Hasbro shoots itself in the foot: D&D and the OGL

FZD

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I just love how the video starts with "Let's talk about OGL. Now, the most common question we get about OGL, is 'what is OGL?'"
lol
 

Shadow Reaper

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I just love how the video starts with "Let's talk about OGL. Now, the most common question we get about OGL, is 'what is OGL?'"
lol
Yeah, they can be funny. Monty has his PhD in Theater Arts. Their Drakenheim materials are pretty good.
 
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NaffNaffBobFace

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When one holds the delicate lotus bloom in their hand they can either allow it to naturally flouslrish in the light or they can pluck it from it's plant, take it in to the dark cold forge and gilt it with gold.

But how long will a bloom last away from its sustaining plant and sunlight? Not for long, but while edged with gold it's value shall be enhanced. Thus is the folly of averice - attempts to boost natural value can deminish its lifespan expenentionally.

Alas we have seen this happen all too many times before in video gaming. Lootboxes, Battle Passes, Paid For DLC which completes, not compliments a game - even unskiplable ads in full priced games.

The outrage lasts for a little while, the offencive practice may even vanish for a while or at least get watered down... But it still takes hold in the end. <:-[
 
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Vavrik

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Alas we have seen this happen all too many times before in video gaming. Lootboxes, Battle Passes, Paid For DLC which completes, not compliments a game - even unskiplable ads in full priced games.

The outrage lasts for a little while, the offencive practice may even vanish for a while or at least get watered down... But it still takes hold in the end. <:-[
Just remember that you are the customer. If you don't like the way a game is sold, vote with your feet and your wallet.

Instead of doing that, what I see is everyone grumbles and complains, and the plays the games anyway. No skin off of the gaming company's nose, their objective is to make money and as long as people keep playing they don't care about the noise. This takes precedence over the quality of the game too.

So. What's the solution? Make them care, don't be their customer.
 

Shadow Reaper

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indeed, there are many calls to move on to alternatives. I think the TTRPG community is waiting to hear from groups like Critical Role, who already have their own publishing company, and who in fact moved from Pathfinder to 5e when they started their original Kickstarter project (which I believe astonished everyone and brought in $14M). The Critters are now almost uniquely positioned to absorb the entire TTRPG community and take all Hasbro's patrons. It may happen. OTOH, given the instant outcry by the community, I would not be surprised if Hasbro recanted, fired the CEO responsible for all this and kept things as they are. That CEO recognized 5e as under-monitized, but I don't think she understands that gamers are not so easily trifled with.

5e stands head and shoulders above all other TTRPGs for monitization. It remains to be seen how much more can be squeezed from the fans. I know plenty of people who won't touch D&D Beyond because they think the pricing is outrageous, and it really is. Hasbro is making good money, but they're in danger of killing the golden goose here.
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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Just remember that you are the customer. If you don't like the way a game is sold, vote with your feet and your wallet.

Instead of doing that, what I see is everyone grumbles and complains, and the plays the games anyway. No skin off of the gaming company's nose, their objective is to make money and as long as people keep playing they don't care about the noise. This takes precedence over the quality of the game too.

So. What's the solution? Make them care, don't be their customer.
The issue for me is I did that and it didnt do anything. There will always be their kind of customer willing to pay to play (in all but name) as that is the ecosystem they have built now.

I very much doubt there is a pulisher who doesn't demand monerization plans along side project submission and anything which has low/no monetization doesn't get the green light.

What i hadnt (and it looks like they hadn't) taken in to account is tabletop isn't a single player or online game where it is easy to pick up and play. Getting a group together to play tabletop i the first place is half the battle and those who become enthusiast for these in-person gamea are the hardened elite.
 
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Shadow Reaper

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So over 40,000 players have cancelled their subscriptions at DnD Beyond (Wizards of the Coast’s online virtual TTRPG tool), most third party creators are planning to leave, mostly for Pathfinder, and as this vid below is being made, WotC released a new statement that tomorrow there will be a new statement.

So in short, we’ll probably find out tomorrow if WotC can guarantee their OGL remains an open OGL, or if everyone leaves for Pathfinder.

Such drama!
View: https://youtu.be/gkagrYxKFng
 

Thalstan

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when they released the initial OGL changes, they fully admitted they might be wrong and might need make changes to it. I fully agree though they did have a significant over-reach. That said, they have a right to profit from others using their IP.

