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Cardboard v Computer: Would you pay for a complete game?

Posted: 22 May 2022, 17:58
by Woody8297
Hi ZunTzu folks,

I've been kicking around this question for awhile and I'd really like to know. Here's the situation as I see it...

Right now ZunTzu hosts quite a number of games that are incomplete. They are--deliberately--missing the rules, charts, and tables. This is in accordance with the publishers' terms. Some of these gameboxes are noted as "ownership of the original game required" and some are just disappointments when you download them and find just a map and counters. Either way, the only people who can actually play these gameboxes are the people who have possession of their paper/cardboard version.

As I see it, the publishers are afraid that they would lose sales if people could play their games on computer. The intent of allowing incomplete gameboxes is to give the computer option to their cardboard customers and, possibly, to generate some extra sales by sparking interest from ZunTzu folks browsing the list of gameboxes. Copyright laws give the publishers the right to do this. Fine.

Except I don't want to buy a paper game.

I prefer to play my games on the computer. A long list of reasons: a small apartment, no table space, friends far away, limited time to play, setup takes too long, etc. The computer is much more convenient and fits my aging lifestyle. I'm not in the market for a paper game anymore. The last time I played one was five years ago. I don't miss it.

So if I want to play one of these incomplete gameboxes, my only option is to buy the paper version (it it's still in print) and get hold of the rules and tables. That's $40, $50, $60, $70 or more for a paper version I will never use. Am I going to do that? Not likely. Truthfully, not ever.

The question is: Will you?

Suppose there was another option though. Suppose that the publisher allowed the complete game to be put up on ZunTzu and asked for--didn't require--a small donation to support the company and the designers. Say, ten bucks. I would think that was fair. I would pay that.

Would you?

I'd really like to know. I suspect the game publishers would like to know too. So please, let's have a discussion about this.


Re: Cardboard v Computer: Would you pay for a complete game?

Posted: 22 May 2022, 21:21
by Bill Barrett

Re: Cardboard v Computer: Would you pay for a complete game?

Posted: 23 May 2022, 01:21
by Woody8297
Hi Bill.

Consider yourself a man ahead of his time. You made all my points eight years ago. It boggles my mind that, in the intervening years, no one in the game publishing business has addressed this oversight. They don't seem to grasp that there is an untapped market waiting for them...

(You) Bill Barrett, February 20, 2014:
I want to be able to legally play these games on a computer, but I don't want to have to buy a physical product in order to do so. I want to pay some money to the publishers for this privilege, but there is currently no mechanism for doing so. In my view they're leaving money on the table...

(Me) Frank Jordan, May 22, 2022
Show me where, right now, I can support the game publishers without buying a paper game I will never use.

Maybe ZunTzu can be that mechanism. Right now it's positioned to reach both parties. It has the "blue links" to the publishers' websites. A few simple sentences added to the gamebox description should be enough. Something like: "This is a complete game with all the rules, charts, and tables necessary to play; courtesy of Forward Thinking Games. (Don't I wish.) Please consider sending them $10, or whatever you think is fair, in order to support the game designers. Click on their link here."

I think ZunTzu could--finally--make this happen.

Re: Cardboard v Computer: Would you pay for a complete game?

Posted: 28 Jun 2022, 04:23
by PetersonR
An interesting idea - - I'm more of a 'physical' gamer. I prefer the tactile feel of an actual card-board game. The feeling of moving counters with my own fingers/tweezers; or spending time looking at a printed Map for an advantage against a FTF opponent - well, I like that!

Although ZunZtu isn't 'real,' it gives me the sensation of playing a game FTF over the net.

After saying that, yes. I would buy an electronic game. But, I still want a 'real' game to play FTF :D