Monday, September 28, 2009

Code RED!

We're one of a handful of stores set up to sell Catalyst Games PDF products through their RED (Retailer Electronic Delivery) program. These include all of their in-print games, along with exclusive PDF only releases. You buy the product from the store, we process it through the Catalyst website, and the PDF is emailed to you. To be more relevant to this process, for a limited time we're offering 20% off PDF products if you buy the print version from us, or can show you bought it in the past.

This is a very interesting program, one which came out of an industry discussion you may recall about the effect of electronic products on the game industry. The retailer positions ran the gamut, from those who thought it hurt the industry (my initial thought), to those who thought it could only help (my eventual position), believing that the market for electronic products is not the same as print. I think most store owners put this in the category of irrelevant and moved on, which is why, I think, so few people jumped on board with Catalyst. Hopefully, that will change when we start reporting positive results.

As a retailer, I can either embrace the future and see if I'll be part of it, or put my head in the sand and wish it into the cornfield. The landscape is changing and as much as I'm troubled by the "long tail" of role-playing games, which infinitely divides the small community into smaller and smaller pieces, I have to think such enthusiasm might energize the community and keep it vibrant. It may even build the community. I'm sure there are shades of gray I'm missing here.

There's still the potential that the future of role-playing games will not involve retail stores, as we're already seeing with Dungeons & Dragons DDI replacing books for some D&D players. PDFs, ironically, play a much smaller role than this new medium, although online piracy is still rampant. One thing I've noticed is that younger role-playing gamers are more comfortable with the idea of electronic products. The fact that I'm even noticing younger role-players may be hope in itself, as the D&D target market of 12-year olds has failed to materialize, at least for us. In the end, if the community grows, even if it grows around us, instead of us at the center, it's still a good thing. Businesses don't deserve anything. We need to stay relevant to our customers or find something else where we can make a contribution.

Product list (bold items are not available in print)
Eclipse Phase

CAT21000 Eclipse Phase Core Rulebook $ 15.00

CAT23000 CthulhuTech Core Rulebook $ 30.00

CAT23001 Vade Mecum $ 25.00

CAT23002 Mortal Remains $ 25.00

CAT23200 Dark Passions $ 15.00

CAT23300 Damnation View $ 25.00

CAT26001 Street Magic $ 25.00

CAT26002 Augmentation $ 25.00

CAT26003 Arsenal $ 25.00

CAT26004 Unwired $ 25.00

CAT26005 Runner's Companion $ 25.00

CAT2600A Shadowrun, Fourth Edition - 20th Anniversary Core Rulebook $ 25.00

CAT26101 Running Wild $ 20.00

CAT26102 Seattle 2072 $ 25.00

CAT26201 Corporate Enclaves $ 18.00

CAT26202 Feral Cities $ 18.00

CAT26301 Emergence $ 18.00

CAT26302 Ghost Cartels $ 18.00

CAT26500 Shadowrun Missions #00: Everyone's Your Friend FREE

CAT26501 Shadowrun Missions #01: Ready, Set, Gogh! $ 3.95

CAT26502 Shadowrun Missions #02: Block Wars $ 3.95

CAT26503 Shadowrun Missions #03: Burning Bridges $ 3.95

CAT26504 Shadowrun Missions #04: Monkeywrench $ 3.95

CAT26600 Digital Grimoire $ 3.95

CAT26601 Bad Moon Rising $ 3.95

CAT26602 The Rotten Apple: Manhattan $ 3.95

CAT35001 Total Warfare $ 25.00

CAT35002 Tech Manual $ 25.00

CAT35003 Tactical Operations $ 30.00

CAT35004 Strategic Operations $ 30.00

CAT35005 A Time of War: The BattleTech RPG $ 10.00

CAT35100 Starter Book: Sword and Dragon $ 12.00

CAT35100a Record Sheets: Sword and Dragon FREE

CAT35101 Starter Book: Wolf and Blake $ 18.00

CAT35122 Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrades $ 25.00

CAT35130 Technical Readout: 3075 $ 25.00

CAT35203 Handbook: Major Periphery States $ 25.00

CAT35240 Masters and Minions $ 25.00

CAT35302 Jihad Hot Spots: 3072 $ 18.00

CAT35302a Record Sheets: 3072 FREE

CAT35303 Jihad Conspiracies: Interstellar Players II $ 18.00

CAT35303X Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents $ 18.00

CAT35304 Jihad Hot Spots 3076 $ 18.00

CAT35600 Chaos Campaign FREE

CAT35601 Jihad Turning Points: Luthien $ 4.95

CAT35602 Jihad Turning Points: New Avalon $ 4.95

CAT35603 Jihad Turning Points: Tharkad $ 4.95

CAT35604 Jihad Turning Points: Sian $ 4.95

CAT35700 25 Years of Art and Fiction $ 25.00