Please Give Us PDFs

I rarely buy physical books, and instead mostly rely on PDFs. This is one of the main reasons I play Pathfinder instead of D&D Fourth Edition. I understand that PDFs are currently not on sale because of piracy, but honestly, a library of scanned Fourth Edition PDFs can be found with a simple Google search. Piracy would be an issue, but if the game is good enough, I believe that fans would WANT to support the Wizards and would buy the PDFs.
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I rarely buy physical books, and instead mostly rely on PDFs. This is one of the main reasons I play Pathfinder instead of D&D Fourth Edition. I understand that PDFs are currently not on sale because of piracy, but honestly, a library of scanned Fourth Edition PDFs can be found with a simple Google search. Piracy would be an issue, but if the game is good enough, I believe that fans would WANT to support the Wizards and would buy the PDFs.



I do not really see it happening. Within a couple hours of a Pathfinder pdf being made available to the public it is up on the torrent sites. D&D books take several days if not weeks before they hit the torrent sites after release.

Pathfinder is a small company that does not answer to a larger corporate head and can accept those kinds of losses in revenue. D&D can not. 
It's a simple rule for me, I will pay $20 for a PDF of almost anything for a game, I won't pay $20 for a physical book I can't carry to my gaming sessions. The core books should be physical with digital copies available for people who buy them, the rest of the stuff I won't look at physical at all.

Pdf for my tablet is about all I look at for textbooks, presentations, manuals and even project files, why would I carry around 20kg of books for gaming? 
My thoughts on what works and what doesn't in D&D and how D&D Next may benefit are detailed on my blog, Vorpal Thoughts.
Yeah, another +1 for Pdfs here too.

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@Phoenix182
Absolutely true.

I even think some people will pirate something that they would buy if they could.   They want a pdf and not a book.  They'd buy the pdf but if it doesn't exist they pirate it.   Some of those people do buy the book and then pirate the pdf salving their consciences that they paid what they could.  

Not everyone is a pirate.  I am emphatically not.  I would probably still buy the books but I'd definitely want pdfs of things that had maps etc...  especially if I played online.

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I rarely buy physical books, and instead mostly rely on PDFs. This is one of the main reasons I play Pathfinder instead of D&D Fourth Edition. I understand that PDFs are currently not on sale because of piracy, but honestly, a library of scanned Fourth Edition PDFs can be found with a simple Google search. Piracy would be an issue, but if the game is good enough, I believe that fans would WANT to support the Wizards and would buy the PDFs.



I do not really see it happening. Within a couple hours of a Pathfinder pdf being made available to the public it is up on the torrent sites. D&D books take several days if not weeks before they hit the torrent sites after release.

Pathfinder is a small company that does not answer to a larger corporate head and can accept those kinds of losses in revenue. D&D can not. 



Well if a person download a pdf manual and not buy it, it doesn't matter if it takes few hours or a week, he will download the pirat copy anyway. Not makeing pdf source is not a way to stop piracy.

A pdf source can be usefull, I buy the manuals I use, but many of the people I play with will just get better with a pdf. 
The constant request for PDFs, highlights the problems with dealing with gamers. Being completely unreasonable and demanding with an over developed sense of entitlement.

WoTC would love to bring you PDFs. It's the easiest way for them to have digital distrubution. You can also add a lot of features easily to make it quicker to look things up.

They are also the easiest way for WoTC to get ripped off.

NOW, no matter how many times it's explained, it wasn't Joe Fatboooty in his parents basement putting up a scanned copy of a real book on a torrent site, but companies selling hundreds of thousands of dollars of PDFs under the table and ripping off WoTC that got PDFs canned, you still say, BUT I WON'T DO THAT! Good for you. So YOU won't. SOMEONE WILL

WoTC isn't interested in stopping piracy, they are interested in not letting a distrubutor steal from them.

And then they say, Piazo does! Piazo isn't owned by a publicly traded company, with both corporate rules and laws to follow. Piazo takes that route that someone stealing a book, gets someone playing their game, and eventually they will legally buy some products.

WoTC doesn't need that kind of recognition and grassroots. Regardless of what you think of 4E, WoTC is still the top dog. Even with the embarassing failure of DDi and their inability to be honest about it, they are still top dog.

But all that doesn't matter.

Gamers will continue to demand PDFs!
The constant request for PDFs, highlights the problems with dealing with gamers. Being completely unreasonable and demanding with an over developed sense of entitlement.

