PDA

View Full Version : iCodices: Potential Goldmine??



Carlos
26-04-2010, 20:54
Raise your hand if you have an ipad, and iphone or ipod touch? As far as I can see thats probably about half of the gaming community.

Apple are bringing/have brought the ibookstore to all iphone OS devices and are offering rich, interactive books as an alternative to the normal 'text' ebooks and text books.

Imagine: Games Workshop offer electronic versions of their codices/army books. They offer the standard fluff/descriptions/army lists as usual but with some major overhauls. Instead of painting guides based on pictures video tutorials direct from the 'eavy metal team are embedded in the pages to watch. And each codex comes with an interactive army builder letting you add and subtract builds on the fly, as well as saving pre-made configs of your most used units.
Best of all any rules changes can be offered as downloadable updates, negating FAQs.

Id pay $15/12 for something like that.

gunmonkey
26-04-2010, 21:20
One of the reasons I want a tablet PC (not an iPad) is to have a store of Specialist Games rulebooks and other stuff on it for mid-game, saves rustling through several stacks of rule sheets and such.

Doubt GW would go for it though, would be one less thing to overcharge in their stores.

eriochrome
26-04-2010, 21:33
Raise your hand if you have an ipad, and iphone or ipod touch? As far as I can see thats probably about half of the gaming community.

Apple are bringing/have brought the ibookstore to all iphone OS devices and are offering rich, interactive books as an alternative to the normal 'text' ebooks and text books.

Imagine: Games Workshop offer electronic versions of their codices/army books. They offer the standard fluff/descriptions/army lists as usual but with some major overhauls. Instead of painting guides based on pictures video tutorials direct from the 'eavy metal team are embedded in the pages to watch. And each codex comes with an interactive army builder letting you add and subtract builds on the fly, as well as saving pre-made configs of your most used units.
Best of all any rules changes can be offered as downloadable updates, negating FAQs.

Id pay $15/12 for something like that.

But they charge $25 for the rulebook now and it comes with less. They would still have to print the books and volume means lower printer cost each so they would be hurting themselves there also. And I am sure Apple would want a cut so that would be like what they pay now for the printing.

bigcheese76
26-04-2010, 21:44
Not really a potential goldmine for GW as they would have to spend alot of money in the production of your proposed army list creater and in filming the 'eavy metal videos. Dont get me wrong, I love the idea, and would probably get an Ipod if GW did this. I just cant see GW doing this somehow as I dont think they would feel it would raise their profit margins enough for alot of extra work put in on their part.

blongbling
27-04-2010, 08:10
GW isnt tech savvy enough to do this, however if some enterprising young soul came forward and wanted to licence it, that would be another matter

AndrewGPaul
27-04-2010, 11:01
Half the gaming community have iPhones? Not likely. 4 out of 30 or so at my club.

As to putting it on iTunes and the like, GW might have issues with the terms and conditions; the author/publisher doesn't always get to set the price. The latest Desden Files book was initially to be sold on Apple's bookstore at $10. Apple bumped the price up to $40, so they could bilk the publisher for more money per download sold.

In addition, Carlos, you're wanting more content but at the same time a lower price? How is that supposed to work, exactly?

Nurglitch_PS
27-04-2010, 12:16
GW isnt tech savvy enough to do this,

They are tech savvy enough to offer pdf rulebooks for speciallist games. The eDistribution requires almost no tech. The thing is the very moment my NotionInk Adam comes, I'm loading it full of pdf rulebooks and codices and will never ever have to carry 3kg of nerdbooks again. I'm not going to be the only one. It is quite likely that in the next 6 years the nerdbooks such as tabletop systems, RPG books and so on will die in their paper form. What I forsee happening is GW making some moves towards digital distribution, first charging 50GBP per ecodex (a pdf with some nonsensical .exe DRM wrapper) to "recoup" the costs of piracy, then (when they do not sell) charging 75GBP and loading it really full of DRM nonsense. Only when the paper sales really start tanking, GW will be dragged screaming into the year 2005.



however if some enterprising young soul came forward and wanted to licence it, that would be another matter

Yeah. They will have to get each word, page break and illustration 1px shift approved by GW. GW will change its mind every week. They will withold the permission to publish. Than they will grant it, but demand measures costing millions. When the enterprising soul finally gets everything in place, GW will forbid them from ever selling anything, threaten with lawsuit for having two hands (which infringes upon GW's IP) and order to wipe the hard drives. Sorry, this is how GW treats such partners. Just read what happened to Hogshead.

blongbling
27-04-2010, 13:47
They are tech savvy enough

I guarantee you they are not, for example they refused to put in place a rewards card scheme despite having the functionality to do it because it was considered something that is way too organised and hitech.

GW is very slow on the IT side of stuff and certainly when it comes to the outward facing stuff they are terrible. The efforts I went through to get a phone that would let me read my emails when out of the office was unbelievable (and that was only three years ago).

The only place their tech is good is in their warehousing systems. Even the till systems they have don't work like they are supposed to and that is something new that got installed in the last six years or so, before that the tills were terrible and wouldn't even poll most of the time.

