The release date for Guild Wars 2 was announced a few days ago, and the Internet exploded. I joined a guild for it, and prepurchased the game so I could participate in the Head Start on August 25th. We’re making plans for the three-day period before the game is released to everyone else, and the air is thick with excitement. Shopping lists, arrangements for sitters, usage of vacation time at work, and so forth are all being discussed and implemented.
This is a fairly common occurrence in the video and computer game world. When a major new game is about to be released, launch parties are organized, people take time off work, and the atmosphere is charged with anticipation.
In my experience, this has never happened in the tabletop gaming world.
There have never been launch parties planned around when a particular product is released. Even Dungeons & Dragons, which managed to plan a few launch events surrounding its 3rd and 4th editions, has never managed to grab the attention of its target audience in the same way that Blizzard, NCSoft, and other purveyors of electronic entertainment have.
Why is this? Is it that roleplayers are less passionate about their games than computer gamers? Is it that the companies are less able to support such events? Or perhaps is it that no tabletop company has really tried?
When Silver Gryphon Games finally releases the fantasy campaign setting Eiridia, we will have a launch event. We’re a small company with a small fan base, but our fans are awesome and passionate about our games. As Eiridia develops I’ll chronicle its journey here from time to time, and when we’re gearing up for release, I’ll post about the official launch party here.
Because really, tabletop games are just as much cause for excitement as computer games.