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Savage Worlds in ’16: the Year in Review

Posted on December 15, 2016 by Flames

Flames Rising is kicking off a series of guest blog posts from authors, artists, and publisher friends of site. They’ll be tell us how their 2016 has gone and maybe we’ll get a few hints about their plans for 2017.

First up is Jodi Black from Pinnacle Entertainment!

Savage Worlds in ’16: the Year in Review

    It’s safe to say 2016 has been a banner year for Pinnacle Entertainment Group. With more than 20 years under our belt going through cycles of highs (and lows) that’s not a statement we make lightly.

    This year we continued the story of Weird Wars with Weird War I, brought new fans to our award-winning Savage Worlds system with our partnership to produce (and we’re shipping now!) Rifts® for Savage Worlds with Palladium Books, Inc., and we’ve celebrated the 20th year anniversary of Deadlands Classic and released the fourth and final Servitor campaign for Deadlands Reloaded: Good Intentions. We also shipped Kickstarter rewards for our campaigns Rippers Resurrected and Deadlands: The Cackler graphic novel. Another Deadlands novel released through Tor Books. And several companies licensing Savage Worlds released product in different languages and/or for settings of their own–frankly brilliant—creations.

    Wow. And it doesn’t look like we’re slowing down at all. This train is picking up speed!

    We have teams working on the Flash Gordon RPG, The Goon RPG, The Fear Agent RPG, and Motobushido for Savage Worlds. We also have RPG product developing for Deadlands: Lost Colony, Lankhmar, The Last Parsec, East Texas University, Weird Wars, Savage Rifts®, and much more we can’t announce yet. We have big plans for non-RPG product as well.

    That’s a lot, isn’t it?

    Our core team is pretty small: just myself, Shane Hensley, Aaron Acevedo, Clint Black, and Matthew Cutter. Others from new Licensee Manager Danny James Walsh and Assistant Art Director Alida Saxon to layout genius Thomas Shook and fan favorite authors John Goff and Teller are on the team as freelancers. Adding in all the authors, editors, and graphic designers we number over 40 folks from Poland to Australia. When you then add in the artists Aaron and Alida manage…well, that’s a lot. Could be over a hundred. We do not have a submission or application process—just email me what you want to do for Pinnacle with a link to your resume at

    What’s our marketing machine like?

    We have a few promotion strategies worth talking about. Kickstarter is the big one, naturally. We try to structure our Kickstarters as a cost savings for our supporters. The success of a Kickstarter directly translates to additional sales after the Kickstarter ends, and the extra product generated as stretch goals benefits everyone involved. Savage Rifts® was our biggest Kickstarter yet, and suffice it to say Brand Manager Sean Fannon warned us! I won’t lie. We had to do some restructuring quickly.

    We’re active on Facebook, Google +, and Twitter. We pay to boost a post on Facebook rarely (perhaps once a month) and Twitter even less often than that. Even less seldom, we contract ad management services, run print ads, or offer sales on product. A large number of people use “the friendliest forums on earth” (or so we’ve been told) for official, searchable answers on our growing product list. Are there other promotion avenues out there? Certainly. But word of mouth is still the most reliable and most valuable.

    In short, things are good. And we thank our supporters for that.

    Your stories from the game table remind us why we work so hard. Stop us at a convention, or tag one of us online in social media. We love hearing about your character (no, really!). We love hearing about how Acing on the die helped you swing from the chandelier and save the dinosaur. Or how spending a Benny kept you from dying when a freakin’ mushroom sliced you in half. When we play in your games, we aren’t judging how well you use our rules. We’re just there to have fun. Like you. We’re all just gamers here. So thank YOU.

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