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Poll: What would you pay for PDFs?
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What is the MOST you would you pay for a set of the 72 color PDFs for FCB2?
$100
2%
 2%  [ 1 ]
$75
4%
 4%  [ 2 ]
$50
12%
 12%  [ 6 ]
$25
32%
 32%  [ 16 ]
$10
18%
 18%  [ 9 ]
I would rather pay $100 for a set of real color-laminated cards.
32%
 32%  [ 16 ]
Total Votes : 50

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djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2925
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It`s similar to mp3`s and Napster. How do you run a business when your product has been made readily available and there is a cultural assumption that anything on the internet should be free? I don't envy the quandary that publishers like ADB are in.
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Alex Knight
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Joined: 06 Jun 2008
Posts: 57
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While PDFs are nice because you expect to pay less for the product, I like my dead-tree. I'd be willing to pay the $100 for hard copies as long as it wasn't one $100 product.

Six $16.99 boosters, might be more palatable, even if it was more expensive than the standard ship cards.
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Steve Cole
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Joined: 11 Oct 2006
Posts: 3063

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I continue to think about this issue, but I don't have time to make the phone calls and get the numbers. Not while trying to update 14 rulebooks in time for Leanna to ship orders. We still have major orders sitting here unshipping because I haven't finished one or another rulebook upgrades.

I'm only one guy, doing jobs that Steve Jackson Games has a total of FIVE full time employees doing.

And what do you want to bet that I have to get the Origins stuff done and get to origins and get back before I can bring this question to a final resolution.
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Barry Kirk
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Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 46
Location: York, PA

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One other thing to consider, Is it possible to personalize each item sold in .PDF format?
This might be in the form of a watermark or something else; any way the idea is that should a .pdf end up pirated, Steve would be able to find out the name of the person who pirated from him.

Now the group of people who play SFB tend to be pretty honorable and if word got out that somebody had stolen a .pdf from Steve, I would imagine that nobody would want to play against that person.
Certainly, anybody who stole a .pdf from Steve should be banned from playing online and banned from tournaments.

Another thing to consider is that the average age of SFB players tends to be increasing. Most of the current players started playing before 1985; and most people start playing when they are in collage.

If you don't get somebody playing by the time they graduate from collage, you probably missed them. However, one thing that collage students don't have is money.

By the time they graduate, get a job, and can afford to buy SFB and/or FC, they are too old to start. Like a Jedi, you got to start them young.
With printed and hardcopy materials, you have to charge more than the cost of publication or your going to go out of business. But with .pdf format, you can provide a "student discount". Once you've got the collage kids playing, they will probably continue to play after graduation and then they can afford to pay full price to get future stuff.
But now you've increased your player base....

Any case, it's just a thought.
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ThorSilver
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Joined: 07 May 2009
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The other thing to consider is people like myself, who love FC and SFB but live on the other side of the globe (Japan). Despite the fanbase for Trek here and the substantial gaming community, very, very few people speak English and so in all my searching I've found only one place that sold ADB products, and those were only random F&E modules sold at an extremely high mark-up (think double to triple MSRP).

PDFs allow people like me to buy products and print them ourselves, whereas normally the only option is to buy physical product at double the cost due to shipping. Add to that the problem of keeping space-usage to a minimum when you're someone who moves around a lot, and unfortunately my purchases become more and more infrequent.

As far as piracy goes, ADB product is already available on file-sharing services. Surely, if the PDFs are already out there, then it's better to get a few downloaders to buy them rather than cede the entire PDF market to the pirates?
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Steve Cole
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Joined: 11 Oct 2006
Posts: 3063

PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Piracy is an issue, but we have lawyers to keep after the file sharing services. We shut them down all the time but new ones start up. Whack-a-mole. The copies I have seen are pretty bad quality.

Making PDFs available makes the piracy issue 1000 times worse (because it's 1000 times easier), and if I'm expected to make a living selling the PDFs to 10 people who then pass them around for free, I suspect I'll be in another line of work pretty quick.
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The Master
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Joined: 30 Mar 2009
Posts: 120
Location: SWF

PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cost of having a set of masters on a indestructible or should I say Neigh invulnerable format is priceless. I would still buy the SSD Books or in the case of Battle tech the Mech sheets . What I do with Bt is print up a bunch Mech sheets of my computer and keep in my brief case. It is fast and simple. SFB has all ways been a bit tougher , having to go to kinkos, making a master. Going back and coloring it. Then back to kinkos and make more copies. Back in my youth I made a color master copy of every SSD available. Thank got for CQ and Staff Duty, or it would never be done. Computers have me lazy and I can only hope that a viable method comes about. I do not see making masters of the latest ships ever.

