OGL OGL-Gate & Mainstream Media: The Guardian Weighs In

Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

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The news has been picked up by a business newsmagazine in Italy:
Wow this is getting huge


That's a weird, badly-researched, and unhelpful article that addresses almost none of the genuine issues. And talking up defunct piracy sites as a demonstration of how innovative D&D fans are to pursue their hobby is ... certainly an interesting journalistic line to take.
The Guardian article is pretty misleading, yes. Almost as misleading as saying for twenty years that your license was irrevocable and then trying to revoke it... or putting out a license that lets you take away a licensee's work at will and calling it "open." My heart bleeds for Wizards.

The Forbes and Ars Technica articles, however, are quite good. They gloss over the thorny legal details, but both get to the heart of the problem (the attempt to de-authorize the original OGL) and portray it fairly accurately.


Looks like Hasbro stock is not doing so well today....

View attachment 272430

(Ignore all the portuguese, I'm to lazy to open google in english)
Hasbro stock was at 63.59 when the OGL news broke on iO9. Then it rose the next two days, dropped close to where it was on the 10th and has been mostly rising since.
Hasbro stock has never been particularly tied to D&D.



Now that article hits it out of the park. Highly accurate and also very eloquent about why this is a Bad Thing.

(It does not pretend to neutrality on the subject; the New Republic has a definite political point of view and is not shy about expressing it. That doesn't stop it from getting the facts straight, though.)
And there's a decent article in Reason as well, which is a publication that holds a definite political point of view very different to that of the New Republic.



Hasbro exec:
I wish there was more mainstream news coverage of our products.

When your mistake makes the Financial Times, you're going to have to start explaining things to large shareholders.
If this was Cynthia Williams's master plan to shut down 3PP's and thought she could just buffalo some small businesses into obeying her. . .her miscalculation just landed on worldwide major media, including business media. . .and has lead to a mass exodus of subscribers from D&D Beyond.

This is what happens when you put some generic executive from way outside the field (like her prior experience at Microsoft) in charge of WotC and they decide that what works in a totally different field (like business software such as Microsoft Office) doesn't work for D&D.


And there's a decent article in Reason as well, which is a publication that holds a definite political point of view very different to that of the New Republic.

Yup, that one is also very good indeed.


Also speaks to the level of panic/confusion at WotC/Hasbro that they didn't comment.
They haven't said a single thing anywhere about any of this.

Unless this is some elaborate PT Barnum "there's no such thing as bad publicity" angle that I'm missing, it feels like corporate malpractice at this point. To not acknowledge that this is going on and customers are kinda mad about it is really weird - even a "we don't comment on rumors" response is better than just not saying anything at all - at least it shows that you know something is going on that you're not huddled in your office in a fetal position unable to even craft a response.

Unfortunately, you forget the Daily Mail, which is (sadly) much more popular both domestically and worldwide.
I also always forget about the Daily Mail too. But in fairness that's because if I see a Daily Mail link I look for someone else's reporting to make sure it's an actual story and not something made up whole cloth. The Onion seems to be more rigorous in their "reporting" than the Daily Mail.

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