OGL Roll for Combat reveals the terms of the "sweetheart deal" offered to 3pp

Haplo781

Legend

Contracts were 2 years, and granted the following:
  • Pay 15% instead of 25% on revenue over 750k
  • 6 articles about your product on D&D Beyond
  • 6 emails about your product to D&D Beyond users
  • 8 social media posts on D&D Beyond or D&D branded channels
  • 2 YouTube videos on D&D Beyond or D&D branded channels
  • 6 days of D&D Beyond home page placement


This was the carrot to the OGL 1.1 stick. Notably Wizards disclosed that they have 15 million registered users on D&D Beyond.
 

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This was the carrot to the OGL 1.1 stick. Notably Wizards disclosed that they have 15 million registered users on D&D Beyond.
Interesting.

We knew the 15% bit.

Over two years each 3PP who signed up would get the following:

This is only for products which are 1D&D-compatible, he says, though I suspect what is actually meant is products with the new seal/badge on them.

  • 6 articles on D&D Beyond about their products.

  • 6 emails to D&D Beyond users who were opted in to advertising comms (I'm not, for example - I didn't even know you could be)

  • 8 social media posts on D&D Beyond OR other D&D brand social media channels.

  • 2 YouTube videos on D&D Beyond OR other D&D brand social media channels.

  • 6 days of D&D Beyond homepage placement (over two years, remember).

Note what isn't mentioned or even implied is the definite ability to sell their products on D&D Beyond, which would be rather more major.

The trouble with this as a carrot is, even with the potential sales increase this might cause (which would be LOWER for each extra 3PP that signed up, I note - if only a fewer signed up the benefits would be effectively larger for each one), the 15% revenue take could easily still be enough to eclipse the benefits, and after the two years almost certainly would.

So it was not a great bargain.
 




Buying out DM's Guild and integrating it with DDB and Sandcastle would make a lot of sense.

If it's going to be very exclusive, then maybe. You might want to put an integration fee in there if your classes/subclasses/etc have to work in the game. That'd be the biggest factor there.
 


Buying out DM's Guild and integrating it with DDB and Sandcastle would make a lot of sense.
I don't think it would, personally.

I think WotC would sooner have just created their own, more curated/narrower Beyond Store (with some ludicrous name, like "The Craftsman's Lathe" or something equally eyeroll-inducing), and only allowed products meeting a narrower spec in it. Then charged like 50% on those sales, all of it going to WotC lol.
You might want to put an integration fee in there if your classes/subclasses/etc have to work in the game.
I don't think so. You'd just make them do all the hard work themselves. If you charged for integrating stuff yourself you couldn't charge enough, because it's a lot of work, as the DDB people have repeatedly said themselves. You and Haplo are both kind of talking like you've never created/edited homebrew content on DDB, which is fundamentally the same process (according to the DDB people) as making the actual content, barring new classes (which you can't do via the DDB tools, they have to actually code them).
 

TheSword

Legend

Contracts were 2 years, and granted the following:
  • Pay 15% instead of 25% on revenue over 750k
  • 6 articles about your product on D&D Beyond
  • 6 emails about your product to D&D Beyond users
  • 8 social media posts on D&D Beyond or D&D branded channels
  • 2 YouTube videos on D&D Beyond or D&D branded channels
  • 6 days of D&D Beyond home page placement


This was the carrot to the OGL 1.1 stick. Notably Wizards disclosed that they have 15 million registered users on D&D Beyond.
So substantial amounts of advertising and getting your product in front of millions of people… for free… below $750,000 and only paying one sixth on revenues over that…

… and you think WotC are trying to control people. Wow. Don’t know you were born.
 


J.Quondam

CR 1/8
Or just include API access in the contract.
An API would probably be the only viable way to do something like that. But I strongly doubt they'd go for it, because they'd need some hefty QA, I'd think. WotC won't want broken 3pp features disrupting the "under-monetized D&D lifestyle brand" experience on their own platform.
 
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So substantial amounts of advertising and getting your product in front of millions of people… for free… below $750,000 and only paying one sixth on revenues over that…

… and you think WotC are trying to control people. Wow. Don’t know you were born.
I'm pretty sure we're all of sound mind and reasonable experience, but thanks for the personal insult lol.

It's a godawful deal.

15% of revenue over 750k essentially means you will never expand beyond a certain point, and further, the deal is only for two years. Even if you get to keep the 15% after that (which isn't certain - you might go back up to 25%), you lose all the advertising, so you're now paying 15% over 750k for... nothing. And as I noted, the more people who took the deal, the less good it would be.

Also I note you just called LITERALLY ALL THE TOP 3PP DEVELOPERS "stupid" or "born yesterday", because they thought this was a bad deal. Are you sure that's your position? All major 3PP developers are dumbasses or incredibly naive? Really?
 


Haplo781

Legend
I'm pretty sure we're all of sound mind and reasonable experience, but thanks for the personal insult lol.

It's a godawful deal.

