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The Decayed
03-12-2012, 15:18
Hello to anyone interested enough to read this,

I may as well start of warning you this post might feel a bit like an angry rant, but it's actually meant to start a discussion and collect opinions.

As the title suggests, I AM concerned by GW's digital "Products".

Lately books have had a seriously increasing amount of typos, bad grammar and misprinted rules.
The Chaos Marines Codex had an update in the digital version within a week for example.
I get the feeling that GW puts less and less effort in proof-reading/testing their books.

They get complaints and update the Digital version, to get "praised" for "listening to what their fanbase wants"...
That sickens me.
I don't have an Ipad, and am not even almost considering buying one, so that "cool" Chaos Codex I've got, will allways have those bloopers in it.
Just because they were to damn lazy to proof-read.

Another thing that's bothering me is all the "new kind of stuff".
They release Digital only books on how the hell to paint a few Dwarfs and a bunch of Goblin Ghouls for the Hobbit game.
Really? Is that even something one should pay money for?

Those are the kind of things that used to make their website somewhat valuable. In the back of older White Dwarfs they used to reference to GW.com for articles about painting, collecting etc.
Now instead of making articles as a kind of community service, they release those articles as "Digital Products" to buy for Ipad owners only.
Personally I don't give a damn about the Hobbit game at all, so couldn't care less about how they painted 13 Dwarf beards, but other Ipad-less people might care.
Some Ipad-owning people might care too, but hopefully not enough to pay GW any money for what should have been an article on their website.

So, there you have it.
Is "Digital Products" killing GW's care for any books they still may release in the future,
just because they can allways update their digital stuff and be done with it, in case of people complaining about badly written crap?
Is "Digital Products" killing GW's connection to the community surrounding their IP, by trying to demand money for basically online articles?

I sure hope I'm being a pessimistic grumpy grudgeholding old sad git and someone can convince me otherwise, but this really is my opinion at the moment.

williamsond
03-12-2012, 15:28
I think it's a real shame they only release on i pad, (I'm really not a big fan of form over function apple products in general but thats about personal prefrence) as it stands the only way I could get a digital codex would be by illegal means. I'm not really rushing to move to digital products anyway as I like the hard copy for every thing I read regardless, but I know a lot of my friends would like to have digital copies of books not tied to the apple brand. The harder thing to swallow is that some of the stuff tehy are releaseing 10 years ago would have bee in white dwraf not an additional charge by the GW overlords.

Jericho
03-12-2012, 15:51
Paying for the magazine vs. paying for it digitally isn't really a big difference. White Dwarf isn't exactly free.

And the obvious upside with digital releases is that you don't have to track down OOP copies of White Dwarf from years back... like anyone who plays Sisters of Battle, for example. Nothing like a wild goose chase to get the rules you need to start an expensive hobby project.

T9nv3
03-12-2012, 16:10
GW seem a little backwards and out of touch with the whole digital product nonsense.

First of all, the prices are absolutely ridiculous. We're already paying an arm and a leg for a Print Codex, so at that price, a lot of companies would include a "PDF" or digital version that can accommodate updates. Just a bit of "added value" might make the price more palatable....

Seconly, to price a digital version of the book exactly the same as the hard-cover print edition makes no sense. These products are not competing with one another. They have 2 different markets. Look at Corvus Beli, the makers of infinity. They provide all rules...stats...and an army-builder for FREE online, and they still sell a ton of books. The real money is in the minis anyway. CB publications feature a ridiculous amount of typos and spelling mistakes...but English is not their first language. People buy the books because the Fluff and info is absolutely amazing. Take a look at the scenarios from Campaign Paradiso, they make all the GW campaigns I've ever seen look like they were cobbled together by a 5 year old. People also want a hard copy of the rules....digital media has "not" killed the book...and it probably wont for a long time coming. GW treats them as competing mediums, which isn't really the case at all....

As for painting tips now being a commodity....again...this is just more GW crap. I would be willing to pay, if the quality of their tutorials was better. What we get for the money is basically just the WD noob paint tips (where 9 times out of 10 the article makes you use way more paint than necessary). If GW wants to "sell" that as a product, they are more than welcome to do so....but they are also opening up a market for people to offer a better product for much cheaper.

