It can be heartening to see a good idea appear, take root and then take off. That’s what is happening with Magpie Games’ curated play program.
If you’re struggling to find anyone to roleplay with online, then Magpie stepped up to help. However, it wasn’t free. You needed to pay $10 for a ticket, but that kept time wasters away and allowed Magpie to match you with professional-level GMs!
The launch campaign had one catch; the only game it supported was Magpie’s very popular superhero RPG Masks.
The expanded curated program adds in more games, different games and grows the number of GMs. In the coming days, I can see Zombie World and even Magpie’s game of feminine horror Bluebeard’s Bride.
I spoke to Magpie’s Sam Saltiel about the Curated Play Program.
Did fans ask Magpie Games to launch the program or is this an innovation from the company?
The Curated Play Program is our solution to a conundrum we’ve heard expressed by many fans: unless they have a home group that regularly plays indie games, they struggle to find a place to play our games. We wanted to give fans the opportunity to connect with other fans around the world and introduce them to some of our favorite gamemasters!
Q) Do you know of any other publisher who has a similar “buy tickets for professionally arranged tabletop games” service?
To our knowledge, this is the first program of its kind. It stems from two different trends we’ve seen in the ttrpg industry: organized play and professional GMing. We love the community-building capacity that organized play has to offer, but we know that our games don’t work well with preplanned adventures or campaigns. Furthermore, we want to support the new wave of professional GMing because we love seeing experienced and high-quality GMs getting paid for their labor. While this Curated Play Program is a totally new thing, we aimed to combine the best features of each!
People reading this might be curious and tempted to give a game with your team a try. What should they know upfront? What tips do you have?
As far as game play goes, players don’t need any experience or preparation coming into the game. They can buy tickets to a session with their friends, but they can also just as easily come in as a solo player and make new friends. Our GMs ensure that regardless of a player’s gaming experience, they’ll have a fun time.
We do recommend that potential players keep an eye on our announcements– we’ll provide a heads up whenever we’re about release our new schedule, and tickets go quick! Campaign games have been the fastest to sell out so far, and they’re some of the best experiences, allowing players to really develop a relationship with the GM and the other players. We’d also suggest that players make sure they have a strong internet connection beforehand, and that they review our code of conduct, just so they can make the most out of their play experience!
If the newly expanded program sells out just as quickly as the launch offer did do you imagine you might extend it again? How far do you think the program could go?
We hope to have this program become a year-round staple for Magpie Games fans. Though the growth will be limited by the demand, we think it will be feasible to continue to expand our game catalog and offer more sessions of more games over the next few months. We’re keeping a close eye on what’s been doing well so that we can meet that demand. For example, we’ve added more campaigns in the new schedule, since the original campaign sold out long before anything else.
In the future, we would love to see fans connect with their favorite GMs over and over. If you go to a convention, it’s a special feeling to find that GM you love and play with them in a game you’ll remember long after the convention is over. What if you could do that over and over from home? We believe there’s enough interest in unique games and great sessions to make it possible to pay GMs a fair wage while connecting them with awesome players!
Looking for the latest Curated Play offerings and options from Magpie Games? You can find them at this dedicated page.
What do you think of Magpie’s Curated Play Program? A clever and helpful idea or is it the start of a slippery slope that might take the hobby out of the hobby.