OGL Is Alta Fox the reason for OGL 1.1?

I am sure ALt Fox has a big part they played... I think having computer people in charge that knew that Open Source stuff got updated 10 years ago and the OGL didn't most likely planted the seed... a lawyer (oh hate them) and an accountant (love those guys they are the best) figured out a way to manipulate the OGL in a way to 'maximize profits'

However known of it would have started if the board didn't look at wotc
 

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@GreyLord : I didn't want to imply that Microsoft in any way have become nice guys. They are still very much about smothering competition and gaining any advantage they can. It's just that I think they should understand the network externalities Dancey talked about.

Also, specifically Windows is a case where you notice that home users are no longer their focus. Most of their money comes from business users and cloud services. And IMO the reason why they gave update Windows 10 and 11 away for free for a long time is that home users make nice guinea pigs that can save them money they'd otherwise need to spend on internal QA.
 


pukunui

Legend
According to one of my players, who is a corporate lawyer, it’s the Blackstone investment bankers who are to blame. They’re the sort who go in, buy up a company, chew it up for every last bit of short-term profit, then toss away the carcass. He says they’re a major Hasbro shareholder.
 

According to one of my players, who is a corporate lawyer, it’s the Blackstone investment bankers who are to blame. They’re the sort who go in, buy up a company, chew it up for every last bit of short-term profit, then toss away the carcass. He says they’re a major Hasbro shareholder.

Blackstone is also linked to the nightmare of corporate civil war and failure that Disney has become. Not surprised they are screwing up Hasbro as well. Not enough being the slumlords of world, they have wreck everything.
 

Blackstone is also linked to the nightmare of corporate civil war and failure that Disney has become. Not surprised they are screwing up Hasbro as well. Not enough being the slumlords of world, they have wreck everything.

Were both confusing Blackstone with Blackrock. Below are the top investors in Hasbro, Vanguard Group is also EXTREMELY bad news, especially as the biggest one, followed by Blackrock itself.

No wonder everything turned to complete naughty word, folks are blaming Alt Fox, misrepresenting their goals, its Blackrock and Vanguard that are bad apples.

I feel sick, D&D is so screwed, we all so screwed.

Top 10 Owners of Hasbro Inc​

StockholderStakeShares
owned
Total value ($)Shares
bought / sold
Total
change
The Vanguard Group, Inc.10.57%14,601,691917,278,229+511,507+3.63%
BlackRock Fund Advisors5.37%7,420,533466,157,883+144,395+1.98%
SSgA Funds Management, Inc.3.78%5,225,370328,257,743+31,490+0.61%
Janus Henderson Investors US LLC3.15%4,351,387273,354,131+602,616+16.08%
Capital Research & Management Co....3.13%4,318,435271,284,087-2,871,000-39.93%
Boston Partners Global Investors,...2.44%3,371,709211,810,759+174,524+5.46%
Alta Fox Capital Management LLC2.29%3,162,133198,645,195+20,000+0.64%
Charles Schwab Investment Managem...2.03%2,799,009175,833,745+228,592+8.89%
Geode Capital Management LLC1.94%2,679,186168,306,465+42,315+1.60%
The London Company of Virginia LL...1.74%2,396,538150,550,517-16,877-0.70%
 

Bayushi_seikuro

Adventurer
Very interesting discussion in this thread, so thank you all. This is actually quelling all the negativity I've been feeling towards humans in general on both sides of this.

Understanding the push AF made makes sense. Remember, most board of directors I believe tend to be ran by... well, people representing their own businesses/interests, primarily profit.

If we're in a situation where most of the people sitting on this board get their understanding of 'systems' from tech... no wonder this board doesn't feel that 'giving away' the engine that everything is built on is a good idea. And I can almost guarantee at some point, one of their lawyers told them that the original OGL had no true meaning as a precedent because they knew they could go to a judge and argue there's no direct case law equating written creative works to software (I get that code is a 'written work' and no doubt has its own precedents). People can say or argue what they want, but until you have a judge officially sign on the line which is dotted, it's all a mental exercise. Even on things that DO have established case law and are assumed settled, you see decisions that pitch those. It's all in the reading.

