So I’ve been reflecting on the year in GURPS – and all I can say is wow!
Over the last few years, many of us have feared that GURPS was never going to get any love: SJGames seemed focused on Munchkin, and then also on the Ogre Kickstarter. Of course, this was for very understandable commercial reasons – but still, those of us who love GURPS are insatiable, and just want more, more, more!
In the first half of 2016, this trend looked set to continue. So far, so glum.
But, man, did the final third of 2016 bring GURPS a lot of joy! Since nothing else of any importance happened all year, the whole world will surely remember 2016 as the year that everything turned around for GURPS, right? Right.
Jokes aside, the last four months of the year really were amazingly wonderful, speaking purely from a GURPS perspective. GURPS gamers were treated to:
- The huge Dungeon Fantasy Kickstarter, leading to a brand-new boxed set, coming out next year.
- The launch of two brand-new hardcover books – GURPS Discworld and GURPS Mars Attacks (also both effectively coming out next year, for most purposes).
- a 40% off GURPS PDFs sale.
- an exciting experiment in making hard copies of GURPS books available via print on demand.
- The usual thick schedule of PDF releases: Steampunk plus Adaptations plus Protection and Warning Spells plus Incantation Magic plus Swashbucklers plus more Monsters.
- Heaps of new amazing GURPS material in Pyramid magazine. There’s always something fun in Pyramid, I find, but it seems to me that this year many of the articles were unusually useful and/or transformative.
On top of this, the fanbase was energized and active:
- This was the year that the GURPS Blogosphere really took off – a development best symbolized by the continuing success of GURPS Day, coming every Thursday to an internet near you.
- Part of the fanbase got together to create the new GURPS Discord, which has been getting a lot of traffic, and will hopefully do its part in bringing a whole new demographic of people into GURPS in the next few years.
- The GURPS discussion on the SJGames Forums was, once again, extensive, enthusiastic, and of very high quality. I’m not sure what the stats are there, but most times I stop in I see around 100 people viewing the “GURPS” part of the forum alone. That’s a lot of people to be constantly engaged in a discussion, given the niche market we’re talking about.
All of this showed:
- That GURPS is not just aaalliiiivvvee! but positively thriving.
- Steve Jackson Games is serious about GURPS, and is currently testing the market to decide its future.
- Next year is going to be a huge year for GURPS. We have the release of the Dungeon Fantasy Boxed Set, plus the two new GURPS hardcovers coming out properly – plus SJGames will obviously by reflecting on their new experiments, and maybe moving ahead with some of them (fingers crossed for print on demand!)
So it’s a really, really exciting time to be a GURPS Gamer. Ever since the blogosphere took off, people (me definitely included!!) have been talking, a bit hopefully but also a bit speculatively, about a GURPS Renaissance. The last quarter of this year really showed that this is not just empty talk – it could really happen. In fact, it might just be happening around us as we speak…
So bring on 2017!
Happy gaming, everyone!