OGL Rumours: WotC Announcement Today; Insider Email Reveals Plans

There's a couple of rumours going round today. I cannot verify either, but I'm reporting them as most of the recent OGL rumours have proven true.

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First -- it is rumoured that today at 3pm ET Wizards of the Coast will make some kind of video statement about the current Open Game License situation. This rumour came from the folks at Roll For Combat who were the first to break the draft OGL scoop.

[[UPDATE -- This didn't happen!]]

Second -- an email has been circulating from an anonymous WotC insider. Again, I must reiterate I cannot myself verify this, so read this with that in mind, but the email says:

Hi,

I'm an employee at WotC currently working on D&Dbeyond (DDB) and with D&D business leaders on the health of the product line. If you want I can provide proof of this.

I'm sending this message because I fear for the health of a community I love, and I know what the leaders at WOTC are looking at:

-They are briefly delaying rollout of OGL changes due to the backlash.
-Their decision making is based entirely on the provable impact to their bottom line.
-Specifically they are looking at DDB subscriptions and cancellations as it is the quickest financial data they currently have.
-They are still hoping the community forgets, moves on, and they can still push this through.

I have decided to reach out because at my time in WotC I have never once heard management refer to customers in a positive manner, their communication gives me the impression they see customers as obstacles between them and their money, the DDB team was first told to prepare to support the new OGL changes and online portal when they got back from the holidays, and leadership doesn't take any responsibility for the pain and stress they cause others. Leadership's first communication to the rank and file on the OGL was 30 minutes on 1/11/23, This was the first time they even tried to communicate their intentions about the OGL to employees, and even in this meeting they blamed the community for over-reacting.

I will repeat, the main thing this leadership is looking at is DDB subscription cancellations.

Hope your day goes well,

P.S. I will be copying and pasting this message to other community leaders.


If both rumours are true, I guess at 3pm ET today we'll find that out.
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey






Rhineglade

Adventurer
Sorry to add fuel to the fire but I think we were most definitely heading for disaster as it became more "mainstream" to attempt to make a living off a game that was initially intended to simply be a pastime or hobby. I'm not looking for people to start throwing a snit but I feel this opinion needs to be voiced. Certainly, the initial publishers, writers, artists, etc deserve to make a profit. There is a lot of work that goes into making this product that we all know and love.

Where I simply draw the line however is people thinking they can run a game and charge for this. Seeing this as acceptable behavior very well could have had a influence on the higher ups that if the consumer can do this, why can't we? Is DMing a lot of leg work? Of course it is. I've DMd for YEARS. I'm not discounting this. But this is my HOBBY which I ENJOY. I LOVE doing the prep and leg-work. Sometimes too much. Doesn't mean I should start charging lonely shut ins for this service.
 
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collin

Explorer
I had at least hoped what we were hearing was coming more from Hasbro proper and not WotC, but it seems bottom-line management is rampant in the WotC division of Hasbro. Sadly, it does not surprise me. Those bean-counters have never understood the customers of this "product" which has pushed them to being at odds with the very people that are feeding their bottom-line. I would suggest a translator to help make them understand why this course of action is dangerous at best for them, but I doubt there is anyway to explain to them what this all means to the gaming community, D&D and otherwise.
 
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Mercurius

Legend
I keep coming back to the view that no matter what WotC does, something has been broken - a feeling of goodwill and trust from the flagship company of D&D.

I mean, it is a basic principle: if you're nice 95% of the time but abusive 5% of the time, the abuse defines who you are (to the abused).

The point being, even if WotC "nices up" the OGL, no one is ever going to trust them again - unless they can somehow play the entire thing off as a bogus rumor, but that seems very unlikely. Unless they make it "irrevocable" - which they won't - there will always be a lingering edge of doubt, especially for smaller publishers.
 






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