Short post this week - my situation at work is suddenly in flux, as we have someone who is leaving the company. This means that I may be working 10+ hours per day.
This means less time to write and/or think about games and game-related things.
So until further notice, please be aware that my posting schedule may become erratic. I'm going to try to keep my normal schedule up as much as possible, mind you, but there will be slips and possibly missed days.
With that said, have you seen Wizards of the Coast's latest plan to make huge piles of money?
This one - if my Google Plus Circles are any indication - will do the trick.
It's a reprint of the original white box D&D. In a deluxe wooden box. With four additional supplements and new cover art.
The text lists seven books. The picture shows eight. The picture also shows dice which aren't listed in the contents list. So there is some question about what will be in there.
Either way, it's $150.
So now they've reprinted the 1E AD&D PHB GMG and MM - all of which gave a cut of money to the Gygax Memorial Fund.
Then they reprinted the 3.5 D&D PHB GMG and MM. Then the 1E Unearthed Arcana. And now this. None of these are called out as giving money to the Gygax Memorial Fund - they're just cash grabs. Rather blatant cash grabs, at that.
It makes sense - the Old School Renaissance is putting out a ton of 1E clones and seems to be self-sustaining. So there is a market for that 1E product. And Pathfinder is big money right now, too, so the 3.5 reprints might land them a share of that cash cow.
And I've heard from several places that Hasbro is worried about the profitability of D&D. It is, after all, the best-known and most-recognized brand name in the entire role-playing game industry. By a long ways. It should be much more profitable than it is.
These reprints? Think about how cheap it is for WotC to produce them. You spend a couple of hundred dollars hiring an artist for new covers. Then there is production costs (which are not small, but are still much lower than cover price). These prices are essentially the same for any book - so why are these cheaper to produce?
Because you don't need product development. You don't need to pay any writers or editors or R&D teams. You just need someone to scan the old stuff into a computer (because it predates desktop publishing), and check it for scanning errors.
So even though the quality of the product is higher than most of their stuff, these are probably less expensive to produce than "current" products - and they sell for a higher price.
It's a good move from a business standpoint.
I'm not saying I think it's a bad thing - I'll probably end up grabbing one of those boxes. And the Unearthed Arcana book at some point.
I just really wish that WotC were continuing to support the Gygax Memorial Fund.