So, I reiterate, GW is not tech savvy at all




Yeah. They will have to get each word, page break and illustration 1px shift approved by GW. GW will change its mind every week. They will withold the permission to publish. Than they will grant it, but demand measures costing millions. When the enterprising soul finally gets everything in place, GW will forbid them from ever selling anything, threaten with lawsuit for having two hands (which infringes upon GW's IP) and order to wipe the hard drives. Sorry, this is how GW treats such partners. Just read what happened to Hogshead.

well that is why you propose first, get signed agreements, pay GW their licensing money, get it approved each step of the way and then release it properly, the way that you do licences.

cyphertheory
27-04-2010, 14:35
The only place their tech is good is in their warehousing systems. Even the till systems they have don't work like they are supposed to and that is something new that got installed in the last six years or so, before that the tills were terrible and wouldn't even poll most of the time.

So, I reiterate, GW is not tech savvy at all

even the till system is outsourced to Fujitsu Services UK :)

Carlos
27-04-2010, 15:57
Im surely not the only one who *hunts* a pdf version of a codex after ive bought a copy to have at hand?

stroller
27-04-2010, 16:07
No itech here either. One mini rulebook. One codex. One A4 sheet of army list. One pair of reading glasses. Still quite a lot of chocolate or beer space before I start lugging kilos...

Painting video - nice idea - but I would want that on a BIG screen.

sigur
27-04-2010, 16:24
Could we please leave out brand fetishism and these petty little "i"s in front of things and just talk about the use of technology there?

Spectrar Ghost
27-04-2010, 16:42
I happen to know the updated Epic rules including the 2009 Eratta were not done by any GW employee, but by one of the NetERC members for free. And it took an inordinate amount of time to get then on the site once they were completed.

JLBeady
27-04-2010, 18:00
GW could be well served by a more robust digital initiative. As many have pointed out the opportunities are great, real, and doable.

The question is has a critical mass of the number of their current and target demographic have the required hardware to access these things. Though iPods are ubiquitous, the iPhone and to a much less extent the iPad less so. Also to date I have yet to see a kindle or Sony's e-reader anywhere outside of a store.

GW already is operating within a niche. It would seem then that anything designed for distribution over an iPhone or iPad or similar device is now a niche within a niche. Not sure how much gold is there to truly tempt GW to make the prerequisite investment.

Lord Inquisitor
27-04-2010, 18:10
It should be noted that Privateer Press have an armybuilder/unit stat program called Ibodger. I don't play warmachine, but it looks incredible with a little pic of every unit and its statline. It's so cool it almost makes me want to start warmachine just for the app alone.

I don't know about army books ... I guess with ipads that might be readable but on the iphone big pdfs are very hard to navigate. What I want is a game tool to help with my army list and/or the unit rules. So (in my little dream world), I have my army list on my phone (I actually do this anyway simply by emailing my own list to myself), along with all unit stats and weapons. Even better, my opponent plonks down a character or unit I'm unfamiliar with or unsure about, I can simply look up their stats without having to ask to borrow his book. It would be amazing.

Not going to happen. :cries:

My opinion is that GW need to embrace the digital age. Put all codecies online for free, why not? Sure people will print them off, but then people who are likely to do that can find the books pirated online. Most gamers would buy their own books anyway. Last I heard, the codecies were meant to be loss-leaders. Making books available to all would decrease the level of confusion new players face (they'd be able to become familar with all armies) and could only increase model sales. I'm not going to go out and buy a Blood Angel codex. Put it online and yeah, I'll download it and read it. Maybe even print it out to read - and then an evil little voice will be shouting you want to start a Flesh Tearers army in the back of my head. Right now, if I had an idle thought about starting a new army, it'd be weeks before I'd be down in a store and able to buy the codex, and that's still a big chunk of cash to throw out on a "wouldn't it be cool if" idea. The last army I started was Ogre Kingdoms, and I only started it because I happened to be given the army book and started making lists ... and got hooked and bought the whole army. That's the effect GW need to get. It would work on new customers too - wouldn't it be great, as a GW employee, if you could tell all potential customers that they could read the rules and army lists beforehand online? Plus most players would still buy the books, as I said I wouldn't be using pdfs on my phone while gaming - even with an ipad it'd be a pain - and I don't like playing with print-out rulebooks.

The key word in all this is of course "free." I want a free app like Ibodger, free army book/codex pdfs. My gaming group just spontaneously got into necromunda and some of the guys bought a ton of stuff - because we were able to download the rulebooks and supplements. Give me all the stuff I need to browse armies and units and - speaking personally - I'd be likely to buy more models and even more codecies in the long run.

marv335
27-04-2010, 18:19
Army builder lets you export army lists as a PDF file now.
If you have a PDF viewer on your phone, job done.
I myself have a Sony eReader, and have a load of army lists stored on it plus PDF scans of my codecies.
Very handy, and I for one would love to see it done officially, but I recognise the problems with doing it.
I agree it's something they should do, but it's something I don't think we'll see for a while yet.