Steve as a former Game store owner I can say you will lose money. You are losing money as I write. Gamers are well known for a number of things. Spending money like Congress is not one of them. One guy buys the book and out comes a copier for the rest of the group. At one time I had a group of LARPers playing at my store. The main book cost $15.00. Out of 47 players only six of those books were passed around. I had hoped for a gold mine but got a sink hole.

It's the Gamers like me who do not like depending on Joe Bob to bring his Copy. I like to have them all on my shelf for reference or play ready. These are the people who you make the money off of. As well as enjoy the convinces of a PDF master.
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Steve Cole
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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No matter what we do or do not do, there will be thieves who steal the books one way or another. (The last captain's log noted the guy who wrote in to demand free PDFs so he didn't have to photocopy his friend's book.) Would we lose even more if PDFs were available? I don't know. A project is afoot to find out. Until we have the results of that, you are all just speculating or wishfully thinking. Real facts and real numbers will make the decision, not anything anyone says here.
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Requete
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Joined: 15 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to add another data point for SVC's reference, I would enjoy seeing 2-4 Middle Years Boosters for "the usual suspects". That would be 16-32 of the "enduring classics" of the middle years... Fed CA, Klingon D 6/7, Hydran Ranger, etc.

I don't know if anything like that is planned, but I think it would be a fun addition. I'm selective about boosters, but I would definitely buy those.
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The Master
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Joined: 30 Mar 2009
Posts: 120
Location: SWF

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
No matter what we do or do not do, there will be thieves who steal the books one way or another. (The last captain's log noted the guy who wrote in to demand free PDFs so he didn't have to photocopy his friend's book.) Would we lose even more if PDFs were available? I don't know. A project is afoot to find out. Until we have the results of that, you are all just speculating or wishfully thinking. Real facts and real numbers will make the decision, not anything anyone says here.


Steve as usually you are right. I am just a loyal and hopeful fan. As I have said before I will not leave the game because you do or do not have PDF's.

I surly whish I was the receiver of that Phone call. He would have got my special response I saved for the most unique and special customers.

" Sorry Sir but you are too stupid to shop here"
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The Ghost
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Joined: 18 Oct 2008
Posts: 47
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would pay the ~$100 for the laminated color cards as I prefer the tangiable product to a PDF that I have to go somewhere to print and laminate.

On the PDF side, Pazio has a concept that may provide some thoughts on how to discourage piracy. When you buy an electronic product from their website it personnalizes it to the purchaser. It puts your name, e-mail address, purchase date, Paizo's website address and what looks like an order number on the top and bottom of every page in the PDF.

Some thoughts on the personalized PDFs - Getting your cards back at the end of a game would be easy as your name would be on them. Not sure if people would be reluctant to have their personnel info put on the game cards (possibly leave off the e-mail address and maybe the order number). A possible drawback that remains is folks could print the files and cut the personnal information off, leaving open a potential problem worse than the photocopying challenges.
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Mike
Captain


Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 1543
Location: South Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anything that can be viewed on the screen of a monitor (e.g. PDFs) can be captured to the clipboard with the Print Screen key. Then it can be pasted into a graphics editing program and manipulated any way the user has the skill to do.

So the idea of personalized PDFs will not defeat or even much discourage attempts at copying.
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terryoc
Captain


Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1379

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, it'll discourage the lazy pirates who couldn't be bothered to manipulate the images.
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gcrutch
Ensign


Joined: 23 May 2009
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the 10 dollar SSD packs that you can purchase. I would not like PDFs as I would have to spend more to laminate them and color print them.
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mojo jojo
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 23 Jun 2009
Posts: 340

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can do what some wargaming companies do. Have a certain pre-order number that needs to be met before the PDF is released. If you need to sell 500 for example to make it worthwhile, then set a preorder number of 500. If there aren't 500 preorders, then the product simply isn't released. As soon as 500 people preorder, then the product is released and can be sold normally. You would probably have to give some sort of discount to the people who preorder to entice them, but that can be factored into the P#. For example, you could charge $20 for the PDF normally but charge $15 for anyone who preorders.

This won't stop piracy, but it ensures that you sell enough product to make it worth your while and makes sure you don't actually lose any money on a PDF that's released.
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