WotC puts a stop to online sales of PDFs

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  1. #1

    WotC puts a stop to online sales of PDFs

    Oh dear:

    Quote Originally Posted by RPGNow
    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 (linked to gleemax).
    This certainly stings me as a PDF-exclusive buyer and user of D&D.

    So what could this mean in the long run...? Here are my thoughts from the WotC forums:

    Very likely they're planning to start selling the PDFs online themselves so they can keep the money from online sales. So first step is to take away the permission for anybody else to sell PDFs online.

    Same thing happened with all the online character generators and online D&D tools about six months before 4e was announced. And Dragon/Dungeon magazines. Remember?
    PS: I looked to see if there was already a thread on this and I couldn't find one, if there is, my apologies.


  • #2
    Woh, that is not good.

    I haven't got any as yet but will do soon when my eReader arrives. How can they stop you getting copies of PDFs you have already purchased????????

  • #3
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    Yeah, it's pretty odd, without giving a reason. Arguably you have the right to the product purchased, along with the number of downloads that are made available to you?

    Either way, I am sure someone will let us know soon enough why this has been done, or at least undo it.

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    My first thought was "stop people from getting illegal copies of PDFs," but people are bound to just scan everything anyway (they already do for things without an official PDF). The guess that they might intend to sell them themselves is a logical possibility. Another guess is that they might be changing the PDFs in some drastic way and don't want to deal with people who "just bought the un-updated one" or something. I'm not sure what to make of it.

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    Does anybody know - Is this an across the board thing from WOTC covering all sellers of authorised PDFs of their material or is it just affecting RPGNOW?
    "You should never be in the company of anyone with whom you would not want to die"

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    This sucks.

    I've bought a number from RPGNow. Originally I was told I could download as many times as I wanted to forever. When they merged with DTRPG it went to 5 downloads per product and contact them if I needed more. And now apparently WotC is trying to pull the plug on old downloads. That should not be possible under the contracts rpgnow should have had with them but I don't have the specifics.

    I really hope I will still be able to get old edition pdfs, there are a ton I still want to get.
    PBP games:

    Death in Freeport IC OOC Adversaries RG Info
    Wildwood IC Old IC II OOC RG Info Old IC Monsters
    Dwarven Vengeance Monsters

    ToEE Sir Merrick OOC IC Old IC
    RToEE Inquisitor Miltiades OOC IC Old IC
    Ptolus Longcoat Garn OOC
    Against the Giants Voadam IC OOC
    Pool of Radiance Kordunn IC Combat OOC Info
    Invasion of Mori Snargle fiendish troll rogue IC OOC
    Red Hand of DoomSir Conrad Cyr Tiefling Soulknife

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  • #7
    What gets to me (not too much of course, but a bit) is that I've already had a couple evenings of gaming saved by RPGNow's convenient "Download it again if you need it again" feature. I haven't had to do it with any WotC book yet, but I know it's only a matter of time. And now I know that's off the table. Guess I just take better care of my folders from now on

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    I don't see anywhere whether the old TSR stuff is effected by this. Paizo, which also sells the old TSR stuff, doesn't have a similar statement up.

    If the TSR stuff is effected by this, it'd really suck. It's really the only .pdf's I buy and I could completely see WotC deciding not to make them available again. (There's supposedly no market for OOP D&D products, afterall.)

    If they are still available, I think I'm going to buy a parsle full of them that I've been putting off. I've been too complacent, thinking they'll be available forever.
    <exasperated DM> "Underlying what? ... motivation? Do you want to play Dungeons & Dragons or not?"

    <drama obsessed player> "How can I narrate my character's co-mingled sense of alienation and ennui towards modern society in this second-rate dungeon hack? My character returns to the surface and uses his remaining gold to start up an organic coffee shop that caters to left-wing revolutionaries... and hot elvish chicks."

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    Quote Originally Posted by mach1.9pants View Post
    How can they stop you getting copies of PDFs you have already purchased????????
    One of the two major reasons that I bought WotC/TSR stuff in PDF form was specifically because I knew that RPGNow archived my past purchases for easy retrieval in case of hardware failure on my end. If WotC is forcing OBS to make those past purchases unavailable, well, 'em.

    If this does come to pass, somebody up in Seattle needs to credit me for my past purchases of WotC product that still have downloads remaining. Changing an agreement after somebody purchases things might be legal but it's still a load of horse pucky.

    [Edit: As for anti-piracy issues, I think all of the WotC/TSR PDFs that I've downloaded from RPGNow (even the old scans) have an embedded watermark with my name in them. This makes piracy more trouble than it's worth.]
    Last edited by jdrakeh; Monday, 6th April, 2009 at 10:18 PM.
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    I'm more inclined to think it's a financial decision (as in "We'd make more money if we sold them ourselves") than it is a panicky anti-piracy decision because some executive's kid found a pirated PHB2 on 4chan.


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