WoTC would love to bring you PDFs. It's the easiest way for them to have digital distrubution. You can also add a lot of features easily to make it quicker to look things up.

They are also the easiest way for WoTC to get ripped off.

NOW, no matter how many times it's explained, it wasn't Joe Fatboooty in his parents basement putting up a scanned copy of a real book on a torrent site, but companies selling hundreds of thousands of dollars of PDFs under the table and ripping off WoTC that got PDFs canned, you still say, BUT I WON'T DO THAT! Good for you. So YOU won't. SOMEONE WILL

WoTC isn't interested in stopping piracy, they are interested in not letting a distrubutor steal from them.

And then they say, Piazo does! Piazo isn't owned by a publicly traded company, with both corporate rules and laws to follow. Piazo takes that route that someone stealing a book, gets someone playing their game, and eventually they will legally buy some products.

WoTC doesn't need that kind of recognition and grassroots. Regardless of what you think of 4E, WoTC is still the top dog. Even with the embarassing failure of DDi and their inability to be honest about it, they are still top dog.

But all that doesn't matter.

Gamers will continue to demand PDFs!



What's stopping companies from selling hundreds of thousands of dollars of PDFs right now?

Markets change and you have to adapt your products and/or business model to these changes to stay on top.
WoTC isn't interested in stopping piracy, they are interested in not letting a distrubutor steal from them.



If this was the case then why can they not just distribute it themselves via their own web site.

If they can do DDi then then should be able to do pdfs.

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The constant request for PDFs, highlights the problems with dealing with gamers. Being completely unreasonable and demanding with an over developed sense of entitlement.

WoTC would love to bring you PDFs. It's the easiest way for them to have digital distrubution. You can also add a lot of features easily to make it quicker to look things up.

They are also the easiest way for WoTC to get ripped off.

NOW, no matter how many times it's explained, it wasn't Joe Fatboooty in his parents basement putting up a scanned copy of a real book on a torrent site, but companies selling hundreds of thousands of dollars of PDFs under the table and ripping off WoTC that got PDFs canned, you still say, BUT I WON'T DO THAT! Good for you. So YOU won't. SOMEONE WILL

WoTC isn't interested in stopping piracy, they are interested in not letting a distrubutor steal from them.

And then they say, Piazo does! Piazo isn't owned by a publicly traded company, with both corporate rules and laws to follow. Piazo takes that route that someone stealing a book, gets someone playing their game, and eventually they will legally buy some products.

WoTC doesn't need that kind of recognition and grassroots. Regardless of what you think of 4E, WoTC is still the top dog. Even with the embarassing failure of DDi and their inability to be honest about it, they are still top dog.

But all that doesn't matter.

Gamers will continue to demand PDFs!





There are half-a-dozen ways to avoid distributers from "Stealing from them". Self-distribution, packaged PDF downloads with every book, PDF promo codes, ect. ect. But no, I suppose requesting digital copies in a digital age is entirely unreasonable, especially when they are pushing digital online tools and virtual D&D tables. A PDF is just not plausible!
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Here are the basic facts.

1.  Every single even mildly popular WOTC print book published will be scanned and distributed as a PDF. 
2.  This will happen fairly quickly (weeks not months).  The technology for this is just too good.
3.  People who don't want to pay and are thieves will pirate these pdfs.
4.  Some people who might pay will also pirate the pdfs because they want pdfs and can't get them any other way.  They may or may not buy the books.
5.  Some people (like me) will buy the books and would like a pdf and would likely buy it in addition to the hard back book but can't do it.

Give the above there is no economic sense in not providing PDFs.  The payers want to pay and can't.  The nonpaying pirates are still getting their pdfs.  So the honest and loyal people are the ones punished.  And before you cry that honest people don't exist, I have never pirated a Pathfinder pdf and I have bought a few.  I don't play that game so I have typically got fluff stuff.  I've also bought many things on rpgnow.com.



 

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Look at itunes.  Prior to iTunes, the people who would be honest and buy the music, typically didn't for various reasons (hard to find, only wanted a single song, etc) and instead downloaded it illegally.  However, once iTunes came out the only people who pirate music are the ones who would have to begin with (or the honest people who want that one or two songs that they would have bought but for some reason aren't on iTunes).

Paizo doesn't seem to be doing to bad, even though they offer PDFs of their products.  Services like Steam still work because people want to do the right thing.  Netflix works because people do want to do the right thing instead of searching on pirate sites.  Given the choice, most people will try to do the right thing and actually pay for something.  