DarkLordBelial
03-12-2012, 17:19
I'm an iFan. I've drunk the iKoolaid. I have an iPad and an iPhone. Yet even so I think it is incredibly unfair that there is a whole set of products (the painting/hobby guide digital products) that are unavailable to those without an iDevice.

leopard
03-12-2012, 20:27
Not got an Ipad, I do have the iPhone and even a mac, but not seeing the value of the iPad - my wife has one, but I don't see the value in half the stuff she has (not sure which half though).

I have however never bought an "app" or bought digital media (I have ripped DVDs and music). Alos downloaded books from project guttenburg etc.

Reason is simple: If I don't own the thing in a format I'm free to use as I wish its "no sale", digital stuff I cannot back up, can be remotely removed, updated or edited without my knowledge our requiring my authorisation I'm not interested, old fashioned like that.

The trend towards what appears to be rushing stuff out of the door then correcting it later is a concern though, as is the current trend to try and "milk" everything, paid for painting guides: the paint guides are adverts for the paint and models ffs...

Its not other companies that will be the death of GW, its themselves... the fifth column in the bean counting department and round the board table..

Its a pity.

Volt
03-12-2012, 22:56
Seconly, to price a digital version of the book exactly the same as the hard-cover print edition makes no sense.

Thats how music, movies/tv shows, video games and other books are priced for their digital version so I don't really think GW is at fault for that.

jack da greenskin
04-12-2012, 06:05
Thats how music, movies/tv shows, video games and other books are priced for their digital version so I don't really think GW is at fault for that.

But not books. The product we're talking about. Just saying.

Freakiq
04-12-2012, 11:23
But not books. The product we're talking about. Just saying.

As far as I've seen only novels and magazines tend to be cheaper digitally.

Student literature and guides for video games cost as much digitally as physically.

RobC
04-12-2012, 12:09
Bear in mind that the ebook market is currently heavily distorted by its dominant player (Amazon) effectively manipulating book prices to encourage market growth.

Most book costs stem from production, rather than printing. GW would be mad to cannibalise its print sales by offering its digital editions at a significant discount.

punygreenskins
04-12-2012, 15:48
But not books. The product we're talking about. Just saying.

Remember an ebook price includes 20% VAT and Apple take 30%, so GW are only taking 50% of the print price.

shelfunit.
04-12-2012, 16:56
Remember an ebook price includes 20% VAT and Apple take 30%, so GW are only taking 50% of the print price.

Considering GW neither need to actually print or ship the books and 30% is much less of a take/discount than a normal indie discount (45% ish from accounts posted on this site) taking home 50% is a considerably higher figure than if it actually were a physical version.

nedius
04-12-2012, 19:53
I'm not keen on the prices, but that is true for the physical stuff too. I'm a young professional, money to spend, despite the recession, and I'm put off by GW prices. As a near life-long Hobbit fan, the game would have been an easy impulse buy at 50, but at 75? No thanks.

I know that is not an e-product, but it illustrates my point. To me, digital books are an impulse buy. I'm not going to carry a very expensive tablet device out everytime I wargame. I'm already carrying several hundred s of miniatures, I don't need to be carrying more expensive breakables. If and when I play, I want a book. It's won't run out of charge halfway thorough a battle. Nor do I want one when I'm painting. Spill water, paint or glue on a book, it's annoying. On a ipad it's a little worse... So e-products are for home convenience, when I don't want to faff about hunting for where I left the book, or when I'm online and suddenly have a painting query.

But it now goes beyond that, even. I don't like apple stuff. It's just not my preference. I prefer PCs to macs, and I want all my electrnic devices fully compatable. So I won't be spending hundreds of s on a product i don't like just so I can access GW digital products. Not even to get the Warhammer Quest game that's coming out, despite how much I want it. Why they've gone Apple only for that game is beyond all reason.

