For those limited supply games, they don't do that because they think that 50/day will satisfy demand. They do it because that's how many copies they could get on-site. Some companies won't announce any release dates until they release the game, because production and shipping is so unpredictable. But when they announced a gencon release, and the start of gencon is approaching and their container ship is still in the pacific, they have to decide, no product, or try to get something in hand. They often decide they want something in hand, they almost have to so they can at least demo the game, so they have the factory air-ship some copies. Theres a huge cost difference between sea freight and expedited air-shipping and that often means they are losing money on every one of those limited quantity games. They paid money for a booth and now they are paying more money to give games to people.
I sometimes hope to get certain games, but, I'm not wrapped around the axle about it. I'll get seafall in a few months when it hits the shelves. I got scythe. I didn't get any angst at all.
It does seem a little bit like the special priority access is growing, and I'd like some priority access too. It like the priority board on the airlines "we are now seating for platinum, gold and silver priority members. We are also seating for ambassador club, emperor club and special hotel partner members. We are not yet seating for ruby, emerald or diamond members. Priority 1, priority 2, and priority 3 members are also not seating at this time."
GenCon has reached the point where they are only interested in the revenue they bring in. VIGs pay more for their badge than regular attendees and will get the preferential treatment associated with getting a VIG badge.
It's also just a matter of time before the prerelease items will be available to everyone so in the grand scheme of things it's not a big deal, unless you were planning on selling these on EBay to help with the expenses of GenCon.
gencon hasn't shown any interest in curbing these abuses in the past (every year there's a thread in the vig forums over it). The only erasable solution is limit limited items to only being sold after 10. If people want to give up their time in early access to stand in line fine (when dark sun for 4th came out the Wizards booth wasn't open for early access at 9:45 I got bored and stood in line for them to open 1 was the first to get a copy). And to limit them to one per customer.
A few years ago they cracked down on Press badges buying stuff during early access, but that seems to have slacked off recently. I was definitely waiting in line at FFG behind some people with Press badges. It used to be that if they caught a Press badge buying stuff during the early hour they would take away the badge.
It is pretty easy to get a Press badge, at least to my understanding. Start a game review blog and boom, you're press.
I still maintain that they should have two early access lines, one for VIG and one for others, and let the VIG line in first. Also you should have to actually participate in Trade Day seminars to get your early access ticket as trade day.
I didn't know they had started letting Press buy things during early access. That explains why that line has ballooned dramatically in the last couple years.
I don't think Press are a huge issue. There were a total of 90 press badges allowed early access this year. That's a pretty far cry from the hundreds of VIGs and Companions that were allowed early access.
They should get rid of the VIG system in general. Having a two class system for attendees is wrong.
That's a lot of revenue they'd have to make up elsewhere. Higher badge prices? Charge the exhibit hall vendors more?
Because the hotel priority is so important, it's unlikely Gen Con would ever risk killing the golden goose with tired levels. Offer hotel preference for say 200-300 dollars, and current VIGs will start to wonder if it's worth that extra 2 to 3 hundred to get into the vendor hall an hour early on Thursday and sip sodas on a sofa in the ICC. Gen Con could easily lose money, or at least not make nearly enough to justify the additional administrative expense.
Finally, you're basing your projections on the current cost. If they have as big as a waiting list as it seems (granted, I don't know the exact numbers), it wouldn't surprise me to see an increase in the VIG cost in the near future. It's the safest way to generate increased revenue. The profit margin on the VIG program is probably enormous compared to what they get from badges.
That said, being someone who has been at every Gencon since 84, a program that treated super long time attendees with a few extra perks wouldn't be objected to :)
What benefit to GenCon would there be to lottery the VIGs every year?
They would have to start by announcing that 2017 VIGs aren't guaranteed 2018 because they already made the promise to 2016 to buy 2017 first.
So the short answer to the topic question is : NO
The world is full of (and to some degree run by ) preferential treatment policies .
It seems to me that most of the comments above are not 'Is Gencon screwing over non VIGs" But more" I am jealous because I want that stuff too ,I want to buy the new hotness before others,etc..."
Everyone on this board has been the beneficiary of preferential treatment at some point in varying degrees- Its merely how many others care about it and what you had to od to get it . Some are very easy - Like the VIG program it is just a small amount of money . Others harder -based upon skills or birth
Just my thoughts - a lot of angst about a process and benefits that likely will not change
I've seen that line. It is WAY more than just the vig's companions and 90 press. WAY. By like thousands more. If it isn't press and vig that means trade day...how many folks get those? Also are exhibitors limited in how many exhibitor badges can be purchased? Maybe I should become best friendies with an exhibitor...for a few extra dollars....and maybe some time actually spent volunteering at their booth...