D&D 5E So this is how D&D 5e dies, a beautiful start only to die in disgrace because of mismanagement. RIP 5e

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Makes sense, thank you for the answer, and I do get it, I just think it's kind of short-sighted when the business decisions potentially cause down-the-line consequences.

Honestly at this point I think the OGL stuff will probably play out and as dumb as it's been, likely end better for the industry than for WotC. I hope the OGL 1.0a gets preserved, or better yet we find a way to extract stuff from it (where the authors want it), and we need to keep pressuring WotC in my view, but I think the miscalculation has been so large that as you say, positive stuff may come out of it.

The 3D VTT on the other hand could well doom 5E/1D&D.

I think that, given they're pouring tens of millions into it, they're going to be expecting something incredibly profitable ("WoW 2" as I put it previously), and if they don't immediately see that profit, they're likely to try more and more extreme approaches to monetization, which are very likely to be damaging to the game, including making content which should be in books exclusive to the 3D VTT, possibly even basically abandoning books (I don't think that's likely, but WotC has done a lot of "unlikely lol" stuff in the last month or so).

That's also, sadly, a risk if it does well, but ironically probably a somewhat smaller risk, as people are less prone to poke at something doing well.

I don't include this as random doomsaying, but because we're discussing the potential dangers for D&D going forwards. And I think the 3D VTT is a huge danger given the unprecedented level of investment in it (and thus unprecedented expected returns).
Yeah, I have noninterest in a digital playspace (that's why God invented pens and paper, darn it), so that is something they could lose me if they compromise the offline experience.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


collin

Explorer
Last year I'd thought that One D&D was a minor edition change that was functionally the next phase of D&D 5e.

With this OGL situation it seems clear 5e is dying and will be dead before the end of the year.

So much potential, never fully realized, now it's over, or soon to be over RIP 5e.
When Cynthia Williams starts having WotC sell cross-stitch and crochet kits, then I'll know the party is over and it's time to call it a day.
 
Last edited:


Except they've released that IP into the wild with a copyleft license attached. It's hard to pull that back just because they want to change their business model. Their attempt to do so, based on what we've seen so far, are very anti-competitive.

Even if they can revoke the current OGL and force people to stop using it, it could be perceived as anti-competitive and attract the attention of various governmental competition authorities. Taking anti-competitive actions that competitors out of the market is not legal if it results in you having a monopoly position.
Business is by its very nature anti-competitive. But being a monopoly requires far more than what WotC is doing.
Wal Mart and similar business models have put thousands of small businesses out of business over the last forty years.
Walled-garden approaches are also coming under fire right now. Just ask Apple and Google...
Nonsense. Amazon, for example, is adjusting to the post-Covid period and heading into a recession. Its stock is 200% what it was in 2017.
I think you're missing my point here. My point wasn't that change is bad. It isn't, and this change was going to happen regardless.

My point is that, for WotC, this change is a huge risk to their business. And they're making missteps early in the transition process.
I don't see any missteps so far. Outrage on this board isn't going to impact it one iota.

I also don't think movies are a good example here. Technology changes have expanded the movie industry. VCRs didn't get rid of theaters. In the US, we have more theaters with more screens. Video rental stores went away, but they weren't completely supplanted by streaming services. Video Rental Kiosks like Redbox are still a thing, and many public libraries have larger video collections than Blockbuster.
Might want to check your facts. While it is seeing single-digit upturns lately, theater attendance is half what it was pre-Covid.
Can you articulate how the platform's value is tremendous and obvious? Why should I give WotC money for this instead of Foundry, Roll20, or Fantasy Grounds?
I only use Roll20, but it earns enormous amounts for WotC.
As to why you should use Roll20, it is obvious. Roll20 is the best thing to hit gaming since I started in 1979.
Evolution would be putting out a superior product. How is removing the OGL enabling a superior product? How is D&D Beyond a superior product?
Evolution is adapting to change or expiring. WotC is changing the industry environment, and small publishers will adapt or die.
 

Yeah, I have noninterest in a digital playspace (that's why God invented pens and paper, darn it), so that is something they could lose me if they compromise the offline experience.
Given that the bigger publishers dominate the dead-tree market, which is much less vulnerable to pirating, losing old-school gamers are not a big risk. Nor will they lose the enlightened, elite on-line gamers. It is the middle-of-the-road, pdf-using F2F gamers who will defect in the largest numbers, and between file-sharing and the 'only GMs buy material' traits, they are a smaller market share.

