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WotC halts PDF sales


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Dark Archive

See here on RPG.net.

RPGNow wrote:
Wizards of the Coast has instructed us to suspend all sales and downloads of Wizards of the Coast titles. Unfortunately, this includes offering download access to previously purchased Wizards of the Coast titles. We are in discussions with Wizards about their decision to change their approach to digital sales of their titles and will post more information as we have it. If you would like to let Wizards know your opinion on offering D&D titles for download, we suggest the D&D Message Boards found here.

Also here on WotC's boards.

My question: Has WotC asked the same thing from Paizo?

Paizo Employee CEO

Benoist Poiré wrote:

See here on RPG.net.

RPGNow wrote:
Wizards of the Coast has instructed us to suspend all sales and downloads of Wizards of the Coast titles. Unfortunately, this includes offering download access to previously purchased Wizards of the Coast titles. We are in discussions with Wizards about their decision to change their approach to digital sales of their titles and will post more information as we have it. If you would like to let Wizards know your opinion on offering D&D titles for download, we suggest the D&D Message Boards found here.

Also here on WotC's boards.

My question: Has WotC asked the same thing from Paizo?

Yes. You have until the end of today to buy any PDFs you might want. Also, you will want to make sure you download any PDFs that you have already purchased. We will have a more formal announcement being sent out to all our customers once it is approved by Wizards of the Coast.

-Lisa


WTF is WotC thinking?!? ~thinks~ Oh. Wait a minute. They are NOT thinking. Got it! Add another point to why I am glad that Paizo is doing what they are doing.


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

I'm disappointed in this thread. Is it too early to ask for multiple conspiracy theories?


Fut the whuck.

Dark Archive

Thanks Lisa!

SEE ALSO This WOTC Press Release for more info as to the potential "Why".

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Benoist Poiré wrote:

Thanks Lisa!

SEE ALSO This WOTC Press Release for more info as to the potential "Why".

I thought you were going to link to this one, also released today.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Does this include PDFs from older editions within the WotC products folder that were created under TSR like "AD&D T1-4: The Temple of Elemental Evil PDF" or "AD&D S3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks PDF?"

Paizo Employee CEO

Zynete wrote:
Does this include PDFs from older editions within the WotC products folder that were created under TSR like "AD&D T1-4: The Temple of Elemental Evil PDF" or "AD&D S3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks PDF?"

Yes. All WotC PDFs from the original D&D onward are going away.

-Lisa

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Several years after the recording and movie industries finally realized that the war against file sharing is futile, WotC suddenly discovers the existence of Torrents/eMule, likely as part of their Digitial Initiative (tm).

As part of leveraging their core competencies, WotC goes with the "late 90s" method of fighting against "piracy", namely "panic, pull PDFs from teh interwebs, fill lawsuits".

The lawsuit in Poland is going to be a fun - courts here usually don't even bother unless the person in question made a living from selling "pirated" works. Ah, the joys of the statutory legal system :)


What about Dungeon Magazine and Dragon Magazine PDFs? Are those WotC ones or Paizo?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Zynete wrote:
Does this include PDFs from older editions within the WotC products folder that were created under TSR like "AD&D T1-4: The Temple of Elemental Evil PDF" or "AD&D S3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks PDF?"

Yes—actually, for us, that's ALL it includes, as we never had the 4E PDFs to sell.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Lisa Stevens wrote:
Zynete wrote:
Does this include PDFs from older editions within the WotC products folder that were created under TSR like "AD&D T1-4: The Temple of Elemental Evil PDF" or "AD&D S3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks PDF?"

Yes. All WotC PDFs from the original D&D onward are going away.

-Lisa

Ack! Thank you for the quick response!

*Runs off to make sure he has all relevant downloads safe*

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

+1 on the Dungeon/Dragon question...

Paizo Employee CEO

John Stam wrote:
What about Dungeon Magazine and Dragon Magazine PDFs? Are those WotC ones or Paizo?

Those PDFs will remain since they are ours to sell under a different agreement.

-Lisa


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Very good to hear.

Liberty's Edge

Vic Wertz wrote:
Benoist Poiré wrote:

Thanks Lisa!

