Aug 8, 2013

Is Kickstarter Killing the GenCon Vendor's Room?

As I get ready for GenCon 2013, I find that this year, unlike most others, I'm not heading off to Indianapolis with a list of must-get items.

Now part of this is certainly due to the fact that this year Dungeons and Dragons is between editions, so there's no hot off the presses source book or box set for my favorite RPG, but it's not just the lack of D&D product that's reduced my shopping list to near nothing.

I'm starting to wonder, is Kickstarter is to blame. Is it killing off, or at least diminishing, the excitement of the GenCon vendor's room? In the past I would circle around the Reaper Miniatures booth, or gaze longingly at the various Dwarven Forge setups. But thanks to Kickstarter, if I took part in the Reaper Bones KS from a while ago, or the Dwarven Forge Game Tiles KS from earlier this year, I'd have little reason to visit either location.

Same for Larry Elmore, an artist I've admired since I read my first Dragonlance book, and who's booth I usually visit. This year, I'm just waiting for The Complete Elmore Artbook to come back from the printer and get shipped out to my eager and awaiting eyes and hands.

Likewise, I've supported a number of smaller items, like the Clashing Blades card deck and Foamy Dice, that I would probably have been keen to see and maybe pickup at the con. Now, I just sit back and wait for their respective packages to start arriving in the mail.

I wonder if this is the new face of our hobby, where the GenCon Vendor's room isn't the launch pad for so many new products, maybe just a few offerings from established companies, like WotC, Paizo, or FFG?