I'm sure there are people out there who own the hardcover books but pirate PDFs just so they can have an electronic copy too, those people might have paid an extra $5 on a hardcover version to get the PDF as a bundle. 

Wizards/hasbro needs to realize this and get with the times - they cannot follow in the footsteps of Blockbuster and not adequately change their operating model.   They need to do a bit more Direct to Consumer sales.  

Will this harm small gameshops, I don't think any more than the current situation will - as long as Wizards still has Delves and gamestores still run them, there will be reasons to come into the store, now the game store just needs to keep them in there (one nearby used to also deal in used games, CDs, and movies like a gamestop) 
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See, even when you put the facts out there, so many gamers just ignore them and continue on like there aren't any valid reasons why WoTC isn't/can't.

Take the point "There are ways to distrubite safely". No there isn't because sooner or later, someone is going to work out a way around it. And PDFs are so easy to break any protection they might have.

What it comes down to is this. You want it, and you are going to ignore every single reason and act like you are the victim here.
See, even when you put the facts out there, so many gamers just ignore them and continue on like there aren't any valid reasons why WoTC isn't/can't.

Take the point "There are ways to distrubite safely". No there isn't because sooner or later, someone is going to work out a way around it. And PDFs are so easy to break any protection they might have.

What it comes down to is this. You want it, and you are going to ignore every single reason and act like you are the victim here.



No, you are right - people are going to work their around it.  They will work around it no matter what. 

But there are people out there who WANT to give WotC their money, and WotC is making it hard to do that.  Those people are the ones that will either A.) move onto another product that does offere it the way they want it or B.) Pirate it so they can have it.  

This has already been proven with services such as iTunes and eBooks - people will do the right thing if given the option.  Honest consumers ARE being punished for the actions of the pirates, even though the punishment has no impact on the pirates to begin with.  

Right now, you have three camps of people:
A: Pirates - never plan on buying a product
B: Pirates by necessity - only pirate a product because they can't get the product in the fashion that suits them at a price they can afford.
C: Never Pirates - those who will never pirate a product even if it means they can't buy a product they want.

So currently, WotC is only getting money from some of the "C" people (since, in theory some of the people in the C camp are not buying WotC products because they aren't in a format they want.  People in camps A and B are downloading the products they want.

If WotC offered PDFs of books, then they would still be getting the money from camp "C", but now they may increase the size of that camp (since the product is now available in a format they want), and some of those camp B people would starting buying the product because it's in a format they want.

Logically speaking, no one is going to stop pirates who will never purchase a product. Period.  Doesn't it make sense to offer the product electronically anyways, so people who would have bought the product will do so? 

TL;DR - Offer PDFs = Shut up and take my money.

Edit: just to be clear: I am not advocating piracy in any form.  Rather I encourage companies to not be so blinded by fear of piracy that they don't offer their products in different formats that their consumers are looking for.  
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See, even when you put the facts out there, so many gamers just ignore them and continue on like there aren't any valid reasons why WoTC isn't/can't.

Take the point "There are ways to distrubite safely". No there isn't because sooner or later, someone is going to work out a way around it. And PDFs are so easy to break any protection they might have.

What it comes down to is this. You want it, and you are going to ignore every single reason and act like you are the victim here.



No, you are right - people are going to work their around it.  They will work around it no matter what. 

But there are people out there who WANT to give WotC their money, and WotC is making it hard to do that.  Those people are the ones that will either A.) move onto another product that does offere it the way they want it or B.) Pirate it so they can have it.  

This has already been proven with services such as iTunes and eBooks - people will do the right thing if given the option.  Honest consumers ARE being punished for the actions of the pirates, even though the punishment has no impact on the pirates to begin with.  

Right now, you have three camps of people:
A: Pirates - never plan on buying a product
B: Pirates by necessity - only pirate a product because they can't get the product in the fashion that suits them at a price they can afford.
C: Never Pirates - those who will never pirate a product even if it means they can't buy a product they want.

So currently, WotC is only getting money from some of the "C" people (since, in theory some of the people in the C camp are not buying WotC products because they aren't in a format they want.  People in camps A and B are downloading the products they want.

If WotC offered PDFs of books, then they would still be getting the money from camp "C", but now they may increase the size of that camp (since the product is now available in a format they want), and some of those camp B people would starting buying the product because it's in a format they want.

Logically speaking, no one is going to stop pirates who will never purchase a product. Period.  Doesn't it make sense to offer the product electronically anyways, so people who would have bought the product will do so? 

TL;DR - Offer PDFs = Shut up and take my money.