The Cynic in me wonders though if they deliberately went over the top for the first version and are pulling it back to where they wanted to be. Any change they were going to make would have caused outrage, so by going over the top and pulling back, they can get to where they wanted and also claim to be "responsive" to consumers and content creators
 
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NaffNaffBobFace

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when they released the initial OGL changes, they fully admitted they might be wrong and might need make changes to it. I fully agree though they did have a significant over-reach. That said, they have a right to profit from others using their IP.

The Cynic in me wonders though if they deliberately went over the top for the first version and are pulling it back to where they wanted to be. Any change they were going to make would have caused outrage, so by going over the top and pulling back, they can get to where they wanted and also claim to be "responsive" to consumers and content creators
Very much seems it's a total misread of the customer base and an almost cellular missunderstanding of what a community is, how it isn't a "customer" base in the traditional sense and a missed opportunity to make more money by making more things which can appeal and cater to that hardcore following which may now disband even if they do abandon their plans entirely.

So...

I'm not going to go in to details as I don't want to be singled out over there, but I do play an online game the owners of D&D and WoC offer, through one of their other IP's which has non-mandatory spend. About a week ago the Match-Maker was updated and I have hardly won a single game since, If at all.

Now, this is obviously just a big coincidence and I'm having a patch of bum luck and I just happen to be meeting players with God-Tier strats who demolish me time after time after time, but all this D&D chicanery is making me pause for thought and wonder if the Match-Maker has been altered to encourage some sort of spend through persistent drubbing and if I dropped some coin (which I do every month, just a couple of bucks, that are not mandatory to progress or play the game) I might just get some opponents my strategies can triumph against again...

It's more than just D&D this is casting a shadow over. I was never under a false impression I was a revenue source for a company but I never thought they would interfere with the games and services they provide to milk me... But now it's there in my head each and every time I loose. Each and every time: am I being manipulated because they think I'm under monetized and while I am here spending, I'm not spending enough?

My play sessions have dropped massively, I used to play at least two sessions at least an hour each a day. Now I log in, loose again and log out and it's getting to the point that's just once a day. Soon it might not even be that... and the likelihood I'm going to spnd again? I can't win a single match in a week I'm not going to waste my money and I'm fast getting to the point I'm not going to waste my time either. If intentional it's counterproductive, if just my bad luck? Heh, my bad luck is their bad luck.

I might drop my couple of bucks one last time just to see if my luck improves, in tribute to the good times, but that shadow now looms and even if I am suddenly winning games again it'll always be there and where I might persevere through a tough patch I will definitely be more likely to go play something else until I feel like loosing again...

Might be pure coincidence... It likely is... But the seed has been planted by their own actions...
 
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NaffNaffBobFace

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Heh, and after writing all that, I win 4 matches in a row this morning. The Gods have all gone in to hiding and I was able to dominate my fellow minnows swimming around in the puddle...

Coincidence and I just had a patch of bad luck...?

Also coincidence the system which pulls the mechanics for me to use in my strats in matches with was noticeably favourable in those matches...? And a relatively affordable nice little something has just gone up for sale in the in-game store which I'd usually have jumped at...?

...coincidence...

...such coincidences conspiracy theories are borne from. One thing I am certain of though - before all the grief over D&D I'd just have put this down to my own bad luck.

The trust is gone.
 
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CRISS9000

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This is just the same usual corporate zealotry of lawyers and directors. this is nothing if not expected. remember how a while ago Games Workshop, the owners of Warhammer 40,000, declared they no longer allow fanmade content? (they did backpedal on that, but they did make such an announcement). Just another normal day at the overzealous corporate lawyer's office.

The best thing to do from your end is find another game to play.
 

Thalstan

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Think of it this way.

They dropped a DRAFT OGL on fans. They wanted feedback on that draft. They got it. They may end up changing it as a result of fan feedback.

Again, they have the right to make money off their IP. They paid money to buy that IP in the first place, they spent a lot of money to further develop that IP. There is a need to ensure that third party content creators pay a royalty for the use of their IP. They also put in limits so that small time content creators...those that don't generate more than 750,000 dollars in business...don't have to pay a royalty at all.

