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Cheexsta
01-11-2011, 07:10
This is just something that has been milling around in my mind for a while. What if GW used digital distribution to complement their rulebook/codex sales? Not to replace physical books completely, but to offer an alternative for people who prefer eBooks. I'll be pulling numbers out of thin air here, so bear with me.

For example, let's say that a codex costs US$30 (I know it's more, but it's a nice, round number) and has an approximate lifespan of ~5 years before a new codex is released.

Alternatively, GW could set up a digital subscription service, where you can purchase an "eCodex" for $20, and optionally subscribe for an additional $2.50 per year after the first. With the subscription, you get automatic updates for FAQs and errata (and have those arrive earlier for subscribers). If it's possible, the errata changes can be applied directly to the eCodex itself, and bookmarks can be placed on pages that have relevant FAQ questions. If you prefer, you can opt not to use the subscription and download any FAQs manually when they are released a few days later, which is obviously less convenient but fine if you just like to purchase codices to get an idea about an army.

Over 5 years, the codex will end up costing you the same amount, but you get consistent access to errata and FAQs, and you aren't even required to subscribe if you don't want to. When a codex gets a full re-release, you simply upgrade your current subscription for, say, $15. If that works out, then it might be possible to order "bulk deals" where you can subscribe to several eCodices for a discount.

Thoughts?

Sadly, I doubt this is something GW will do, but it's fun to think about.

theJ
01-11-2011, 07:31
You do realise most codices have an "update time" of about 10 years, right? (maybe slightly less) We'd be paying more than we currently do...

Other than that, an "auto updating" codex would be neat. If done well, they could even use it to sell new short stories and other fluffy bits that automatically integrate into your existing codex.

The downside, of course, is that it'd be phasing out "real" codices in short order, screwing over a large part of the playerbase (those who don't want to, or can't get ebooks).

I'd support it, were I not one of those who don't really care for ebooks.

chromedog
01-11-2011, 08:19
GW would*.

It is doubtful that any of its player base would see any benefit from it, though.

*If they ever figure out how to use the tech, that is. My moneys on something more likely - like the All-blacks not winning rugby matches.

Cheexsta
01-11-2011, 08:28
You do realise most codices have an "update time" of about 10 years, right? (maybe slightly less) We'd be paying more than we currently do...
You do realise that this is a hypothetical situation in which codices have an update time of 5 years, right? ;)

Plus, Dark Eldar and Necrons are not "most". The average time between the current codices and their previous versions (or equivalents, in the case of armies like GK, SOB and BT) has been about 7 years, give or take.

As for phasing out physical books, that's why I mentioned that it should be an alternative that would happen at the same time, not something that would completely replace books. I personally prefer physical books as well (at least, until such time as I get a decent eReader or tablet), so I can completely understand.


GW would*.

It is doubtful that any of its player base would see any benefit from it, though.

*If they ever figure out how to use the tech, that is. My moneys on something more likely - like the All-blacks not winning rugby matches.
Ok, so what improvements do you think would make this more attractive to the average player? I like theJ's suggestion of having extra bits of fluff and other free "DLC" for subscribers.

As for technology, the way I envisioned it was for some kind of iTunes or Steam-like client for people to download for free, which also be a great opportunity to link to their online store (and news blog).

Kakapo42
01-11-2011, 08:40
I'm not sure about this idea of digital distribution (I'm one of the aforementioned people who don't want to get ebooks), but something I saw suggested a while back, and something I'm much more supportive of, is GW producing a 'living' rulebook and codexes that are freely available on their website, much like the Specialist Games rules are now. This would mean that much more people could access them, and I'm sure GW could do something to compensate for the loss of revenue.


*If they ever figure out how to use the tech, that is. My moneys on something more likely - like the All-blacks not winning rugby matches.

And yet here we are with the World Cup no less.:D

Ghostbear68
03-11-2011, 18:38
personally, I think with tablets becoming prevelant and e-readers, having codexes and rulebook in e-book format would be greatly beneficial. Think about it, you can carry all your rulebooks on one tablet, search and highlight relevant points and take notes... not to mention cut down on amount of stuff you have to carry.