On January 1st, 2018, I took down all of Highmoon Games gaming products on DriveThruRPG, the sole exceptions being the One Bad Egg products for D&D 4th Edition (because even though they were entrusted to me, I still see them as belonging to the members of OBE/Evil Hat Productions), and the NewbieDM Productions products (because they belong to Enrique Betran). These products are likely never to be sold again, although I’ve left them available to prior customers to download as needed.
In effect, I have killed Highmoon Games. And that’s perfectly fine.
I used to wonder about publishers who would discontinue digital products. I mean, the whole point of digital is that it can go on forever, without the need for expensive material print runs. Why not leave it up for sale until the end of time? Isn’t that the point of the long tail, after all?
When I was a kid I wondered why, once we’d gotten the bananas from the tree, my grandfather would cut it down to the nub. He explained to me that if he didn’t cut the tree down, it would die. For the tree to grow new bananas, it had to be cut down, trimmed to its barest form, and from that, a new tree with new fruits would grow.
The principle works pretty much the same for things that aren’t banana trees. Most of my products were released during the heyday of the d20 boom, back in the late ’00s, and then little to nothing after that. I’ve been riding the long tail of my products for the last 10 or so years, and while it’s been nice getting a few bucks every month, it also has done nothing to spur me to create again. So it’s time to cut things down to the nub.
I may dip into the old material for inspiration, or modification into new things, but in general, everything that came before is gone. It’s time to create new things, see what new fruits bloom.
Highmoon Games is dead. You know what comes next in that expression, right?