All businesses make mistakes. All businesses, and humans, make unforced errors that have unforseen effects. A perfect example was when AT&T went to buy Tmobile here in America because Deutch Telecom wanted to get rid of it. AT&T was so 100% sure it would go through - since AT&T would be the most sensible buyout since they used the same tech - that AT&T put a clause in that they would pay $5B to Tmo if it didn't go through. No one wanted to see the Ma Bell reform, so they nixed it, and Tmo got a giant warchest for nothing ... and now? Even if Tmo isn't getting your money directly, they no doubt get it when you use Boost or Mint, etc.

I hope the general vitriol that has gone on has died down. This isn't about 'one side won' or 'They caved'. I hope the net end result will be that those who want to play D&D will still be able to in whatever form they choose or is offered, and those who want to pursue one of these other licenses will enjoy and spread the hobby. And hopefully these other licenses will have the foresight to NOT assume anything and actually put the verbage 'irrevocable' in the document this time.
 

Steel_Wind

Legend
Wizards of the Coast makes up 70% of Hasbro's income year to year.
This is not accurate. Traditional toys make up about 75-80% of Hasbro's revenue (~3.7 billion). WotC is about 1 to 1.1billion. But when it comes to profits, WotC's profit margin is about 46% of its revenues, and 70% of Hasbro's profit.

M:TG and 5e are both extremely profitable compared to the other products Hasbro sells. Profit per unit on M:TG and on 5e books and digital products are much higher than Hasbro's traditional toys and boardgames. That's why WotC drives Hasbro's overall profits.

There isn't much more room to squeeze money out of M:TG -- indeed -- 2022 releases suggest that WotC has gone too far with product offerings and is doing active harm to their overall market. D&D on the other hand, is "under-monetized". They could make more money with it as D&D players don't spend enough to play (and DMs buy 80% of the products). That is an objectively true statement.

That observation has lead us to this point with the OGL and, in part, why this week's debacle has unfolded as it has. Even then, it really isn't the reason though. Had WotC bought Foundry VTT for a pittance, say, as a stop-gap defender brand, and amended the OGL to remove VTTs from the OGL 1.0a (and left it at that) my guess is there would have been some squawking for a few days here and on discord -- and that would have been it. They would have entirely gotten away with it.

But when you start a management directive on "under-monetization" that amounts to directing your managers to go grubbing for quarters down the side of the couch -- you end up with a royalty proposal like just happened with 1.1 of the OGL. It was stupid, just STUPID that would never have earned WotC all that much money, but was all but certain to lead to this gross harm to their goodwill among gamers.

Dumb. Just.... DUMB.
And then the OGL 1.1 is handed to Paizo and other companies with an NDA and a demand to sign it.
To be clear, there is no evidence that Paizo received a copy of the OGL 1.1 and there is every reason to think that they probably didn't. They don't make products for 5e. They have released one book, to date, that fits that description (A Kingmaker 5e Bestiary) -- though there is one more slated for June 2023 (Abominations Vaults 5e).
 


Were both confusing Blackstone with Blackrock. Below are the top investors in Hasbro, Vanguard Group is also EXTREMELY bad news, especially as the biggest one, followed by Blackrock itself.

No wonder everything turned to complete naughty word, folks are blaming Alt Fox, misrepresenting their goals, its Blackrock and Vanguard that are bad apples.

I feel sick, D&D is so screwed, we all so screwed.