Grimtuff
27-04-2010, 19:32
GW is very slow on the IT side of stuff and certainly when it comes to the outward facing stuff they are terrible. The efforts I went through to get a phone that would let me read my emails when out of the office was unbelievable (and that was only three years ago).

I'm imagining that you asked your bosses for a Blackberry. A couple of hours later one of the minions returns with the contents of the Produce section from the local Tesco.

"Magical this fruit is. You can read Emails on it now" :p

Reinholt
27-04-2010, 19:42
I have yet to hear a coherent argument as to why GW does not have their codices and rulebooks online. One of the biggest reasons I am very negative on their future growth currently is that they are unable to recruit new players at a low cost and are unable to cross-sell to current players as often as they could because of the cost of new armies.

Offering your army books for free online decreases cost of entry, increases the visibility of each army, and lowers the cost of switching for veterans. It also allows for rules updates, FAQ's, etc, to be much more frequent. More so, if you really are a model company that uses the games to sell high margin models, this would sell more models!

I see no reason, beyond laziness, incompetence, or stubbornness that GW is not doing this already.

Nurglitch_PS
27-04-2010, 20:38
[color="Orange"]I have yet to hear a coherent argument as to why GW does not have their codices and rulebooks online.

1. Because they don't have to. GW never changes unless it is absolutely forced into change. You know - not only back to the wall, but also a dagger sticking out of the eye socket.
2. Because developers do not work for 16k GBP/year + staff discount. Well, not the ones who got past the "learn HTML in 666 easy lessons" book.

Vic
27-04-2010, 20:41
raise your hand if you have an ipad, and iphone or ipod touch? As far as i can see thats probably about half of the gaming community.

Apple are bringing/have brought the ibookstore to all iphone os devices and are offering rich, interactive books as an alternative to the normal 'text' ebooks and text books.

Imagine: Games workshop offer electronic versions of their codices/army books. They offer the standard fluff/descriptions/army lists as usual but with some major overhauls. Instead of painting guides based on pictures video tutorials direct from the 'eavy metal team are embedded in the pages to watch. And each codex comes with an interactive army builder letting you add and subtract builds on the fly, as well as saving pre-made configs of your most used units.
Best of all any rules changes can be offered as downloadable updates, negating faqs.

Id pay $15/12 for something like that.


holy generalizations batman!!!

AndrewGPaul
27-04-2010, 21:50
It should be noted that Privateer Press have an armybuilder/unit stat program called Ibodger.

Privateer Press has nothing of the sort. iBodger is a fan-created app. PP's only input is not forcing the creator to remove the app from distribution, probably because it contains no game stats other than points cost.

Jagged
28-04-2010, 12:19
I would not be at all surprised if GW started selling Codexs as PDFs.

There reason I say that is because I get the impression they are not happy with any of their publishers. They have to go overseas to get reasonable prices but then their codices get leaked to the internet. Dang!

Printing codices means paying money to someone else.

Having said all that though I personally would touch an iPad with a barge pole :)

blongbling
28-04-2010, 15:17
I would not be at all surprised if GW started selling Codexs as PDFs.

There reason I say that is because I get the impression they are not happy with any of their publishers. They have to go overseas to get reasonable prices but then their codices

thats just cos its cheaper to print abroad than is it in the UK, in the same way its cheaper to make clothes and electronics outside of the UK and then ship them back as well....nothing to do with happiness, all to do with labour costs

Lord Inquisitor
28-04-2010, 18:00
Privateer Press has nothing of the sort. iBodger is a fan-created app. PP's only input is not forcing the creator to remove the app from distribution, probably because it contains no game stats other than points cost.

Is that so? Huh! I was under the impression it was direct from them. In any case, it's still an excellent example of what could be done.

Reinholt
28-04-2010, 19:36
1. Because they don't have to. GW never changes unless it is absolutely forced into change. You know - not only back to the wall, but also a dagger sticking out of the eye socket.
2. Because developers do not work for 16k GBP/year + staff discount. Well, not the ones who got past the "learn HTML in 666 easy lessons" book.

Like I said, there aren't coherent arguments for it. Option one is basically arguing that GW is poorly managed; that's an explanation, but it means they don't know what they are doing.

As to the second option, so what? You don't need high flying developers to make a PDF file, so why is this relevant to simply publishing stuff online?

The goal of the company is to maximize profit. The question that needs to be asked is this: will GW make more money by selling codices for a very thin profit margin or a loss, or will GW make more money giving away codices for free but selling more models?

Evidence from other businesses suggests the latter is likely to be the case, especially considering that GW doesn't really make a profit on codices as it stands.

Wintertooth
28-04-2010, 19:55
Evidence from other businesses suggests the latter is likely to be the case, especially considering that GW doesn't really make a profit on codices as it stands.

What is their profit margin on books? Where do they publish this information?

isaac
28-04-2010, 21:32
I think it is adding up typical production costs, salaries for the main workers and some envelope distribution for rough guesses

blongbling
28-04-2010, 21:39
What is their profit margin on books? Where do they publish this information?

