Some things just demand an Onion-style headline, don’t they?
Everyone else is jumping up and down at the stupidity of Wizards’ decision to pull PDFs “because of piracy”, thereby making piracy the only way to get PDFs of their products, so there’s no need for me to repeat it. Oh, wait. I just did.
Look on the bright side, guys; Warriors & Warlocks, Mutants & Masterminds, Savage Worlds and many, many other great games are still out there and available to buy legally and cherish close to your heart.
Harr over at the ENWorld thread about this decision said it best:
“Due to increased problems with photocopying and scanning of gamebooks, WotC has decided to stop the sales and storage of all physical and/or paper-based gaming materials from stores. WotC is currently exploring other options that do not involve letting anybody else see our intellectual property for any reason at all, ever.”
It’s easy to laugh. Wizards’ business decisions are, let’s face it, a pretty easy target. Seriously though.
This one could go either way. Whilst right now it looks like the Wrong Thing to do on every level, it could also be the start of the digital reboot Wizards’ so desperately need. No, stop laughing at the back. Hear me out.
First, a quick poll. How many of you play 4e D&D? Quite a few hands – but also a lot of hands still down. Hmm. Of those who played 4e, how many bought the pdfs? One… two….. Ok. Two. And how many downloaded them? Be honest now. One..two…three…four….. wow. That’s a lot of hands, including many from the folks who don’t play 4e D&D at all.
Look: Wizards’ PDFs were just far too over-priced. Expecting folks to pay $80+ for digital versions of the Core Rules was just silly – especially when those self-same folks had already paid about the same for Real Dead Tree versions of them. Ain’t gonna happen.
Folks who like and play D&D buy D&D. People who don’t, don’t. This might mean they snarf it from a torrent site and add it to the collection but they’re not a lost sale: they were never going to buy in the first place. And y’know why? Because Wizards of the Coast marketing sucks worse than a sucky thing from Sucklandia. If you don’t sell it, people don’t buy it, in the main.
So, it needs a reboot. The whole thing. Give us reasonably-priced watermarked pdfs. Give us our damned previous edition pdfs back and support them, not treat them like embarrassed cousins at a wedding. And no, I don’t know what that means either. Give us……..
Awww what the heck. You know the rest.
Doesn’t change the fact that this was a monumentally stupid decision though. Totally.