These stories have been rounded up from all over the internet but many of them come from GamingReport which, as a partner site, remains GameWyrd’s number one choice for industry news. Direct quotes from GamingReport appear in blue text.
- Free Ars Magica & Deadlands RPGs.
- D&D 3.5 front covers
- Wizards Loose Pokemon License.
- SG-1 RPG.
Free Ars Magica & Deadlands
March would have been memorable if only one famous RPG had made the transition from expensive dead trees to free electronic format but both Ars Magica and Deadlands made the jump. We’ve got the press release from Atlas Games below and links to both of the now-free games.
ROSEVILLE, Minnesota – March 17, 2003 – Atlas Games takes a historic step today, offering the entire Ars Magica 4th Edition core rulebook as a free PDF download. To obtain the download, visit www.atlas-games.com/arsmagica/free/index.html and click on the “Free Ars Magica” link.
“Since we first published this edition of the game in December 1996, we’ve sold more than 12,000 copies, and we’re now on the game’s fifth printing,” observed publisher John Nephew. “Ars Magica is an enduring classic, a game with devoted fans all over the world. This free digital edition of the rules is a gift to the fans who have supported the game for years, and to the future generations of players.”
This isn’t the first Ars Magica freebie on the web. Soon after publishing the 4th edition, Atlas Games made two introductory kits available online for free: Promises, Promises is a “jump start kit” adventure, perfect for learning the basics of the game, and Nigrasaxa is an introductory game saga. Together with the full core rulebook, there is now ample material for launching an Ars Magica saga, available free to anyone in the world with an internet connection.
In an era of rising costs and rising game prices, a free core rulebook certainly bucks the prevailing trend. “We know times are tight for a lot of game fans,” said Nephew. “What’s most important to us is that people are playing the game. A free core rulebook really lowers the barriers to entry. Naturally, we hope that a lot of people who try the game will find it well worth their money to buy the printed rulebook, or any of the dozens of supplements that are available for Ars Magica.
“We admit, this isn’t all altruism; more players means more sales for us and for the many superb retailers and distributors who offer our products. It’s no secret that we’ve begun work on a 5th edition of the game, and we’d like to prime the market with as many active players as possible.” While details of the 5th edition have not been formally announced, line developer David Chart is working toward possible release in the 4th quarter of 2004.
Informed of the free rulebook plan, Mr. Chart opined, “Yes, I think that qualifies as insane. Quite possibly a good idea, though.” He added, “Also, I’ll be much happier announcing this one to the fan base than announcing the price hike.”
The free download is hosted by RPGNow, the leading online seller of digital roleplaying game titles. Besides this free rulebook, RPGNow offers a selection of out-of-print Ars Magica titles, available for download for a fee.
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