Top 10 Owners of Hasbro Inc​

StockholderStakeShares
owned
Total value ($)Shares
bought / sold
Total
change
The Vanguard Group, Inc.10.57%14,601,691917,278,229+511,507+3.63%
BlackRock Fund Advisors5.37%7,420,533466,157,883+144,395+1.98%
SSgA Funds Management, Inc.3.78%5,225,370328,257,743+31,490+0.61%
Janus Henderson Investors US LLC3.15%4,351,387273,354,131+602,616+16.08%
Capital Research & Management Co....3.13%4,318,435271,284,087-2,871,000-39.93%
Boston Partners Global Investors,...2.44%3,371,709211,810,759+174,524+5.46%
Alta Fox Capital Management LLC2.29%3,162,133198,645,195+20,000+0.64%
Charles Schwab Investment Managem...2.03%2,799,009175,833,745+228,592+8.89%
Geode Capital Management LLC1.94%2,679,186168,306,465+42,315+1.60%
The London Company of Virginia LL...1.74%2,396,538150,550,517-16,877-0.70%
What that table tells me is that ownership is so distributed that no single shareholder is likely to be calling the shots. The top 10 shareholders between them don't even own 40% of the shares, they couldn't pass a binding AGM motion between them even if they all did agree unanimously on something.

That tells me it's more likely the board who's running the show. They'll largely be self-selected. When a board seat opens up, they'll select a suggested replacement (who'll inevitably be someone who thinks the same as the incumbents, perhaps in collaboration with major shareholders) and place their name before the shareholders, who will almost certainly approve the nomination barring extreme circumstances (if you're on a board and the shareholders knock back your board nomination, it's time to start thinking about your career options). Given Vanguard is at 11% ownership they probably have one of their people on the board, but that'd be about all.

Disclaimer: i worked at Vanguard up until quite recently. My job was in IT rather than investment, so I can't really have an opinion on their investment management strategies since I know very little about them.
 


What that table tells me is that ownership is so distributed that no single shareholder is likely to be calling the shots. The top 10 shareholders between them don't even own 40% of the shares, they couldn't pass a binding AGM motion between them even if they all did agree unanimously on something.

That tells me it's more likely the board who's running the show. They'll largely be self-selected. When a board seat opens up, they'll select a suggested replacement (who'll inevitably be someone who thinks the same as the incumbents, perhaps in collaboration with major shareholders) and place their name before the shareholders, who will almost certainly approve the nomination barring extreme circumstances (if you're on a board and the shareholders knock back your board nomination, it's time to start thinking about your career options). Given Vanguard is at 11% ownership they probably have one of their people on the board, but that'd be about all.

Disclaimer: i worked at Vanguard up until quite recently. My job was in IT rather than investment, so I can't really have an opinion on their investment management strategies since I know very little about them.

Those who don't own enough shares can't vote according to Hasbros own constitution, so the tiny investors might as well not exist for the purposes of deciding board members.
 







Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Wizards of the Coast makes up 70% of Hasbro's income year to year. With D&D a sizeable portion of that, but, y'know, Magic the Gathering is also doing well.

Um... M:tG fans have been widely criticizing WotC's handling of the game recently. This was backed up by a 23% drop in game sales revenue in Q3


Specifically, for unknown reasons WotC chose to flood the market with recent releases, vastly reducing the value of cards in the aftermarket.

I think this has less to do with Alta Fox, and more with how, in aligning the company behind WotC as the revenue lead, they have been trying to run it like Hasbro is used to running things - aiming at ubiquitous sales of casual, low-engagement products.

D&D and M:tG aren't low-engagement products, and their core audiences aren't all that causal about them.
 
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Clint_L

Hero
I don't think the OGL was "Devaluing" D&D at all.

It made other people money, yes, but the biggest seller D&D always has is the PHB. And to use 3pp OGL compliant materials you needed the PHB/DMG/MM/Etc.
But that's exactly the problem, from Hasbro's perspective. You have this incredible well known brand, and you're mostly using it to sell...rule books? That's like if Marvel stayed focused on just selling comics. They were looking at WotC and asking why MtG, with very limited brand recognition beyond gamers, was making so much more money for them than D&D, with almost universal brand recognition.

From the bean counters' perspective, the OGL wasn't doing much for D&D at all, because they see book sales to gamers as a drop in the potential bucket. I'm sure they anticipated some pushback (not a fraction of what they got, of course) but were willing to risk it because they were much more interested in locking down the IP for the potential entertainment revenues, VTT revenues, and ancillary revenues.
 

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