WotC: Goodbye, Loren Greenwood, hello Greg Leeds

Moon-Lancer

First Post
I know its long shot but is it possible that the gsl delay is tied to the new president? (be it that he is ether the fix or a cause.)
 
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Relique du Madde

Adventurer
Moon-Lancer said:
I know its long shot but is it possible that the gsl delay is tied to the new president? (be it that he is ether the fix or a cause.)

I don't doubt it. Hell at this point I won't be surprised if decided to kill GSL because he felt that it would be giving DnD's competitors an "edge in the game" so to speak.
 

Imperialus

Explorer
Zinegata said:
Moreover, if the GamingReport article is correct, Leeds used to work for P&G. Guys who come from that company are generally very solid and competent, so WoTC is likely in good hands (I was an IT intern in P&G for a summer before I decided to go into Marketing for another company instead. But I still consider P&G as the benchmark other corporations should follow in terms of how well they took care of their regular employees and their customers)

Excellent. They worship the devil too. Good to keep it in the family. :p
 

Darrin Drader

Explorer
Relique du Madde said:
I don't doubt it. Hell at this point I won't be surprised if decided to kill GSL because he felt that it would be giving DnD's competitors an "edge in the game" so to speak.

At this point I wouldn't be surprised if they decided to kill the GSL anyway. We're getting too close to release with no sign of it. Makes me nervous.
 

DaveMage

Slumbering in Tsar
Whisperfoot said:
At this point I wouldn't be surprised if they decided to kill the GSL anyway. We're getting too close to release with no sign of it. Makes me nervous.


Don't get my hopes up....

:D
 

Joshua Randall

Adventurer
Tetsubo said:
It has been my experience that management types (and those hired by management types) are often picked because of *who* they know, not *what* they know.

The "Old Boy" network is alive and well in the US of A. I've seen it again and again.
Cynical much?

Please enlighten us as to the criteria you believe are appropriate for a CEO of a gaming company. We already know that, according to you and your vast experience, the person cannot have an MBA and must be a gamer, so you can skip those attributes and just tell us the rest.
 

Tetsubo

First Post
Joshua Randall said:
Cynical much?

Please enlighten us as to the criteria you believe are appropriate for a CEO of a gaming company. We already know that, according to you and your vast experience, the person cannot have an MBA and must be a gamer, so you can skip those attributes and just tell us the rest.

My opinion is based on watching and dealing with management types for twenty-four years.

If your experience is different I would love to hear it. Mine has shown that a company succeeds in spite of its management, not because of it. That the people who do things actually handle the running of the place. Management a pretty much just figureheads. Highly paid figureheads mind you. But figureheads.
 

WayneLigon

Adventurer
Whisperfoot said:
At this point I wouldn't be surprised if they decided to kill the GSL anyway. We're getting too close to release with no sign of it. Makes me nervous.

Eh, somehow D&D and everyone else got along without such a thing for 25 years before. Nothing would be substancially different if it didn't exist now.
 

Darrin Drader

Explorer
WayneLigon said:
Eh, somehow D&D and everyone else got along without such a thing for 25 years before. Nothing would be substancially different if it didn't exist now.

I'd like to think you're right, however, after the release of 3rd edition and the OGL, we saw a lot of unique game systems and manufacturers of such games fold. Personally I think what we'd see is a backlash where a lot of companies would take the Pathfinder route and use some altered form of 3rd edition, very possibly Pathfinder as the default.
 

Sanguinemetaldawn

First Post
WayneLigon said:
The initial blush of D&D's sucess had absolutely zero to do with any sort of business acumen on the part of anyone involved; they were surprised at the level of sucess it enjoyed. First via word-of-mouth through the college network and then the nationwide free advertising that came with the Egbert case. D&D was a sucess but not from 'gamers being in charge'.

Similarly, WoTC was an also-ran company until they stumbled into sucess with Magic and then Pokemon. The fact a gamer was in charge had nothing to do with their sucess and in fact probably contributed to their inability to control costs that led to the embarassing rounds of firing highly sucessful designers, etc. Remember those? Yay! You saved D&D with a new edition that cleaned up all the old problems and brought tons of gamers back into the fold! Oh, and here's your pink slip.