Edit: just to be clear: I am not advocating piracy in any form.  Rather I encourage companies to not be so blinded by fear of piracy that they don't offer their products in different formats that their consumers are looking for.  



+1000000

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See, even when you put the facts out there, so many gamers just ignore them and continue on like there aren't any valid reasons why WoTC isn't/can't.



The facts are that other companies can do it.

Its not rocket science.

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I'm not going to make a PDF available because its too easy to pirate? 
But wait aren't people already scanning the hard books into a PDF format solely for pirating purposes?
Not making PDF's because of piracy is just a bad excuse. It's happening anyways. There is money to be made off of PDF. Them not providing a PDF DOES NOT STOP ANYONE!

Want to encourage people to buy the PDF instead of pirate it? Value added content.
Any PDF purchase could come with: 
-A discount for further PDF purchases
-Entry in a monthly draw for free PDF's
-3 or 6 month subscription or discount to DDI if they continue with their current pay for use model. 
I'm sure there's other Value Added Content that could be included if the idea was seriously considered. 
I don't really use PDFs (I purchase all my books in physical hardback/softcover). However, I know many people who do have the PDFs and many people who have pirated 4e PDFs simply because they wanted their 4e books in PDF.

The piracy issue is probably a problem, but putting out an 'official PDF' won't affect the people already pirating, would it?

I don't pretend to know a lot about the issue, but I feel PDFs would be a good idea. A lot of people would appreciate it. I have my own RPG out in PDF for free, so I guess I don't need to worry about pirating so much there (Mwahaha!) However, even my book was pirated once (pirating a free book? What the?). The hosting site readily agreed to remove the content and I can now safely track my free downloads again (woot!).

So, I guess I'm in favor of the PDF idea.

Thanks for posting up such a great thread, Josha.

--David.
David L. Dostaler Author, Challenger RPG (free)
The piracy issue is probably a problem, but putting out an 'official PDF' won't affect the people already pirating, would it?

No, but selling an official PDF means that some of the end-users would pay for it, instead of none of them.
Since WotC stopped selling pdfs it seems like every month a new thread pops up talking about why WotC should start selling them again. And I don't mind, because even if it was a new thread every day it wouldn't be enough until WotC gets the point.

They've pretty much lost my business until they wise up to the digital age. I don't want to lug a dozen books to games anymore. When I travel, which is frequent, especially when I go overseas, space is limited but I still want access to my D&D material. DDI failed me first when the CB didn't support 3rd party and homebrew options, a second time when WotC C&Ded Masterplan (which at the time was the only thing I wanted DDI for), and then again when they moved to online only, which means that even if they started providing homebrew support it would be useless to me.

So I give my money to 3pps, who are usually more than happy to offer pdfs. Sometimes I buy the physical book as well, but no pdf means no sale for me.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
I've bought one or two D&D hardcovers and/or boxed sets a month for years and years now.  I am quite literally out of space.  Every bookshelf is deep and double-filled (one row in back, one in front ;)); there are now piles of books, a dozen high, on tables and floors throughout my house.  

My wife has had enough and I agree.  We've tried renting storage but I really want my books at hand.  So, the compromise is no more new books, and the one's I've already amassed can stay (somewhere ;)).  

I've never been a fan of digital formats.  I actually nerd raged when Dragon and Dungeon Magazine stopped being printed.  If I read a book, I wanna pick it up from the local bookstore, not download it onto a Kindle e-reader.  I'm that kinda guy ;).  

That said, 'the cloud' is sounding pretty good right now.  Virtual space is better than no physical space at all.  Give us PDFs.  Please? ;)
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See, even when you put the facts out there, you just ignore them and continue on like there aren't any valid reasons why WoTC can... just like other companies that offer pdfs.


Since WotC stopped selling pdfs it seems like every month a new thread pops up talking about why WotC should start selling them again. And I don't mind, because even if it was a new thread every day it wouldn't be enough until WotC gets the point.

They've pretty much lost my business until they wise up to the digital age. I don't want to lug a dozen books to games anymore. When I travel, which is frequent, especially when I go overseas, space is limited but I still want access to my D&D material. DDI failed me first when the CB didn't support 3rd party and homebrew options, a second time when WotC C&Ded Masterplan (which at the time was the only thing I wanted DDI for), and then again when they moved to online only, which means that even if they started providing homebrew support it would be useless to me.

So I give my money to 3pps, who are usually more than happy to offer pdfs. Sometimes I buy the physical book as well, but no pdf means no sale for me.



