Errata: Paying for Beta
This week’s Errata comes from none other than the Giant Fire Breathing Robot himself: our head editor, Andrew. And when the Robot asks, you answer. That is… if you care at all about the burning and the squashing.
Andrew asked, “I just picked up the beta rules for the new Star Wars RPG from Fantasy Flight, and paid for them. What do you think of this concept? It’s a full color, professionally printed book, the same quality you’d expect from a finished product, but it had a limit of 1 per gaming group (no clue how you’d enforce that) and the rules are going to change for the final thing. Am I a typical, dumb, early adopter for buying it, or does the idea of selling a beta product make sense?”
I guess that depends. At the Fantasy Flight Store, the book is listed at $29.95. It’s hard to tell if that’s the same as the full price for the real set of rules or a slight discount for the beta version. I suppose getting it at a discount would make more sense. After all, you’re not buying a finished product.
Also, as a beta player, you’ll be doing a service for FFG by (hopefully) finding any remaining bugs and reporting them up the chain to be corrected before the final version. In fact, they specifically reference this “service” that they find “incredibly valuable.” Although not expressly stated, I’d hope that there would be some compensation for this. Perhaps some kind of discount on the final version for those who purchased the beta and submitted feedback.
But even if neither is true, it’s the premium paid for being an early adopter. I don’t think any early adopter (whether games, consoles, tvs, cell phones, whatever) is “dumb.” Sure, technology tends to improve and latecomers get better stuff at lower prices. But the early adopters are just paying a premium to have the good stuff early. If you like the opportunity to play Star Wars before everyone else can, and if your group is raring to go, then I’d say it’s worth a small premium to start a campaign now.
Plus, there’s some amount of nerd hipster cred you can have when people talk about how awesome the tar Wars RPG is and you can say, “Oh yeah. I remember playing it back in Beta and it was totally different.”
Got questions about strategy, specific games, or the hobby in general? Post them in the comments here, email me at geekinsight at gfbrobot dot com, or send them to @GeekInsight on Twitter and check back next week for answers!