The OGL: Why is this really happening, and what to do now...

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
"Imagine" being the key word here. WotC's reasoning seems to rely on a number of significant assumptions:
  • There is a profitable market for the advanced VTT products WotC is working on.
  • A competitor's VTT can compete for this market even without the D&D brand and the non-SRD parts of the D&D ruleset.
  • A competitor's VTT cannot compete for this market without the SRD parts of the D&D ruleset.
  • WotC will be able to defend its retraction of the OGL through litigation or the threat thereof.
If all of these assumptions are correct, Wizards is clearing the way for its VTT as a massive cost to its public image (and ethics, if any of the decision makers care about that). But if even one of these assumptions turns out to be wrong, then WotC is inflicting these costs on itself and getting nothing in return.
Yeah, they really are that short-sighted.

I mean, anybody here could tell you that Roll20 couldn't possibly compete with the tens of millions they've pumped into whatever this VTT is going to be. You will out-perform and out-feature every other VTT immediately with those sorts of resources.

But to them? Naw, let's make sure. Plus, I'm sure they didn't think it would be this big a deal. Mainly, because all the people making this decision know nothing about this market and want it to turn it into a whole other, different market altogether.
 

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the 5e subclasses, Path of the Berserker for Barbarian, etc.. Chances are you miss some actual classes too, haven’t really checked the OGC
Under the OGL 1.0a, those VTTs can pull subclasses from literally every other OGL-licensed 3pp supplement in existence. They can also make their own.
 

Kai Lord

Hero
Here's something I've been wondering. WOTC has several times claimed that that horrendous OGL 1.1 that was leaked was just a "draft." So what would that mean for those creators who received a copy of 1.1 prior to the leak and actually signed it? WOTC will just say "oh you signed away all rights to owning anything you create going forward, thanks but we were just kidding, it was a draft, you can keep your IP..." Somehow I can't imagine them doing that, lol.

Or are they only claiming that the leaked 1.1 that was sent to select creators was a draft simply because literally no one signed? If that's the case it'd be pretty freaking hilarious.
 

mamba

Legend
Under the OGL 1.0a, those VTTs can pull subclasses from literally every other OGL-licensed 3pp supplement in existence. They can also make their own.
yes, but the premise was they can play D&D on a VTT because of the OGC, not ‘they can play something similar’.

The “something similar” will not really change thanks to the CC content
 


ValamirCleaver

Ein Jäger aus Kurpfalz
WotC have no faith in their ability to compete with these offerings while making the kind of profits that they imagine would be possible otherwise.
But if even one of these assumptions turns out to be wrong, then WotC is inflicting these costs on itself and getting nothing in return.
he community at large would be better able to design them than the team at WotC anyway. And I think they know this.
Yeah, they really are that short-sighted. But to them? Naw, let's make sure. Plus, I'm sure they didn't think it would be this big a deal. Mainly, because all the people making this decision know nothing about this market and want it to turn it into a whole other, different market altogether.
What makes one say that? Haven't D&D branded digital tool offerings since 2000 been wildly successful & universally lauded? Why would anyone have any doubt, especially those within Wizbro, that this in house initiative not be a continuance of the historically pre-eminent digital offerings under the D&D brand name?... :ROFLMAO:
 

Staffan

Legend
What makes one say that? Haven't D&D branded digital tool offerings since 2000 been wildly successful & universally lauded? Why would anyone have any doubt, especially those within Wizbro, that this in house initiative not be a continuance of the historically pre-eminent digital offerings under the D&D brand name?... :ROFLMAO:
Sarcasm Horrible.gif
 

Indeed. If the OGL 1.0(a) isn't watertight in the way it was intended to be, that would at the very least harm the professional reputation of Brian E. Lewis, the lawyer who drafted it. He currently works at Azora Law and is involved in the ORC.

I imagine that Bob Tarantino too, an IP lawyer who wrote a dissertation on the virtues of the OGL, would also consider it a professional setback if his assessments turned out to be all wrong.
laws and interpretations changing over 20 years and new presidents being set over 20... wait 23 years does not change or harm his reputation. If that was true every time something got overturned or broken it would hurt the original lawyer
 


My more general point is this: You can still play D&D if you don't give WizBro a single penny.
yes and in doing so if that is where YOU want to draw your line that is great... but playing, talking about, and basicly 'living the brand lifestyle' does still help hasbro just so you know.
The only alternative is to find a new game (pref one with no OGL roots) and run it, talk about it, and promote it OVER D&D. I doubt enough people will do either to matter, but I 100% support everyone finding where they stand with informed ideas.
 

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