OK, Peoples of the Internet, Explain this to Me-

There is a pretty good discussion going on in one tiny corner of the webosphere (can a sphere have corners? Ponder) that I cant grok. One 3pp started a talk about a sales list, who was in the "Top 10" sales for Paizo, blah blah blah.

The discussion changed a few times, as new insight and topics were brought in. Then we hit price point talks. there was much back and forth, and +Rachel Ventura brought up an excellent point, and the phrase "race to the bottom" was thrown out in this discussion. Basically, 3pp are cutting their own throats to sell pdfs for essentially no profit.

I could not agree with her more, wondering why the rpg industry actively tries to bankrupt itself?

I understand funds are tight for a lot of people, but why should creative content, and a leisure hobby for most of us, be given away for nearly free? No other industry would even entertain this thought (certainly not the entertainment business).

I liken this to the Itunes model, follow along: If ITunes sells a song for $.99 , but you can go to Amazon or Target and pick up a physical CD with that song (and 15 others, for example), for $16, doesn't that mean the physical media has no consumer worth? And if that is the case, doesn't that mean you're paying for the creative content (known as "IP"), and not the media it's delivered on?

And if we accept that, and apply it to rpgs, no matter how you get the "IP" content, shouldn't we accept that we're paying for the content and not the media its delivered in?

If you like to page through books and have a hefty tome sitting on your table, so be it. If you prefer a pdf so you can read it on your device of choice, so be it. Yes, there are significant cost increases for printed books (as you have all seen), but that doesn't mean that digital pdf content does not have significant value. It's frequently very difficult to make a good pdf, and no matter the media, you still have to pay authors, editors, converters, artists, layout designers, sales and marketing, and hosting costs (Im sure I forgot some).

Pdfs are not free; they don't just appear out of thin air.

It's a subject I'm quite interested in. What are your thoughts?
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