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

Hasbro also has other properties like Transformers, GI Joe, Power Rangers, and My Little Pony to draw on.

The interesting thing to me is that this has hit WaPo (and the Financial Times if you search). The game is a much bigger deal than it used to be.
 

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DarkCrisis

Legend
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.
Yea. Like the article says, they got greedy as Corps do. And now they messed up and well we will see what happens.

Im honestly shocked they haven't just scratched the whole idea at this point and said "NM no new OGL" Which means they are betting on those who stay to pay more.

Yes this will all be a boost to Pathfinder and all the other RPGS out there (Ive even ordered Castles and Crusades despite having a ton of Fantasy RPGs and others already), but much like with 4E, D&D isn't going anywhere.... then again this is a new generation of players who are less likely to put up with corporate BS, so wait and see...

Can't wait to see what the sales look like for 6E/OneD&D/whatever
 


Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
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 ...

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 don't think they yet have any intention of giving up the key points that they want. They've walked back others, they've obfuscated their points, they've made unasked concessions that have good optics like CC, but right now they are in the "we'll defuse the yelling and then be able to reintroduce what we want". I'm in the US, and people are tired of constantly resisting. Fatigue will set in and so reasonable-from-the-right-angle OGL will defuse a lot of anger, and then small, incremental changes that dont' cause much individual uproar will occur.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I don't think they yet have any intention of giving up the key points that they want. They've walked back others, they've obfuscated their points, they've made unasked concessions that have good optics like CC, but right now they are in the "we'll defuse the yelling and then be able to reintroduce what we want". I'm in the US, and people are tired of constantly resisting. Fatigue will set in and so reasonable-from-the-right-angle OGL will defuse a lot of anger, and then small, incremental changes that dont' cause much individual uproar will occur.

Maybe! But this also seems to be doing more extensive and longer-lasting damage in more areas than I had assumed possible.

I understand their desire for control and money when it comes to the brand. But they aren't playing with a fresh deck of cards, they are playing the hand they were dealt.

And it just looks like they are playing it terribly to date. The fundamental problem, IMO, is that this was a high variance legal strategy even if there wasn't a lot of pushback. The sheer amount of pushback they are getting, from so many people, should probably factor into their calculus vis-a-vis the legal strategy. IMO.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
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 ....
It's not about current success.
It's about future success.

I did record sales last year. My expectations for next year still went up. Not based on last year's expectations but last year's record.

The numbers must go up.

Even if OneDnD wasn't planned, I don't think 2023 would beat 2022 or 2021.5e was on fumes. This was my fear about 5e. I've said it many times here on ENWorld. The growth of it wasn't sustainable. Minigiant was the doom and gloomer. Everyone loves 5e. Yeah but 5e hit the point where the designers WOTC had and could not produce growth. The growth was on the 3PP with niche stuff WOTC would not produce. Or hire a bunch of staff and go heavy on variant rules and you guess it.. the thing I harped on... new settings.

But as is 5e was at it's late middle ages and going grey due to its publication strategy. So the only things the tip tops had to fix 5e, create a great 5.5e or 6e that convinced everyone to switch as get the same purchases again, or switch to new slimier revenue streams.

The executives choose the last as they were too disconnected to understand the other options well enough.
 
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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.

The only plausible thing they could do at this point to rebuild trust is to release the 3.0, 3.5, Modern, and 5e SRD's (with all associated addendums like the Psychic and Divine addendums for 3.5 and the Arcane, Menace and Future addendums for Modern) into a Creative Commons license they have no control over (or some other license they explicitly have no ability to rescind, "de authorize" or any similar nonsense).

Oh, and release the Open Game Content portion of 3e Unearthed Arcana like that too.

They almost certainly won't do such a thing, but it would certainly be a thing they could do that would undo the damage they did to the gaming community and get back most of the goodwill they have lost.
 

Staffan

Legend
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.
Well, the execs are the most important people in any corporation, that's why they're paid the most money. And if D&D did that well when neglected, just imagine how well it could do with the benign guidance of the executives!
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
I was thinking again the other night just how funny it is that at least two of those have RPGs not developed by WotC and not using 5e.
All 4 of them actually. In June Renegade will add their own My Little Pony RPG to the other 3 they already make under license from Hasbro.