GW pretty much makes it own internal margin on all its products except some of the bought in lines that they have. Other than that the RRP is dictated by the internal margin and then enough additional margin to offer to retailers, and then the magic random number generator is added

Wintertooth
28-04-2010, 21:53
You lost me there. :)

Are the books really, as Reinholt claims, unprofitable? The core rulebooks retail for nearly double, say, a D&D manual. Which is similar size and binding, but full-colour. They sell an 80 page, softcover codex with a small colour section for nearly as much as a 300+ page, full-colour, hardcover D&D manual.

Surely their print runs would have to be tiny to make that a loss leader?

The Custodian
29-04-2010, 00:44
Yawn... Already do :p

Thers a pdf viewer that i believe you can get for free from the appstore called Discover.... Allows you to load up pdfs from your comp so long as the ipod and computer are on the same internet connection. I have the BFG rulebook and other pdfs allong with some other, less than legal, pdfs... <.< >.>

Reinholt
29-04-2010, 01:37
What is their profit margin on books? Where do they publish this information?

You either talk to investor relations, talk to production people at the company, or talk to store managers and check out the inventory system they use.

IIRC, in one of the annual reports from several years back, they also discussed the profit drivers of the company, if you are looking for print info.

This also assumes costs have been correctly allocated internally (which I am dubious of, to be fair), but the bottom line in general terms is:

Models are far and away the major profit driver. The supplies are not bad, and the rulebooks are mediocre (because you have to print in batches, ship, and their format leads to higher costs than BL books, for instance).

This isn't surprising, as the incremental costs of production for something that you can make from a mold are going to be lower than something you need to send to a printer outside of your own company.

Enfid
29-04-2010, 07:22
Reading this forum gives me a wonderful imagery of a codices database, with update patches for balancing point costs and abilities etc, and gives you warning if any of your army lists loses or gain how many points. I don't think it's going to be 100% balanced (I mean, look at several MMORPGs), but it's better than having something overpowered or seriously useless for 3-7 years.

That was a nice daydream. Now I gotta wake up and face the fact that GW will never do it.

Wintertooth
29-04-2010, 10:52
Lower margins than the miniatures is a long way from being the same thing as unprofitable. Plenty of specialist, niche publishers make a profit selling similar format books for far less with all the same (and in many cases worse) cost issues and no accompanying high margin product range to pick up any slack. I'd be very surprised to find they're not making what many companies would consider a fairly decent profit on their rulebooks.

Giving up a (possibly small but) known profit for the chance of recruiting more players who then buy lots of toy soldiers seems like a gamble. How many people are put off by the 15 book but not 300 of plastic? For some armies you'll spend more on primer than you will on the rules.

The Phazer
29-04-2010, 11:11
Lower margins than the miniatures is a long way from being the same thing as unprofitable. Plenty of specialist, niche publishers make a profit selling similar format books for far less with all the same (and in many cases worse) cost issues and no accompanying high margin product range to pick up any slack. I'd be very surprised to find they're not making what many companies would consider a fairly decent profit on their rulebooks.

Giving up a (possibly small but) known profit for the chance of recruiting more players who then buy lots of toy soldiers seems like a gamble. How many people are put off by the 15 book but not 300 of plastic? For some armies you'll spend more on primer than you will on the rules.

Indeed, might be a smart gamble in my opinion, but we know GW are risk adverse and I'm not terribly surprised they're not taking it.

Of course, that doesn't really explain the lack of ebook version of the codicies for iPads etc. You can still charge for them, and some of us are probably daft enough to pay again when we even have the paper versions, and even if it lacked the really interesting things that could be done with the format (hyperlinked content pages and indexes, one touch expandable definitions from the BRB of universal special rules, drag and drop army list creation etc etc).

Phazer

Reinholt
29-04-2010, 14:56
Lower margins than the miniatures is a long way from being the same thing as unprofitable. Plenty of specialist, niche publishers make a profit selling similar format books for far less with all the same (and in many cases worse) cost issues and no accompanying high margin product range to pick up any slack.

This is your gross margin before costs from, say, the retail chain are included. I should have been more specific about that.

See my point about GW not computing margins correctly above, as well. I can back of the envelope it based on, say, a 10% gross margin and figure out that they are unprofitable if they want to be selling them through stores. If GW was only a producer and not a retailer, I might not have the same issue, but when you push financing costs and operating costs into the picture, they become a net negative.

Niche publishers (which, I might add, is a somewhat crappy industry overall where technology is putting a lot of people out of business right now) tend to have low margins and are not exactly golden opportunities; GW, given their size and publicly traded status, could not possibly exist without major restructuring on those kinds of revenues and margins.

To be profitable with the retail chain, they have to push the models. It's not a gamble to cut something that is a net loss after expenses to sell more of something that is a net profit after expenses. Given the fact that codices are a trivial expense compared to the army itself, if you give away 20 and even one person buys an army, you are making money on the deal.

This also doesn't explain why they don't offer them as eBooks even if you had to pay for them in the first place, as stated above.

Lord Inquisitor
29-04-2010, 18:07
I agree with everything you're saying Reinholt, unless they're obviously profitable, then it appears to be positively foolish not to put them online.


