Newsletter 44

Welcome to the Wrestling Gamers United newsletter #44!

In this issue

1) Don't be alarmed
2) New interview
3) The birth of Tirador
4) Best game award

1) Don't be alarmed
Committing myself to seeing Pro Wrestling X succeed has forced me to learn about a lot of things I never dreamt I'd ever need or want to know about. One of those things is the the big bad world of video game marketing and distribution. Let me give you a crash course in what led me to this realization.

First, I'm happy to report that we've had initial talks with an investor regarding full financing of the PWX project. He's heard the general idea of what we're trying to accomplish and how much money we want to get it done. So far so good. He has asked us to prepare a comprehensive business plan including detailed financial statements outlining the costs and projected return on his investment. No problem. I'm 90% done the business plan anyway so I have a good head start.

The reason this investor even knows about our project is because we have a mutual friend, Tracy, who happens to own her own marketing firm and has also been working with me on the project due to what she firmly believes is a chance to be a part of something big and get in on the ground floor. Now, Tracy has advised me that no matter how excited our investor gets about the project he is still going to turn the business plan over to his financial advisors for final approval. This is where things get a little funky.

Their number one concern is going to be how likely this investment is to pay off and that is directly related to how marketable the game is. Understand, I just want to make a quality wrestling game and I'm really not that interested in trillions of dollars but I am beginning to understand the investor's point of view. What insurance does he have that PWX will sell enough to earn him a good return on his investment? None unless...

...we start looking for a big name wrestling star or two to help market the game to the casual wrestling fan. I have to admit, I really don't like the idea and I'd much rather see Dre or Tirador on the box than any number of former WWE stars because I'm damn proud of what Alek and Jess have created and I don't want to see them end up the equivalent of Dr. Frank in WCW/NWO Revenge, do you know what I mean?

Ok, let me get back on track. I'm convinced we could sell enough copies of PWX through mail order to break even and cover the costs of production but that's not good enough. The investor has to make his money back and then some. That means we are going to have to market to the casual fans and not just rely on the smart fans like you to buy the game. The only way to get the attention of the casual wrestling gamer is to slap a familiar face on the box and in advertisements. It's a sad fact that no matter how good a game is a lot of gamers won't touch it if they don't know who any of the wrestlers are. I've witnessed this theory myself when I've had friends playing No Mercy but thought VPW2 was boring because they "didn't know who any of these guys are."

I've talked to Alek about this and, sure, we love our fantasy roster and we'll be taking steps to promote the wrestlers and get gamers excited about them but will anyone really buy the game just because K.O. Hodge is in it?

That brings me to another point. In order to ensure market saturation for PWX we have to score a distribution deal with a distributor who will put the game on the shelves of retailers like EB and Toys R Us. This is how it works. I'll meet with a representative for one of these distributors and he'll ask me why he should order a few hundred thousand copies of PWX. I could go on and on about how great the gameplay is and how you can edit practically everything in the game and all he's going to say is, "So?" But if I can tell him Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior are in all the marketing and box art he'll say, "Really? Let's talk..."

See what I mean?

We may be forced to get a few high profile wrestlers to help secure a distribution deal and even the investor. But I wanted to let you guys know a few very important things:

1) PWX will ALWAYS be about the best gameplay we can provide and the best editability possible. If paying a few famous wrestlers will help PWX succeed then that's fine. It will in no way affect our goal of making PWX everything you want it to be.

2) We love our roster and it isn't going anywhere. If anything, the "real" wrestlers could be delegated to the back of the menu. Any endorsements will have no affect on the story mode characters either.

3) No, we aren't in negotiations with Hogan or Warrior.

So I guess what I'm so desperately trying to make you understand is whatever I have to do I will do in the name of getting PWX in your hands. You know what I'm all about and you know that regardless of who's face happens to be on the box, underneath it all will be the game we always wanted. Besides, we'll make sure you can edit and delete anyone on the roster :)

2) New interview
I recently completed and interview conducted by Shi-yu and I'm assuming it will be posted at our official fan site soon if it isn't already.

I answered some of the questions fans posted on the message board so check it out and if you get a chance thank Shi-yu for taking the time to track me down and answer them for you. He's a good guy.

3) The birth of Tirador
I recently acquired the first ever hand drawn sketches of Tirador by crew member, Alek. This is the abominable material Jessica had to work with and if Alek ever pisses me off I swear I'll post it on the message board :)

Speaking of Tirador, Darrell has been flooding my email box with early 3D renderings of our masked marvel and as soon as he's happy with the final product you'll be the first to see it.

4) Best game award
The voting in each category is still very close and I'm going to let the contest continue until the voting slows down. Some gamers are just now learning of the award and I want to give everyone a chance to get in on it. It's going to be a close call!

In the meantime and in-between time, that's it. Another edition of Wrestling Gamers United.

Thank you all,
Dave Wishnowski