I'm guessing the plans for restricting D&D and 5e date back to when these were first proposed.
I don't think it's related. Renegade offered them money for game licenses around those properties and Hasbro wanted the money. IIRC originally they were going to use an ogl d20 variant but as they developed their games the system drifted far enough in design to be it's own thing so we get Essence20.

There's a game company I'm not surprised is staying silent through all of this. Bet they're even more glad they didn't go the ogl route now.
 

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?
My dad, found out about the whole controversy (presumably through this article) today, and asked me about it. When I mentioned the hate speech thing he said not having something that someone considers hate speech in a game about killing things seems pretty impossible.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
My dad, found out about the whole controversy (presumably through this article) today, and asked me about it. When I mentioned the hate speech thing he said not having something that someone considers hate speech in a game about killing things seems pretty impossible.
Yeah. It’s really wild. D&D is basically home-invasion murder-time the RPG. You don’t even have to squint to see the colonizers at play angle. The idea of a morality clause is laughable.
 


Remathilis

Legend
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
I find statements like the unhelpful hyperbole. Lots of companies police user generated content. This very website could ban you for hate speech. So can a lot of other websites. DTRPG and Kickstarter both have provisions on what is acceptable speech. I have no problems with WotC wanting some moderation on games that use its rules as well. I just think they need some method to dispute rulings. If YouTube yanks my video, I can file a motion to dispute it. I want WotC too work with either a meditation system or the legal system to have a third party arbiter to dispute rulings.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
I was thinking again the other night just how funny it is that at least two of those have RPGs not developed by WotC and not using 5e. I'm guessing the plans for restricting D&D and 5e date back to when these were first proposed.
Do you mean to focus on medievalesque branding for the D&D product? Good point.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Im honestly shocked they haven't just scratched the whole idea at this point and said "NM no new OGL" Which means they are betting on those who stay to pay more.
The reason Hasbro-WotC refuses to back down about the OGL 1.0a is:

Hasbro-WotC seeks to kill the OGL 1.0a in order to lay the legal foundation for much worse attacks against the gaming community.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
I find statements like the unhelpful hyperbole. Lots of companies police user generated content. This very website could ban you for hate speech. So can a lot of other websites. DTRPG and Kickstarter both have provisions on what is acceptable speech. I have no problems with WotC wanting some moderation on games that use its rules as well. I just think they need some method to dispute rulings. If YouTube yanks my video, I can file a motion to dispute it. I want WotC too work with either a meditation system or the legal system to have a third party arbiter to dispute rulings.
It's not hyperbole - read what I wrote again. They can jn fact just do whatever they want with that clause as long as they're willing to deal with the pr consequences. The question you have to ask when buying into accepting their license is whether you trust them to act in good faith.

There's that word again - trust. That's what it all boils down to. I trust Morrus to not abuse the tos here. I don't have the same trust for wizards anymore.
 

guachi

Hero
Fatigue will set in and so reasonable-from-the-right-angle OGL will defuse a lot of anger, and then small, incremental changes that dont' cause much individual uproar will occur.

At the point people give up and accept what Hasbro is doing will also be the same time many of them accept they won't be buying any more D&D.

It's the seven (or five. I've listed seven) stages of grief. Fans and Hasbro are in Stage 3. If Hasbro backs down they will go through the other 4 stages. If Hasbro doesn't then fans will go through the final 4 stages. At the "upward turn" stage, many fans will look to other RPGs, and stage 6 and 7 is where they will write off Hasbro and adopt some other gaming system.
  • Shock and denial
  • Pain and guilt
  • Anger and bargaining
  • Depression
  • The upward turn
  • Reconstruction and working through
  • Acceptance and hope
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
The reason Hasbro-WotC refuses to back down about the OGL 1.0a is:

Hasbro-WotC seeks to kill the OGL 1.0a in order to lay the legal foundation for much worse attacks against the gaming community.
No.

Hasbro-WotC refuses to back down about the OGL 1.0a is the biggest obstacle is easy financial growth. All other options for year on year growth now that the global disaster is over are risky or unreliable.

And WOTC has recently proved that they aren't good enough to do most of them.
 


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