Yawn... Already do :p

Thers a pdf viewer that i believe you can get for free from the appstore called Discover.... Allows you to load up pdfs from your comp so long as the ipod and computer are on the same internet connection. I have the BFG rulebook and other pdfs allong with some other, less than legal, pdfs... <.< >.>

Thanks for the heads up on Discover, been looking for a good pdf viewer. Just downloaded it, I'll see how it goes.

You have touched on two points relevant to this discussion.

1) Anyone who wants a pdf of the rulebook or codecies can get them. From what I've heard (:angel:) these vary in quality from publishers' proofs to crappy scans, but virutally any book desired is out there in internet space.

2) GW have placed all of the Specialist Games books online for free. So clearly the concept has occurred to them, and they must have decided that it is more profitable to provide the SG rulebooks so that people will buy models than trying to sell them. Then again, nothing GW does with SG seems to make any sense any more.

So clearly GW is perfectly technologically capable of at least just putting the pdfs online if they wanted to, and they have partially implemented it, at least for their fringe games. One could presume, therefore, that this may have been a pilot scheme or at least that the idea of online rulebooks has occurred to them.

gunmonkey
29-04-2010, 18:31
I think they put the SG pdfs up to stop players bugging them about "wheres the SG support??" or just putting them out to pasture, the sheer lack of any rules updates/ammendments or new miniatures makes the second more realistic. Still doesnt explain why they also continue to sell the rulebooks in the webstore (clearing stock no doubt).

Problem is, if they tried to sell the online pdfs at the same price as the printed versions, then most would go the The Custodian route and torrent rather than drop $20-$30 for a barely 7Mb rulebook (estimate based on SG rulebook sizes). I say cut the content down, no pics or painting guides or fluff, just stat lists and special rules and sell it as at a reduced price point online, or bundle it with the printed rulebook as a $5 extra at the till: "Do you want an extra pdf of the main rules for $5 extra??", get given a code from GW site to access a download link or such.

AndrewGPaul
30-04-2010, 09:01
I say cut the content down, no pics or painting guides or fluff, just stat lists and special rules and sell it as at a reduced price point online, or bundle it with the printed rulebook as a $5 extra at the till: "Do you want an extra pdf of the main rules for $5 extra??", get given a code from GW site to access a download link or such.

Then where do I get the fluff, if it's not in the very book which is designed to disseminate it to the players?

grissom2006
30-04-2010, 09:47
Oh joy of joys the electronic format topic again.

GW would lose out on cash with the likes of illegal downloads etc..

Then theirs the other killers to the idea.

Gamers instore with laptops, iphones, ipads, electronics paradise here we come busy store lots going on easy picking for a theft or two. Then theirs the my battery died bye bye armylist bye bye your rules. Lets not forget the heated debates over rule and arm flies out and the electronic device flies off the table and breaks.

So ask yourself do you really think the idea is pratical to run in a store?? GW isn't going to install power points for all your gizmo's it would be a health and safety nightmare in what can already be a cramped store. It would just be a accident waiting to happen.

AndrewGPaul
30-04-2010, 11:07
What are you talking about? That' irrelevant to GW offering rulebooks as downloads. Gamers already bring expensive portable electronics into stores now, and store owners are not liable for any customer losses. Nor is there any need for them to allow customers to charge their devices instore. Battery dies? Serves you right, go home and charge it. Or print the thing out and bring it with you. It's hardly rocket science; Mongoose Publishing, Wizards of the Coast, Corvus Belli, Urban Mammoth, Dream Pod 9 and others all seem to manage it.

As to losing money through piracy; others have made the assertion that they're already losing money simply printing the books, ar at least making a very poor margin on their sale. In addition, pirated PDFs often don't represent a lost sale, as such - many people who download illegal PDFs already, and have no intention of buying the legal copy. Other companies offering PDF rulebooks have simply allowed for a certain amount of piracy as part of their costs. It's up to GW to determine if such costs outweigh the saving represented by not having to print physical books.

grissom2006
30-04-2010, 12:54
Codices and Armybooks least when i worked at GW Lenton had one of the highest profit margins going of any of GW's products. So good they's make the money back on advanced orders alone. yes tough luck if the persons battery dies but on further highlights the drawback to the idea in the first place. All the other games compaies that manage it don't have high street stores in which their games are played except for odd small stores that run in very small chains.

Don't know which stores you hang out in but my local doesn't see laptops on tables the store even has a policey against them being pulled out.

Nurglitch_PS
30-04-2010, 19:26
Don't know which stores you hang out in but my local doesn't see laptops on tables the store even has a policey against them being pulled out.

It's so great to be reminded from time to time why I'd rather go to a landfill than a GW store.

Lord Inquisitor
30-04-2010, 19:37
Thers a pdf viewer that i believe you can get for free from the appstore called Discover....
It's a nice little app although organising your files is a pain. The one major problem is that if I try to open a pdf that's bigger than 20MB the app crashes and exits. Any ideas how to prevent this?


Oh joy of joys the electronic format topic again.

GW would lose out on cash with the likes of illegal downloads etc..
More than now? :eyebrows: Everything you could ever want is available now as torrents - or so I've heard :shifty:.

