Monday, April 6, 2009

In Other News: Ford Discontinues the Edsel

The word went out the WotC is ceasing the distibution of out-of-print D&D materials in .pdf format through distributors such as Drive Thru RPG and Paizo Publishing. Apparently Drive Thru has already suspended the sale of WotC .pdf products (including those you may have already purchased and still have downloads remaining on) and Paizo must cease at midnight tonight.

The best reaction to this movement I've seen so far is this one.

But to be honest, I'm not all that broken up about this. I do feel bad for those folks who have bought or were hoping to buy legal copies of these products and now no longer have that option, but as for how this affects me personally? Let me just look at what role-playing products I've purchased over the last year:
  • Labyrinth Lord (printed version bought from Lulu)
  • Mutant Future (printed version also from Lulu)
  • Fight On! issues 1-3 (hard copies from Lulu)
  • Knockspell #1 (.pdf from Lulu)
  • Castle Zagyg (boxed set from Troll Lord Games)
  • The Book of Marvelous Magic (used copy from FLGS)
  • Creature Catalogue (used copy from FLGS)
  • The Ruins of Undermountain (used copy from FLGS)
  • The Arduin Grimoire Vol. IV (used copy from FLGS)
  • Supplement II: Blackmoor (used copy from FLGS)
  • Supplement V: Carcosa (bought directly from the author)
  • Outdoor Survival (used copy bought on eBay)
  • Pathfinder Chronicles: Classic Monsters Revisited (printed version bought from Paizo)
  • Metamorphisis Alpha (Drive Thru RPG)

As the joke says, "Every time the post office raises the cost of stamps, they get 10,000 emails saying 'So what?'" and as I've said, "The nicest thing about about 4th edition is that I don't have to bother checking the game shelf at Borders anymore." As far as I'm concerned, this latest maneuver by WotC has no effect on me whatsoever. So good luck on your pirate crackdown, Wizards. You've just made the old school retroclones that much more pertinent and keep encouraging me to "buy local" when it comes to RPG products.

EDIT: I encourage you all to also buy local and help out other old school publishers when possible. In that vein, James Mishler has just announced the Adventure Games Publishing Appreciation Sale. Swing on over there for details.


Piper said...

Great article, and I love the title. (chuckle)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Fiat will pick it up and revitalize it!

Scott said...

As far as I'm concerned, this latest maneuver by WotC has no effect on me whatsoever.

Same here. I've been saying "eat a dick" with my wallet for years.