Open Gaming predictions one year from now

payn

Legend
The industry will be fine, even 5.5E. Maybe a few lost sales but honestly I think it’s great for other producers and game systems to get some love.
 

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WotC and D&D crashing and burning would suck for their fans, but would have basically no real negative impact on the industry. Quite the opposite. Once D&D is not longer strangling the life out of the industry other games will be able to flourish.
A D&D crash would take out many FLGS as collateral damage. The loss of sales on core books would tip some them over the edge of viability. I don't know how important FLGS are in today's US market - they're now quite rare in the UK and people here have learned to cope without them - but they could well shrink a lot.
 

delericho

Legend
I can see three scenarios. I'll note that at this point I don't think it actually matters whether OGL 1.0a is actually revocable or not - I very much doubt we'll ever actually see a ruling in court, and anyway I think the dust will have settled before it comes to that.

Most likely: WotC go ahead with OGL 2.0 in some form, and declare 1.0a de-authorized:

A relatively small, but relatively vocal, segment of the player base take great pleasure in telling WotC exactly what they think of them.

D&D continues, but the PR damage is significant. The playtest goes on, but without much enthusiasm (though, ironically, the %age of acceptance goes up - just with many fewer responses). D&D Beyond sees a small number of additional account deletions, but gains very few new accounts. However, a lot of paid subscriptions switch to free accounts. The D&D movie launches and does okay-ish (but is considered a failure by Hollywood standards) - but that's nothing to do with the OGL. The execs responsible fail upwards, either being promoted or moving to better paid jobs elsewhere.

And the 50th Anniversary year starts with a whimper - it all feels much more like a wake than a celebration.

Meanwhile, as many 3pp as can manage it shift to ORC. We lose an awful lot of the smaller 3pp, and the ones that are left are diminished. D&D's 3pp support is much-reduced, and almost entirely confined to the Guild - virtually nobody signs up to OGL 2.0.

Everyone loses from this.

Second most likely: WotC leaves OGL 1.0a exactly as-is:

The same as above, except that more of the small 3pp continue, and D&D has a bit more 3pp support using OGL.

Least likely: WotC backtracks entirely, and releases an OGL 1.0b that is more explicitly irrevocable

Most, but not all, of the damage is avoided - companies continue using the OGL, eeryone breathes a sigh of relief, and WotC is mostly forgiven. Gradually things go back to more or less where they were.

The D&D movie launches and does okay-ish (but is considered a failure by Hollywood standards) - but that's nothing to do with the OGL.

Oh, and one of the execs responsible (probably whichever is most junior) is messily fired.
 

Voadam

Legend
I think there might be the beginning of a legal conflict as WotC goes live with their new license and declares 1.0 "de-authorized" and tries to say no new OGL stuff to the entire industry.

They could try to just bully everyone with threats of lawsuits, but once it is in action things get interesting if not everybody knuckles under and anyone continues to publish. That is when WotC will need to decide whether to push their legal interpretation in an actual court case.

Paizo has declared their contrary interpretation of the OGL's authorized clause and willingness to fight in court if necessary. They could make a stand by continuing to publish under the OGL. Or they could drop OGL for redoing Pathfinder 2 from scratch not under the OGL so it can go under ORC, but still have an interest in fighting WotC's assertions and they could intervene in any lawsuit WotC brings about the OGL against licensees.

So in one year I think this could be in the beginning stages of litigation. Litigation takes time, even getting to filing the case, but a couple months after WotC's new license drops I think we have a good shot of filings being in progress.
 

Reynard

Legend
Considering I have been wrong with every other prediction I have made during this process, why not!

I predict this is going to push a court case that is going to decide once and for all that anyone can make compatible material without a need for a license.

I also predict official D&D will remain far and away the most popular and dominant force in the industry.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
The advantage is clearly with ORC. By this time next year, even if WoTC keeps the OGL 1.0, ORC will be the only other go-to system.

ORC is not a system. It will be a license ("Open Role-playing Creative license") that, we are told, any publisher will be able to use to publish their own systems.

So, no, it will not be a go-to system. It may be the go-to license for content creators, but it says nothing about the underlying system.
 

Greggy C

Adventurer
I think the only people who search for licenses are the small percentage of creators.
99% of real gamers search for good games, not good licenses.
I'm sure ORC will be popular though, since there was some reason people didn't like Creative Commons, I don't remember why.

What I find stunning is:


The results from that when I looked 3 months ago was 95% 5th edition.
While 5e is still dominant, it is a crazy mix of many games that were not there before.

Never piss off the dungeon masters, the people who choose the games to run.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
A D&D crash would take out many FLGS as collateral damage. The loss of sales on core books would tip some them over the edge of viability. I don't know how important FLGS are in today's US market - they're now quite rare in the UK and people here have learned to cope without them - but they could well shrink a lot.
Alternatively, shops could flourish without D&D. You assume that all those sales are D&D or nothing so no D&D, no sales. Not true. The people into RPGs would simply buy other RPGs. The people new to RPGs would come in and talk to the shop workers and get recommendations if they didn’t already gave something in mind.
 


aco175

Legend
Am I right in thinking that Hasbro can come out with a 6e and then revise the OGL to what they want. This will force people to play with the old edition and keep the OGL1.0 or change to the new OGL if they want to keep 6e players. I am guessing that ORC will only allow people to play and develop 5e things based off the 5e SRD.
 

