No doubt everyone has heard of the brash move Wizards of Coast made late Monday night (April 6th, 2009) when they decided to yank all PDF sales, without notice, from vendors like Paizo, DriveThruRPG, and RPGNow. They say it was to fight piracy, which anyone with a lick of intelligence knows won’t put a dent in piracy. So I imagine it is just a move in a much larger game. I’ll not comment about the details, but if you haven’t caught some of the articles commenting on Wizards’ actions, here is a list of the ones I think are useful:
- RPG Blog II: Get WotC Files While You Can from Paizo
- Uncle Bear: Wizards, PDF Sales, and Hidden Agendas
- Stargazer’s World: Wizards of the Coast Stops All PDF Sales
- Chgowiz’s Old Guy RPG Blog: WotC Fumbles, End of World or Salvation Is Not Nigh
- Vulcan Stev’s Database: 10 Theories about WotC’s Boneheaded Decision
- Lamentations of the Flame Princess: You Know Who I Feel Sorry For?
- The Gamer Dome: WotC R&D To Go On Speaking Tour After Cancelling Print Products
Manufacturers Giving Some PDF Love
The thing is, I wasn’t even going to deign to comment about Wizards, because the internet has definitely been saturated with posts, threads, and comments about the stunt. BUT, there is light at the end of the tunnel. In response to Wizards’ actions (which has garnered itself the auspicious title of PDFgate), many other publishers decided to give hobbyists some love, PDF style.
I believe first out of the gate was Rogue Games, which made a pledge to continue PDF sales and treat the gamer with respect. Its pledge can be seen at the Game Publishers Association site as well as on the Rogue’s blog.
Then I caught wind of White Wolf’s statement to continue producing PDFs and their offer for a free Exalted 2nd Edition download as well as a onetime 10% discount on any White Wolf titles at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.
The rest of these offers I actually lifted from Zachary Houghton of the RPG Blog II (I’m sure he won’t mind me spreading the word):
- Paizo is offering all Pathfinder PDFs for 35% off through the end of April.
- Adventure Games Publishing currently has 16 products on sale through May 23 as a sign of customer appreciation.
- One Bad Egg has every PDF product on sale for at least 10% off.
- Evil Hat’s Don’t Lose Your Mind has been marked down to $10.
- Green Ronin is offering their True 20 Roleplaying for only $9.99.
- Bards & Sages is offering their Karma Roleplaying System products for 10% off.
- Tabletop Adventures is discounting 20% off their products for the rest of this week (via Mark Gedak).
- Reality Deviant Production is also offering a sale for the occasion at RPGNow.
- The superhero RPG Hearts & Souls is marked down to only $5.
- As mentioned in the comments below, Flying Mice is also running specials at RPGNow.
- Eden Studios is running a PDF Lovers sale–all their pdfs are 50% off at RPGNow.
But why stop there? Now that the old editions of Dungeons & Dragons are no longer available for legal download, I think now is an excellent time to mention all the stuff the Old School Renaissance is making that is available in what else? PDF! Oh, and to boot, much of this F-R-E-E!
- Old School Index & Reference Compilation [OSRIC]
- Labyrinth Lord
- Basic Fantasy Role Playing Game
- Swords & Wizardry and Knockspell Magazine
- Fight On! Magazine
- Dungeon Slayers
As a community, I say we should show Wizards that we appreciate a publisher who is still in touch with the hobbyists and that is smart enough to know that yanking digital sales will not hinder the pirates (anyone hear of a scanner or advance dev copies?).