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Iosue

Hero
But that's the beauty of not saying "it's not coming." If they instead say, "it's coming eventually, here's the DMs Guild for right now," and things don't go well without an OGL, they can release an OGL.

I believe they'll go DMs Guild first if for no other reason than it's already set up; Wizards needs to do absolutely no new work for it to work. The OGL, someone has to strip out all the material they don't want. Then several people have to check it and ask for changes. It won't be a high priority because bit doesn't have a "in store release date" and they don't directly make money off it. So it will be done when people get around to it.

It took Wizards 3 years to come out with an OGL version of 5e. Do you think they're going to be in a rush for 6e? Probably not. Imagine if they finally release an OGL version of 6e three years after the launch with the DMs Guild bring the only license that whole time. What will the landscape look like at that point? Will people be interested in an OGL product after having spelljammer and planescape conversation documents for three years. Probably less than you'd imagine.
I think you're somewhat misunderstanding the terms here. Wizards won't release an "OGL". The Open Gaming License already exists, and it's out of Wizards' hands. The question is whether they will release an updated SRD (System Reference Document) under the OGL. Anything designated as Open Gaming Content (in 5e's case, the SRD) is perpetually open and available ("In consideration for agreeing to use this License, the Contributors grant You a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license with the exact terms of this License to Use, the Open Game Content.")

So let us say that Wizards do as you suggest; they don't put out an updated SRD for two or three years. What effect will that have? Little to none. 5e is already out there, free, open, forever. If the engine of the next iteration (i.e., the math, the resolution systems) remains the same, then third parties will continue to make their D&D-related content and non-D&D games powered by 5e.

(And it's worth keeping in mind that the industry is much more resilient to "OGL shock" than it was in 2003 when the shift to 3.5 happened. For one, 5e is less tightly integrated than 3.0 and 3.5, so there's less chance of any changes invalidating whole swaths of products. And two, in 2003, the RPG industry was still print-based, and reliant upon distribution of physical inventory to sales channels. Now, most products are financed and distributed through Kickstarter, allowing the creators to keep their inventory lean, and come in both physical (print-on-demand) and PDF form, meaning that it's much easier to integrate errata/revisions in new printings.)

So we're back to Wizards having to fundamentally change the game in order to shut down the OGL market. And they're not going to do that. So it's more likely they will release an updated SRD relatively quickly, in order to take best advantage of that market. Because it's going to exist whether they like it or not.
 

dmccoy1693

Adventurer
Publisher
I think you're somewhat misunderstanding the terms here. Wizards won't release an "OGL". The Open Gaming License already exists, and it's out of Wizards' hands. The question is whether they will release an updated SRD (System Reference Document) under the OGL. Anything designated as Open Gaming Content (in 5e's case, the SRD) is perpetually open and available ("In consideration for agreeing to use this License, the Contributors grant You a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license with the exact terms of this License to Use, the Open Game Content.")

Ok, dude. I'm a publisher that has been working with the OGL for 13 years. I know the OGL backwards and forwards. On top of that, I'm a legal professional. So I do understand the nuances of the license rather well. I also understand that the general public doesn't understand much of this, nor do they need to. So I write less jargon-heavy blog/forum posts that more people would understand, and those in the know would easily understand what I'm talking about. Which you obviously did, so kudos to you for being on the inside.

And to demonstrate that I do know what I am talking about, here is a link to one of the first—if not the first, 5e compatible product on the market. It was released 7 months before the 5e SRD was released. I wrote it. I published it. I used existing OGL material out there to create it. I know how to work the OGL.

So we're back to Wizards having to fundamentally change the game in order to shut down the OGL market. And they're not going to do that. So it's more likely they will release an updated SRD relatively quickly, in order to take best advantage of that market. Because it's going to exist whether they like it or not.
I said nothing about "shutting down the OGL market." I've watched Wizards for close to 20 years, and I can honestly say that they don't care about any publishers other than themselves in any competition type of sense anyways. They have no interest in shutting down the OGL market. Doing so would be unnecessary work on their part that would see little in the way of profits and harm in terms of goodwill that customers have towards them. They themselves are 60+% of the market. They don't need to cater to the rest.

They will put out new open content when they want to, be that 5 days after launch or 5 years, or not at all. My money is on "not at all" this time around.
 
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