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New GSL Announcement

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Orcus

First Post
TheLe said:
It is actually a very real choice. I have 3 books in the works for Mutations and Monsters, 2 books in the works for True20, 1 book for Earth AD, and a major release of my new ogl non-d20 book: Forgotten City.

3e has been my core focus, but to go with 4e I have to drop all those other books? Whose going to reimburse me for the money I put into those other books? Whose going to reimburse me for the loss of potential sales from those books which I may not be able to publish?

I was thinking about developing a Windows computer game someday based on chess. Maybe WOTC can put a clause in 4e that will prevent me from doing that too.

`Le

How abotu this--release those books, then go 4E. What is wrong with that?
 

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BryonD

Hero
Orcus said:
Guys, come on. This is hardly declaring war on the OGL. If there was no GSL things would be exactly as they are right now with the GSL. You choose to make 3E products all you want. It cant possibly be worse to give us more choice than we had without the GSL.
I disagree.
First just in attitude. It is bluntly an us or them stance. You even said so yourself above. It is "an attempt to close off support for 3E."

It is worse than no GSL because in the case of no GSL Open Gaming would move on. By this play, in order to maintain contact with the bulk of the market base, some publishers will be forced to abandon the Open Gaming field. I agree that some big names will likely be vastly better off sticking with their established OGL lines. But that is no credit to WotC's new stance. That is purely in spite of WotC's move.

It is a pure declaration of war on the OGL.

Yeah, WotC is a self-interested company. That is all well and good. Just imagine the howls if a self interested company such as an oil company or Halliburton made a somehow comparable move.
 

Orcus

First Post
TheLe said:
It is actually a very real choice. I have 3 books in the works for Mutations and Monsters, 2 books in the works for True20, 1 book for Earth AD, and a major release of my new ogl non-d20 book: Forgotten City.

3e has been my core focus, but to go with 4e I have to drop all those other books? Whose going to reimburse me for the money I put into those other books? Whose going to reimburse me for the loss of potential sales from those books which I may not be able to publish?

I was thinking about developing a Windows computer game someday based on chess. Maybe WOTC can put a clause in 4e that will prevent me from doing that too.

`Le

Do you have a single book in the works for 4E? If not, then what are you worried about? Publish your books for 3E, just like you were planning all along. It not like you have to tell Wizards you are going to use 4E in 3 years and thus cant do anything in the meantime.
 


Lizard

First Post
JohnRTroy said:
Actually, it's much more likely some will stick full bore, creating competition on that front. I think Green Ronin is thinking long and hard now about whether or not to do 4e adventures.

If they do, wouldn't that mean they'd need to stop publishing True 20/M&M, as they are OGL-based games?

I doubt they'd do that. Perhaps the potential sales of 4e product outweigh the strength of the brand equity they've built in those two lines, but given the new True 20 license, I really doubt it.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Orcus said:
Guys, come on. This is hardly declaring war on the OGL. If there was no GSL things would be exactly as they are right now with the GSL. You choose to make 3E products all you want. It cant possibly be worse to give us more choice than we had without the GSL.

Yes, I think the "with us or against us" mentality is not my first choice and it is a step back in open gaming. But I think everyone needs to understand that my belief is that there was a strong chance that 4E was not going to be open at all. This is a far cry better than that.

Clark, I agree that this could be worse (heck, things can always be worse), but it's somewhat hard to focus on that when things have, up until now, been better than what the GSL is offering in this regard. The OGL itself never had a restriction on what other kinds of products you could write, and even before now the GSL was never said to have this level of restriction.

Yes, things could be worse, but up until now they've been a whole lot better also.

As a practical matter, there are very few people this affects more than marginally. If you are carving out a 3E niche, then what the heck do you want to do 4E for? If you are going 4E, there is little sense in going back to 3E. I dont think there would have been many people "riding the fence," so to speak. Certainly not in the long term, anyway. Other than the company that maybe wants to do a quick 4E exploit book (which, frankly, doesnt benefit Wizards, it benefits the one-shot exploiter), there are probably very few people other than Paizo perhaps who could credibly and legitimately carried both a 4E and 3E product line, and they will get to do that with us anyway.

So this hypothetical choice that people see as being taken away is just that, a hypothetical choice. As a practical matter, all you lose is the company that might have dabbled with one or two books. And guess what, they can do those one or two books and then go back to 3E all they want.

I disagree. I know you run a successful company, so maybe you have a more accurate view of this, but I don't agree with the above.