So yes, digital products concern me. They exclude a large number of potential customers by being 'i' exclusive on products that are niche enough already. They are priced beyond what anyone could consider reasonable. They enable poorer proof reading as 'we can always fix the digital version' (but only for those who A. buy it and B. CAN buy it). They mean less useful or interesting content on the website (which means less traffic, which mean fewer advertising and impulse buy opportunities). All round it's a poorly thought out, poorly executed experiment.

The tradgedy is that they'll probably make sufficient money to make it about worth while and and so not learn that by doing it differently, they could probably be performing far better.

punygreenskins
05-12-2012, 15:33
Considering GW neither need to actually print or ship the books and 30% is much less of a take/discount than a normal indie discount (45% ish from accounts posted on this site) taking home 50% is a considerably higher figure than if it actually were a physical version.

A quick look at the sums shows that excluding printing costs the GW take is the same. (Print Copy 27.50 - 45% = 15.45. EBook 26.99 - VAT and then 30% Apple = 15.42).
For a normal hardback book printing and distribution amounts to around 3 per copy. So assuming GW costs are similar they make and extra 3 per copy for selling ebooks. I wonder if they are selling enough copies to even cover the cost of converting them?

Personally I prefer the bound hardback book, but I don't think they are charging an unreasonable amount for the ebook compared to the print book. If the print book is an unreasonable cost is another argument....

IJW
08-12-2012, 15:04
Not even to get the Warhammer Quest game that's coming out, despite how much I want it. Why they've gone Apple only for that game is beyond all reason.

In terms of mobile gaming, iOS is where the money is, even more than other media.

Also, http://www.hookshotinc.com/warhammer-quest-ios-news/ Warhammer Quest is at least partially the result of a chance meeting.

stroller
08-12-2012, 16:36
I'm not concerned by the digital products. To me, they're irrelevant. I don't have an ipad, and I wouldn't bring a tablet or laptop to game with. I MIGHT bring a sub 100 netbook, but since there's nothing available yet, that's not going to happen.

Battery life never lasts as long as I would like it to. Paper > battery.

I DO like the idea of easy edit for typos. But I'm not going to stand in store and rant over the odd spelling or grammar error. I've yet to find an error which obfuscates meaning. I see no particular reason for digital being cheaper than paper (see apple costs above): by and large (I gather, except for the odd 360 animation) it's the same data.

Overall, it's no big deal.

zoggin-eck
08-12-2012, 22:01
Digital products from GW have never "concerned" me, I must admit. I love physical books, but I must admit the games I'm into right now (Judge Dredd mini's and updated Dragon Warriors RPG) are both availiable in PDF, and I'm really enjoying it.

However, looking at the GW page today, there's all this mention of buying their article series "A Call to Arms", which is exactly the kind of thing I'd be happy to buy White Dwarf for. Ah well.

giant stegadon
09-12-2012, 19:21
I'm mostly frustrated by that they seem to only be doing painting guides via ipad now. WD has a small painting section still, but before the digital releases we got a how-to for the new stuff every month. Even if I will never buy demons or tyranids, it was still nice to see & consider techniques & color schemes (like the website used to have too). Before everyone says "I've been a pro painter for 60 years so I dont need it", I'm not and still like having a guide to at least give me an idea of how to build up colors.

Caiphas Cain
09-12-2012, 19:34
To be honest, no one should be taking painting advice from GW. Visit people's logs, check out online tutorials, buy a how to paint DVD. Their "articles" are quite poor. The Heavy Metal team uses paints from other companies and gives you rough approximations of what they are using within the GW paint range. They skip steps in their articles. They're not very good.

DEADMARSH
18-12-2012, 18:24
Again, I think the main reason GW is doing iOS-digital releases likely has more to do with iBooks Author than any perceived fondness for iOS, Apple, their customers or anything else.

As for pushing stuff out before it's done, unfortunately that's just what businesses do now. When's the last time you bought a video game that didn't immediately patch itself? Businesses have figured out that most folks will buy something the day it drops, regardless of the shape it's actually in and would like to have your money right now as opposed to when the product is really, actually, done. If you're willing to give them your money for the product, then you got what you paid for. Much less to do with being "lazy" and a lot more to do with getting the money out of your pocket ASAP.

