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

Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

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.
The "we know something is going on" response was announcing that the announcement scheduled for today is cancelled.

. . .and they seem to have no clue how to proceed past that, because their big plan just ran into an iceberg. Lots of major media sources giving negative reporting, and they're hemorrhaging subscribers on D&D Beyond, which was NOT what they expected to come from what the execs probably saw as a routine business-strategy revision of a license, because they did NOT comprehend the consequences of their actions.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


Dausuul

Legend
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.
Judging by Linda Codega's latest scoop, they seem to be suffering the organizational equivalent of a DDOS attack. This thing is blowing up so fast and so far that by the time Wizards formulates a response, the situation has changed and sends them back to the drawing board. (The latest hit was the push for people to cancel their DDB subs.)
 

Quarzis

Villager
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.
Agreed. One of the worst written articles I have ever seen. I particularly like how they try to explain adventures by calling them "plans" - as if regular everyday people that read the Guardian don't know what adventure means. I guess it is nice that mainstream media is taking notice... can only help the cause, but, talk about cringe reporting.
 

Some good, some not so good articles….probably link the authors to ones who went to journalism in college for a degree and the “online” journalism we get from more social media investigative learning.

I see people also claim that dndbeyond subscribers leaving in droves….where is this coming from other than replies on here saying they cancelled?
 

There have got to be at least a few folks at WotC and Hasbro thinking...
Star Wars GIF


It also wouldn't surprise me if the Guardian gets taken to task by fans in the comments (if their articles still allow them?) for inaccuracies. Maybe enough to make some corrections? But maybe not.
 

Dausuul

Legend
I see people also claim that dndbeyond subscribers leaving in droves….where is this coming from other than replies on here saying they cancelled?
Linda Codega, who has been on this whole thing from the get-go:

"A stream of subscribers turning off their payment to D&D Beyond appeared to temporarily shut down the landing page for subscription cancellations because of server errors. ... The result of these cancellations and their impact on the bottom line of Wizards of the Coast is not negligible, according to io9's sources at the company, and has caused upper management to scramble to adjust their messaging around the situation, leading to the delays in the OGL release."
 


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.

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.
According to the message sent by someone claiming to work at D&D Beyond, the top brass are waiting for the fans to calm down. That poured even more fuel on the cancelation of D&D Beyond accounts and now has spilled over into non-gaming and business news. One day, this whole thing will be a business case study.
 



According to the message sent by someone claiming to work at D&D Beyond, the top brass are waiting for the fans to calm down. That poured even more fuel on the cancelation of D&D Beyond accounts and now has spilled over into non-gaming and business news. One day, this whole thing will be a business case study.
They'll wait a looong time.
 



Glad this is hitting world news. Yet some of the articles are kinda ‘dumb.’

The best passage I’ve seen in these new reports is from Vice magazine (boldface added):

“The OGL 1.1 is just one part of a broader strategy by Wizards of the Coast to consolidate D&D into a closed ecosystem, one from which it can extract profit at every possible stage. Wizards of the Coast plans to increase support to their proprietary marketplace, D&D Beyond. The company also plans to release its own virtual tabletop software sometime in 2024, in conjunction with Dungeons and Dragons sixth edition, now called One D&D.

“This strategy resembles that of dozens of failed startups, built on creating a massive user base that you find a way to infinitely monetize. Companies with this approach usually operate at a loss for years, while promising their investors geometric profit at some later date. Wizards of the Coast, however, managed to make a sustainable business model on the way to building a platform—a business model it is now at great risk of destroying, in an industry that has, in every metric but popularity, managed to surpass it.”
 
Last edited:

Jer

Legend
Supporter
According to the message sent by someone claiming to work at D&D Beyond, the top brass are waiting for the fans to calm down. That poured even more fuel on the cancelation of D&D Beyond accounts and now has spilled over into non-gaming and business news. One day, this whole thing will be a business case study.
Waiting for fans of anything to "calm down" is like waiting for the heat death of the universe. Technically it's going to happen someday but you're going to be dead before it happens :)

With what's going on here though if that's actually what they're doing it suggests that they actually don't know what "revoke the OGL 1.0a" means for the industry that they're a gateway to but not really a part of. If they'd intended to set off a tactical nuke to damage the ttrpg industry and were owning it it would be malicious, but it would at least suggest competence - that they know what they're doing and why. But "waiting for fans to cool off" suggests that they don't even understand why people are upset or what it will do to the industry, and that's bad. People aren't going to "cool off" until they know what's happening, and if they leave people in the dark they're going to get hotter, not cool off.
 

Waiting for fans of anything to "calm down" is like waiting for the heat death of the universe. Technically it's going to happen someday but you're going to be dead before it happens :)

With what's going on here though if that's actually what they're doing it suggests that they actually don't know what "revoke the OGL 1.0a" means for the industry that they're a gateway to but not really a part of. If they'd intended to set off a tactical nuke to damage the ttrpg industry and were owning it it would be malicious, but it would at least suggest competence - that they know what they're doing and why. But "waiting for fans to cool off" suggests that they don't even understand why people are upset or what it will do to the industry, and that's bad. People aren't going to "cool off" until they know what's happening, and if they leave people in the dark they're going to get hotter, not cool off.
Well said. It’ll be interesting to see how the various motives and threads of Maliciousness and Ignorance/Incompetence come to light and are sorted.
 



Yaarel

Mind Mage
I strongly suspect that the OGL debacle and the performance of Hasbro in general have the same hidden variables as their source though.
May well be true, since relating to the devalue of stocks, the Bank of America strongly criticized Hasbro-WotC for its mishandling of the anniversary products for Magic The Gathering. This was a similar tone-deaf attempt at monetizing.
 

Visit Our Sponsor

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top