Monday, April 6, 2009

Get WotC Files While You Can From Paizo

If you've seen the recent kerfluffle with Wizards of the Coast ceasing all online pdf sales, you still have until the end of today to purchase WotC/TSR files from Paizo. My recommendation? The Rules Cyclopedia for $5 and some of the classic modules. At the time I post this, you've got only a few hours left.

If you see this on 4/7/09 after about 12 noon (according to Erik Mona), sorry about your luck, but its probably too late.

If you were like me and downloaded a bunch of WotC products from RPGNow, thinking you could download them again up to 5 times if need be, I feel your pain. I hope WotC comes to some resolution and has PDFs available again soon, but one thing's for sure: they continue to fail epically in any sort of customer relations aspect. OK, fight piracy, whatever, but this is a really crappy thing to do to folks who have already bought your products from RPGNow, DTRPG, or Paizo. Especially in regards to 1e & 2e pdfs. Was illegal piracy really killing you on those, WotC? Items that haven't been in print in 3 decades? Do you think this would be a way to fix anything?

I'm irritated. Doubtless things will look a bit brighter or clearer tomorrow. But as a gamer whose main D&D purchases were from previous edition, WotC has just become about 99% less useful to me as a company.

And if you do offers pdfs again, WotC, you can bet I'm not partaking. If this no-notice B.S. happens once, what's to keep you from yanking the rug out again?

23 comments:

Ron Perkins said...

Snaggin some Birthright stuff.

Up yours, WotC. I spent almost $200 last year in old TSR and 3e PDFs. I've had computer issues, and enjoyed having the online backup of being able to re-download them. You're very quickly progressing down the path TSR once took. And why couldn't you have given us some time to get our files? Afraid we'd hurry up and put them on some file-sharer? This is insulting to the people who actually paid for pdfs rather than steal them. You've hurt no one but loyal customers.

Chris Meadows said...

I posted about this here:

http://bit.ly/IvCq

Best guess is it has to do with the new WotC publishing policies that kick in as of the 6th. Apparently Paizo didn't want to re-up under them.

(Wouldn't be surprised, given some of the stunts WotC has tried to pull in the past, if the new policies included some specific language that would have forced them to give up supporting Pathfinder/3.5ed in order to keep selling WotC stuff.)

Anonymous said...

Check this out. Skarka talks about some of the negative effects he's seeing already.

http://forum.rpg.net/showpost.php?p=10206872&postcount=46

As a small-press publisher who had released some d20 items before and was working on a big GSL product, this worries me, but we'll see how it goes.

I'm mad as hell. Well, I was. Then I realized there's just too much other good gaming stuff out there to be down for long. It's just sad that D&D is in the hands of such jerkwads.

-Len

Zachary The First said...

So, then, what's the bigger WotC debacle: the incredible delay and original terms of the GSL, or the no-notice yanking of pdf downloads from paying customers?

Mad Brew said...

-sigh-

The books will be pirated whether or not WotC offers legal PDFs or not. I can only hope they keep making bad business decisions and eventually have to sell off the IP (wishful thinking, I know).

Bonemaster said...

I've been trying to not bad mouth WotC. I really have been. Then they do something like this and I don't know what's to say except, I'm glad I don't by WotC anymore.

@Zachary - I want to say it's a toss up but I think this will have more negative effects than the GSL debacle ever will.

Ron Perkins said...

Paizo is dragging tonight! Lot of folks trying to get in before the bell.

Again, a pox on WotC. Keep your boat people halflings and lame-ass Silver Wyvern Strikes (aka "hack" and "slash"). It isn't worth this. We are officially through.

Zachary The First said...

@Bonemaster: I know what you mean. I don't currently play 4e, but I've tried to be as open as possible to that system. I still don't have anything against 4e players or the game. But WotC? WotC can get bent.

Lewis Frank said...

I had at least 10 PDFs I purchased from DTRPG that I really would have liked to have downloaded on this computer, as my other one is sitting some 1200 miles away, packed up. Ah well, I guess I shouldn't have procrastinated. But WotC won't be getting any more of my money. I've been moving away from them anyways. It has been one failure after another. Where are my "low-price" pdfs from purchasing 4e?

Zachary The First said...

For those of you looking for a new system, Green Ronin just dropped True20 to $9.99:

http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=55402

I've seen a couple of people speculate this is a ploy to kill legacy D&D sales in an attempt to kill old-edition sales, but why kill 4e PDFs along with that? And would old-school products really hurt WotC that much?

Frederic said...

Has anyone asked them for a reaction?

Frederic said...

WotC that is

Alexander said...

There was a post from a WotC rep in the thread on EN World. Page 5 I think, or somehting like that.

Zachary The First said...

@Frederic: Yep, one of their employees on pg. 5 said it was due to piracy. That's in line with the press releases we've seen.

I imagine regular WotC employees are cringing today!

Mad Brew said...

I just received an email from Paizo stating that we have until noon PST to download any WotC books you have already purchased.

Frederic said...

quite funny/tragic: I'd never seen these pdf's, I didn't know Paizo/anyone was selling these things. I missed out!

Mad Brew said...

@Zachary: It most likely is a knee-jerk reaction to piracy, as "Wizards of the Coast has filed three lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington against eight defendants located in the United States, Poland and the Philippines alleging copyright infringement of its recently released Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook 2"

Alexander said...

Sounds more like a pretext to me, to veil the "let's remove 3E material so they need to buy our 4E stuff and subscribe to insider if they want e-books" move.

James V said...

Piracy?

Pay attention, WoTC. If you take away the possibility to buy legit digital copies the only method left to obtain them is piracy. I don't see how this will prevent copyright infringement. I wouldn't be surprised if right now there are angry former customers stripping all the DRM/Watermarks from their recent downloads and trying to find a way to get them shared out of sheer spite.

There's speculation that this is being done so WoTC could have total control of the product and sell the files themselves. Likely with tougher DRM. I predict that if this happens, their sales will be paltry compared to before, and they'll just complain that it was because of "those darn pirates!". They won't even consider that it had to do with they way they're handling things now.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Ed said...

If this is in response to Piracy, some lawyers have a serious case of HuR disease... you don't slow piracy by removing all legitimate copies of an item from the market.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it?
They're not printing any of the old stuff, they don't affect any WOTC products. It certainly doesn't help the RPG community as a whole and for historical gaming purposes they've shot themselves in the foot. It has stopped me from completing my own pdf collection of gaming materials from TSR. And all because 4th edition is so crappy that they want to deprive the gaming community of some (rather) basic yet somehow superior materials.
I wont be playing 4th edition, so they'll be getting no sales from me. The only way i can get these materials is now through piracy, ironic rather isn't it?!

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