Even if I were one of those disreputable types that would stoop to pirating such things I'd still buy bound copies. I might make do with a print out if I'm broke (read: spent all my spare cash on models, so GW isn't losing out on profits there), but in the long run I want a shiny book.


Gamers instore with laptops, iphones, ipads, electronics paradise here we come busy store lots going on easy picking for a theft or two. Then theirs the my battery died bye bye armylist bye bye your rules. Lets not forget the heated debates over rule and arm flies out and the electronic device flies off the table and breaks.
You're assuming that this is what would happen. Well, firstly, guess what - we already have ipads and iphones in the games rooms. Many people play at home or in secure clubs where these things are less dodgy. I carry my army list on my phone, I saw an iPad at the last tournament I went to, etc. Not to mention, I personally would still prefer a hard copy of my army book. Much easier to flick through. A digital copy is more use at other times, when I'm arguing with someone on Warseer, for example, or when that inspiration for a new unit strikes me and I want to check the rules.

Now, an army building tool like ibodger that allowed you to build army lists and showed you unit stats and weapons would be a fantastic table-top aid. But I'm not going to be scrolling through a pdf!

What we're saying is make the army books available online for free! I know I'd buy just as many paper codecies as before, but it might prompt me to buy new armies - and consequently I'd want a paper copy and I don't like playing with print outs so I'd buy a new army book. Making all army books available online = more army books bought by me plus more models. Simple as. Now I may not be every customer, but most gamers I know are of the same mindset.

Nurglitch_PS
30-04-2010, 19:41
What we're saying is make the army books available online for free!

That's not what I'm saying :)
I'd gladly pay for them. Say - 2 pounds per codex, or 30 quid for a subscription to all the GW books in pdf format. That's pretty much free money for them, the labour and maintenance costs associated with putting a codex online are negligible.

Lord Inquisitor
30-04-2010, 19:59
If I was paying for a subscription, I'd want more than just a pdf. I'd want some form of clickable app, or at least a pdf with interactive links - such as a proper hyperlinked contents and internal links too - particularly as all codecies now have the retarded choose-your-own-adventure format for wargear. I'd want reformatted codecies that I can actually load and read on my phone in less time than it takes to pull out my damned codex. Ideally an app that allows me to search any unit in any codex and pull up only that unit entry. I'd want errata to be updated regularly and good product support.

If we're talking about just sticking the pdfs online and expecting me to pay for that... I'm not likely to shell out for that, not since I want to buy the book for any army I play. And it won't generate the "I'm bored, I'm going to look at the new Blood Angels oh God I need to buy a Blood Angels army now" effect if you put me off reading the pdf with a price tag.

No, either straight pdfs online for free or an actual digital resource. Either will get me to cough up more cash (directly or indirectly) but a halfway point probably won't.

Nurglitch_PS
30-04-2010, 20:02
I'd be fine with a pdf. A proper one, with selectable and searchable text, not just scanned pages. Abstract would be fine for me (just the rules) as the fluff in the current codices usually makes my eyes bleed. It would be perfect for checking my opponents rules during the game without having to ask him for his book.

AndrewGPaul
30-04-2010, 21:04
I'd be fine with a pdf. A proper one, with selectable and searchable text, not just scanned pages. Abstract would be fine for me (just the rules) as the fluff in the current codices usually makes my eyes bleed.

The thing is, the Codexes are the primary route for disseminating the fluff. Take it out of the books, and you don't really have a good replacement for that.

Nurglitch_PS
30-04-2010, 21:06
I think that task has been mostly relegated to Black Library. And the beauty of electronic distribution is the extreme ease of abstracting the rules out of the codex. You could have The Book of Tau completely independent of the Tau Army Rules.

This, of course, will never ever ever happen. I'm just saying it's doable and easy.

Lord Inquisitor
30-04-2010, 21:17
The thing is, the Codexes are the primary route for disseminating the fluff. Take it out of the books, and you don't really have a good replacement for that.

I don't think anyone's suggesting that the paper codecies should be gotten rid of.

TheBigBadWolf
01-05-2010, 16:26
What are you talking about? That' irrelevant to GW offering rulebooks as downloads. Gamers already bring expensive portable electronics into stores now, and store owners are not liable for any customer losses. Nor is there any need for them to allow customers to charge their devices instore. Battery dies? Serves you right, go home and charge it. Or print the thing out and bring it with you. It's hardly rocket science; Mongoose Publishing, Wizards of the Coast, Corvus Belli, Urban Mammoth, Dream Pod 9 and others all seem to manage it.

As to losing money through piracy; others have made the assertion that they're already losing money simply printing the books, ar at least making a very poor margin on their sale. In addition, pirated PDFs often don't represent a lost sale, as such - many people who download illegal PDFs already, and have no intention of buying the legal copy. Other companies offering PDF rulebooks have simply allowed for a certain amount of piracy as part of their costs. It's up to GW to determine if such costs outweigh the saving represented by not having to print physical books.