Stumbling into sucess is a nice thing to happen but don't confuse it with being a good manager or businessman, or with making good decisions.

In case you think WoTC was some sort of gamer paradise back in the day, here's a little look-see into what a company run by gamers is like.

Well, then the success of the company oddly correlates to gamers in charge. Such as the mid-80s when Gygax convinced the lender to give him control of the campany, it did so, then he turned the company around from near bankruptcy to financial success.

And while the company may have come about via luck, serendipity, whatever you want to call it, it was also an unbroken success for years running. Gary started a company in his basement, recognized a market, risked capital on products he sold to the market, building a company from his basement into one with dozens of employees. Most people define that as business success.


See, I am trying to understand your position. And if D&D wasn't a success when Gary or Peter was in charge, then either you are saying D&D was a success under Lorraine and Hasbro, or you are saying that D&D was never a bona fide success. Since Lorraine Williams drove the company into bankruptcy, and we have 3 editions in 9 years with Hasbro, I just can't see the first.

So the alternative is that D&D was never a genuine success.

I am interested in hearing your definition of success. Does there have to be a written business plan that a bank or other 3rd party agrees to finance? Does it have to be a market one was not personally involved in before? Does it have to involve taking shares in a pre-existing market, not recognizing a whole new market?



It also seems as if you are conflating financial success of the company with employee satisfaction. The waves of layoffs are forgotten by no-one, I am sure, but my original argument was regarding the business, bottom-line success of the company, not employee satisfaction.

Its true that I am assuming some correlation between success of the company and "success of the game", however you choose to define it, because financial success generally comes from sales. Sales translate to increased visibility, increased marketshare and audience, or at the very least, increased valuation.

Generally, I don't see the business failure of a game as success for the game in broader terms.


Anyway, given the history of success and failure, if I had to choose between a gamer running the company and a non-gamer, I would choose the gamer, assuming he/she wasn't some fool.
 
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Monkey Boy

First Post
WayneLigon said:
Eh, somehow D&D and everyone else got along without such a thing for 25 years before. Nothing would be substancially different if it didn't exist now.

WOW just WOW.

The OGL gave us:

Great 3rd party products - Arcana Unearthed, Ptolus, Pathfinder etc
New rules that were incorporated into later editions - action points anyone?
Game designers who influence the direction of future editions - Mike Mearls
Inspiring campaign worlds - I personally am a fan of Midnight

Thanks, in no small part to the OGL, DnD looks vibrant to me. Why should we give up on the DnD renaissance and go back to the way things were?

I would argue DnD would be substantially different with no OGL. Variety and choice is the spice of life.
 

Darrin Drader

Explorer
Monkey Boy said:
Thanks, in no small part to the OGL, DnD looks vibrant to me. Why should we give up on the DnD renaissance and go back to the way things were?

A lot of the innovations started with other game systems before they were ported over to D&D.

I would argue DnD would be substantially different with no OGL. Variety and choice is the spice of life.

I would totally agree with you on that. In fact, I'd say that if 4th edition is not open as they've promised, there's a very good chance that enough of a segment of the market will revert back to 3rd edition that it will be a viable system to continue publishing for.
 

WayneLigon

Adventurer
Sanguinemetaldawn said:
See, I am trying to understand your position. And if D&D wasn't a success when Gary or Peter was in charge, then either you are saying D&D was a success under Lorraine and Hasbro, or you are saying that D&D was never a bona fide success. Since Lorraine Williams drove the company into bankruptcy, and we have 3 editions in 9 years with Hasbro, I just can't see the first.

So the alternative is that D&D was never a genuine success.

I am saying that D&D's sucess was the result of things beyond the control of any company; luck, for lack of a better word. No-one can say what will and will not 'catch on'. Who knew that Titanic of all things would go on to become a billion-dollar film? Who would have thought that Dan Brown, a previous mid-list author at best, would produce a book that had the reach and sucess of The Da Vinci Code? It was simple luck that D&D was a sucess with gamers at the helm; that fact of them being gamers rather than businessmen has nothing to do with it.

One also doesn't need to look at Williams or the Blumes as a case of what happens when business people get control of a company. The Blumes were an aberration; one might even not call them 'businessmen' since a real businessman doesn't treat a company like his own personal ATM, which from all descriptions is just what the Blumes did. They constructed things so they were not answerable to anyone but themselves, which is a recipe for disaster. It's an example of a poorly-run, sick company.

