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New GSL Announcement

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Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Orcus said:
I really hoped that the GSL would put an end to the 3E/4E division.

Nothing ever ends edition wars. That's why a certain company tried to make products that had Third Edition rules, but First Edition feel. ;)

Guys, please lighten up on this. The GSL is not finalized. All this complaining could get the whole thing yanked. That would be a catastrophe.

The "point of light" therein is that maybe they'll just get rid of the provision that bans use of the OGL on a company-wide basis because of the uproar here.

Do I think they would go back after making an announcement, no, probably not. But lets please let the dust settle.

Because WotC would never, ever change something about the GSL after they made a public announcement about it. :p
 

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Bacris

First Post
Orcus said:
I really hoped that the GSL would put an end to the 3E/4E division.

The only way to end that division is for one edition to not exist. So, no way to do it. :)

And, to be perfectly honest, I'm not upset, I'm not angry.

I'm quite calm.

I'm also quite disappointed if this is as it appears - but I reserve final judgment until I see the GSL in its final form.
 

mxyzplk

Explorer
Orcus said:
The primary appeal of the third party publishers to Wizards has been "Help us help you support 4E."

Now its time for us to put our money where our mouths have been. If we really want to support 4E, which is most likely the main argument that won the day in keeping 4E open, then we shouldnt have any problem with this restriction.

No, Clark, it's not anyone's goal except WotC's to "support 4e" for its own sake. It's to support themselves, and ideally a smart licensing play that would allow people to support themselves with an additional benefit of being allowed to use 4e, with an exchange of benefit to WotC that they get more 4e support. Not get screwed over and sign away your busienss plan to WotC.

First priority for all 3p OGL publishers is to rip and replace the OGL with another open license. Reprint M&M with creative commons in the back and you're golden. Then the people that were more D&D/d20 oriented have to figure out what it's worth to terminate all sales, current and future, of any d20 products thay had produced. For most people it may be smarter to just go back to their own system or throw in behind Pathfinder.

I have to say, this is awfully disappointing, and is a spiteful move to all the people who had throught they were partners with WotC over the years.
 

Orcus

First Post
Psion said:
Consider if you will, three examples:
- A small company has a particular specialty area that has given it a small but dedicated buyer pool for its OGL fantasy products. Upon hearing there is no early buy-in fee and seeing that their area of specialty is not covered under 4e, immediately and publicly contemplates the creation of a 4e product in their niche. But now, to do so, either their existing fans or prospective new buyers interested in their niche will come away with their gaming tastes unfulfilled.

Yeah, so? Welcome to publishing. You dont get to do the thing you are "contemplating." Happens all the time. I cant tell you how many times I have contemplated a product and not been able to do it. Dashed hopes arent moving me here.

- Another company has a somewhat broader array of products, but has also developed a few niches, including niches that fit a particular non-d20 game well that just so happens to be an OGL product (not based on the D20 SRD). Though d20 fantasy sales have flagged, this company may well be enticed to dip into the refreshed 4e GSL market... but at the cost of no longer catering to the non-d20 game.

Again, to me this is the "dabbler" that is more intersted in the license as a way for them to make money by dipping into the refreshed market and has nothing to do with truly supporting 4E. I'll admit, I am not crying that they wont be making 4E products. I think the worst of the worst of the 3E products were companies that did this--made 3E stuff to capitalize on the 3E wave. Great example, Elric d20.

Now I dont know what real company you are alluding to here, but my guess is that they would actually be the next one. I havent seen anyone post here that I wouldnt love to see in 4E.

- Another company has strong non-d20 STL, but OGL/D20 SRD based lines. Company also had a strong reputation as a d20 fantasy publisher, but had retreated from the D20 fantasy market due to weak sales therein. Many old fans who have switched to 4e would love to see a new generation of D&D targeted fantasy products from them, but the company in question's other OGL based lines are too strong to simply scuttle.

This, clearly, is the company that suffers. This is also the company that could credibly have supported their own lines and helped support 4E in a meaningful way beyond just making a quick buck on the trend. I wish the license allowed this. I have to agree. I see Paizo and GR as good examples of this.
 

mxyzplk

Explorer
Orcus said:
Sigh. (and I dont do that much).

I really hoped that the GSL would put an end to the 3E/4E division.

Guys, please lighten up on this. The GSL is not finalized. All this complaining could get the whole thing yanked. That would be a catastrophe. Do I think they would go back after making an announcement, no, probably not. But lets please let the dust settle.

This scheme, as it's being portrayed, I'd rather it get yanked. Take your ball and go home, but don't make me beg to play with you.
 

Orcus

First Post
mxyzplk said:
No, Clark, it's not anyone's goal except WotC's to "support 4e" for its own sake.

I think I used the word "appeal" without good explanation.

