Free RPG Day is now over and we’ll have to wait until next year to participate or live vicariously through others that have stores willing to participate and make an event out of the day. Locally, none of four stores bothered to get involved. It’s not just a matter of getting the retailer kit, but rather an opportunity to bring together roleplayers for a day of fun and networking. It’s also a day to sell roleplaying game products to the masses that might not otherwise descend on a store at any one time. Why would anyone not want to take advantage of the opportunity is beyond me.
I have been reading early reports of some awesome events at game stores all around the world. One store reported 106 seats available for various games over a 12 hour period. Another reported that they had a little over 100 player/participants playing games all day long at their store. If it can be done around the globe, it can be done here too!
Our largest local store used to get the retailer kit every year, but never really made an effort, that I can recall, to embrace the day as a day–a holiday! I imagine they opted out this year as the cost of the retail kit was not generating enough return revenue. To be honest, if that is the case I wouldn’t be surprised by their decision. The other side of that coin is they never made an effort in years past to make a day of Free RPG Day. I don’t mean to come across as too harsh, the other stores did nothing this year either. One store owner was at Origins, good reason they were not involved. One had no idea about Free RPG Day, I guess they need to learn about the industry they’re trying to be part of. The fourth, I don’t know too much about them; RPGs may not be their jam.
I just hope that next year one of the stores will grab the bull by the horns and seize the opportunity to not only bring the gaming community together, but to also to show they care for not only the sales, but the long-term health of the community.
Here’s to next year and the dream of a Free RPG Day event locally!