Gizmodo Reveals OGL v1.1's 'Term Sheet' Carrots For Selected Publishers

In December, WotC arranged meetings under NDA with a number of prominent third party 5E OGL creators in order to persuade them to sign up to the new Open Game License v1.1. before it was revealed to the world. Part of this approach included 'Term Sheets'. According to Gizmodo, which has sources at Wizards of the Coast, these term sheets offered: A 15% instead of 25% royalty Marketing on D&D...

In December, WotC arranged meetings under NDA with a number of prominent third party 5E OGL creators in order to persuade them to sign up to the new Open Game License v1.1. before it was revealed to the world.

Part of this approach included 'Term Sheets'. According to Gizmodo, which has sources at Wizards of the Coast, these term sheets offered:
  • A 15% instead of 25% royalty
  • Marketing on D&D Beyond (but not at times when WotC had its own releases)
It's not clear whether any publishers actually signed the contract at the time.

WotC has since walked back some of the terms in the upcoming OGL v1.1, but the OGL v1.0a still remains slated for 'de-authorization'.

According to an anonymous source who was in the room, in late 2022 Wizards of the Coast gave a presentation to a group of about 20 third-party creators that outlined the new OGL 1.1. These creators were also offered deals that would supersede the publicly available OGL 1.1; Gizmodo has received a copy of that document, called a “Term Sheet,” that would be used to outline specific custom contracts within the OGL.

These “sweetheart” deals would entitle signatories to lower royalty payments—15 percent instead of 25 percent on excess revenue over $750,000, as stated in the OGL 1.1—and a commitment from Wizards of the Coast to market these third-party products on various D&D Beyond channels and platforms, except during “blackout periods” around WotC’s own releases.

It was expected that third parties would sign these Term Sheets. Noah Downs, a lawyer in the table-top RPG space who was consulted on the conditions of one of these contracts, stated that even though the sheets included language suggesting negotiation was possible, he got the impression there wasn’t much room for change.

 

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dbolack

Adventurer
D&D Beyond claimed almost 10 million users last spring before the purchase and Wizards of the Coast stated...crap I can't remember and can't find the EN World article right now but it was either 14 million or 16 million back around October (give or take a month) during a shareholder presentation. I think it was the one before the infamous "undermonetized" one.
Thank you. That's something I have been wondering about but not quite enough to research. I think the exact number doesn't matter other than the number of digits is more than adequate.
 

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Tazawa

Adventurer
If they'd moved quickly enough to completely reverse direction they could have saved their jobs before things hit the tipping point that they have, all attempts at saving the new OGL is making it worse, to the point every day this crisis continues the likely hood CEO Chris Cocks, WotC President Cynthia Williams and VP of D&D end up fired and looking for new jobs goes up exponentially.

Hasbro’s next earnings call will be soon. Expect this and MTG to be raised as questions. I’ve got to think they want it resolved before any uncertainty has an impact on the stock price.

If they don’t have clear answers, they could be in trouble with the market. Any time a company makes it to the mainstream media for screwing up (and they have), short sellers take notice.
 


Ranger REG

Explorer
Hasbro’s next earnings call will be soon. Expect this and MTG to be raised as questions. I’ve got to think they want it resolved before any uncertainty has an impact on the stock price.

If they don’t have clear answers, they could be in trouble with the market. Any time a company makes it to the mainstream media for screwing up (and they have), short sellers take notice.
I wonder if shareholders are aware of the backlash and not through just the mainstream media but througn those devoted to Open Gaming movement.
 


Scribe

Legend
I should ask if there's any way to tell what my RRSP or my son's RESP portfolio has. If our funds include Hasbro stock, mebbe I should reach out to the fund manager or something.
Depends on your provider, but yes, it should I think be possible to see this.
 

Staffan

Legend
The DMs Guild has two fees built in. I can't remember if it's 25% to DriveThru/OneBookShelf and 25% to WotC or if it's 30% to OBS and 20% to WotC off the top of my head. Either way, it's part licensing fee to access WotC IP that isn't covered by the OGL and part distribution fee to OBS.
OBS normally takes 35%, or 30% if your product is OBS-exclusive. DM's Guild takes 50%, but I don't think it specifies what goes where (and it's not really any of our business). It's definitely a possibility that OBS gets a smaller percentage.
 

Abstruse

Legend
OBS normally takes 35%, or 30% if your product is OBS-exclusive. DM's Guild takes 50%, but I don't think it specifies what goes where (and it's not really any of our business). It's definitely a possibility that OBS gets a smaller percentage.
The information's out there somewhere. There was controversy a year or two ago where a big charity bundle where OBS stated they've given up their share of the royalties but WotC wasn't because WotC hadn't approved it yet. It was a big deal because it looked like WotC was skimming off the top of a charity fundraising effort when they just hadn't been asked about it yet. Either way, it came out then who was getting how much of the 50%.
 


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