As a teenager, I was a big fan of Steve Jackson Games. I loved Car Wars and Illuminati. Later, when I began browsing the web in 1994 via lynx on a shell account, their webpage was one of my favorite destinations. As an adult, I got into their Illuminati: New World Order card game (which I would still play if I had any partners.) I’m predisposed to like the guy, even if he did stand me up for a radio interview at Dragon*Con one year.
They have been thinking about selling their game books in digital form for a while. It makes perfect sense – printing is expensive. It would allow them to have publishing tiers where some smaller audience games that might not support the cost of paper printing could be “straight to download” games, older out of print games could be returned as downloads, etc. I was very pleased to see this passage on the most recent Daily Illuminator:
“Will the PDFs you sell be user-limited with some sort of digital rights management scheme?” No, they won’t. We understand this is a hot issue right now because another company just opened a PDF store with encoded, “protected” PDFs that won’t even work on some computers. We looked into that whole issue, and decided that copy protection would create far more trouble for our users than it would save for us. The l33t g00bs will break it anyway, and it annoys the honest people.
Steve gets it. If he went with DRM, it would just piss off the faithful and wouldn’t really prevent determined people from getting it. He has always been forward thinking on the internet (they had one of the earliest web pages on the WWW and they even started their own ISP a decade ago) and this just shows that he’s still got it. Way to go, Steve! I hope this works out very well for you.