SEE ALSO This WOTC Press Release for more info as to the potential "Why".

I thought you were going to link to this one, also released today.

Hmmm. Are they still selling PDFs through their own site, or have they completely stopped selling them? I only ask because it seems that by completely cutting off any legal means to acquire a legal PDF, they are encouraging MORE piracy. Suing eight people won't discourage pirates any more than the RIAA or MPAA lawsuits discouraged pirates in those media, all that will happen is copies without digital signatures (manual scans) will become more prevalent.

Maybe I'm looking at this wrong, but it seems to me that it would be better to make some money off PDFs than to create an environment where they can make NO money off them.

Of course, the only PDFs I ever get from WotC are the old TSR freebies they have on their site, so, whatever, but I don't get it. Maybe one of the Paizo people who know more about the logic of this sort of thing can clarify for me...


Hmm...
Well i guess many of us are going to be busy this evening, either buying a bunch of PDFs or making sure we have a saved copy of all the ones we previously bought in the past.

To be sure i won't lose them and then wouldn't be able to download them again, a copy on a DVD is a wise investment. I recommend everyone to do the same.

Anyway, thanks a lot for warning us before it's too late, Benoist, Lisa, Vic and the others.

Scarab Sages

From the "internet_agreement.pdf" that you have to sign to be an authorized internet seller it seems that you have to own an actual store and there are restrictions on where you can buy, or sell, WotC products. (Like you can't sell them to a distributor and you can't buy them from the 'grey' market (whatever that is).)
So if you are a pdf only business (like DriveThru and such) you can't sell WotC stuff anymore.

IANAL so I am just reading it like I see it. That sucks for the paying customers who expect to be able to re-download the products they paid for. Not to mention the no notice, or short notice, of losing the pdf's that were bought.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

houstonderek wrote:

Maybe I'm looking at this wrong, but it seems to me that it would be better to make some money off PDFs than to create an environment where they can make NO money off them.

Of course, the only PDFs I ever get from WotC are the old TSR freebies they have on their site, so, whatever, but I don't get it. Maybe one of the Paizo people who know more about the logic of this sort of thing can clarify for me...

We cannot speak on behalf of Wizards.


Lisa Stevens wrote:


Yes. You have until the end of today to buy any PDFs you might want. Also, you will want to make sure you download any PDFs that you have already purchased. We will have a more formal announcement being sent out to all our customers once it is approved by Wizards of the Coast.

-Lisa

Wow – WotC and Hasbro have a lot to learn about customer relations. Some warning and explanation provided to the people who sell their products so they can pass it on to their customers would be nice. Forcing you guys to write something so they can approve it is just not cricket. They should have provided you with something.

Now as has happened before - WotCs public image is tarnished and they look like the bullies in the school yard again.

Well Lisa as I have seen Paizo make lemonade from the lemons handed to it by WotC, I have the utmost confidence that you can turn this into something good as well.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Is it just me or does it seem like WotC doesn't like to play nice with their competitors in the industry...

(Sudden decisions on Dragon/Dungeon... 4E OGL license announcement, now this...)


Huh... Just to make sure...
This affects the actual D&D books only or also the D20 products ?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Seldriss wrote:

Huh... Just to make sure...

This affects the actual D&D books only or also the D20 products ?

All Wizards of the Coast PDFs. That is, everything here.

(Note: that link will only be useful until midnight Pacific Time...)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Lifted from Enworld written by WotC_Trevor

Hey all. I wanted to step in and add shine a mote of light on the subject. First off, this cesation of PDF sales has absolutely nothing to do with the Internet Sales Policy. I know it's the 6th of April and I can definitely see how the two would appear linked, but the truth is, this is a completely seperate matter.

Unfortunately, the truth is that due to recent findings of illegal copying and online distribution (piracy) of our products, Wizards of the Coast has decided to cease the sales of online PDFs. We are exploring other options for digitial distribution of our content and as soon as we have any more information I'll get it to you.

Scarab Sages

It's disappointing. No notice: bad. Punishment to those who bought honestly the whole time: bad. Overall Reaction of WotC: bad.

It's sad really. Not angering, just sad.

Dark Archive

Seldriss wrote:

Huh... Just to make sure...

This affects the actual D&D books only or also the D20 products ?