Now, some people are screaming...but 25 percent is too high.
My response is that in most IP royalty agreements, 25 percent is the NORM, usually with no floor. You start paying that 25 percent on the first dollar you generate.

For some IP, not only are you paying a percentage, you also need to buy a license up front. No license, no business.

I am not arguing for WotC or the new OGL, I am trying to give a different perspective, even if I don't agree with it.

All that said, I have been a fan of D&D since the original boxed sets. I still have copies of all my first edition TSR game books, as well as Second Edition, Third edition and some fifth edition (4th edition was horrible and I only have the PH and DMG for that) I have copies of the original SSI gold box games sitting in my basement and a surprising number of books going back that far as well, including Azure Bonds, a fairly early crystal shard book (I don't think it's a first printing though), and a number of other books. I think I still even have my old D&D books from the box sets, but I am not sure how complete they are. I lived less than 30 minutes from the original Lake Geneva location of TSR and I still remember why it was call Gen Con.

As you can see, I am not new to D&D.

I get that some third party content creators will balk at paying the royalties. I get that some people won't think it's "fair" that they have to pay 25 percent of their revenue to WotC for ideas that they came up with....

But let's remember, those ideas are built on top of another IP. Without those initial ideas, your new business would not exist.

"But I can leave for Pathfiner" Okay...and when they up their royalty fees, where will you go next? They have a right to make money on their IP as well.

Is it fair for someone to generate 10s or hundreds of millions of dollars using someone else's IP without paying for the use of that IP?

Do you think CR and CIG would allow someone to produce SC products without some sort of royalty agreement? Absolutely not. I suspect the very first product shipped would require a royalty payment, plus a license you paid for to use their IP. Maybe the person who makes the SC models can enlighten us on how much they pay CIG in royalties.

Reminder, this only impacts LARGE sellers of content. How many content creators do you think make over 750k? (and of course, you can still stick to 1.0a) According to one source, just 20 companies will breech that 750k mark.

That means you are not going to have to pay someone just because you create your own campaign world. What it means though is that if your game world is a huge hit and you monetize on that hit, you will need to pay a fee for it. (example, Dragonlance type success)
 
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CRISS9000

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They dropped a DRAFT OGL on fans. They wanted feedback on that draft. They got it. They may end up changing it as a result of fan feedback.
they could've done that in a much more open and friendly manner, announcing the license change as a draft and explicitly asking for fanbase feedback. instead, they simply announced "we do thing", not asking for any feedback at all.
make no mistake - this is a way for them to test the limits of what they can do without having PR or legal nightmare scenarios as a result. they don't care for feedback, only for ways to make more money.

and like I said earlier - it's not the only company to exhibit this kind of behavior, only the latest in the increasing popularity of corporate corrupt fashion.
 

Thalstan

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they could've done that in a much more open and friendly manner, announcing the license change as a draft and explicitly asking for fanbase feedback. instead, they simply announced "we do thing", not asking for any feedback at all.
make no mistake - this is a way for them to test the limits of what they can do without having PR or legal nightmare scenarios as a result. they don't care for feedback, only for ways to make more money.

and like I said earlier - it's not the only company to exhibit this kind of behavior, only the latest in the increasing popularity of corporate corrupt fashion.
"That was why our early drafts of the new OGL included the provisions they did. That draft language was provided to content creators and publishers so their feedback could be considered before anything was finalized."

Now, this might just be something they said for damage control, but this was from the very first post that I read on the OGL after the big blowup.

Again, this is not about the small content creator, it's about the people who make millions in revenue off of it. Sorry, but once you are making 750k a year off of someone else's product, I certainly can see why a company would want their cut.

I can go out and make my own module. I could publish it online for free and so long as I follow the OGL in all the other terms, I would not have to pay a single dime.

I go out and make a module and post it for sale. It flops and I earn 300k in revenue...I still owe nothing.

I go out and put out a hugely popular set of campaigns, with revenue in the millions. Yes, I am going to have to pay. I should pay. I am running a business and I should expect to pay. That cost, just like any other, needs to be built into my business plan. That said, I should also own my own original work, and WotC should not be able to use my original work unless I authorize it...probably for a royalty payment back to me. So If I create a campaign world with it's own specializations, feats, potions, world, characters, etc., then I should own that.
 
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