|"Brazen Claws"? There's an app for that...|
My iPad has been quite handy for gaming (Conscript Cam will no doubt savour this admission on my part, as well he should). While I enjoy "Angry Birds" and any number of other time wasting games, it was not long before I was cramming every gaming PDF I could on to my iPad, so I could have them handy while gaming. I'm not here to proclaim the death of books, etc. etc. I quite enjoy paper books, and enjoy well-produced rule books and hope they continue for a long time. But it has been very useful to have charts, stats lists etc. available for quick and easy reference. My copy of the "Tomorrow's War" rules is a digital one, just to name an example, and it is very useful to have it in electronic format on the tablet reader.
Places like the Wargames Vault are offering more and more rules for download. Even just having the rules in an electronic format is quite handy, and game companies have yet to start to explore the tools that a digital app for gaming might provide.
|"Um, do you have your paper rulebook, because this actually says nothing about the 12 special rules that apply in this situation..."|
But it didn't take long to lose the excitement - in fact, it was gone by the time I was halfway through the marketing email. Out of all of the initial "offerings", just one is a Codex. The other is a painting book (handy, but again, is that really what is needed up front?), and then some "scrolls". A distinctly underwhelming initial offer of product. The digital "opportunity" as a GW player would be to have to carry fewer books, not need books AND my iPad just so I can try and "legally" use some scroll or whatever in a Warhammer game.
|Watch out "Plants vs. Zombies" - here comes the Great Cave Squig!|
The other GW files are much less expensive than the codex - the "scrolls" are only 99 cents. That is still 99 cents more than they are worth, as they ad very little to the gaming experience. What do you need a scroll for???
No doubt the Space Marine i-Codex has some sort of alleged interactive benefit, which GW could allegedly claim would justify it being more expensive than the paper book. This is hilarious. If GW thinks I am going to pay MORE for an electronic codex, they have another thing coming. I'm not saying it should be free, or just 99 cents, but charging the same price as the print book, never mind slightly more, points to a rather fundamental misunderstanding of digital economics. Like every other business which has tried to tame the digital medium with this type of denial/defiance, this approach will serve only to drive more business toward the "waters off Tortuga", where GW has actually been "digital" for years.
GW is hardly the only business to have seen its commercial assumptions blow-torched when applied to the reality of digital mediums. And I can imagine Apple must be a challenging company to deal with - after all, has anyone else managed to push a company like AT&T around? Charging almost $20 for individual figures is one thing - that debate is a spirited one, and who knows how it will play out in the long run. But if GW really thinks that "going digital" means another chance to toss off overpriced stuff, then it is another troubling sign that the geniuses behind "145" are calling too many shots.