WotC President Explains: “We Are Retarded”

ENWorld scores a interview with WotC president Greg Leeds in which he says nothing we didn’t already know about their recent move to yank all WotC/TSR products from electronic publishing via PDF from all channels without warning.  Except that PDFs are never coming back because of “them pirates.”  Why even do an interview if you’re not going to say anything?  Man, the marketdroids have really raped D&D’s corpse.  Alas.

I don’t know if they realize that before PDFs, enterprising pirates just scanned and OCRed the docs anyway.  This will change nothing in terms of piracy, and will only jack their customers.  But, after all their other moves, it’s clear they don’t really care about that.  They have the attitude that “all you little vermin need our product like it’s your drug, so we can be as exploitative as we want and you’ll still come crawling to us.”  (And frankly from reading ENWorld, there is a good subset of people for whom this is true.)

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12 responses to “WotC President Explains: “We Are Retarded”

  1. Yeah, not a great interview by any means. Nothing was said.

  2. Heh. In related news some store owners are crying about the temporary PDF sales the other companies who HAVEN’T decided PDF is evil are having, like normally-reasonable Marcus King of Titan Games. But Nikchick of Green Ronin has smacked him back into his place.

  3. Whoops, cut and paste error, fixed my original comment. Thanks!

  4. The thing I’m wondering about is the 10:1 ratio. As alarming as that may seem, think about illegal downloading in the music industry. A lot of people who like the product that they take for free end up buying the product in some way later on (often a physical copy). It’s all well and fine to say how many people illegally download it, but how many of those people get it later on?

    I know that Saul Williams (w/ Trent Reznor) had this problem when they released their last album in two formats: free or $10 download (I think). The number of free downloads to paid downloads was about 10:1. But I know that a number of people actually bought the physical CD later on or paid for a legal download later on because they wanted to support the artist. The numbers that are put forward can’t in any way allow for that occurence.

  5. Re: Marcus King’s comments

    Ya know, after reading his open letter, I remember the time when I stopped going to what had been up to that point my favorite gaming store in my old hometown. I used to go to The Store That Shall Remain Unnamed at least once a week (every week’s trip downtown for comics included a stop here). I used to buy a lot of WH40K figs, but I would generally direct mail order them from GW, because that way, I got what I wanted, and at the time (this was the last 80′s), it ended up being slightly cheaper than buying them in store.

    Anyway, one day I was perusing The Store That Shall Remain Unnamed’s selection of 40K figures. The owner noticed this, and mentioned that they could order anything I didn’t see. I innocently said, “That’s all right… I buy most of my figures straight from GW.” He then proceeded to go off on me in a 15 minute rant about how people like ME were killing his store, buying from another outlet, which meant he couldn’t make his ends meet, blah blah blah. After berating me for 15 minutes, ending with “I don’t want or need customers like you in my store!”, I proceeded out the door, and never returned. Now, while I may have bought my minitures direct from GWUK, I was in the habit of spending anywhere from $20-$40 A WEEK in that store on other gaming materials that I *DID* rely on getting from them. But, as a result of that little bit of pious pontification, I never spent another cent in that store. I instead started to frequent other stores, who realized that (at that time) while they couldn’t make up the spread on the cost of figs, they would encourage my patronage by giving me deals on this I needed for said figs, like paint and brushes, or giving me discounts for painting said figs in their store, and answering questions. THAT is how you run a successful business. Marcus could apparently take a few pointers.

  6. No mention again that the 4e pdfs were leaked printer proofs, and thus had nothing to do with the online stores. What a surprise.

  7. @Steve: I think maybe you’re thinking of Radiohead. When NIN released their last few albums digitally (Y34R Z3R0 R3M1X3D, GHOSTS I-IV and THE SLIP), I believe they always were free to download, but you could pay for special editions… I know GHOSTS was entirely free, but you could choose to pay for a CD version, a Deluxe version with CD and vinyl, and an ultra deluxe version with CD, vinyl, Blu-Ray and autographed. Radiohead’s IN RAINBOWS was released on a donation basis, with options for extra special releases later. I know I paid the extra for the IN RAINBOWS version with the CD, b-sides CD and vinyl.

    Of course, I could be misremembering. 8)

  8. @Badger King: the Slip was a free download, Ghosts I (the first 9 songs) was free, but Ghosts I-IV was $5 download, with the double CD being $10. I was thinking of Saul William’s “The Rise and Fall of Niggy Tardust” which was produced by Trent Reznor and was the trial run of what became the marketing strategy for Ghosts. For that it was a free download and/or pay $5 for the album. Not the Radiohead pay what you can for crappy quality MP3s (which wasn’t as good a deal as people thought, particularly if they paid money as a statement to encourage artists to continue to release outside of normal distribution systems), but free or a small pitance for high quality recordings.

  9. why is it that if someone doesn’t agree with what you think you call them retarded? this might come as a shock but people with special needs are human beings with feelings. it’s not about being p.c., it’s about having a little decency. the truth is that when people with special needs are offended by your use of the word retard you tell us that we’re being too sensitive. Think back to the New York Post cartoon. Did you tell people they were too sensitive then? Not a chance. When it comes to special needs people are treated like second class citizens. Something to think about the next time you want to call someone retarded.

  10. @mary: you might be right or generalizing yourself. there may be many people we consider mentally challenged who would never identify as retarded and thus don’t associate the word with their condition. simply asserting that they’d be offended by the word might in itself, be offensive. at the end of the day, it is just a word and its how we use them that matters.

    this guy however, is just being ignorant.

  11. Hate to break it to you guys, but that’s the deal with insults. Retards, spazzes, numbnuts, cocksuckers, bastards, bitches, melonheads, perverts, wastoids, freaks, gimps, assmasters, etc. are all God’s children in their own unique way. But those traits are usually considered undesirable in some way, so they are used as insults to draw attention to areas in which a person is lacking. There’s no difference in any mentally based insult, whether it’s “the r word” or just calling them dumb, stupid, et al. (Or ignorant, to wingnut’s point.) You can argue that insults in general should be completely abandoned as unfair, but I’m afraid you’re not gonna get far with that on the Net.

    If this is your first exposure to insults on the Internet – well, at least you got your cherry popped by a pro. Enjoy.

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