Wizards of the Coast Stops PDF Sales Through Paizo.com and RPGNow.com

Here is the text of an email that went out today from Paizo:

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

I have not heard why they pulled the PDF sales.

RPGNow.com has posted they are no longer allowed to sell WOTC PDFs either.

RPGNow Annoucement Regarding WOTC PDF Sales
I hope this is just temporary and that Wizards will move to some other method of digital book distribution.  If they do not and only offer DDI subscriptions or dead-tree books for their content, then Wizards just made a serious mistake.  Digital books and downloads are the future of gaming and they had better keep up or they will go the way of TSR.  The other item on both sites was that you could no longer download previous purchases after a specific date.  Not only have you stepped backword with your business model, you managed to anger your best customers. The blowback from the gaming community on this decision is going to be nuclear.

I truly hope this is not some feeble attempt to stop piracy that coincides with the  lawsuits filed by WOTC against alleged pirates of their books.  Even the RIAA is beginning to see the futility of lawsuits and whether or not you sell a PDF file, pirates own scanners.

Trask, The Last Tyromancer

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trask

Trask is a long-time gamer, world traveler and history buff. He hopes that his scribblings will both inform and advance gaming as a hobby.

6 thoughts on “Wizards of the Coast Stops PDF Sales Through Paizo.com and RPGNow.com

  • April 7, 2009 at 8:55 am
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    Yet another reason to turn away from D&D and play something that’s actually creative and not a fading relic of a gaming paradigm that should have been allowed to die with TSR when it collapsed under the weight of its own incompetent stupidity. This sort of thing will continue to happen until Wizards finally grasps, clutches, and sues its way out of the RPG field altogether. D&D is like an ancient king whose time has long since passed, but who refuses to keel over and die so someone actually worth following can take over.

  • April 7, 2009 at 2:41 pm
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    The reason is most likely a few things. trying to remove all older editions to make 4th edition the only version of D&D you could play, because of the lawsuit over the falsely claimed low selling PHB2 that Amazon.com cannot keep in stock due to sales greater that expected which is mention in the press release about preventing piracy. http://ww2.wizards.com/Company/Press/?doc=20090406

  • April 7, 2009 at 4:49 pm
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    Yes this is clearly because wizards are dicks and they hate you so bad.
    Or alternatively, might this be because PDFs from these sites are constantly spread over the internet? That Wizards can’t justify to their legal department and marketing departments why they’re allowing these companies to enable piracy? Sure Wizards won’t be able to stop it, but at least somebody else won’t be getting the money for the first PDF, and they can justify to their shareholders that they’re doing everything they can to preserve their business.

  • April 7, 2009 at 8:15 pm
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    “Yes this is clearly because wizards are dicks and they hate you so bad.
    Or alternatively, might this be because PDFs from these sites are constantly spread over the internet? That Wizards can’t justify to their legal department and marketing departments why they’re allowing these companies to enable piracy?”

    Factcheck: The VAST majority of all those copies floating around out there illegally? Manual scans of actual books.

    The pdfs sold through stores were watermarked through and through, making pirating from those sources more trouble than it was worth, and a greater risk for the one illegally distributing them at the root.

    All this has done is hurt legit, paying customers. It hasn’t made things harder for pirates AT ALL. This has been repeated time and time again in other industries, videogames and music included, and many companies can’t seem to learn from these mistakes.

    Hell, many of those illegal scans came from printer copies within the company. So no, those stores were NOT the big part of the problem. If anything, they supplied a demand legally. Now that demand HAS no legal means of being satisfied that isn’t cost prohibitive.

    Seriously, you’re blaming those stores for the piracy?! Do you even know one damn thing about what’s actually going on out there? How the economics of piracy work? Of the patterns of cause and effect that have been seen TIME AND TIME AGAIN?

    Please.

  • April 7, 2009 at 10:28 pm
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    Mikaze is right. All they are doing is removing the legal options people have to get their books in pdf. This will make the problem worse.

  • April 8, 2009 at 4:35 pm
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    Yep. thank you! That’s exactly what’s happened. The guys on Fear the Boot made the same point about piracy. DriveThru is a White Wolf partner (created by one of their employees, I think) and it’s also a cheap way to attack the competition. All they’ve done is take a big step backward and piss people off.

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