Steve Jackson Games' electronic publishing venture is brilliant

Steve Jackson Games — the venerable and excellent publisher of strategy and role-playing games — is producing an amazing new digital line of products: games distributed as PDFs. What's amazing about that? Well, they're only available direct from SJG, and only by electronic cash. They come with "insurance" so that if you delete the files or lose them in a crash, SJG will replace them (this also means that if you find yourself at a friend's house and you want to play the game, you can login to the site and download any of your games). They come with software to help you build characters and otherwise relieve some of the tedious bookkeeping associated with paper-gaming. Finally, they don't have any DRM, because SJG believes that its customers are not crooks.

Q. Are the files in e23 copy protected?

A. No. That would interfere with your use of them. We just have to hope that we can sell enough to honest people to make up for what gets stolen by the kiddies and cheapskates.

I think that this might be the smartest digital publishing venture I've seen so far. My only suggestion would be to make the files available in something more malleable than PDF — say, HTML, so that customers could reformat them for their PDAs and other non-PC systems.


(Thanks, AkiZ!)