When I said "appeal" I mean that the primary plea and argument that we used (our "appeal" to Wizards) to Wizards to convince them to open 4E is that it would help support 4E's launch and contribute to its overall success. And by we I mean many of the publishers from the conference call. I dont presume to speak for them. But I know that many of us made our plea to Wizards in terms of "make it open so we can support it and make it successful."
 

lurkinglidda

First Post
Alzrius said:
Because WotC would never, ever change something about the GSL after they made a public announcement about it. :p
Heh. You got us on that one. ;) We don't intend to alter the either/or nature of the GSL. I mean, if we open up that point again for internal debate it'll take another six months to get everyone in agreement on the best approach.

We understand the impacts this license will have on the 3pps, fans, community and industry in general. We respect that companies will need to make the decision that is right for them and their supporters.

We totally believe in 4E. We're not doing any edition but 4E. We are so thoroughly behind it we are giving it 100% of our support. That says something.
 

Psion

Adventurer
Orcus said:
Yeah, so? Welcome to publishing.

Well, sure. My point was, it's not hypothetical. There are ripples in the pond.

Now I dont know what real company you are alluding to here, but my guess is that they would actually be the next one.

To be clear, the three companies I spoke of were Dreamscarred, Adamant (who has talked of adapting their pulp and mars products to FATE/Spirit of the Century, an OGL game), and Green Ronin.
 

Gotham Gamemaster

First Post
Orcus said:
Sigh. (and I dont do that much).

I really hoped that the GSL would put an end to the 3E/4E division.

Guys, please lighten up on this. The GSL is not finalized. All this complaining could get the whole thing yanked. That would be a catastrophe. Do I think they would go back after making an announcement, no, probably not. But lets please let the dust settle.

Clark, here's the thing--I didn't have a 3e/4e division before this policy. I didn't care whether I use 3e or 4e for any mechanical reasons. But I do like the games that current 3e third-party publishers produce (mainly Pathfinder and M&M) and I would like to see them (and others) be able to do both.

This feels like WotC consulted with Brian Bendis about what to do about the GSL--and now they are looking out from Renton and (and trying) to say "No More 3e."
 

BryonD

Hero
Would it be OK for Microsoft to try to enforce a rule that any company that wanted to make software that worked with the most recent version of Windows must agree to never use any Open content compatible with any prior version of Windows? or any Open content at all?

Clearly that would be a completely rational self-interest thing for Microsoft to do. It wouldn't be anything other than an attempt to 100% support their latest product which they have invested vast sums of money into.
 

mxyzplk

Explorer
lurkinglidda said:
We totally believe in 4E. We're not doing any edition but 4E. We are so thoroughly behind it we are giving it 100% of our support. That says something.

No, not really, it says nothing relevant to this discussion. Did anyone not expect that Wizards would discontinue 3e support and do only 4e? No, of course not. However, is that supposed to make us feel happy about every other game company being compelled to forgo open gaming entirely, 3.5e based or not?
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
lurkinglidda said:
Heh. You got us on that one. ;) We don't intend to alter the either/or nature of the GSL. I mean, if we open up that point again for internal debate it'll take another six months to get everyone in agreement on the best approach.

I don't mean this to sound snarky, but I have to wonder if maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing, if it would lead to the tossing-out of the company wide either/or clause in the GSL. Seriously, if the GSL came out at the end of 2008 without that clause in there, I honestly think it'd be worth the wait.

We understand the impacts this license will have on the 3pps, fans, community and industry in general. We respect that companies will need to make the decision that is right for them and their supporters.

I'm a cynic at heart; hearing that you understand the impact this has on them always makes me think, "you understand what this'd do to them, and then you did it anyway." I know it's meant to be a statement of sympathy, but like I said, I take it in a more cynical spirit.

As it stands right now, the various publishers, fans, etc. will make the decision that is best for them, but it's an instance of making the best of a (relatively) bad situation.

Mxyzplk said that he'd prefer the GSL not exist rather than have it exist in a way that it actively attacks the OGL. I'm not sure I agree with that sentiment...but I'm not sure I disagree either.

We totally believe in 4E. We're not doing any edition but 4E. We are so thoroughly behind it we are giving it 100% of our support. That says something.

You've mentioned this level of enthusiasm before. I confess, I'm very confused by these statements.

First, I take it for granted that you guys believe in 4E; no matter what prompted you to create Fourth Edition, I don't doubt that you've thrown yourselves behind it totally. It seems weird that you're reminding people of this. It's like if I made sure to tell people, "I trust my wife. Seriously, I believe in our marriage 100%." It'd sound a little odd that I'm so emphatically stating what people assume to already be true.

Secondly, I'm not sure I understand the context of you saying you're not doing any edition but 4E. If you mean after the launch, well, yeah, that also goes without saying. I don't think anyone ever thought that WotC would support 3.5 and 4E simultaneously.

Now, if you're referring to how - during the "transition period" from when 4E was announced last Gen Con until 4E launches - you're only supporting 4E and not 3.5 at all, that makes a little more sense. It's not entirely true (since, even now, there is some 3.5 support to be found, such as the "Epic Binders" column in e-Dragon), but it's easier to understand since, in my experience, this period usually has some level of continuing support for the existing edition. That said, it's still a bit odd to state that, since we're roughly six weeks out from 4E anyway, so of course that's what you'd be supporting.

