In a recent February newsletter of DriveThruRPG/RPGNow, Sean Patrick Fannon of OneBookShelf comments on the relevance of legacy gaming products. He said:
Are some of you wondering why you should buy older stuff, like the Shadowrun 1st Edition (see below) that Catalyst just put up on the site recently?
Every new edition of a product means improvements, design changes, and updated content. Yet along the way, some classic writing and design gets lost and forgotten. There’s an amazing amount that can be learned about a setting from the original presentation of it. There’s a ton that can be gleaned about game design by those who study the original efforts.
As well, sometimes it’s a great deal of fun to play by the original rules, or by an edition that you’ve heard from many “is still the best.”We welcome such comments from operators of this service, and their operation have seen many of the classic brought back to life, not just the earlier works of current mainstream games. Publishers have taken the opportunity to release old betas and development documents to show how their games were developed. A prime example was GDW’s initial sketch diagrams for the Azhanti High Lightning warship. We think OneBookShelf is helping to preserve gaming history and build community that supports both gamers and game creators alike. These efforts return a better investments to authors, artists and publishers than the ad revenue sharing model Google has been offering for making available out of print works available via GoogleBooks. We’d love to see Google list DriveThruRPG as a bookseller on GoogleBooks for relevant titles. Keep up the good work OneBookShelf, and the publishers making available their old products.