I play role playing games and table top games. Books are part and portion of the deal. With some game the rules expand to the point where you need to lug around a carry on sized back just for the reading material.
When PDF and the other reader formats became popular, I don’t think the world paid any attention to the gamers who sit around the table with Cheetos and Mountain Dew.
Why because they though we still lived in the basement and we sat in the dark with only candles or dim single bulb illumination.
The world forgot about something. We the gamers are very much nerd.
Do you know what nerds also like?
They became the new source of the dim lighting in our collective basements.
You see the first of us, started to put the monitor on the table. Others brought laptops. Then laptops became cheaper. Everyone sit around the table with grid paper, pencils, erasers, dice, and now laptops.
Tablets were not the breaking point. It was the laptop.
Nerds around the world started to cut up and scan their books in hopes to only carry a school bag once again. Before the PDF came out and the laptops were cheap wikis with full rules were posted online, missing only the key elements that could be found in the main book, giving the wiki a legitimate and stable presence.
Now we have services like Drive Thru RPG. Or companies like Corvus Belli and Mantic who provide the rules for free. When I look around for scanned copies of their products and rules it becomes hard to find, since it’s already free.
These solutions and shifts in the publishing world are not the end state of the publishing industry. They do discourage piracy, but it doesn’t stop it. Piracy will always be present until ideas are free.
Does that suck. Yes.
Will larger companies that don’t create electronic media suffer? Yes.
All the “War Rooms” and various legit pdfs do is mitigate the effect of piracy on the bottom line of the publisher. It’s not the solution but it seems like it will have to do for now.