jueves, 4 de abril de 2013

Aquelarre and USA

I've often wondered why the hell wasn't Aquelarre published in the United States, since it seems to me enough of a great game to have a fighting chance in the US market. More so speaking about a market that's at least partially breaking up - you can just look at the way Wizards of the Coast or White Wolf have been losing their essentially monopolistic hold to other companies like, for example, Paizoo. Besides, it's a wider market, with more resonance and an acquisition rate much higher than that of Spain.
All of this comes to mind when I read this review of the game at DriveThruRPG.com, which I quote for ease of reading:
Let me first say that I have wanted this book for many years after playing a demo of it back in 1991. I was enthralled by it's incredible level of detail, character generation system, ease of play and spectacular attention to religious thought of the medieval church and demonology. This game is probably the best gaming product I can barely read.
The PDF version is gloriously illustrated, the woodcuts and colors are magnificent. The overall layout of the book is very well done, and for non Spanish speakers this is a blessing; if you try to run a game of Aquelarre you will need to be able to find the information you want quickly. There is a lot of old Spanish terminology in the book- it helps if you know a Spanish scholar or someone very used to the terms used.
The system runs of off a simple percentile system a la BRP. The rules are very easy to use- translating them might be more difficult.
The pdf is expensive. The book is entirely in Spanish and is password protected so you cant copy and paste into a translator for quick translation. Is the price worth it? I say yes. A little work on your part will yield a lot of satisfaction, and you get a Spanish lesson to boot.
NSR EDICIONES! ¡Haga por favor este libro disponible en inglés! ¡Le mendigo!

The best part's the ending, this guy's doubtlessly desperate. But as you can read, he doesn't have the slightest uncertainty about the game's quality. The thing is, he isn't the only US gamer who wonders about Aquelarre, for proof you can take this link to the RPGsite forums and this one to the Steve Jackson Games forums. I'm not claiming that profitability will be guaranteed in as competitive a market as the US, but there's enough of a market to be worth the try anyway. Why aren't all the publishers diving at it then? Well, for starters it's not a walk through the park. If you don't think so, look at the game's review on this issue of Dragon Magazine. Page 38, more accurately.
Publishers tend to think, upon seeing articles like the last one, that Aquelarre perhaps isn't the kind of product that would have the best release in the US, and also maybe too complex in terms of setting and too disconnected from the local mindset. In my opinion there are more upsides than downs to a stateside release of Aquelarre, since what should concern a company isn't who won't buy, but who will. Besides, the US are a continent-sized country with a population of 315,000,000 who don't share the same idiosyncrasies, given the diversity of states.
Someone will wonder what's up with this philippic and what does it matter for local RPG gamers whether it be or not translated into English. Well, if it succeeds in the English-speaking markets the publisher will rake in more revenue, and a bigger volume and variety of publications will start to be profitable. And I think that's better for us all than looking at publishers shut down, one after another. So from here, I encourage Nosolorol Ediciones to jump across the pool and do the USA, as in doing so, we all win.
Translation by Enrique E. Corrales

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