I would guess every WOTC/TSR PDF product, any edition, d20 or not.

D20 products from third-party publishers would be unaffected.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Benoist Poiré wrote:

See here on RPG.net.

RPGNow wrote:
Wizards of the Coast has instructed us to suspend all sales and downloads of Wizards of the Coast titles. Unfortunately, this includes offering download access to previously purchased Wizards of the Coast titles. We are in discussions with Wizards about their decision to change their approach to digital sales of their titles and will post more information as we have it. If you would like to let Wizards know your opinion on offering D&D titles for download, we suggest the D&D Message Boards found here.

Also here on WotC's boards.

My question: Has WotC asked the same thing from Paizo?

Bah, just another reason to quit buying from Wizards. Good bye I say.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

The formal announcement is going out now:

Dear paizo.com customer,

Wizards of the Coast has notified us that we may no longer sell or distribute their PDF products. Accordingly, after April 6 at 11:59 PM Pacific time, Wizards of the Coast PDFs will no longer be available for purchase on paizo.com; after noon on April 7, you will no longer be able to download Wizards of the Coast PDFs that you have already purchased, so please make sure you have downloaded all purchased PDFs by that time.

We thank you for your patronage of paizo.com. Please check out our other downloads at paizo.com/store/downloads.

Sincerely yours,

The Paizo Customer Service Team


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

It sounded to me from one of the links above that access to Wizards-owned pdfs in the future depended on one's status as a WotC customer. Which is irrelevant to me (bargain-hunting miniature buyer only), but would be of interest to others perhaps.

I wonder if they'll take down their old freebies? I've probably downloaded all of those I want, but it was somehow comforting knowing they were there. (Although, I would think they would be interested in keeping some of us visiting their website, out of hope.)

Star Voter 2013

Wow. Way to drive up piracy of your own products, WotC. Way to alienate patrons who bought the rights to multiple downloads of the products they rightfully purchased. And way to undermine online retailers in a shaky economy. Why don't they beat up old ladies on camera just to complete the PR nightmare?

TSR days are here again!


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

One of the releases made it sound like they were out to protect the local, brick and mortar gaming stores. Whatever the validity of this claim, wouldn't they be more like little old ladies in today's economy than online stores? (Just guessing.)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well, that's 12 items in my RPGNow wishlist that I can no longer buy.
Items that I can't find in print at all (or not for a sane price).

Had WotC actually provided some warning, people who want to trade legally might have put money in their coffers.

What really burns is that these items on my list were things that WotC have zero interest in (1st and 2nd Edition Greyhawk).

Liberty's Edge

Lisa Stevens wrote:
Benoist Poiré wrote:

See here on RPG.net.

RPGNow wrote:
Wizards of the Coast has instructed us to suspend all sales and downloads of Wizards of the Coast titles. Unfortunately, this includes offering download access to previously purchased Wizards of the Coast titles. We are in discussions with Wizards about their decision to change their approach to digital sales of their titles and will post more information as we have it. If you would like to let Wizards know your opinion on offering D&D titles for download, we suggest the D&D Message Boards found here.

Also here on WotC's boards.

My question: Has WotC asked the same thing from Paizo?

Yes. You have until the end of today to buy any PDFs you might want. Also, you will want to make sure you download any PDFs that you have already purchased. We will have a more formal announcement being sent out to all our customers once it is approved by Wizards of the Coast.

-Lisa

Talk about short notice! I hope I don't crash the servers!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lilith wrote:
Fut the whuck.

LMAO!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

How about some emergency sale promo, Paizo ? I might as well pick up all those Planescape PDFs I always wanted to buy...

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

[edited title of thread to more accurately reflect current situation]

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Gorbacz wrote:
How about some emergency sale promo, Paizo ? I might as well pick up all those Planescape PDFs I always wanted to buy...

Frankly, I'm concerned enough about the servers catching fire *without* discounts.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

* protectively shelters his few 1e-2e PDFs from all harm *

Contributor

Vic Wertz wrote:
Frankly, I'm concerned enough about the servers catching fire *without* discounts.

