Many gamers recoil from the statement above like a vampire from sunlight. Game companies are SUPPOSED to operate on whisper-thin margins where a single mistake (or a single distributor who runs off with your money) leads to certain bankruptcy.
Then you have their RESPECT, and when you go out of business, they can sit around and talk about how awesome your books were, and how great it would be if you were still around.
Example #4,579 of this behavior is right here: a gamer starts a thread and says "hey, no random minis please".
The thread goes on for a bit with a lot of people basically chiming in and saying "yeah! random minis are an evil corporate scam! way to rake in stupid dollars hasbro!".
Then, Charles freaking Ryan, former brand manager for D&D at WOTC steps in and says "guys, they have to be random, or else we have to guess what minis will sell, then the distributor has to guess, then the retailer has to guess and prices would rise by 50% and every step along the chain is choked with unsold product and there are no more minis to buy, it wouldn't be worth it".
That last part is really really important. If they sold them that way, they wouldn't be selling them. The line would be as dead as Julius Caesar. Or in other words, it would be Alternity.
And then... everyone completely ignores Charles Ryan's post.
They don't even deign to respond with a "nuh-uh!"
They just continue on like no one ever posted with "random minis suck!"
Like two pages later you get a response, the first I've noticed so far with "distribution is the problem, now go fix it".
Except they freaking did! Randomized minis fixes it!
And then someone else pointed out that WOTC offered a non-random pack of that most common of all monsters, the orc, which was pulled because distributors weren't ordering them.
Followed by a bunch more posts "random minis suck!"
Am I losing my mind?
Basically this entire thread boils down to a bunch of customers saying "I want X product packaged in X way". The company says "if we sold X product in X way we'd go out of business". And the customer responds "yeah but *I* personally would buy them if you sold them that way, staying in business, that's YOUR job".