How many mongoose stores are there?:eyebrows:

I didnt realise so many people have so much problems carrying around an a4 size document along with their huge army box, that you know, can also be placed inside:eek:

AndrewGPaul
02-05-2010, 13:05
Who the store is owned by is irrelevant. Grissom was saying that having rulebooks on PDF means that stores are obligated to provide facilities for charging laptops. It hasn't happened in games stores where other games are played, and there's no reason it should happen in GW stores if the rulebooks are available as downloads. It certainly never happened when the Specialist Games rulebooks became PDFs.

simonr1978
02-05-2010, 14:00
Who the store is owned by is irrelevant. Grissom was saying that having rulebooks on PDF means that stores are obligated to provide facilities for charging laptops. It hasn't happened in games stores where other games are played, and there's no reason it should happen in GW stores if the rulebooks are available as downloads. It certainly never happened when the Specialist Games rulebooks became PDFs.

I doubt they could practically provide the facilities even if they wanted to, IIRC in the UK all electrical appliances connected to the mains in public places have to be PAT tested annually to comply with H&S and/or fire regs. So unless there's a qualified electrician available to check they shouldn't allow instore charging, not least of which since I expect it would invalidate the store's insurance if an untested charger was the cause of an electrical fire.

But as Andrew has said, that's no reason really not to have rulebooks as downloads, if people are going to rely on their laptops for their rules then the onus is on them to make sure they're charged enough or carry spare batteries if needs be, if not then just have a printed copy of the bits your likely to need to hand just in case.

Nurglitch_PS
02-05-2010, 14:05
I didnt realise so many people have so much problems carrying around an a4 size document along with their huge army box, that you know, can also be placed inside:eek:

I don't have any problem with carrying an A4 page.
I have a problem with carying a rulebook and one or two codices which all in all weigh more than my entire army. And about 10 times as much as an eInk reader weighs. You know, the one that allows a rapid search through the rules, without having to consult a big and heavy book.

Luddism can prevent switching to electronic documents only for a time. Sooner or later it WILL happen. It's already been said GW is banning such documents in stores, which just means how totally unprepared GW is for not being in 1980s anymore.

AndrewGPaul
02-05-2010, 16:36
The reason GW bans their use instore is because they're illegal, not just because they're PDFs. What's the policy on FAQs?

Nurglitch_PS
02-05-2010, 16:39
The reason GW bans their use instore is because they're illegal,

Having a scan of a book you have legally purchased is illegal? Since when?

metal bawks
02-05-2010, 17:33
I think that task has been mostly relegated to Black Library. And the beauty of electronic distribution is the extreme ease of abstracting the rules out of the codex. You could have The Book of Tau completely independent of the Tau Army Rules.

This, of course, will never ever ever happen. I'm just saying it's doable and easy.

I'll just pop in here to address this point: 3rd edition saw the introduction of the "pamphlet" codices, which had the bare minimum of fluff and cut back on page count as much as possible. Guess what happened? Yup, most players didn't like them.

Nurglitch_PS
02-05-2010, 17:38
I'll just pop in here to address this point: 3rd edition saw the introduction of the "pamphlet" codices, which had the bare minimum of fluff and cut back on page count as much as possible. Guess what happened? Yup, most players didn't like them.

I fail to see any relevance. I'm not talking about paper, but electronic publications. The cost of making three books: {rules+fluff}, {fluff}, {rules} is exactly the same as the cost of making a single {rules+fluff} book. If you price the full one at - say - 5 pounds and the rules one at - say - 2 pounds, you can count on some business coming your way.

grissom2006
02-05-2010, 19:34
without having to consult a big and heavy book.

Heard this arguement once to often ever the since the 5th Edition came out isn't a valid arguement as you can get your hands on the small rule book.:rolleyes:

Nurglitch_PS
02-05-2010, 19:40
Heard this arguement once to often ever the since the 5th Edition came out isn't a valid arguement as you can get your hands on the small rule book.:rolleyes:

Sorry, but this conversation springs to mind:
- Hi, I'm Bob.
- No, you're not.

Look, if someone tells you they prefer ice cream to chocolate, it means they prefer ice cream to chocolate. You do not know better than them what their taste is.

If someone tells you they prefer one eReader with the rulebook and all the codices to 2kg of books, or to 1kg of books, or to memorizing everything, it means they do. If you've heard that argument so many times it means that many people prefer the convenience of an eReader to the inconvenience of printed books. It's that simple, really.

AndrewGPaul
02-05-2010, 23:30
Having a scan of a book you have legally purchased is illegal? Since when?

When you buy a book, you buy a single copy. You don't buy the right to make as many copies as you want. That's copyright law in a nutshell. The "fair use" rules allow you to use excerpts from a copyrighted work for the purposes of satire or parody, for review or news reporting purposes or for educational or scholarly purposes. None of those allowed conditions include the right to copy the work in its entirety. You don't have the automatic right to make a full copy for archive or backup purposes.

There was a discussion (http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=197408) recently on this subject on The Miniatures Page.

spud75
20-05-2010, 17:30
How about if you bought a paper copy of a codex, GW could give you a redeemable code for the iBooks store or for a kindle type download. I don't care how they do it (maybe printed on the shop receipt)- it would just be nice. GW need to move into the 21st century!

