Baumi

Registered User
Validated User
Not anymore. :(

It's really too bad because they included all Errata in their PDF's (like the new Skill-Challenge DCs), but it seems that there was to much piracy involved and not enough sales.
 

Springaldjack

Mothman Analogue Diogenes
Does WotC sell there books in pdf format?
Not anymore. :(

It's really too bad because they included all Errata in their PDF's (like the new Skill-Challenge DCs), but it seems that there was to much piracy involved and not enough sales.
Indeed. On the basis of "too much Piracy" Wizards pulled all its PDFs which had included the entire back catalogue of D&D of previous editions.

Piracy is in fact bad, but it's really questionable that this sort of anti-piracy measure reduces it.
 

corrinavatan

Retired User
Indeed. On the basis of "too much Piracy" Wizards pulled all its PDFs which had included the entire back catalogue of D&D of previous editions.

Piracy is in fact bad, but it's really questionable that this sort of anti-piracy measure reduces it.
/sigh. Complain about sales, but allow someone to get all the rules and pictures that have been released for the past few years for only $15.

That's right. Compete with yourself with a product that is even MORE appealing to the people who are likely to pirate. (I assume those people who pirate dnd don't really care much for the fluff).

Character Builder and Monster Builder (despite the formatting issues the MB has with auras), get access to all the dungeon/dragon magazines previously released. I mean, seriously, I have not bought a book since PHB2/DMG 2. Yet, I have Arcane/Divine/Martial 1/2/Primal power stuff, Eberron and Forgotten Realms stuff. I mean, gosh, for $15 you can literally start your game: All the players get the Character Builder on their PCs, you get the Monster Builder on your PC, and then download masterplan or some other program for free to plan your campaign.

I mean, would it really have been that hard to put decent DRM on their PDFs?

The 4e business model just doesn't make sense. Put out a new book every month, charge $30 for it... or just give it away to anybody who is paying $15. Right there, they are cutting 50% of the revenue right off the bat... and lets talk about how players now don't all need to buy their own books.
 
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CardinalXimenes

Registered User
Validated User
I mean, would it really have been that hard to put decent DRM on their PDFs?
Yes. It really would have been that hard. If you can come up with a clean, neat solution for making pdfs mostly-unpirateable in a way that does not infuriate buyers, there are numerous creative industry marketing types who will sell you their firstborn for your secret.

The 4e business model just doesn't make sense. Put out a new book every month, charge $30 for it... or just give it away to anybody who is paying $15. Right there, they are cutting 50% of the revenue right off the bat... and lets talk about how players now don't all need to buy their own books.
What the writers are producing every month isn't books, per se, it's content. Whether that content appears between two hardcovers or on a DDI subscription, they've got to produce something to convince people to either maintain their DDI subscription or sign up in the first place. Books introduce substantial costs in layout, artwork, and printing, but as long as the print runs at least break even, they can continue to offer that method of distribution without impacting the bottom line. In addition, it's worth remembering that the books are the only source for fluff or GM technique discussions; you won't find most of the DMGs or Draconomicons reproduced on DDI.
 

corrinavatan

Retired User
Yes. It really would have been that hard. If you can come up with a clean, neat solution for making pdfs mostly-unpirateable in a way that does not infuriate buyers, there are numerous creative industry marketing types who will sell you their firstborn for your secret..
My point is, they went from "No DRM" to "We're just not going to do it at all."
 

PST

Registered User
Validated User
The 4e business model just doesn't make sense. Put out a new book every month, charge $30 for it... or just give it away to anybody who is paying $15. Right there, they are cutting 50% of the revenue right off the bat... and lets talk about how players now don't all need to buy their own books.
Except they don't get $30. On a $30 book they're probably getting around $12. Maybe as high as $15 depending on terms but i'd be surprised.

So, get $15 or get $15...
 

Bruwulf

Suspected Unicorn
Validated User
I mean, would it really have been that hard to put decent DRM on their PDFs?
To parrot Cardinal, yes, yes it would.

There aren't many good ways to DRM text and 2D images that aren't easily circumventable. And the single easiest way to lock it down is also a way that renders a PDF useless to a large section of the potential buying market - restricting printing.

If you can print a PDF, you can pirate a PDF. I won't get into how, but it's trivially easy. If you can't print a PDF, I don't want it... And neither do a lot of other people.

And even if you do disable printing, you haven't protected the PDF all that well. You've just made it a little more complex to pirate. Still easily doable. But you have succeeded in pissing off your paying customers. Congratulations! Mission accomplished!

Err, wait.

Back in the early days of PDF RPG publishing, a few companies flirted with heavily DRMed PDFs. There was tremendous backlash. Nowadays most companies are satisfied with putting a watermark on the PDF. A few flirt with restricting copy-pasting, but there's usually a backlash against that if the product is actually popular. And that doesn't actually do squat for preventing piracy, because nobody really wants a huge copy-pasted text file of a book... It just hampers honest users, again.
 

Voadam

Registered User
Validated User
WotC only sells pdfs of Dungeon and Dragon magazines now as part of DDI.

There are a few pdfs of a few older edition pdfs still available on the archive sections of WotC's website.

They used to sell pdfs of almost everything, old out of print editions of D&D and 4e books. They were some of the most heavily purchased pdfs in the genre/industry.

WotC pulled all pdf offerings and said they were doing it because of piracy.

WotC books were scanned and pirated before and after they sold pdfs so it is hard to say they were successful at stopping piracy. At most they delayed the pirating of new books by a little (which could have been accomplished by delayed pdf format releases as well).

Now the only way to acquire pdfs of WotC books is to scan in your own copies or get pirated versions. WotC will not take your money for them.
 
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