I expect the bean-counters have worked the numbers, and realized where the future money stream is at.
 

MGibster

Legend
Altogether now "we told you so".
I admit it, changing the OGL came out of left field. No, scratch that, the idea of the OGL going away wasn't even in the same park, city, state, or solar system so far as I was concerned.
The reality is that people care more about what has happened, or is happening, than what might happen, for better or worse.
Sure. But there's something I've really taken to heart over the last few years. When someone tells me they're going to do something that's going to hurt others, I believe them and I take them seriously.

Saying that D&D is "under-monetized" is a vague statement. Is it threatening? Yes. Is it also the sort of thing corporate types often say, but can have a thousand different meanings? Yes.
That's not just what they said though, they also wanted to turn us into recurrent spenders and were using the same language to describe their business model that the video game industry has been using over the last few years. An industry that has a recent history of treating their customers like garbage. Fine, if someone doesn't know anything about the decisions and behaviors of video game companies in the last 15 years, okay, it makes sense that WotC's discussion with their shareholders didn't sound ominous at all. But WotC gave us their strategic goal and we collectively shrugged our shoulders and said, "Meh, it might not be bad."

I'm not going to gloat and say, "I told you so," largely because it's not like I saw this coming. But maybe when someone says they're going to adopt a strategy that has been shown to be anti-consumer, maybe take it a little more seriously next time.
 


Fine, if someone doesn't know anything about the decisions and behaviors of video game companies in the last 15 years
I actually think the behaviour of video game companies has improved over the last five years, re: monetization. Some of this is in response to government regulations in a handful of countries, some is down to just realizing certain particularly vile tactics just don't work that well compared to more reasonable ones, and some is genuine improvement. But the direction of travel has been okay.

I can list specific examples if you'd like, but seems to me like the real nadir of video-game stuff was more like 2012-2018 than more recently.

That's true even of mobile games - something like Marvel Snap is clearly out for your money, but has a vastly less predatory model than the merchandised mobile games of 5-10 years ago (including Marvel ones). I don't think that's just them being nice, but rather a realization that a predatory mobile game gets a bad rep, self-limiting its audience, and also can be potentially cause some damage to the IP.

But maybe when someone says they're going to adopt a strategy that has been shown to be anti-consumer, maybe take it a little more seriously next time.
I feel like this is a pretty ridiculous thing to say unless you can list concrete actions we all should have taken when the "monetization" and "recurrent" comments were made.

"Taking it seriously" without concrete actions is both pointless and unprovable. For all you know, most people could have been taking it extremely seriously, but unless there were actions (not mere words) to demonstrate, how would we possibly know?

Let's not be accusing people of not taking stuff seriously without actions they could have taken.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
When Cynthia Williams starts having WotC sell cross-stitch and crochet kits, then I'll know the party is over and it's time to call it a day.

Funny! But the doomcasting is kind of getting out of control.

D&D has survived, inter alia, the ousted of its founder (Gygax). The (mis)management of the Blume family. Multiple financial deaths (1985, 1997). The Satanic Panic. Repeated questionable management decisions. Alienating large parts of their fan base due to litigation and C&D letters in the 80s. Alienating the hobbyist community in the 70s and 80s with their attempt to wall off D&D from the rest of the community. The various edition wars and schisms, including, but not limited to, the 3e/4e debacle (WHICH PEOPLE STILL FIGHT TODAY ... including, in a roundabout way, in threads about OGLs).

I could keep going, but I completely agree with you. Yeah, this is definitely worthy of concern and coverage, but the sheer amount of "OMG THIS IS THE WORSTEST THING 4EVA AND D&D IS DEAD NOW HAAHAHAHAHAHAHA" is .... well, we'll see, right?
 


Funny! But the doomcasting is kind of getting out of control.

D&D has survived, inter alia, the ousted of its founder (Gygax). The (mis)management of the Blume family. Multiple financial deaths (1985, 1997). The Satanic Panic. Repeated questionable management decisions. Alienating large parts of their fan base due to litigation and C&D letters in the 80s. Alienating the hobbyist community in the 70s and 80s with their attempt to wall off D&D from the rest of the community. The various edition wars and schisms, including, but not limited to, the 3e/4e debacle (WHICH PEOPLE STILL FIGHT TODAY ... including, in a roundabout way, in threads about OGLs).