Precisely the same as me. I make frequent international moves, and that is not likely to change in the near future. No PDFs=no sale. I bought an ebook reader recently for exactly this reason; I don't want to lug around physical books anymore. My wife has a tablet I can borrow when I need it (she games too, so she's right there anyway), and so we just have no need for the physical books anymore. I love books. I love the weight of them, the smell, but it's jus tnot something I can deal with anymore.
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Dane_McArdy and Scotevil912 both make convincing arguments.  I would rather pay for the PDFs than not, and I would rather have PDFs than books. 

As I have suggested, the only other option is database searches with a D&DI account.  Put the whole thing, fluff crunch and art online - or organize it better from a DM tools perspective. 

Books become PDFs, that is just going to happen. 

Sell the books, don't sell the PDFs, sell the DDI full content and I'll only need the stuff WotC is selling.
I don't have space for physical books either, and the fact that I am constantly traveling and don't know where I'll be working in the future makes it very impractical for me to buy non-electronic books. As many of you have already mentioned, lack of original PDFs does not stop pirates at all, and WoTC could well sell e-books directly if they are worried about others selling them. In fact, they are already selling their novels in an electronic format, and they can only win by receiving money from those customers who, like me, are only willing to buy PDFs or e-books (and I am not interested in a subscription or DDI-like model, because I want to purchase content and have it without worrying about expiring subscriptions).
We live in a world of digital books. Amazon and Barnes and Noble both know it, and have made sure they aren't left to rot like their now-out-of-business competitors. Many publishers get it too, that Wotc has struggled in this regard is a shame. 

I love my Nook, and think there must be a way that Wotc could distribute digital versions of its books for the most popular eReaders out there in a way that won't run them out of business. Somehow, other publishers can do it, Wotc should make it work.

The ease of using competitor products on iPads and other eReaders is a big deal. The text is great, the look is excellent, and the ease of use is huge. Please, Wotc, figure it out!

 
Do Amazon and Barnes and Nobels sell PDFs of the books? No. Do they sell digital versions of books? Yes.

Are the kinds of file they sell of digital books the same as PDFs? No. They work differently. The current format and graphics and table heavy content of the DnD rule books doesn't translate into epub files. The idea of epub files is so that the text can reflow to fit ANY device, increase/decrease font size and still have it all fit on the screen.

Basically, they are webbased pages viewed in a hand held device. Ever resize a web site window, and all the text reflows but the images don't? Ever go to a website where the graphics over lap the words, because you resized the window? That's ereader.

I want to give WoTC my money. What kind of logic is that? Oh, it's not logic, it trying to use finacial blackmail to get WoTC to see YOUR logic.

Heres what WoTC thinks. Well, do we put PDFs out there, and get ripped off again in the millionsjust so we can get Gamer #23,691 20-30 bucks? Cause if we don't put out a PDF of the book, we know that Gamer #23,691 is still going to buy it. Because anyone that would spend thousands of dollars on a game, isn't really going to be stopped by the fact a book is physical, not digital.

Sorry, but part of the business models of all gaming companies is based on knowing how much money gamers will spend on gaming over other things. Gamers buy what they want, regardless of any logic.

Other companies sell PDFs! Yes. None of us can really say how successful they are.

BUT, WoTC, because it's owned by Hasbro (here we go again, explaining what has already been explained) has less freedom to do whatever they want.

1. As a publicly traded company they can't turn a blind eye to theft. It can effect the sales of stocks. If they can't find a way to safely distrubt said digital product, they have to discontinue it. PDFs are NOT safe in any sense of the word. OTHER methods of digital books are less risky. Because NOTHING is full proof. They aren't holding out for a full proof method. But current eReaders, like Kindle and Nook are designed for mainly text based books, with limited graphics.

You can load PDFs into them. You have to do zoom and scan, because PDFs aren't really meant to reflow. You can add in coding and tagging to a PDF to allow the eReader to do some reflowing of PDFs, but it's not really full proof yet.

If you don't understand what all that means, then you need to go out and get some understanding of what a PDF is, an epub is, and how Kindles and Nooks work.

They are holding out for a format that WORKS with thier books. Currently there isn't any out there. And you can say, well WoTC, MAKE a format. That's not what WoTC is in business to do. Sorry.

2. Other companies have a MUCH lower profit margin. In fact, their profit margin can be ANYTHING they want. As such, if someone gets a hand on a PDF of the basic rules for their game, and it gets them into playing that game, chances are, they will spend some money on some products. A win for that company.