It's crappy to be sure, don't misunderstand me- I'm not advocating, just explaining, but if everyone waited six months until a corrected printing was released instead of buying the first day something new was out, you can bet they'd stop that practice. Like video games and massive patching though, hasn't happened there, probably won't happen with GW either. We live in an instant-on, immediate gratification age these days and our purchasing habits reflect it as much as anything else.

Krucifus
19-12-2012, 10:19
Videogame patching is a poor comparison though, as everyone who instantly bought that game has access to, and indeed instantly gets the patch. For printed products poorly written like Codexes etc. (tried so hard not to mention Crusade of Fire), you are stuck with the dodgy copy you buy.

Faeslayer
19-12-2012, 18:22
Since I got a tablet, I've become more and more sold on digital books.

I would love to have every GW book I own in digital... my books would probably just collect dust from that day forward.

But no iPad, and no desire for one. So the format is my only concern- even moreso for digital exclusives.

75hastings69
20-12-2012, 21:17
So a strange thought occurred, if I bought the O&G army book in digital format will I need to buy the new one once it gets updated or will the current digital purchase be updated?

angelismortis
20-12-2012, 21:32
That's the thought that keeps me from buying the SM codex.

Zothos
20-12-2012, 21:53
So a strange thought occurred, if I bought the O&G army book in digital format will I need to buy the new one once it gets updated or will the current digital purchase be updated?

Of course you would have to buy a new one. Just like you would an old fashioned print copy.

RobC
21-12-2012, 18:02
So a strange thought occurred, if I bought the O&G army book in digital format will I need to buy the new one once it gets updated or will the current digital purchase be updated?If by 'update' you mean a new edition, then no. And why would you? When EA releases its annual iteration of FIFA, people don't expect their existing copy to be upgraded for free.

angelismortis
21-12-2012, 18:21
I wouldn't expect the new version free it's just a case of I won't buy the current version knowing I'll need to buy the new one before long.

75hastings69
21-12-2012, 22:41
I wasn't silly enough to think that they'd update me to next ed army book for free, I'm trying to determine a/ the commitment each digital book will receive in updates errata etc and b/ what's the benefit of buying digital for no saving?

Zothos
23-12-2012, 18:22
I have the three 40k codices that are available in digital format.

I can tell you that so far, each has been updated and have the FAQ and errata info incorporated. For example, the necron Nightscythe invasion beam rule is built into the digital copy.

As far as if the digital versions are worth it for you, that is obviously a decision that each individual must make on their own. I can say that for me they are worth it and I find them quite convenient.

But that's just me, your mileage may vary :).

Luigi
24-12-2012, 18:20
but if everyone waited six months until a corrected printing was released instead of buying the first day something new was out, you can bet they'd stop that practice.


this made me wonder, do they do several reprints of books or is it a massive single shot in one go kind of print. If i indeed were to buy my dwarf army book today, would it be any different from the one i bought years ago?

gilljoy
25-12-2012, 12:01
I personally think its a shame that you can't get digital copies of the books on android especially now that google play is selling magazines and books. I'd be happy with a digital white dwarf even to begin with

Art Is Resistance
25-12-2012, 19:31
From what I've bene told, owning a previous version will mean you get the 'updated' version at a reduced cost.

Even then, I'm reassessing whether I will buy any. Now having access to an iPad that's not work-owned, I looked at the stuff on offer - and at 26 quid for the SM codex, they can stuffing keep it.

Marked_by_chaos
26-12-2012, 14:52
The main thing that concerns me about the digital products is the limited actual content of most of it (ignoring the copies of codices) and that the overpriced apps indicate that never again will we see the like of 'eavy metal masterclass in white dwarf.

blongbling
27-12-2012, 08:31
Well GW is recruiting internally for its new Digital publishing arm................

Artinam
27-12-2012, 15:41
Seeing that with the Steam Sale I can get multiple games for the price of one what is essentially an interactive book, I'll skip this for a long time.