I could keep going, but I completely agree with you. Yeah, this is definitely worthy of concern and coverage, but the sheer amount of "OMG THIS IS THE WORSTEST THING 4EVA AND D&D IS DEAD NOW HAAHAHAHAHAHAHA" is .... well, we'll see, right?
I mean, aren't you missing out the bit where they literally were months from death in the 1990s, and only survived because WotC bought them? That seems relevant lol.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I mean, aren't you missing out the bit where they literally were months from death in the 1990s, and only survived because WotC bought them? That seems relevant lol.

Am I?

Multiple financial deaths (1985, 1997).

I appreciate you reiterating my point.! D&D has seen a lot worse. The doomcasting (and I would add that most of the vocal cheerleaders on this forum are the same ones that had already given up on 5e prior to this) is a little bit too much.
 

Am I?

Multiple financial deaths (1985, 1997).

I appreciate you reiterating my point.! D&D has seen a lot worse. The doomcasting (and I would add that most of the vocal cheerleaders on this forum are the same ones that had already given up on 5e prior to this) is a little bit too much.
Well to be fair 5E is gonna die.

100%. No arguing. In less than 2 years! Because WotC themselves have said it will be killed and replaced by 1D&D. So it's not like the thread premise is fundamentally wrong? :p 5E is going to die in disgrace but the OGL debacle will have disgraced it, and 1D&D will kill it. The upcoming books of 2024 are definitely not going to be enough to regain it's honor unless they've liked, tracked Zeb Cook and DeTerlizzi and locked them in a basement to create the new Planescape or something.

(You may detect I am being somewhat facetious)

The real question is whether D&D dies, I guess, and I think there's no chance the OGL does that by itself. I think there is a reasonable chance the 3D VTT kills D&D in a very real sense though.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
The real question is whether D&D dies, I guess, and I think there's no chance the OGL does that by itself. I think there is a reasonable chance the 3D VTT kills D&D in a very real sense though.

That's an interesting question, and, IMO, much more interesting than the OGL (which I am already bored by, tbh).

I know that there are people- like me- that don't play D&D with VTT. But I also think that I'm in the minority? But only maybe ... the high school kids that I know that play don't use VTT either- it's all in person and pencil & paper.

I know that if they continue to move D&D into a VTT-required direction, I'm going back to running B/X and 1e exclusively when it comes to "D&D."
 

I'm not going to gloat and say, "I told you so," largely because it's not like I saw this coming. But maybe when someone says they're going to adopt a strategy that has been shown to be anti-consumer, maybe take it a little more seriously next time.
Is it really anti-consumer?

It is bad news for small publishers who chose to do derivative work, but I don't really see how the consumer is harmed. D&D will still be available, if you like that sort of thing.
 



Oofta

Legend
That’s wild to me that “something like 4e” is a harder limit to you than the OGL. Like, ok, you don’t like 4e, fine, lots of people don’t. But making a game you don’t like very much is a bigger deal to you than killing many small publisher’s livelihoods? The OGL was what made the alternative to 4e possible. I would think if nothing else you would at least want the OGL around in case they took the game in a similar direction again.

I get that people are concerned and I'm not trying to minimize their concern. I simply don't understand why people assume the death of all 3PP publishers, especially now that they're getting rid of royalties*.

Why do people assume the bolded? WOTC is not TSR, they aren't cranking out one setting after another. Modules, and setting books, simply don't make a lot of money so it's in WOTC's best interest to let others that can make a profit go after those niches. It would be stupid of WOTC to dilute it's core official products too much. Just because they could be that stupid doesn't mean they will be.

I think the 1.1 version was a huge mistake in presentation if not intent. I'm simply taking a wait-and-see attitude on the 2.0 version that we have yet to see.

*I personally have mixed thoughts on royalties, if nothing else if implemented it should have been based on net revenue not gross but that's a moot point now.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Ahem. I own shares in several popcorn concerns and this sort of reasoned discourse could harm their prices.

It's great for a few days! But then ...

giphy.gif
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top