WoTC is way past that. Also, they need to maintain a very high profit margin from every product they put out, as per Hasbro's standards. In fact, if what I've read is true, DnD needs to bring in a profit of 50 million over a set amount of time, or it gets shelved as a brand and only brought out as new in a decade long cycle.

So, for other companies that kind of piracy helps them get some extra sales they wouldn't normally get. For WoTC, it's just lossing money. No one needs to learn about DnD. It's the name everyone thinks of when you think of RPG. It's the grand daddy of them all.

If someone said they wanted to get into fantasy roll playing, I would feel safe in guessing the first game they get introduced to 90% of the time is going to be DND.

But hey, keep crying I want PDFs. I'm sure that eventally WoTC will say, well, we are probably going to loose millions of dollars in sales, but it will keep some gamers happy. Until Hasbro shuts down the DnD department at WoTC.
@Dane_McArdy
You just keep saying WOTC can't afford piracy.  The people above you keep saying they are already suffering the full effects of piracy so why not make what money they can.   You just keep stubbornly saying the same thing over and over.

In 2 hours, I can get you every 4e book ever printed in pdf form.   I'd just have to find the torrent and load it in and start downloading.  If I were a pirate and I am not (as Paizo will attest from my buying pdfs from them),  I would just download those files.  If I were a pirate it wouldn't take that long.  I'm giving myself 2 hours because I really would be starting from nothing.
 
So all WOTC does is make people like me spend our money elsewhere.  That is it.  No other effect.  I admit that I often buy both the hardcover and the pdf.  I like to digitially cut out maps and floor plans but I also like the feel of a book.   So basically WOTC is totally blowing it with me.  They just aren't getting that extra money.   The amount of money they make though wouldn't dip any if they provided pdfs.   If you are a pirate you already are not paying.

 
I would think that for a lot of people 'we want pdfs' could also be replaced 'we want digital book delivery in some form that's not DDI'.

Wotc manages to make their novels available on e-readers after all.

And the important stuff to have isn't pictures. I'm pretty sure people (probably not all, but at least some of them) would buy digital versions of the books even without the pretty pictures. And I don't see why you couldn't put the text of the books on e.g. a kindle. Oh, sure, we'll loose a lot of the pretty formatting with those nice little coloured bars and so on ... but, frankly, are those really important? Not to me in any case.


But hey, keep crying I want PDFs. I'm sure that eventally WoTC will say, well, we are probably going to loose millions of dollars in sales, but it will keep some gamers happy. Until Hasbro shuts down the DnD department at WoTC.


 
So you turn around and try to make us all feel bad for WotC/Hasbro, that us asking for digital versions is going to some how make them go under.

Im sorry, but it's the same sob story you get from RIAA and MPAA, they lose all this money to piracy, so they need to add DRM to products and have a tight Control, oh but then iTunes came around. By 2012 song downloads are in the billions.But yeah, the record & movie industry is doing so horrible.

Nevermind it's not even hard to find cracked ebups. Does that stop ePub from outselling print as claimed by amazon.

But sure, let's keep doing things the same old way. It worked so well for 4e sales. 
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I would think that for a lot of people 'we want pdfs' could also be replaced 'we want digital book delivery in some form that's not DDI'.

Wotc manages to make their novels available on e-readers after all.

And the important stuff to have isn't pictures. I'm pretty sure people (probably not all, but at least some of them) would buy digital versions of the books even without the pretty pictures. And I don't see why you couldn't put the text of the books on e.g. a kindle. Oh, sure, we'll loose a lot of the pretty formatting with those nice little coloured bars and so on ... but, frankly, are those really important? Not to me in any case.

I'm not going to lie. I have the PDFs of every book that D&D has published for 4E* and also use the compendium all the time. Truth be told, I don't want a PDF edition of the book to be available for the very reasons stated above (piracy). But this is 2012. This is the age of the Kindle and the Nook and other eReaders. I can't tell you how much more likely I would be to purchase a copy of the new D&D material if I could view it on my Kindle Fire. Here's the best part about the whole thing: errata.

I have had a couple of fictional books that were updated and downloaded to my device to correct things that had gone wrong in them. In a book full of statistics like the D&D books, when something goes awry, they can just make a quick change in the document and resubmit it to the ePublishers for resync to the owners of the books. That would without a doubt be one of the best reasons in my opinion to go digital book this next release. Especially with the proliferation of smart phones and other full color apps. I know the most recent version of the Kindle publishing format can handle all the flashiness of the D&D book styles. That seems to me to be the way to go rather than an unsecured or easily crackable PDF of the book.