The choice isn't hypothetical. You yourself outlined a scenario wherein someone would be producing both 4E (in books) and 3E (in compatible downloads) material. I know of several smaller PDF companies that had planned on supporting 3E and 4E simultaneously in PDF releases of products, both with different versions of the same product, and with various differing products. Some companies would be carving out a 3E niche for the same reason Paizo (your new partner) is - because it still looks viable. That they'd also be able to appeal to the 4E crowd could only help. But they don't have that option now.

This choice that is being taken out of the publishers' hands is anything but hypothetical.
 

Orcus

First Post
BryonD said:
I disagree.
First just in attitude. It is bluntly an us or them stance. You even said so yourself above. It is "an attempt to close off support for 3E."

It is worse than no GSL because in the case of no GSL Open Gaming would move on. By this play, in order to maintain contact with the bulk of the market base, some publishers will be forced to abandon the Open Gaming field. I agree that some big names will likely be vastly better off sticking with their established OGL lines. But that is no credit to WotC's new stance. That is purely in spite of WotC's move.

It is a pure declaration of war on the OGL.

Yeah, WotC is a self-interested company. That is all well and good. Just imagine the howls if a self interested company such as an oil company or Halliburton made a somehow comparable move.

I think I am going to just give my defense a rest for a few days.

It has become abundantly clear to me that some people are just going to complain and look a gift horse in the mouth. No matter what they get, it wont be enough.

I dont endorse that thinking at all.

This is not war on the OGL. Go, use the OGL all you want. Your ability to use the OGL today is no different than it was before this announcement and before you had a GSL. If you are happy using the OGL then you shouldnt care about not using the GSL.
 

TheLe

First Post
Orcus said:
Do you have a single book in the works for 4E? If not, then what are you worried about? Publish your books for 3E, just like you were planning all along. It not like you have to tell Wizards you are going to use 4E in 3 years and thus cant do anything in the meantime.

No SRD man. I wasn't in a position to bribe anyone to get it early.

I was planning on publishing 4e books once I get my hand on usable rules, but there are none in actual production now.

I have plenty of books in production for the other systems.

You know, I was planning on selling fish online on my website. Maybe WOTC can put a clause in their 4e license to prevent me from doing that too.

`Le
 

JohnRTroy

Adventurer
Lidda, a question.

How does the GSL work with third party content. (This is in reference to the "viral" question asked earlier).

Say publisher (a) rights creates some new rules in a product.

Can publisher (b) use the rules like they did in the old OGL? (Can use but must reference it in the license).

Can publisher (a) control that right so publisher (b) has to get permission from publisher (a). In other words, can publisher (a) reserve some rights so that their content won't be freely distributed on-line?
 

Pramas

Explorer
Lizard said:
If they do, wouldn't that mean they'd need to stop publishing True 20/M&M, as they are OGL-based games?

Well, that's the question, isn't it? I've asked Scott to clarify. If Linae wants to jump here though, I'd love to know. If we must choose to support the OGL or the GSL as a company, that will drastically affect our strategy.
 

Orcus

First Post
Alzrius said:
Clark, I agree that this could be worse (heck, things can always be worse), but it's somewhat hard to focus on that when things have, up until now, been better than what the GSL is offering in this regard. The OGL itself never had a restriction on what other kinds of products you could write, and even before now the GSL was never said to have this level of restriction.

Yes, things could be worse, but up until now they've been a whole lot better also.

Alzrius, sorry if I am a little frustrated. I am not frustrated at you. I think you and I have always carried on reasoned debates even if we disagree. I respect your position. I dont not agree with it. I would be happy to discuss it.

I dont see how things are worse today than yesterday. Yesterday, you had the OGL and no GSL. You couldnt make 4E products. All you had was the OGL.

Today, you have the OGL just the same as you did then. And if you dont use the GSL (just like yesterday when it didnt exist) you still continue to use the OGL unabated forever, as was your plan without the GSL.

Instead, today, you have an additional option--you can use the GSL if you forgoe the OGL. You can say no to that. And if you do, you get the OGL just like you had yesterday, unfettered and free and no access to 4E. Just like yesterday.

So today you have a new choice. And EXTRA choice you didnt have yesterday. Now, you may not like that choice. You may wish that use of teh GSL didnt require you to give up the OGL. In a perfect world, I do too. But you cant say you are worse off. Nor was yesterday better. It was the same--you use the OGL exclusively and you have no access to 4E content. Whether you use the OGL and dont have access to 4E content because there is no GSL (yesterday) or because you choose not to use the GSL (today) your right and power to use the OGL is the same.
 

BryonD

Hero
Orcus said:
I think I am going to just give my defense a rest for a few days.

It has become abundantly clear to me that some people are just going to complain and look a gift horse in the mouth. No matter what they get, it wont be enough.