Am I right in thinking that Hasbro can come out with a 6e and then revise the OGL to what they want. This will force people to play with the old edition and keep the OGL1.0 or change to the new OGL if they want to keep 6e players. I am guessing that ORC will only allow people to play and develop 5e things based off the 5e SRD.
That wasn't the problem. If they'd just done that, it would be like how they put 4e under the GSL instead of the OGL.

But this new license is attempting to claim that NO ONE can publish more content for previous versions of the OGL, because they are "no longer authorized." Which is a problem for any company that wants to play and develop things stuff based off the 5e SRD. THAT'S the crux of the problem.
 

aramis erak

Legend
My predictions:
Wizards under new management picked by the HasBro board,
OGL1.0a explicitly deauthoorized, and the dice waiting to be rolled in the 9th Circuit.
OGL2 includes an explicit de-auth provision, but looks pretty close to 1.0a otherwise, and includes that if it uses Wizards SRDs, there's a revenue cut (10-20%) on the revenue above some floor, not total revenue.
And I expect the ORC to be dominant by then as a license
 

Reynard

Legend
That wasn't the problem. If they'd just done that, it would be like how they put 4e under the GSL instead of the OGL.

But this new license is attempting to claim that NO ONE can publish more content for previous versions of the OGL, because they are "no longer authorized." Which is a problem for any company that wants to play and develop things stuff based off the 5e SRD. THAT'S the crux of the problem.
Or for Pathfinder, or 13th Age, or the OSR. It's not just about 5E.
 

I could see these new systems/heartbreakers ditching some of the legacy elements of dnd such as
  • derived ability bonus (i.e. when a 16 actually means a +3, etc)
  • spell slots
  • detailed equipment lists and treasure rewards for more heroic fantasy games
  • 1-20 level range (some will cap at 10, some will go past 20).
 

Matt Thomason

Adventurer
My predictions:

Many larger 3PPs are going to shy away from the OGL and move towards ORC unless we get a test case with a court ruling that Wizards cannot de-authorize OGL 1.0a. Understandably, most are reluctant to put themselves in a position where they'll be that test case.

Some people will happily fill that gap and become OGL 2.0 content producers for OneD&D. This will likely ensure there's no real lack of 3PP content for OneD&D, but it is unlikely we will see anywhere near as many entire D&D SRD-based third party games as we do now.

Some companies will feel that making their game ORC-licensed will be a good PR move, and will do so. There will be a growth in the number of complete rulesets based on non-D&D SRDs. Likely, too much growth because of the percentage of players that want a D&D-alike.

At least for a while, there will be a rush of 3PPs big and small eager to be among the first names people see with ORC-licensed material.

Paizo ORC-ifys PF2. I have no confidence at all in predicting what happens there. Everything might go fine, and that becomes the basis for future D&D-alike rulesets. WotC might take them to court over the similarities to D&D, and may possibly win. Or lose. Or they might do absolutely nothing. There are far too many variables involved, including whether Paizo are thorough enough to remove absolutely every copyrightable trace of WotC's SRD, considering that the final judgement will be based on a Judge's opinion of similarities and is somewhat difficult to define solidly.

We will see more new rulesets than ever as established companies that have depended on the OGL decide not to risk either it or ORC-licensed SRDs, and feel their own ruleset will be the safest option of all.

All in all, quite possibly a far better future for RPGs in general and all because of the OGL mess.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
I could see these new systems/heartbreakers ditching some of the legacy elements of dnd such as
  • derived ability bonus (i.e. when a 16 actually means a +3, etc)
  • spell slots
  • detailed equipment lists and treasure rewards for more heroic fantasy games
  • 1-20 level range (some will cap at 10, some will go past 20).
Funny enough, I’ve already done all of this for Bugbears &Borderlands lol. The original OGL version did have spell slots, but in the process of de-OGLing it, I went to spell points instead. But it’s always used a bonus instead of ability score, capped at level 10, and streamlined equipment lists (among other things)
 

I mostly concur with @delericho.

I would, maybe add a variation of the first scenario, I would also rank as likely:
  • WotC go ahead with OGL 2.0 in some form, and declare 1.0a de-authorized
  • Paizo (and potentially others) challenge the de-authorization - the legal process starts
  • Due to the uncertainty and a notable part (though not the majority) of the community being upset, the market for 3PP D&D products contracts and a number of people leave the industry
  • Paizo wins - the legal process ends
  • Some 3PP return to publishing 5e OGL material, but most 3PP have moved to the ORC or other free licenses
  • Similarly a notable number of influencers have moved away from D&D as their main system, though nothing coalesces around a specific other system
  • One D&D is launched and enjoys some success, but a larger part of the enthusiasm is gone and never returns
 

Longspeak

Adventurer
My prediction, one year from now:

At least one of the PCs in my ongoing Mercenary Circus game will have an owner's share of the circus. At least one of the groups will have left the circus, but continue to play their weekly session in the same world. The leader of the third crew will find new love. She won't forget her old love, but will honor that love by choosing to live life to the fullest. And there will be at least one wedding episode.

Wait, was I supposed to talk about the industry? Meh.
 

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