Anyway, sorry if I come across as being a downer! :)
 

Wulf Ratbane

Adventurer
mxyzplk said:
However, is that supposed to make us feel happy about every other game company being compelled to forgo open gaming entirely, 3.5e based or not?

No one is compelling every other game company to forgo open gaming entirely unless they want to take advantage of 4e.

That being said, it does seem to be aimed rather directly at the heart of Paizo. Paizo simply can't go 4e at this point. This is a deadly serious judo throw to the Pathfinder announcement. Something's gonna die, now much sooner than later.
 

Tewligan

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. Let's not trivialize the serious.
Totally agree. That was one of the stupider analogies I've seen in a pretty long time, actually.
 

Hmm...

I'll admit that when I posted earlier, I was rushed, and didn't think things through. I was thinking purely in terms of 3.5-compatible material vs. 4E-compatible material. I hadn't considered other OGL games like T20 or SotC.

So yeah, I can indeed see some reason for being irritated at the provisions of the license. I still don't believe it's in any way "evil," "immoral," or "spiteful" on WotC's part--but I'll agree with Clark that it is, indeed, unfortunate, and may result in either the loss of some cool games, or the refusal of some companies to support 4E.
 

Psion

Adventurer
Alzrius said:
Mxyzplk said that he'd prefer the GSL not exist rather than have it exist in a way that it actively attacks the OGL. I'm not sure I agree with that sentiment...but I'm not sure I disagree either.

I certainly understand where you are coming from.

I can certainly understand that if I was working for wizards and getting a paycheck from them, that's what I'd recommend. (Maybe. I wonder if they are really recovering enough revenue to be worth it. I have to wonder if a "higher up" needed placated more than any actual dollars-and-cents issue.)

At the same time, this will affect my actual gaming in all likelihood. I sort of accepted that I wouldn't be seeing much 3e support anymore. But this could easily slash that by 1/2 or 1/3. It's about the same scope as hearing that a game line I was anticipating got canceled. But that's a pisser to me. :cool:
 

BryonD

Hero
Mouseferatu said:
I still don't believe it's in any way "evil," "immoral," or "spiteful" on WotC's part--but I'll agree with Clark that it is, indeed, unfortunate.
Evil - Nope.
Immoral - Nope.
Spiteful - I'd have to go with a big YES on that one.

But regardless of whether we agree or disagree on that, a list of bad things that it is not doesn't mean there isn't a list of bad things that it IS. Companies now must choose and the gaming community as a whole will be harmed to some degree no matter which choice is made.

If a person's desire for 4E's success completely trumps any interest in gaming as a whole, then that person should be ok with this. But if one is more interested in more than just that, it is a negative development.
 

Arrond Hess

First Post
So, what does this mean for 3rd Party companies who wish to continue 3.x and conventions? Are they not allowed to showcase and sell their 3.x material?
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Arrond Hess said:
So, what does this mean for 3rd Party companies who wish to continue 3.x and conventions? Are they not allowed to showcase and sell their 3.x material?

They can continue to showcase and sell 3.x materials (save that they must remove the d20 logo from products they're still selling by the end of the year)...unless they use the GSL. If they use the GSL, then they won't be allowed to showcase/sell 3.x materials anymore (in theory, they could publish OGL materials after using the GSL, but that'd almost certainly carry some sort of penalty).
 
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Lizard

First Post
lurkinglidda said:
We totally believe in 4E. We're not doing any edition but 4E. We are so thoroughly behind it we are giving it 100% of our support. That says something.

The problem is, as I see it, that you're asking everyone ELSE to give it 100% of their support.

To put it into perspective -- supposed the original OGL had this "all of nothing" stipulation. Would White Wolf have dumped their dice pool system to support the Sword&Sorcery line? Would Atlas Games have given up on Ars Magica?

(For that matter, I find it interesting that, in theory, White Wolf could make both 4e products under the GSL and their current World of Darkness products, but not 3x products (not that they're likely to...))

I would think this license would discourage companies from 'testing the waters' with 4e with a few products before committing resources, and thus encourage support by allowing a gradual transition. I think saying "All or nothing" will lead to a lot of companies to say "Fine, nothing, then. How's that Pathfinder Beta coming along?" But I also recognize and respect your job is to know this stuff, do the research, and draw the conclusions, so you might have access to data I don't. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

(I also see a niche for a general D20 publisher to become a 'clearinghouse' for 3x products produced by companies which want to do 4e. The products would be 'published' by this hypothetical company, which might have a strong core of OGL product and no concern for moving to 4e, taking only a modest fee in exchange for 'fronting' product. Offhand, I can think of two publishers whose business plans this might fit. Pure speculation on my part, of course, but if I can think of it, so can anyone else.)

Interesting times.

Of course, I'm going to guess the license will have a "No shenanigans" clause, and the right of WOTC to pull it from any publisher trying to do an 'end run' around the spirit of the rule via dual companies, third party fronts, other other means.
 

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