15% of revenue over 750k essentially means you will never expand beyond a certain point, and further, the deal is only for two years. Even if you get to keep the 15% after that (which isn't certain - you might go back up to 25%), you lose all the advertising, so you're now paying 15% over 750k for... nothing. And as I noted, the more people who took the deal, the less good it would be.

Also I note you just called LITERALLY ALL THE TOP 3PP DEVELOPERS "stupid" or "born yesterday", because they thought this was a bad deal. Are you sure that's your position? All major 3PP developers are dumbasses or incredibly naive? Really?
Thank God we have [ERR:BLOCKED_USER] to tell us all what a great deal this is, because Kobold Press and MCDM just don't have their great business sense.
 

HomegrownHydra

Adventurer
So substantial amounts of advertising and getting your product in front of millions of people… for free… below $750,000 and only paying one sixth on revenues over that…

… and you think WotC are trying to control people. Wow. Don’t know you were born.
It was for two years, after which they would be at the mercy of WotC. This was just a lure to get 3pp to abandon the OGL which granted them massive amounts of freedom, so yes, this was all about WotC trying to get control.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
It's a godawful deal.

15% of revenue over 750k essentially means you will never expand beyond a certain point, and further, the deal is only for two years. Even if you get to keep the 15% after that (which isn't certain - you might go back up to 25%), you lose all the advertising, so you're now paying 15% over 750k for... nothing. And as I noted, the more people who took the deal, the less good it would be.
Yeah.

It's a good deal for Wizards. But 15% of revenue is just not a good deal.

The only way this looks like a good deal is if you're under the assumption that you have folks over a barrel and that your license is the only way they can create material for any game. That they're not just going to move that creative energy over to some other game and support it instead or that they're not just going to release whatever product they want and just not step on your copyright when they do it. The "crush the competition through lawsuits because we can pay for more lawyers" strategy.

It might be a good deal in the video game world. Even there I have my doubts - 15% of profit would be annoying but possibly worth the exposure. But revenue?
 

Yeah.

It's a good deal for Wizards. But 15% of revenue is just not a good deal.

The only way this looks like a good deal is if you're under the assumption that you have folks over a barrel and that your license is the only way they can create material for any game. That they're not just going to move that creative energy over to some other game and support it instead or that they're not just going to release whatever product they want and just not step on your copyright when they do it. The "crush the competition through lawsuits because we can pay for more lawyers" strategy.

It might be a good deal in the video game world. Even there I have my doubts - 15% of profit would be annoying but possibly worth the exposure. But revenue?
Indeed. It's fair to say that contracts rarely use profit as a measure because it's too easy to manipulate, but if you want naked revenue, you need to be reasonable, and be looking at values like 3% and 5%.
 

TheSword

Legend
I'm pretty sure we're all of sound mind and reasonable experience, but thanks for the personal insult lol.

It's a godawful deal.

15% of revenue over 750k essentially means you will never expand beyond a certain point, and further, the deal is only for two years. Even if you get to keep the 15% after that (which isn't certain - you might go back up to 25%), you lose all the advertising, so you're now paying 15% over 750k for... nothing. And as I noted, the more people who took the deal, the less good it would be.

Also I note you just called LITERALLY ALL THE TOP 3PP DEVELOPERS "stupid" or "born yesterday", because they thought this was a bad deal. Are you sure that's your position? All major 3PP developers are dumbasses or incredibly naive? Really?
Don’t know you were born, is an expression for not knowing how lucky you are. I didn’t say anyone was stupid.

If you are substantially over the $750k mark then it may not be worthwhile. If you are under then the advertising opportunity is golden.

Also people are fundamentally misunderstanding/misrepresenting the maths…

$750,000 revenue annually = $0 commission 0%
$800,000 revenue = $7,500 commission 0.9%
$1,000,000 revenue = $37,500 commission 3.75%
$1,500,000 revenue = $112,500 commission 7.5%

The suggestion that these figures can’t be profitable at over $750,000 is ridiculous.

I don’t think 3pp were born yesterday. They want to keep more of their own money. I don’t think that’s stupid. Neither do I think it’s something that’s intrinsically good for the hobby or somehow better than WotC having some of it. They’re all capability entrepreneurs.

I don’t buy the idea that these figures are crippling. If overheads are that tight, you just put the price up by 3-7% which is what? $1.50 - $3.50 on a large hardback. Which is a stretch anyway because while the first book you print/publish/put online costs you $150,000 to make, the second one costs you a couple of dollars / nothing.
 
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Jer

Legend
Supporter
Indeed. It's fair to say that contracts rarely use profit as a measure because it's too easy to manipulate, but if you want naked revenue, you need to be reasonable, and be looking at values like 3% and 5%.
It truly is amazing how ridiculously incompetent the folks at Wizards are that they thought demanding 25% of the revenue if you sell more than $750k in a year no matter what your production, printing, distribution, or advertising costs were. It's madness.

Very much a "It’s one banana, Michael. What could it cost, ten dollars?" not understanding the market vibe there.
 
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