So, most of you know I'm a rampaging Savage Worlds fanboy. For my preferences, it does action heavy games better than pretty much any system out there. So they just announced a new release of the core rules, for $10! Softcover, full color, digest sized.
I kind of wish they had this a year ago, when I had a player who bitched and moaned that she didn't know the rules and didn't have the money to buy any books and for some reason us loaning her the books wasn't good. I could have just said "Look, we all pitched in $3 and bought you the book, now quit your whining."
I think it's a very smart move on their part. I'm sure they're losing a bit of money on each one of these they make, but how many potential Deadlands Reloaded players were put off by the idea of shelling out $40 for Deadlands and another $30 for the Savage Worlds rules? This sort of reminds me of MMOs "the first month is free" (which kind of remind me of crack dealers "the first hit's free", but that's another topic all together.)
I also wonder how much money they're losing on each one of these. Probably not all that much considering they've already put out two versions of this book, and it looks like the new Explorer's Edition has some slight rules tweaks (the Deadlands damage system is now official across the board) and some additional adventures in the back. So most of their budget had to have gone into reformating and art and the like. For a new game company or an unproven product, this could be suicide.
But I'm curious if this will catch on. I know Mongoose put out the Pocket Player's Handbook a couple of years ago, but I wonder if WotC or White Wolf etc will end up doing something similar.