I dont endorse that thinking at all.

This is not war on the OGL. Go, use the OGL all you want. Your ability to use the OGL today is no different than it was before this announcement and before you had a GSL. If you are happy using the OGL then you shouldnt care about not using the GSL.
I respect you greatly Clark, but I think you are avoiding the point.
Yeah *I* can go either way. But I'm not talking about ME. I'm talking about the community. Established publishers are being told they must either give away their freedom to publish under the OGL or lose a big portion of their market base that they had up until now.

If you want to say that they had no right to that market base anyway and it was just a gift, then fine. Then look at it a different way. They have the OGL, but WotC is using its name status to bribe/extort (and no, I don't mean those in any criminal sense) existing OGL publishers into giving up that freedom.

This gift horse is of the Trojan variety.
 

mxyzplk

Explorer
It's not necessarily "illegal" to use sweatshops in Singapore and test chemicals on poor folks in Africa, but the almighty power of capitalism doesn't make it right or indicate people should be happy about it.


Mouseferatu said:
I don't think anyone who actually thinks it through should be mad at WotC. This is, frankly, a smart move. They're already letting other companies use their IP and property; why should they do that and still have those companies driving sales/customers to a system that no longer supports WotC itself?

I'm not at all surprised by this restriction.
 

Orcus

First Post
TheLe said:
No SRD man. I wasn't in a position to bribe anyone to get it early.

I'm not sure what you mean by that, but I have a funny feeling I wont like it.

"bribe" is a pretty strong word. I'd appreciate it if you perhaps reconsidered your word choice.

Lets stick to reasoned discourse and not those kind of insinuations, please, if you dont mind.
 

Orcus

First Post
BryonD said:
Established publishers are being told they must either give away their freedom to publish under the OGL or lose a big portion of their market base that they had up until now.

Up till now, they did not have any access to the 4E market base. I'm not sure what you mean by that.

Clark
 

Orcus

First Post
BryonD said:
I respect you greatly Clark, but I think you are avoiding the point.
Yeah *I* can go either way. But I'm not talking about ME. I'm talking about the community. Established publishers are being told they must either give away their freedom to publish under the OGL or lose a big portion of their market base that they had up until now.

If you want to say that they had no right to that market base anyway and it was just a gift, then fine. Then look at it a different way. They have the OGL, but WotC is using its name status to bribe/extort (and no, I don't mean those in any criminal sense) existing OGL publishers into giving up that freedom.

This gift horse is of the Trojan variety.

Dont get me wrong, I wish that term wasnt a part of the license. Its not my preference. If you ask me:

Clark, would you prefer:

1. A GSL that let you still use the OGL but just not in the same product, or
2. A GSL that made you forgo ever using the OGL again.

Clearly, I would pick (1).

I think this shows just how close this whole thing was to not being open at all.

Clark
 

JohnRTroy

Adventurer
I don't think we should compare serious abuses of corporations that affect human rights and health in the world to that of a game publisher getting a little more control over their content, so can we stop the comparison to sweatshops, medical testing, war and oil companies please. Let's not trivialize the serious.
 

Orcus

First Post
BryonD said:
This gift horse is of the Trojan variety.

That may be. :)

All the more reason not to look in its mouth... (the trap door in the belly, on the other hand, you might want to be ready for).

I wont deny this is a strong play by Wizards. But just in the time I have posted these thoughts, I could probably have come up with one or more workarounds.
 

Scott_Rouse

Explorer
BryonD said:
But beyond that, this isn't just leaving 3E behind. They can not take back the OGL. But this is a blatant attempt to burn and pillage and salt the fields of the Open Gaming Community. I think it is ok to be mad at that kind of destructive move.

We have invested multiple 7 figures in the development of 4e so can you tell me why we would want publishers to support a system that we have moved away from?

This is not spite, malice or some evil scorched earth policy. Yes, we want people to make 4e books and stop making 3.x. Does that surprise you?

It won't surprise me if the GSL is not for everyone. If M&M, C&C, Conan, or other OGL stand-alones are successful enough for those publishers to sustain their business more power to them. You'll get to buy their books in the future. If not, then they can jump on our license and take advantage of some pretty good perks including getting to use the most valuable trademark in PnP RPGs on their products and gain access to our IP/PI.
 
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Orcus

First Post
JohnRTroy said:
I don't think we should compare serious abuses of corporations that affect human rights and health in the world to that of a game publisher getting a little more control over their content, so can we stop the comparison to sweatshops, medical testing, war and oil companies please.

Agreed. Our nerd rage is up, for sure. But that is stretching it even for the internet :)
 

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