On July 11th, Catalyst Game Labs released the $20 online PDF version of Shadowrun, Fifth Edition RPG.  According to Catalyst, both their online shop and DriveThruRPG’s sales of Shadowrun doubled the previous launch day sales record for any other title released, and has broken five day sales records in both places as well. 

The physical copies of Shadowrun, Fifth Edition will not release until late August (excluding preview sales events at both Origins and Gen Con).  However, Catalyst is extremely confident that the book will do well for retailers. "We have years of data that show without question that the release of a PDF early for a print product ultimately increases sales of that print product," said Randall N. Bills, Managing Developer for Catalyst Game Labs.  "While there is no way to quantify why that is the case, we believe it has to do with the die-hard fans immediately picking up a title and discussing it in online forums, raising the awareness to the more casual players that a book is out that might interest them."  Bills continued,"Not only did Catalyst sell four times as many Shadowrun, Fifth Edition at the Origins Game Fair as any title in our six year history (and we would've sold significantly more if we hadn't run out), but it more than doubled the sale of any item released at Origins by FASA Corporation (the original creator of Shadowrun) going all the way back to the mid 90s."

Bills added that with the plethera of products planned across multiple gaming platforms for their “Year of Shadowrun” (see "Catalyst's Ambitious Plans for 'The Year of Shadowrun'"), including the imminent Shadowrun: Crossfire deck building game, the print novels (set for fall/winter release), and Harebrained Schemes’ Shadowrun Returns computer game (designed by original Shadowrun creator Jordan Weisman) set to release on July 25th, he feels that "Regardless of the type of fan (RPGs, board games, card games, computer games), Shadowrun can be a vibrant, activity community in any store, and it can all start with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition."

Shadowrun, Fifth Edition is the latest iteration of the popular cyberpunk RPG that mixes fantasy and technology in a dystopian near-future setting of the Sixth World.  The new version is based on the popular 4th Edition, but adds new elements including a streamlined matrix hack, increased gear options, tweaking of the magic, and faster character creation. There will be both standard edition as well as limited edition bundles available. The Shaowrun, Fifth Edition core rulebook has an MSRP of $59.99.