Do you think this OGL fiasco will be good or bad for the RPG industry on the whole?


Edit: Lets go YES - For good (positive) and No - For Bad (negative), for clarity.

With Paizo saying they have sold 8 months stock of the 2nd Ed Pathfinder in two weeks, a surge in order for the Beginners Box and are now expecting more stock in April. Chaosium saying they have sold all their Starter Sets months in advance and are now waiting on restocks in Feb and March.

Then there is Paizo's ORC open license initiative, which is gaining a lot of steam, Mongoose Opening Traveller Content, Kobold Press' Black Flag project, etc.

Do you think WotC's "rolling a 1", is actually going to turn out to be healthy for the industry as a whole.
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Financially I think it's going to be massively bad - the market as a whole will diminish, a number of 3pp (especially smaller ones) will simply disappear, and WotC and D&D have taken a big hit to the PR which I'm sure will impact on the movie, D&D Beyond and (mostly) One D&D when it launches. I don't think anyone is going to come out of this as a winner.

The one silver lining is that what is left will probably be more diverse, and less skewed towards D&D ridiculous market dominance. So creatively is might just end up being somewhat positive.


#1 Enworld Jerk™
Yeah, for me, as a consumer who also enjoys games that are not D&D and misses bespoke systems being more common, the silver lining is real.

If you are a 3PP, especially one who relies on a significant amount of open game content that may or may not ever get updated to a license you update your product to, yeah it be real bad, dawg.


Nobody knows.

Asking the question now would have been like asking whether 5E would be the biggest edition of D&D ever before knowing Felicia Day was starting her YouTube channel Geek & Sundry and bringing in a few voice actor friends to play their home D&D game live on stream.

For all we know... in five years time WotC's 3DVTT has become an absolute monster with hundreds of thousands of players playing their games online daily, and hundreds or thousands of designers are selling their 3rd party products through it to be used (even using whatever new version of the OGL WotC ended up on) and the game is bigger than ever.

Or... they can't get their VTT to work... Critical Role moves on from "playing a game" of their campaigns and just decides to do long-form improv instead... and another hobby comes to the forefront for a decade and RPGs are subsumed into the cultural fringes once again.

We have no conceivable idea and it's silly to make any declarations or even try to guess.

The last time WoTC screwed up, Paizo came out with Pathfinder 1st Edition. As a result, Pathfinder ascended to the #1 spot for a couple of years. Third Party producers began to produce a lot of Pathfinder content for 1st Edition Pathfinder.

History is repeating itself.

So I think this OGL fiasco is a good thing. Right now though, it's a major annoyance.


Jedi Master
I voted it's complicated. In the short term, this is bad for WotC and especially for the 3PPs who are facing so much uncertainty thanks to Wizards dumb move. In the long run, my sense is that TTRPGs will come out stronger than ever. It will be better for Open Gaming to no longer be tied to a single, massive publisher. A true competitor to WotC may arise out of the disaster, and that will be good for consumers.

D&D needs the new ideas created by 3PPs, and the rest of TTRPG publishers need WotC as the icebreaker ship promoting the hobby and atracting a new generation of players.

Hasbro has to forget the idea they can create a monopoly in the digital market, because they rest of megacorporations can create their own CRPG and VTT, and these can hire more lawyers. And even who wins in the justice trials doesn't matter too much when everbody loses prestige.

It is "good" in certain sense because the blunder is literally historical, but they should learn the lesson to not repeat the same mistake again. They will have to awake, open the eye, smarten up, learn their lesson. We are not compulsive buyer zombies. We don't spend our money in a business who doesn't respect us because they think they can cheat us to pay more really necessary. We aren't spendaholic.

They are closed within their buble, within the ivory tower, and they have forgotten the real consumer has to save money to can pay the bills.

They have to understand the business aren't only products and services, but also the trust by partners and customers, and the prestige for your work. The last two things can't be sold or bought, but earned by your own merits.

Some times you can make a lot of money in the digital market, but there are lots of failed projects, even by the biggest companies.


If D&D suffers, I expect that other publishers will see a bump. But I also think some of the newer fans who came in with 5e may just quit playing. This isn't directly because of the OGL, it's because the official 5e content will slow. Fewer adventures and supplements released means that interest will wane among some groups.
Because I'm an older gamer with experience (and love) for other systems, I'm pleased to see them get a boost.
However, let's take my group of 7 players (mostly all teenagers just learning 5e). I don't see most of them wanting to go to Pathfinder or Level Up or Call of Cthulhu.

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