OGL D&D Beyond Cancellations Changed WotCs Plans

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Gizmodo has revealed that the partial OGL v1.1 walkback yesterday was in response to the fan campaign to cancel D&D Beyond subscriptions, with "five digits" worth of cancellations. However, the site also reveals that management at the company believed that fans were overreating and that it would all be forgotten in a few months.

In order to delete a D&D Beyond account entirely, users are funneled into a support system that asks them to submit tickets to be handled by customer service: Sources from inside Wizards of the Coast confirm that earlier this week there were “five digits” worth of complaining tickets in the system. Both moderation and internal management of the issues have been “a mess,” they said, partially due to the fact that WotC has recently downsized the D&D Beyond support team.

Yesterday's walkback removed the royalties from the license, but still 'de-authorized' the OGL v1.0a, something which may or may not be legally possible, depending on who you ask.

 
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Imaro

Legend
3e was supposed to be the end of it... then 3.5. 4e didn't SAY it was going to be the last one (that I remember) but boy did the 2014 5e say so... now 1D&D is the evergreen one.

I would not be surprised to learn that somewhere in 1989 TSR thought 2e was the last edition.
1. 3e was never supposed to be evergreen... it even came out that 3.5 was planned while 3e was being developed.

2. 1D&D (until we see proof otherwise) is a continuation of 5e...

Again... how much monetization does it take is my point. We can paint WotC as the big bad corporation only concerned with money... but in order to get that true evergreen edition with those tools that stay up and running and that 3D VTT... yeah they're going to have to figure out how to pay for all of that on a continuous basis...
 

1. 3e was never supposed to be evergreen... it even came out that 3.5 was planned while 3e was being developed.
the entire purpose of the OGL was that the 'd20 system' would stay in print for ever. Yes we learned later that 3.5 was planned form the start (by the people we are all holding up as being only for the game not the money) but at the time it was supposed to be it.
2. 1D&D (until we see proof otherwise) is a continuation of 5e...
unless the playtest is a lie we are already seeing changes similar to 1e/2e and 3e/3.5 so they can call it version or editions, the game is changing, the 2014 book will become obsolete and fall out of both print and popular use, and the 2024 book will replace it.
Again... how much monetization does it take is my point.
someone put up stats the 4e was bringing in about 1/4 of a mil a month in subs at one point... sooner or later we have to admit that money wont make it last forever.
We can paint WotC as the big bad corporation only concerned with money... but in order to get that true evergreen edition with those tools that stay up and running and that 3D VTT... yeah they're going to have to figure out how to pay for all of that on a continuous basis...
 


Content sharing, if it even exists moving forward, is definitely going to go up in price though. Can't monetize all those freeloading players if they don't have to buy their own stuff.
I'm not so sure about that. If you make it more expensive for a group to share a source book on D&D beyond, maybe they won't buy the book at all. And if they find it easier to buy new books in print form, perhaps the group will stop using D&D beyond alltogether.
 







Imaro

Legend
the entire purpose of the OGL was that the 'd20 system' would stay in print for ever. Yes we learned later that 3.5 was planned form the start (by the people we are all holding up as being only for the game not the money) but at the time it was supposed to be it.
This was not the purpose of the OGL... it was created so that no single company could end D&D by taking it out of print forever. the issue is those print runs of books still need to be funded by someone.

This WotC and that WotC are not the same people...

unless the playtest is a lie we are already seeing changes similar to 1e/2e and 3e/3.5 so they can call it version or editions, the game is changing, the 2014 book will become obsolete and fall out of both print and popular use, and the 2024 book will replace it.

There have been changes to 5e throughout it's lifetime... with each printing errata, clarifications and slight updates have been added... along with optional supplements that have changed the rules but stayed compatible with the base rules... do you have an example of something that is definitively going to be a part of 1D&D that would make it incompatible with 5e?

someone put up stats the 4e was bringing in about 1/4 of a mil a month in subs at one point... sooner or later we have to admit that money wont make it last forever.
Citation please. Was this sustained and if so for how long? Also just to put this into perspective... WoW's total revenue for Q1 of 2022 was 170+ million dollars
 

I haven't looked, does DDB have a terms of service addressing this kind of thing? Anything about if the service ends?
Not as far as I know. When it was first set up, the Beyond people made an allusion to having a deal with WotC which would allow them to give us permanent digital copies if they did shut down, but it's not in the TOS AFAICT, so it's not guaranteed. Hence small claims court, it's a win for me either way if WotC don't hand over the goods.
 

Content sharing, if it even exists moving forward, is definitely going to go up in price though. Can't monetize all those freeloading players if they don't have to buy their own stuff.
Hahaha yeah.

At some point, probably in the next 1-3 years, they'll up the cost of the Master tier subscription that lets you do that. They'll probably have an excuse and offer of extra "value" which will be something free-to-them, like virtual minis or whatever.

I expect they'll also start requiring a sub for players to use the 3D VTT properly (the lower tier than Master though), like you'll only be able to have a generic model with no customization unless you have a subscription or something.

I don't think they'll ditch it entirely because the backlash would be swift, extreme, and very easy for customers to execute (low effort), and we've found that we can cause them absolute havoc by having people with non-subscription accounts demand their accounts be deleted (which under EU law they really have to actually do).
 



Yaarel

Mind Mage
3e was supposed to be the end of it... then 3.5. 4e didn't SAY it was going to be the last one (that I remember) but boy did the 2014 5e say so... now 1D&D is the evergreen one.
4e was supposed to be the "evergreen" edition, that unlike its predecessors, would evolve electronically with updates and periodic reprintings with new info.

It occurs to me, DnDBeyond appears to attempt a same 4e updatable "evergreen" approach again.
 


4e was supposed to be the "evergreen" edition, that unlike its predecessors, would evolve electronically with updates and periodic reprintings with new info.

It occurs to me, DnDBeyond appears to attempt a same 4e updatable "evergreen" approach again.
and that is why I bring it up... it didn't end well for 4e. It wasn't evergreen. the servers DID go off line and everyone lost access to there compendiums
 


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