Wizards of the Coast will be releasing yet another premium version of a former Dungeons & Dragons product, a pricey version of the very first release of the game, Original Dungeons & Dragons RPG.
The original game often referred to as “the white box” was released back in 1974. It came in a very simple cardboard white box and included three pamphlets. It required ownership of the game Chainmail, a medieval miniatures wargame, co-created by Dungeons & Dragons creator, the late great Gary Gygax.
I never owned this version of D&D, but I remember it. The first time I saw it was in a toy store in Lancaster, California, called Jack’s Toys. It may have been called Uncle Jack’s Toys, but that seems too creepy to be real. Whatever the name, it had the game, and I remember looking at it.
This new version of the game will come in a fancy wooden box and instead of containing three pamphlets, it will come with four additional supplement pamphlets, seven in total. The covers of each pamphlet will feature new artwork, but the interiors will be as they were in the 70’s.
The set comes out November 19, 2013, and has an MSRP of $149.99.
I can’t imagine a lot of people buying this. It’s not only ridiculously expensive, it is almost nothing like the original product. What is with the fancy wooden box? I’m not sure how much nostalgia this version will bring. If they had only re-released the original white box with the three original pamphlets, all for a more realistic price, then I could see people picking this up.
Wizards of the Coast is trying to crack down on people that post Dungeons & Dragons products to the various file sharing networks. From ICv2:
Wizards of the Coast has filed three lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington against eight defendants located in the United States, Poland and the Philippines alleging copyright infringement of its recently released Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook 2. The lawsuit contends that the defendants illegally distributed the Player’s Handbook 2 via free file-sharing Websites, and that these uploads resulted in a substantial number of lost sales and revenue for Wizards of the Coast.
Evidently Wizards of the Coast was selling PDF versions of there popular Dungeons & Dragons role playing system. That was until they realized that people could take these PDF files and share them on Bit Torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay.
I realize that this is a civil lawsuit, but wouldn’t it be something to go to prison for something Dungeons & Dragons related?
I’m not sure they will have any luck suing somebody that resides in the Philippines for copyright infringement. The country has what you might describe as a very relaxed view on copyrights, or for that matter, crime in general.
I think by suing a few of their customers for file sharing, Wizards of the Coast may only be exacerbating the problem of unauthorized file sharing. By taking this action and then publicizing the fact, they are broadcasting to the world that their intellectual property is available for free at the various file sharing sites. The people they are suing are people that actually paid them for the PDF files.
Suing these people wont stop these specific PDF files from being shared in the future.