*That I have already purchased a physical copy of 
If kindle can actually handle the layout, it seems even easier than I thought.
If kindle can actually handle the layout, it seems even easier than I thought.


Kindle Format 8 is perfect for this. It allows for things like comic books in the correct format, children's books, etc. It would work wonderfully for Wizards. I realize it sounds like I'm an Amazon shill, but I want to point out that I'm not. Just relaying information for things I've looked into.

www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=100... 
Dane_McArdy, you are exhibiting a narrow and regressive POV regarding digital sales. You've been saying the same thing in every thread about PDFs that has come up. But you're as wrong-headed in your view as WotC is. 

Yes. ONCE UPON A TIME, WotC put together a digital distribution model, someone found a way to exploit it, and WotC got burned by it. And they sued that soneone, and they settled (apparently). The question is, what is the more rational reaction to such an incident?

Reaction #1: "Our digital distribution model was flawed. We need to reconsider our options and find a better, more secure way to move into the digital age. Other retailers are figuring out ways to do it; surely there are other options. Maybe we could talk to Amazon, see how their model works. After all, it's the wave of the future. We'd better figure it out before we become obsolete." 

Reaction #2: "OH NOES! Someone figured out a way to steal our digital books! DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION IS EVIL AND WE'RE NEVER GOING TO DO IT AGAIN!!! LONG LIVE PRINT EDITIONS!!!" "But boss, bookstore chains are dying and all of our competetors are moving into digital sales." "I DON'T CARE! I CAN STILL FEEL THEIR HANDS ON MY DIGITAL COPIES OF PHB 2! Please, make the bad feelings go away ... "

Any sensible company trying to succeed in publishing in the 21st century would choose Reaction #1. WotC has chosen Reaction #2 up to this point. And frankly, it's an increasingly indefensible position, given the direction that ALL PUBLISHED AND RECORDED MEDIA is moving. The ownership of digital media consumption products is growing exponentially. iPads are huge, the Kindle is Amazon's top seller, and it's been nearly a year since ebook sales first outpaced print book sales at Amazon

WotC needs to get with the times, or D&D will die even faster than it is now.

If there is a demand, it's up to the company to find a solution, otherwise someone else will find a solution. 

So, it can be deduced...  If people want PDF's, it's up to Wizards to provide them to the people, otherwise people will find a different source for the PDF's.

It is that simple.

It has nothing to do with people "crying" or whatever other derogatory term is used.  It is, plain and simple, people vocalizing what they want to spend their money on.  If Wizards wants to make money from this medium, they will find a solution.

Celebrate our differences.

I'm really sick of corporate apologists. As has been stated and proven many times over--piracy is going to happen regardless of wither a company offers electronic formats or not. Trying to claim the epub (or other formats) have any effect at all is rediculous as no matter what type of DRM and/or file format you use pirates will overcome it and you'll still see it online. Piracy happens--if you can't accept, adapt to and account for that then you should just go out of buisiness because you will never stop it. Welcome to the 21st century: Evolve or die. There is demand for pdfs/e-formats and there are people who will pay for it if it is available. Not offering it because of something that is going to happen whether you offer it or not is both insane and voluntarily losing revenue that could otherwise be earned.
I want to give WoTC my money. What kind of logic is that? Oh, it's not logic, it trying to use finacial blackmail to get WoTC to see YOUR logic.

Welcome to capitalism and free markets.

 

Heres what WoTC thinks. Well, do we put PDFs out there, and get ripped off again in the millionsjust so we can get Gamer #23,691 20-30 bucks?

You're way overestimate the damage done and ignoring the fact that it's done anyway without WotC doing anything.

 

Sorry, but part of the business models of all gaming companies is based on knowing how much money gamers will spend on gaming over other things.

And Wotc is doing a bad job at the moment as evidenced by their current overall distressed state

PDFs are NOT safe in any sense of the word.

Which would be an agrument it PDFs of every book would not start to circulate within days. It's all about catching some part of that lost revenue without increasing the losses in any way.

 

For WoTC, it's just lossing money.

No, it's recapturing a little of what's otherwise lost anyway (without increasing what's otherwise lost anyway).

 

But hey, keep crying I want PDFs. I'm sure that eventally WoTC will say, well, we are probably going to loose millions of dollars in sales, but it will keep some gamers happy. Until Hasbro shuts down the DnD department at WoTC.

