the multiplayer and social aspects; especially if speculation is true that Steam may charge you somewhere around 25-40% per sale. On top of that, your product is already known as a premiere virtual tabletop gaming software in the online tabletop community as is. I may be wrong, but I doubt you'll be getting many current tabletop gamers that you may have missed already.

Steam is a wonderful tool, but it only works as well as you wield it. To be rather successful on Steam, I believe you generally have to embrace many of Valve's philosophies on marketing and monetization.

I apologize ahead of time for frontloading some of those arguments, but I figure I might as well lay enough out right now as this is in comments. I suppose I'll go ahead and copy-pasta this into Discussion?

Finally, I'll tack on a bit of personal experience: While I'm able to get tabletop players I knew to buy player or full licenses, getting people that I only know online to buy licences is a bit harder. This is even harder when we're down a player or two, and we're trying to get other people online that we know outside of the tabletop community to play, and . If it were tabletop, we'd have them simply sit in, fill out a character sheet, borrow some books, and we'd be introducing them to the game. You can't really do that with Fantasy Grounds, unless you own an ultimate license or you go ahead and spend $24 buying them a player license (Sure, there's volume pricing, but if I'm buying people licenses, I might as well go for the ultimate).

Anyhoo, I hope this spontaneously written wall of text might be helpful in some way.