OGL Washington Post: The WOTC dragon is “to be slain.”


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gweinel

Explorer
Whether you view the original OGL as a mystic talisman or smoke-and-mirrors, WotC appears to have committed an irreversible act of self-sabotage in trying to replace it — squandering the prestige accumulated over 20 years in a matter of weeks.
“A king shouldn’t be grasping at all of your coins — that’s what a dragon does, right?” Walker joked. And as any group of D&D adventurers might tell you, in stories like this, the point of a dragon atop a treasure trove is for it to be slain.

Damn... that really hurts!
 

The story they told in this article sounds like fun. The one about a bunch of evil Wizards trying to steal a powerful sacred text that turns out to be completely powerless.

If you tried to publish an adventure based on this story under the new "O"GL, would the Wizards be able to shut you down using the "hate speech" clause?
 
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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
It's an interesting question at this point.

I can understand why Hasbro did what they did. They want to be like all the other kids brands on the block.

But given that the status quo was so successful for them, and, well, the status is certainly not quo right now and this is the angriest people have been at them since, um, you know ....

Why not walk it all back? Step up and ...

nevermind-ignore-it.gif


I guess the question is ... with all the anger and the rhetoric, do they just think that "Screw it, this is as bad as it's going to be, might as well get the change we wanted and build it back up," or not?
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
If you tried to publish an adventure based on this story under the new "O"GL, would the Wizards be able to shut you down useing the "hate speech" clause?
From what I can see the only thing stopping Wizards from using their hate speech clause to take down anything they want is public backlash against it.

I could put "puppies are wonderful" onto social media, they could cite it as hate speech against cats and revoke my license if they think it's worth their effort and the public backlash they take for doing it won't hurt them.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
I guess the question is ... with all the anger and the rhetoric, do they just think that "Screw it, this is as bad as it's going to be, might as well get the change we wanted and build it back up," or not?
I'm not sure how they could really. The OGL exists because Wizards needed to build trust after buying D&D from TSR. The last time Wizards destroyed trust and had to build it back up they used the OGL to do it again.

Wizards may have forgotten why they released an SRD for 5e but I sure haven't.
 

Somebody in the top of Hasbro megacorporation has to be really furious with this epic failure of historical proportions. And maybe the head of the "shark" who had got that really wrong idea will be asked, and served on a silver platter. Some times I suspect this was allowed by WotC to show the sharks within Hasbro were totally wrong about the strategy because these didn't understand the product and the market.

This is appearing in the generalist press. This is causing a very bad fame.
 


DarkCrisis

Legend
It’s shocking that Hasbro did a near same mess up twice. An event that pushed people into other system.

I have no doubt D&D will remain king of the hill but $ had already left the table.

Saw a guy today that I know through work and he started D&D with 5E and he said he’s looking into Pathfinder now because Hasbro has hurt his trust.

I probably should have asked him if he ever bought 3rd party books
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
It’s shocking that Hasbro did a near same mess up twice.
What's shocking is that it is the exact same mess and they don't seem to remember why the 5e SRD was put under an OGL in the first place.

The didn't have to do it. 4e wasn't OGL. 5e didn't have to be OGL. But they did it anyway. And for very good reasons - 5e being under the OGL has benefited them greatly. Just that the benefits are indirect that involve how D&D has grown and don't come with royalty payments.
I have no doubt D&D will remain king of the hill but $ had already left the table
D&D was king of the hill in the 90s and the company making it still went bankrupt.

The surge in RPG popularity around D&D could possibly disappear overnight. People have other entertainment options. D&D could go back to being the king RPG of a very small hill.

Saw a guy today that I know through work and he started D&D with 5E and he said he’s looking into Pathfinder now because Hasbro has hurt his trust.

