Pathfinder, PDFs and Retailers

So, Paizo has announced that they’re going to sell the PDF of the 500+ page, $50 hardcover Pathfinder RPG rulebook for ten bucks.

Very, very smart.

Of course in various threads across the internet, people are saying that this means that “Paizo doesn’t care about local game stores” and other nonsense.

Yes, kids — we’re back to the whole “PDFs are new-fangled jibbajabba, of De Debbil, and designed to put Game Stores out of business” bullshit.

Cue Marcus King editorial in 5… 4… 3…

Nah, screw it — just read his editorial from back in April, replace “Green Ronin” with “Paizo”, and that’ll save him the trouble of writing a new one.

I posted the following on a thread at ENWorld, and I figured it was worth repeating here:

I’m sure this will irritate some game stores, and I’m sure we’ll hear about it, on the internet.

I’m also sure that I, for one, couldn’t care less.

Let me tell you a little story:

This past April, at the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas, immediately following the whole WOTC pulls PDFs/Marcus King/Green Ronin spat, I ran a free seminar, entitled “Games Publishing and Retail for the New Media.”

The stated purpose of the seminar was to present methods by which *everyone*, publisher and retailer alike, could make money via the changing new media paradigm in this industry.

It was scheduled in the space in between two WOTC seminars, detailing their release plans for MTG and D&D. Scheduled in the same room, in fact — so the only effort that retailers would need to undertake was: Stay in their seats.

We had ONE (count ’em: 1) retailer attend.

The retailers attending GTS are supposed to be some of the best in the country, and even they couldn’t be arsed to learn about how to make money from PDF sales and other forms of electronic delivery.

If they represent the best, what do you think the majority of the (let’s be honest — pitifully few) remaining retailers are like?

It’s like the old saying — except in this case, not only will the horses not drink, but they can’t even be led to water.

So, really — at this point, who cares what they think about PDFs? Most are going to stick to running their “Android’s Dungeon” clubhouses until they inevitably go under, still complaining about how they were left behind by changes in the marketplace… Changes in which they’ve had every opportunity to take part, but ignored.

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