Wow, I hadn't realized you could have literal "fire sale" prices with digital downloads!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Just you wait until the Europe wakes up and realizes that we are on a "last minute" situation :P

Star Voter 2013

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
One of the releases made it sound like they were out to protect the local, brick and mortar gaming stores. Whatever the validity of this claim, wouldn't they be more like little old ladies in today's economy than online stores? (Just guessing.)

No... the metaphor was that of doing a self-evidently stupid thing to alienate people. Perhaps a better metaphor would have been cutting off their own nose to spite their face, I'll grant you.

This isn't going to affect Amazon. Harming RPGNow and Paizo, even a little bit, is not a great business move.

Doing it with no warning so that I don't have time to access legitimately purchased downloads or have to make purchases right now for a module I was going to use two years from now in my campaigns just irks me.

Plus, I now have to delete every single !#@$!%$!@# thing in my shopping cart if I want to buy the one 5 dollar download I want, then add them all back into my !#@$!$% cart. I blame WotC. There's no emoticon for the impotent nerd rage I feel right now.

Star Voter 2013

Snorter wrote:

Well, that's 12 items in my RPGNow wishlist that I can no longer buy.

Items that I can't find in print at all (or not for a sane price).

Had WotC actually provided some warning, people who want to trade legally might have put money in their coffers.

What really burns is that these items on my list were things that WotC have zero interest in (1st and 2nd Edition Greyhawk).

Yes, and now they hope to DECREASE piracy by taking a group of tech-savvy people and filling them with nerd rage. Yes, that's going to work out nicely for them.

As far as this protecting brick and mortar stores... I really doubt that this will have the effect that they hope. People who buy pdfs either can't get it at brick and mortar stores or prefer the functionalities of the pdf format.


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Sorry, didn't mean to confuse the matter by implying Amazon. I was thinking businesses that were strictly online RPG stores: DriveThruRPG et al.

I feel your I.N.R. :(

Add: To bring Amazon back into it, if I was a 4e customer, would this move really force me into my FLGS more often by getting me off pdfs through online stores and onto the paper copies? Probably not--I'd just do more business with Amazon, and I bet that would be true of a lot of customers.

Scarab Sages

This has got to be the stupidest move (on WotC's part) that I've heard of in a LONG time.

Liberty's Edge

Lisa Stevens wrote:
John Stam wrote:
What about Dungeon Magazine and Dragon Magazine PDFs? Are those WotC ones or Paizo?

Those PDFs will remain since they are ours to sell under a different agreement.

-Lisa

good to hear.

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Add: To bring Amazon back into it, if I was a 4e customer, would this move really force me into my FLGS more often by getting me off pdfs through online stores and onto the paper copies? Probably not--I'd just do more business with Amazon, and I bet that would be true of a lot of customers.

unfortunately, that is the smartest move

Liberty's Edge

Owen Anderson wrote:
This has got to be the stupidest move (on WotC's part) that I've heard of in a LONG time.

i believe this is the stupidest move on this year... the other one being how they released the 4E licence


Montalve wrote:
Owen Anderson wrote:
This has got to be the stupidest move (on WotC's part) that I've heard of in a LONG time.
i believe this is the stupidest move on this year... the other one being how they released the 4E licence

All they did was empower a new group of pirates. And for the rest of us who ARE law abiding, just p*ss us off no end, as many of these books are hard to get a hold of at a reasonable price. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and run my credit rating into the ground to get the stuff I hadn't bought yet.

RPG Superstar 2012

Post Monstered!

I only purchased the core 4E books as physical books (from Amazon). I bought a few other books as PDFs, and I never planned to make another non-PDF purchase of WoTC books. So, no money from me to WoTC for the time being, and, depending on the pricing if/when PDFs return, probably forever.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, let me get this straight: if you bought legacy PDFs from say 1e/2e with the understanding that the digital product would be available for you to download in perpetuity, you're screwed. Is that more or less the story here? And without recompense?

Sorry to vent, but this has to be the most boneheaded, knee-jerk, over-reaction I've seen in a while. I can see killing off the 4e PDFs. I can even see ditching 3e PDFs since there are still books in the stores. But 1e/2e? Those haven't been available on the open market in years.

I guess at the end of the day, or at midnight PDT, you just have to laugh at how foolish this is.

-Skeld

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