I probably should have asked him if he ever bought 3rd party books
That is interesting. My kid is kind of in the same boat - they don't buy 3pp books but they do watch YouTubers who make 3pp books and they've been reading a lot of about this stuff. They're at the age where fairness is a big deal to them and they're thinking about shifting to Pathfinder just because they don't like how Hasbro has been treating people. And they had an even more cynical read on the two posts that Wizards has made to DDB than I did - in fact it was their negativity around some of the stuff in yesterday's post that made me go back and realize it wasn't quite as good a deal as I thought (oh to be 15 again and have the time to really be cynical about how adults run the world).

They're not ready to pull the trigger yet - they have a lot of labor and emotional investment both in D&D at this point - but they did ask me to put a hold on buying them the Monster Manual on DDB for now (that was how they decided they wanted to spend their Christmas money right before the leak hit the news).
 

If this was the source of inspiration for an adventure of d20 Modern mixed with some touchs of conspirancy theories I would tell somebody wanted a change of chairs within the top of Hasbro, and this is an almost auto-sabotage. It wasn't like to give a poisoned apple, but to put this on the floor and await to be biten. Why? This time not about the money but the control of a possible future giant in the entertaiment industry, and then an important weapon for propaganda in the cultural war. ....if this was the inspiration for a game playing d20 Modern.
 

DarkCrisis

Legend
What's shocking is that it is the exact same mess and they don't seem to remember why the 5e SRD was put under an OGL in the first place.

The didn't have to do it. 4e wasn't OGL. 5e didn't have to be OGL. But they did it anyway. And for very good reasons - 5e being under the OGL has benefited them greatly. Just that the benefits are indirect that involve how D&D has grown and don't come with royalty payments.

D&D was king of the hill in the 90s and the company making it still went bankrupt.

The surge in RPG popularity around D&D could possibly disappear overnight. People have other entertainment options. D&D could go back to being the king RPG of a very small hill.


That is interesting. My kid is kind of in the same boat - they don't buy 3pp books but they do watch YouTubers who make 3pp books and they've been reading a lot of about this stuff. They're at the age where fairness is a big deal to them and they're thinking about shifting to Pathfinder just because they don't like how Hasbro has been treating people. And they had an even more cynical read on the two posts that Wizards has made to DDB than I did - in fact it was their negativity around some of the stuff in yesterday's post that made me go back and realize it wasn't quite as good a deal as I thought (oh to be 15 again and have the time to really be cynical about how adults run the world).

They're not ready to pull the trigger yet - they have a lot of labor and emotional investment both in D&D at this point - but they did ask me to put a hold on buying them the Monster Manual on DDB for now (that was how they decided they wanted to spend their Christmas money right before the leak hit the news).
TSR an Hasbro are 2 different animals. Hasbro isn’t going to go bankrupt if D&D flounders. It isn’t near as mismanaged as TSR
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
TSR an Hasbro are 2 different animals. Hasbro isn’t going to go bankrupt if D&D flounders. It isn’t near as mismanaged as TSR
Right. Well, probably right. D&D's problems are a symptom of wider problems at Hasbro. They have "activist investors" who are waiting to pounce and sell the company for parts, so if Magic and D&D start floundering they may have some sharks out for blood on their heels. So while they might not go bankrupt it could be something that leads to a very different Hasbro a decade from now.

But even if not - it's possible for Hasbro to be fine and D&D to still drop in popularity again. The growth in D&D for the last decade has been a synergy between the community and the corporation growing the brand. Hasbro has decided they don't need the community anymore and want to cut them loose and control it all for themselves. We'll see if they're right I suppose.

Remember when nobody at Hasbro cared much about D&D? Remember how 5e was basically the "holding pattern" edition of the game? Something to keep the game alive on life support at Wizards because they couldn't figure out how to make it profitable enough to keep it a big game line? How for years people complained about lack of official product because they were only putting out a few books a year because the D&D line was being staffed by a skeleton crew?

Those years where execs just didn't care about the game and left it alone were also when D&D started taking off to become the biggest its ever been. There's a lesson there about executive meddling to be learned, but it would hurt their feelings to learn it so none of them will.
 

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