When I buy a blu-ray these days I get three copies, the Blu-ray, a DVD and an electronic copy for itunes/windows media player! (Perfect as the kids have DVD players in their rooms and not blu-ray players yet)

They could then work on apps for the ipad/iphone/itouch to work as Interactive Army Lists(remember them) - not one program but individual apps for each army - they could make a fortune on that! Even maybe go as far as giving you a voucher for a paper copy of the codex if you bought the electronic app first!

Grimstonefire
20-05-2010, 19:58
Would a step in the right direction be to include a CD with the book?

The CD would have to be done so it could not be printed or ripped(?), view only.

That would at least allow potential customers to look at GW products, and it would allow those already in the 'GW hobby' to look at their leisure at a book, but without the luxury of having a printed rules set to refer to. Exposure of GW products should be the main thing, I doubt sales of books would drop significantly.

That would probably cost all of 50p per book maximum, so they could add a couple of pounds on and still make a good profit.

Lord Inquisitor
20-05-2010, 21:46
Pfff, get with the times Grimstonefire, no one uses CDs anymore. That's like, so 90s man.:rolleyes:;):D

Na, that doesn't really work for me. I want something I can use on my iPhone or iPad or call up on my computer without needing to go find an actual CD.

Reinholt
21-05-2010, 05:39
Anything that shows up on a screen can be ripped, also. Basically, you have to accept that if someone is really determined to steal your content in this medium, they can. The only way to prevent it is not to give it to them in the first place, which makes it hard to get any money for it.

Lord Inquisitor
21-05-2010, 15:39
Which brings us back to the fact that ripped copies of the paper codecies are out there anyway.

Pacorko
21-05-2010, 16:20
Maybe it's been said before but here goes anyway. At those prices, the codices are ripe for ripping... maybe a reasonably priced, proof-read, clearly written codex at 5 quid--and they won't loose money at that price. Not with printing them in Lituania... I just happen to know--will actually get more casual readers and thus more sales, and be less prone to have shoddily made illegal copies made as PDFs.

With less money to "loose" on a poorly-made or uninteresting text, people might actually go out and buy the codexes to check them out. If they don't like them, well it's another nice book to have around and read when one's bored.

As for downloadable versions... Now, everything is a OEF, so there's not really any added steps to this, thus no extra cost whatsoever. If GW was valerous enough to try a new tactic (sustained sales which grow more over time) and price the army books codices to sell like hot cakes: what about 2.99 quid for the e-version? That would sell hundreds of thousands of every one they'd put out, everywhere. That's guaranteed!

But their "IP protecting" doesn't allow them to see profitable venues beyond their typical and outdated business models... heck! It doesn't allow anyone there to see beyond Kirby's ****, it seems.

Sgt John Keel
22-05-2010, 02:08
When you buy a book, you buy a single copy. You don't buy the right to make as many copies as you want. That's copyright law in a nutshell. The "fair use" rules allow you to use excerpts from a copyrighted work for the purposes of satire or parody, for review or news reporting purposes or for educational or scholarly purposes. None of those allowed conditions include the right to copy the work in its entirety. You don't have the automatic right to make a full copy for archive or backup purposes.

There was a discussion (http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=197408) recently on this subject on The Miniatures Page.

Please don't quote US copyright law as universal. Fair Use as a concept is fairly unique to America.

However, there are countries where format shifting of content is allowed for personal use only (hence copyright levies on portable media players etc.). Certainly there are some countries where it's illegal to rip your CDs to your iPod, but not all of them.

As for the people with the crazy DRM schemes: It won't work, it never does. Especially when it's text, no matter how delusional AP is in the matter. You can easily albeit tediously just copy the documents by hand.

Billpete002
22-05-2010, 09:44
I think it was hit upon earlier in this thread quite well.

[1] Regardless of whether GW makes money on their books there is a market for electronic documents that can be exploited, i.e. more profits, for GW's gain. Since it is their duty to their shareholders to increase profits. It seems daft just that they don't do this on this point alone.

[2] The books are already free to download, albeit illegally, online. So no matter what medium GW chooses to put its material out there for there are some people willing to copy it. Hence why there is no point for them to worry about copying or pirating anyways. Therefore this logic reverts back to point [1], i.e. they must increase their profits.

[3] They could always take the even more radical view of supplying the books online for free and downloadable apps that, much like Warmachines, shows pictures, can build lists, has fluff and updates (they could even charge for the updates). Hell, I'd get a ipad just for the opportunity to use their items from it in conjunction with my other games.

I agree with Reinholt on this, they are either being stubborn for stupidity sake, or have no clue what they are doing - either scenario is possible.

isaac
22-05-2010, 10:30
Knowing GW I say both of the above.

TheMav80
22-05-2010, 15:15
See the DnD insider for how this could be done right. The online articles they put out in the Dungeon Magazine and Dragon Magazine beat the pants off anything White Dwarf has done in a long time.

A monthly subscription gets you access to all the rules and classes and everything for every ook. Buy it in hard copy or not. Plus a fully loaded character creator with all this stuff too?

I would gladly pay GW $12 a month for a product like that.