Novels and Short Fiction

Good day.

I am curious if there are others here that are concerned about how the new novels and short fiction for IK/WM/H is only going to be available in the Warmachine app behind a monthly pay wall.

I have no interest at this time in playing Warmachine/Hordes, but I enjoy reading the fiction which surrounds the games. Paying a monthly subscription for an app that I will not fully utilize in order to read the fiction is not sitting well with me. I would love to see the fiction made available in PDF format for purchase, much like PP has been doing with the IK supplemental Class PDFs.

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I would love to see full novels again, but considering that those don’t appear to have profitable the first time I’m not holding my breath.

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This seems like something a Kickstarter could actually be perfect for. Gauge interest in the books, and if the Kickstarter funds, great, if not, no big deal.

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Yeah, I haven’t read any of the Warmachine fiction in years because don’t like trying to follow twitter posts or whatever. I would love large-format collections of each story arc (or something like that) that could sit alongside the old expansion books on my shelves. Or failing that, at least some PDFs or something.

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You could just wait for this arc to finish and then pay for a month of the app and read it all. Then repeat when they finish another arc. It’s probably cheaper than what they charge for an epub of the same content :person_shrugging:

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Yeah, but you have to read it through the app instead of a dedicated reader.

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Which will probably be what I end up having to do.

I cannot imagine that it would cost that much to make a PDF or ePUB file of what is already in an electronic format in the app and release it in the PP store. Additionally, the single file could be the whole story in one file rather than several files like it is in the app.

Example: ‘Dark Rising’ is currently 5 separate files in the app, two of which are behind a pay wall. Why not consolidate those 5 files into 1 and sell it for $3 in the PP store?

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The real answer is probably that they need app subscriptions to pay for it’s continued development. Having fiction in the app encourages people to subscribe to the app, and having other features behind the subscription offsets the costs of producing fiction even if not everyone reads the fiction. Since the app subscriptions have to cover the costs of developing and maintaining the app and contribute to ongoing costs like paying the team for balance updates and whatnot that don’t directly cause more sales of models, I’m not sure how much incentive there is to make that content available any other way.

Sure they could put all of Dark Rising into an epub and sell that for $3 on the PP store, or they can keep it in the app and it helps sell the $5 subscription to a few more people. It could be that people would stay subscribed and still buy the epubs, but it could be that some people drop their subscription in favor of waiting to buy the epubs. Maybe a few years down the line when there’s more stuff in the app this will be viable for older content, but in the near future I don’t see how it would benefit the company to make any app subscriber content available any other way. The economics of this industry are pretty brutal and they need those subs to make up for people not wanting to buy physical rulebooks or magazines anymore.

edit: I do hope that once more core features are in there is time for some refinement of the in-app reader, because it could use some improvements. But it’s a lower priority than gameplay functions I think.

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I’ll save everyone in this thread some time. :slight_smile: Here are the absolute bottom lines of this discussion:

  1. The subscription cost is trivial. $5 a month is less than one single meal at a fast food restaurant or an average cup of Starbucks coffee.

  2. If you want them to make something for you, you need to pay them for the work. If it is not in some way profitable, it will not (or is significantly less likely to) happen. They have to eat and pay the rent, after all. :slight_smile:

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I think the big thing too is sure, they can do sell it on the store when it’s finished. The real question is how many people will actually buy it? $3 might be too low.

The real cost is in paying the writer, editor, etc. If you go to PDF or ePub? Well, PDFs have to be laid out still, the software to do it right is leased (Creative Cloud), the person doing it still needs to get paid (especially if they add bookmarks/navigation). I don’t know much about ePubs so can’t comment on their creation. Gonna have to do a cover, so if it’s original art that’s more people getting involved and paid (using old art will get folks mad, call PP lazy and cheap, etc).

And again, how many people will actually buy it by itself at whatever price versus how many people will subscribe to the app? Heck, just because it’s digital doesn’t mean it’ll be “cheap.” I’ve had ebooks cost $9.99 on up. PDFs for games? $29.99, even $39.99 on a few rare instances. The cost is in creation, not the format.

I can understand not liking the model. My question is whether or not you can simply just binge the fiction once in a while. Maybe what’s best for you is to just wait a while then subscribe for a month (or however long it takes you to read) then cancel the following month. I mean, I’ll grab Hulu or whatever for a month or two, binge, and quit, you know?

Long term I think it’d be good. Wonder if Unity can accommodate some open source reader internally? License permitting, though. There’s a couple of OSS licenses…

I’m old fashioned, I don’t like reading long blocks of text on a screen. But if I am going to, I would rather have a pdf or other stand-along-file that I can store in a folder with other related/similar pdfs and read with my choice of software. I would be perfectly happy paying $5-$15 or so for a digital book every 3 or 6 months.

There are print-on-demand services now, perhaps they could add their fiction to such a service? Probably wouldn’t sell very much, but I don’t think there’s any risk as you’re not printing a large run and hoping they sell? Any that do sell just generate profit? Not much profit perhaps, but it’s more about giving the community what they want. And it won’t be cheap, so it probably won’t particularly cannibalize app subscriptions? Or maybe it will, dunno.

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I think about it this way: the game app itself is free (because it is) - the subscription is for the regularly released fiction.

That said, reading from the screen of my mobile phone is uncomfortable for someone cursed with my eyes but not blessed with Eyeless Sight, so I’m waiting for the desktop app release before I get to reading anything more than the occasional rules reference.

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I work at a print shop. Print on Demand is one of the most expensive ways to do things and would require all the costs involved with setup I mentioned earlier. While I’d be super curious to see how it’d price out, I don’t know if it could be sold at a “reasonable” price while breaking even.

Egad, I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that sort of conversation :slight_smile:

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I figured it would be expensive, I just don’t have a sense of HOW expensive. I’m sure you’re right, and PP already gets flack sometimes for their models not being as affordable as some, so maybe it isn’t a good idea. I just wish there was an option for us old dinosaurs to keep enjoying the things we like the way we like, you know?

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They just announced in the Facebook account that the desktop app is being submitted to Steam and they hope for a week or so before approval

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Yeah, that came sooner than I expected! But the app is Lane just putting time in (and someone at PP adding content) so the actual development of it is moving at its own pace.

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