Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Is scenario in trouble now, too?

Okay, maybe the title was unnecessarily hyperbolic but it got your attention, didn't it? I had a chat in Chicago with a friend who was at Oklahoma D-Day for the duration and he said the total number of players was down, perhaps as much as 25%, and that daily numbers were down as well. Turns out the D-Day event covers a number of days and in the past a lot of the players played more of the event days than they did this year. So if that's an accurate report what does it portend? If one of the most popular, well known scenario super games is down this year does it mean scenario is slipping too? And will gear and gun sales soon follow?

28 comments:

Furby said...

Times are tough all over, especially here in the south...it's summer, and it's simply too hot out for most players to be out running around in the woods...

Jay said...

I know D-day is a bigger event, but the Living Legends has grown in player numbers each year. Most of the players I talk to and play with have played more woodsballs events this year than in years past. Granted we're playing in the typical "speedball" gear and haven't purchased the "scenario" or "milsim" gear. They seem to be more fun per $ spent. Less of my teammates can afford as many tournament events as they could in years past. Just my $.02

info said...

That means Big Paintball Maneuvers are the biggest game with 3484 players this year...

Reiner Schafer said...

The recession affects "regular" players moreso than renters and casual players. Scenarios (like tourneys) are attended for the most part by regular paintballers. Players that spend $1,000 per scenario are cutting back from going to 3 or 4 per year to 2 or 3, just like the players spending $50/weekend are cutting back. When something is eating away at that much of your expendable income, the recession is going to affect attendance.

Renter and casual attendance isn't affected nearly as much, as $50 once or twice per year, isn't a huge part of those people's expendable income.

But yes, I do also believe that big scenario play has a limited lifespan. Those people that I personally know that have attended D-Day for instance, have all told me they probably will not go again.

Anonymous said...

Airsoft attracts scenario and milsim-oriented people much better than paintball in the long run.

If I should make a guess based on gut feeling, there will be two forms of paintball in the future:

1. As an extreme sport where people compete seriously in various leagues and practice quite a bit to be good.

2. As a rental politically correct work related relax day / birthday experience, most likely using different paintball than the sport scene, separating the casual paintball from the sport permanently.

Reiner Schafer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reiner Schafer said...

Anon, I can see the serious scenario and milsim players jumping over to airsoft, for sure. Big scenarios seem to attract many of the undesirables in paintball that go there only because it's a big game with a lot of targets and care very little about the actual scenario, story line, or missions. That pisses the serious scenario players off.

The cheating is also rampant. Who wants to spend $1,000 on travel, admission, and paint just to get shot out and walk half a mile to get reinserted. It's a lot easier to just wipe the paint and keep mowing the targets. There are certainly never enough refs around to stop that behaviour.

For the same reason, among others, "regular" paintball players that play paintball for fun (and with honour - no cheating) get discouraged at big scenario games. They are still relatively new and still get a lot of curious "Looky-Lous", but many of them never go back to a second one (count me in with that crowd).

Big scenarios/games will never completely disappear though. They are a destination event and groups of friends will always want to have road trip every once in a while, much like the guys' fishing trip. They are as much about being a social event it seems as they are a paintball game.

As far as your two groups/classifications of paintballs players, there will always be "regular" paintball players that play the game just for the fun of playing a game of tag (ball tag) rather than pretend soldier that don't seem to fit in either of your 2 classifications. Airsoft doesn't work as well for playing a game of high tech tag.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the cheating and all that stuff until the last paragraph.

Release of marker pellets have recently started to bring change to airsoft crowd, bringing in the tag players. Equipment is alot cheaper, you can easily have multiple real life looking guns and play the tag with much easier effort, less noise and fuss of cleaning and other problems such as air that comes with paintball.

I'm talking about this stuff: http://arniesairsoft.co.uk/news2/7782

Cost of playing is fraction compared to PB with these pellets and pain assorted is minimal, making more crazy runs and stupid moves that hurt in PB, easier to do for the casual dude. More stuff to brag out, with less effort and maybe for them, more fun involved.

Couple years ago, I would have agreed. Now, I'm not so sure anymore and hence my gutts tell me about two surviving groups of Paintball in the long run.

Reiner Schafer said...

Well with that argument, why would group #1 not also be converting to these "marking" airsoft pellets?

I'm not anti-airsoft. But the reality is, that the "adrenaline factor" is much lower. The biggest complaint I hear from paintballplayers that try airsoft is that "you can't feel anything". These marking balls may help people know they have been hit, but I'm sure it will do very little for the adrenaline factor.

I guess these pellets will be the extreme version of "small ball". Cheap, less pain, and much less range. It certainly has a market, but I disagree that it will replace paintball as the game of choice for those wanting to continue playing tag past the rental paintball stage.

Reiner Schafer said...

Sorry the above first line should have read group #2.

Anonymous said...

I am familiar with players who go to D-Day.
Last year, players that went to 5-6 games a year were saving money and only going to 2-3 events. D-day would be on of the events they still went to as it was the "big event". This year, many groups have 30% of their players out of work and going to zero events. Many regular paintball players are in their 20's in non-professional jobs. They are over represented in those that have lost jobs.

Airsoft as an "event" is only for the truly hard-core. It turns off the casual player that just wants to have fun. My guess is that airsoft only has a 10% cross over.

Cheating happens, but I don't think, it is what ruins the experience. Games need to be interesting. When a game consists of mobs of players at max range throwing paint, it gets boring.

Reiner Schafer said...

Well cheating is what ruins the experience for a lot of us. Whether you are going to a scenario for the story line or missions or going just to shoot and eliminate other players, it all becomes rather pointless when the basic premise of the game (eliminating each other with paintball splats) is ignored. Why spend lots of money to get frustrated and pissed off?

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