Allegorically speaking, of course

I posted this as a comment in another blog (I’ve forgotten which, so please shout out and I’ll linkie), and think it’s worth repeating and throwing open for discussion:

Imagine a world where MacDonalds suddenly realized that by selling Quarter Pounders and Big Macs, they’re competing with themselves! Oh noes!

So, they decide to stop selling Quarter Pounders and only sell Big Macs. Nothing but Big Macs (and fries, of course. Gotta have fries!).

Inexplicably, sales go down. Other companies appear offering products which look remarkably like the old MacDonalds Quarter Pounder. These companies flourish.

MacDonalds scratch their heads. Surely everyone should be buying Big Macs……..

This would, of course, be a version of MacDonalds run by total idiots. It would never happen.

Because all the idiots already have a job, elsewhere.

7 Comments on “Allegorically speaking, of course”

  1. *shakes head and rolls eyes* Except, that the people at Wizards are not the decision makers. Hasbro, mindless corporate entity? Hello? Wizards hasn’t been making its own choices for some time now. I mean, I have to wonder how many full time jobs are even involved in the company now. It’s just another brand name that Hasbro owns, right? Aren’t most of their designers freelancers at this point?

  2. While talking about Big Macs and Quarter Pounders certainly makes sense, I’m not sure if it holds up if you think about cars.

    A long time ago, Ford introduced the Model T. It was the first example of Drivers & Dipsticks. They released similar models with improved features, but the Model T was used for years. After a while, they found better ways to make a car and they listened to what people liked and didn’t like about the Model T. They quit making it and produced the Model A.

    Some people liked the Model A, some preferred the Model T. But Ford decided it wasn’t worth creating more Model Ts because (for various reasons), they wanted to sell the Model A.

    Later, that too was replaced by newer and better cards, all the way up till today. There are some that prefer the old models and won’t buy a new one. For them, there exists a roaring trade for used cars and antiques. Some companies make cars resembling the Model T and Model A, but Ford doesn’t care because they’re selling the new Ford Taurus just fine. It’s not worth building more Model Ts for the people who want it.

    As a side note, they also make different types of vehicles, like SUVs, for those who prefer Starter Wars rather than Drivers & Dipsticks.

    Seems like some Sorcerers on the Beach are doing the same thing. Allegorically speaking, of course.

  3. Good counter-point!

    Of course, car manufacturers have long recognised that their customers have varying needs and requirements from their cars. It’s a rare (and highly specialized) manufacturer which only sells one model of car these days.

    For example, even though Porsche have released many other vehicles over the years, they still sell the classic 911 too. Even though it’s been refined and updated over the years, it still lives up to the name and fulfils a driver’s need for a light (-ish), fast, primarily manually controlled sports model.

    Other Porsches offer a different driving experience – some offer more advanced technology, others are geared toward the SUV or family market. Just because they released the larger Panamera they didn’t kill off the 911. To do that would be….. well, pretty unthinkable.

    If they have, then there would have been much outcry from the motoring community, and a healthy trade in second-hand sales of 911s would develop. Other car manufacturers would release new models to fill in the hole left by the 911. In the end, the only losers would be Porsche themselves.

  4. Strangely, this sort of thinking actually does go on in corporate America all the time… soft drink and beer companies get seriously concerned when one of their variant flavors or light offerings is perceived to be shrinking the market for the main product. At one point, Old Navy was in danger of being axed because it was outperforming its parent company, Gap.

    But the allegory kind of falls flat when it comes to roleplaying games… you drink a soda and buy a new one, you eat a burger and buy a new one. WOTC had already got everybody to buy the 3rd Edition core books twice. Should they have tried for a third time? :)
    .-= Alexandra Erin´s last blog ..Strange criticism of the moment… =-.

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