Paizo How will OGL 1.1 affect Pazio, PF1 and P2?

Yeah, my understanding is if the new OGL stands, Paizo will be in violation and can be sued by WotC (or sign the license and pay 25% - which would be terrible financially.)
So I expect this is the end of Pathfinder and all other OGL compatible content unless they come out with a 3E that doesn't use the OGL.

More likely Pathfinder sues WotC for various things wins and OGL 1.1 is scrapped (even more likely is it never gets released).
 

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JThursby

Adventurer
Yeah, from that is sounds like - for Paizo at least - simply not using the OGL is a possibly viable route out of this.
I imagine most publishers are thinking along similar lines, assuming that it's open as a possibility for them. Even if the 1.1 OGL draft forever remains a draft, Wizards has opened the Pandora's box by introducing the possibility that OGL 1.0a can be ended and they can peruse legal action against you. Previously, a game leaving the OGL would have been a killer headline; "Paizo abandons open gaming for it's 2nd edition!" would have be a PR nightmare. Now, leaving the OGL is simply the prudent thing to do, and nobody would fault anyone for taking refuge from potential litigation.
 

Retreater

Legend
Wonder if they could just reprint the core book without the OGL? Since they've already been using it, that could show Hasbro's lawyers that PF2 was actually using it.
 


FormerLurker

Adventurer
I don't understand the commentators saying that Paizo's only remaining move is to roll over and die. Do people think they are some mom-and-pop shop with no money whatsoever?
Do you know the best way to make a small fortune in tabletop gaming?
Start with a large fortune.

They're not some mom-and-pop but they're also not a huge corporation with $100 million just collecting dust in the vaults. Employees cost money. Staff salaries alone likely cost Paizo half-a-million monthly. Plus office space. Plus the printing runs for a half-dozen hardcover books: $10 to print, times 200,000 copies is a couple million per book.
They can't just sit around and burn money for six months or a year. Heck, they couldn't even stop selling PF1 books while building to PF2 and needed to sell playtests to recoup development costs.
That they had never once considered the possibility that the OGL may come under attack and have no plan, no response? The vast majority of their product is already legally distinct from D&D now, they can just rip out the OGL and replace it with something else going forward if they really have to.
But they didn't. And the old product still uses it.
They'd have to go through and re-edit all their old PF2 books to make sure they're non-OGL compliant.
In what universe is a single legal battle (assuming one is fought at all) going to be harder to withstand than the entirety of the Pandemic? If the company was so fragile and on a razor's edge of going kaput, Covid would have killed them first. There's also the ability to just run a big sale if they need quick capital. Or they can get a loan. Lots of possibilities out there without just declaring defeat without a fight.
How can you run a big sale if the majority of your content can't be sold?
Loans are an option. But require collateral. And if they lose the legal fight, they'll never be able to repay the loan.
And as you imply, the pandemic would have also hurt them hard. Shrunk their reserves. This could be the one-two punch that takes them down.
It's not like larger gaming companies haven't folded...
 




Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I've seen some speculation that PF2E is far enough away from the 3E SRD that it doesn't actually need the OGL, and that they can simply strip the OGL from the book and use some other license to allow their 3PP commubity to produce for it. I don't know how valid that is.
The one thing that concerns me about that is if they do that, and WotC files suit against them on the grounds that PF2 infringes on 3.5 D&D (since that's the SRD that it uses) – which I don't think is likely, but then again I didn't think it was likely that WotC would try to kill the OGL v1.0a entirely – then Paizo might be in an awkward position if WotC asserts that them (Paizo) using the OGL and 3.5 SRD in PF2 is a tacit admission that its game mechanics are based off of D&D. (That quote above says otherwise, but I wonder how convincing a judge would find that.)
 