2 (I guess you count 3.5 as a seperate edition, which I don't think should be done) editions in 9 years with Hasbro is more like par for the course and in fact is rather conservative; the whole 'ten years between editions' that occured previously is what happens when a company doesn't listen to it's customers. It was an aberration, something that doesn't normally occur. I think if things had gone as they should, we'd have seen a cleaned-up AD&D in about 1984, 1985, then a much richer edition in 1990, something closer to what 3E is like. By now, we should be well into 5E and probably speculating on what 6E will be like.
 

WayneLigon

Adventurer
Monkey Boy said:
I would argue DnD would be substantially different with no OGL. Variety and choice is the spice of life.

I can't see how D&D would be any different at all. They've made virtually no use of the third-party innovations and variants to their system.

If you wanted real variety, then the OGL was poison to that; before 3E there were a lot of second-tier RPGs. 2e and TSR's troubles cost D&D tons of market share and other games blossomed as a result. 3E pretty much stopped all RPG development as everyone and their brother chased d20 dollars and switched to D&D development. There wasn't a reason to develop anything else.

About the only innovative thing you could point to would be M&M/True20.
 

Aris Dragonborn

First Post
Relique du Madde said:
Moon-Lancer said:
I know its long shot but is it possible that the gsl delay is tied to the new president? (be it that he is ether the fix or a cause.)
I don't doubt it. Hell at this point I won't be surprised if decided to kill GSL because he felt that it would be giving DnD's competitors an "edge in the game" so to speak.

Maybe there's another possibility?

What are the chances that this new guy is arguing for the scrapping of the GSL and the release of 4E under the current OGL?
 

Holy Bovine

First Post
Tetsubo said:
My personal experience has been different. I've never met a person with an MBA that I would let manage a lemonade stand, let alone a company. They have shown me a complete lack of understanding of those that work for them AND a total failure to grasp reality. If it doesn't fit their preconceived notion of how the world works, it gets ignored. I believe that at some point in the process of acquiring an MBA the brain is killed off. It is then replaced by an overwhelming sense of importance and entitlement.

Again, I want a gamer to head WoTC.

Tetsubo said:
Frankly I'd rather see the company fold than turn D&D into a tabletop MMO/wargame.

3.5: The Last Edition of D&D.


Does all that hate and bitterness keep you warm at night? :\
 

Joshua Randall

Adventurer
Tetsubo said:
My opinion is based on watching and dealing with management types for twenty-four years.

If your experience is different I would love to hear it. Mine has shown that a company succeeds in spite of its management, not because of it. That the people who do things actually handle the running of the place. Management a pretty much just figureheads. Highly paid figureheads mind you. But figureheads.
Ah, I see. The typical cheaply cynical management-are-idiots, up-with-the-little-people, response.

I'm truly sorry that The Man is Keeping You Down (tm), but as always, your personal experience does not translate universally.

I have worked with plenty of MBAs in the course of my career. A few of them were idiots who couldn't find their behinds with two hands. Most of them were average. A few of them were exceptionally bright, motivated, and leaders of men.

Just like non-MBAs, they run the gamut.
 

jdrakeh

Front Range Warlock
Monkey Boy said:
I would argue DnD would be substantially different with no OGL. Variety and choice is the spice of life.

I think that D&D would no longer be a viable brand name without the advent of the OGL. In fact, I think that it would no longer be in print. At the time WotC acquired D&D from TSR, it had been accumulating debt, not profit, which is why TSR was in the hole and WotC inherited that huge warehouse full of unsold product dating back to 1977. People who think that D&D was doing "just fine" without the intervention of WotC and their brave, new, marketing model are living in a fantasy world all their own. Before WotC acquired D&D, both its former publisher and the brand name were on life support.
 

Desdichado

Adventurer
Tetsubo said:
I've seen too many marketers and MBA holders convinced that they could "manage anything". I want the head guy at WoTC to be a gamer. Not some marketing suit. This is another example that WoTC is headed in the wrong direction. Nothing good will come of this.
Most gamers probably couldn't manage any business more complex than a taco stand. As evidence, I offer this thread.
 

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