You're again pulling crazy figures out of nowhere. D&D is a ~30 million business, they're losing "millions" over being scammed by some sellers. Since then they might have lost a million (likely less) by stopping selling PDFs through the honest sellers.
@Dane_McArdy
You just keep saying WOTC can't afford piracy.  The people above you keep saying they are already suffering the full effects of piracy so why not make what money they can.   You just keep stubbornly saying the same thing over and over.

In 2 hours, I can get you every 4e book ever printed in pdf form.   I'd just have to find the torrent and load it in and start downloading.  If I were a pirate and I am not (as Paizo will attest from my buying pdfs from them),  I would just download those files.  If I were a pirate it wouldn't take that long.  I'm giving myself 2 hours because I really would be starting from nothing.
 
So all WOTC does is make people like me spend our money elsewhere.  That is it.  No other effect.  I admit that I often buy both the hardcover and the pdf.  I like to digitially cut out maps and floor plans but I also like the feel of a book.   So basically WOTC is totally blowing it with me.  They just aren't getting that extra money.   The amount of money they make though wouldn't dip any if they provided pdfs.   If you are a pirate you already are not paying.

 



There are MANY kinds of piracy. There's Joe gamer, taking a book, scanning it and putting on a torrent site. WoTC doesn't care about Joe Gamer.

Then there's having 20,000 copies of official PDFs being sold under the table. WoTC cares about that.

See, WoTC did sell PDFs of early 4e books. They used a company to sell them. In keeping with WoTC's policy of supporting other companies that sell other gaming merchandise, rather then sell them directly from their site, which they are fully aware they can do.

How it worked was you got an account, you logged in and downloaded the PDF. You could download the PDF to each of your computers and devices. Seems safe. Each account got a PDF with a special serial number, that way WoTC could see how many times PDFs were being downloaded.

But the company set up another company. They opened several accounts, and then sold people the user info to those accounts. Since the PDFs had already been paid for, they could be downloaded for free over and over. Some PDFs had been downloaded over 2,000 times.

Yes, WOTC sued, it was a long drawn out process, but it also probably caused Hasbro to say, Shut it down, no more PDFs of the books. That's about $500,000-700,000 in sales in a few months that WoTC didn't get. That was just a few short months.

WoTC can't ignore that so you can have a PDF of Arcane Power in PDF format.

As for being a corporate apologist. Amusing at best. I'm not a big fan of WoTC right now. I think they totally bungled DDi and weren't honest about a lot of stuff, and said they were going to do a lot of stuff knowing full well they wouldn't.

But I'm not going to pretend the reality of things isn't what it is, simply because I don't like WoTC, or because I'm an over privilaged gamer who feels they are OWED books in PDF format.

WoTC isn't in the business of making new technology to safe guard their product. They aren't in the business of only making ten percent profit on any given product.


Problems from the past equates to solutions in the future.

There is no use pretending like you know what Wizards is going to do in the future because of snap decisions in the past.  If D&DNext has taught us anything, it's exactly that.

If they determine there is significant profit to be had, they will most certainly provide it.   

Celebrate our differences.



There are MANY kinds of piracy. There's Joe gamer, taking a book, scanning it and putting on a torrent site. WoTC doesn't care about Joe Gamer.

Then there's having 20,000 copies of official PDFs being sold under the table. WoTC cares about that.

See, WoTC did sell PDFs of early 4e books. They used a company to sell them. In keeping with WoTC's policy of supporting other companies that sell other gaming merchandise, rather then sell them directly from their site, which they are fully aware they can do.

How it worked was you got an account, you logged in and downloaded the PDF. You could download the PDF to each of your computers and devices. Seems safe. Each account got a PDF with a special serial number, that way WoTC could see how many times PDFs were being downloaded.

But the company set up another company. They opened several accounts, and then sold people the user info to those accounts. Since the PDFs had already been paid for, they could be downloaded for free over and over. Some PDFs had been downloaded over 2,000 times.



Wait, just curious.  So is your argument that if WotC/Hasbro never tried to sell PDFs, those thousands of downloads wouldn't have happened? 

I really don't get what your getting at.  WotC got burned by letting someone else handle the sales.  Sucks that company screwed it up for everyone - looks like they should just sell it themselve - cut out the middleman, who probably wanted a % of the sales to begin with.

You don't ignore what your competition is doing (publicly traded competition or not) and just throw your hands up in the air and say "Well, we can't do that ever again". 

If people really want PDFs of the book, they are going to get the PDF of the book. Don't think some people won't turn away from a product just because it's not in electronic format.
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