JThursby

Adventurer
then Paizo might be in an awkward position if WotC asserts that them (Paizo) using the OGL and 3.5 SRD in PF2 is a tacit admission that its game mechanics are based off of D&D.
They would need to proffer a specific, compelling instance of a breach of the OGL 1.0a terms. They can't just say that using the Open Game License is in and of itself an admission of intent to breach copyright, that would be cartoonish and absurd.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
The one thing that concerns me about that is if they do that, and WotC files suit against them on the grounds that PF2 infringes on 3.5 D&D (since that's the SRD that it uses) – which I don't think is likely, but then again I didn't think it was likely that WotC would try to kill the OGL v1.0a entirely – then Paizo might be in an awkward position if WotC asserts that them (Paizo) using the OGL and 3.5 SRD in PF2 is a tacit admission that its game mechanics are based off of D&D. (That quote above says otherwise, but I wonder how convincing a judge would find that.)
For me the worry is more that if they do, they aren't the ones who will fight this for us.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
They would need to proffer a specific, compelling instance of a breach of the OGL 1.0a terms. They can't just say that using the Open Game License is in and of itself an admission of intent to breach copyright, that would be cartoonish and absurd.
I don't think you understood what I was saying; I was purporting that if Paizo released PF2 without using the OGL, putting forward the idea that the game is different enough from D&D that it stands on its own as an independent product, then the fact that it previously used the OGL could potentially undercut that claim.
 

JThursby

Adventurer
I don't think you understood what I was saying;
Let me see if I understand correctly then.
The one thing that concerns me about that is if they do that, and WotC files suit against them on the grounds that PF2 infringes on 3.5 D&D (since that's the SRD that it uses)
This is what you think Wizards would sue Paizo over: their current product line being a copyright infringement on their IP. The evidence they would bring is that Pathfinder used to be an OGL product, and then re-released as a re-tooled version without the use of the OGL anywhere. The argument being that because Pathfinder originally depended on the OGL it as a product is inextricably linked to D&D, and making an OGL-less version is a breach of copyrighted material because of that previous association. I do not think that has any merit.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
I would very much like to be able to just profess general encouragement and to offer vaguely well-meaning hopes for the best.

But I can't. I found the PF2 rules so excruciatingly ill fitted for their purpose that I can't turn away from the realization that if this here OGL debacle prompts Paizo to switch to another set of rules to use for their future Golarion adventures, that'd be a good thing.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Let me see if I understand correctly then.

This is what you think Wizards would sue Paizo over: their current product line being a copyright infringement on their IP.
You missed the part where I said "if they do that." The "do that" in question was in reference to Morrus' post about stripping the OGL out of PF2 and publishing it that way (albeit with a different license to let third-parties publish compatible material).

Their current product line is the one that right now is under the OGL, which hasn't been revoked yet, and so isn't an infringement. Publishing it as it is, without the OGL, though? That might be.
The argument being that because Pathfinder originally depended on the OGL it as a product is inextricably linked to D&D
No, that because Pathfinder was originally dependent on the OGL and the 3.5 SRD, releasing a version of it that was identical to the one they're currently making, save for stripping out the OGL, would be potentially an infringement on WotC's copyright. Or rather, that WotC could potentially push that claim.
 


JThursby

Adventurer
Their current product line is the one that right now is under the OGL, which hasn't been revoked yet, and so isn't an infringement. Publishing it as it is, without the OGL, though? That might be.
From the Paizo management quote I posted earlier, it appears that Paizo believes 2e is distinct enough that it could have been published without the OGL (probably with some minor alterations to some spell and creature names). They've already done their homework and do not depend on the old SRD.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
From the Paizo management quote I posted earlier, it appears that Paizo believes 2e is distinct enough that it could have been published without the OGL (probably with some minor alterations to some spell and creature names). They've already done their homework and do not depend on the old SRD.
That's the claim they're making; it's far from inconceivable that WotC would refute that idea, and whether or not they're correct would be up for a judge to decide.
 


FormerLurker

Adventurer
Paizo doesn't pay $10 to print a book. Even ENP doesn't pay anywhere near that, and our economies of scale are literally orders of magnitude lower than Paizo's. When you're printing that many books the cost per unit is tiny. Trust me, I do this for a living.
Ballparking based on the "20/20/20/40" rule where you spend 20% on printing, 20% on distribution, and the store/ retailer gets 40% with the publisher getting 20% to offset costs. Because it's a good baseline. With a $50 book that's $10 to Paizo and $10 to the printer.
Not precisely accurate, at Paizo also sells directly so they also get a taste of the retailer money. And there's also now shipping costs from the printer to factor in, which have gone up and up.
But it's a good rule of thumb and starting point for back-of-the-envelope math.
It's not like anyone is sharing more precise numbers...

Of course, the number I threw out was just printing and didn't take into account the other production costs: art, writing, editing, layout. And since Paizo doesn't collect from crowdsourcing, that would all have been paid in advance.

Take what it cost you to do a Level Up core book then triple the art budget and that's how much they might be in the whole. For three or four books.
 

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