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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mike Mearls did that "Reddit Ask Me Anything" Thing About 5e - It's the "Non Answers" That Interest me the Most

ENWorld has an excellent summary and highlights from the Mike Mearls AMA on Reddit.

Go to ENWorld and read it. We'll wait for you.

Now, here's the pieces I find most interesting:
On PDFs -- "We're definitely looking at PDFs, ebooks, and other digital platforms, but no news yet. The goal with anything along those lines will be grow D&D, not just sell ebooks to people who already play the game, so we're putting a lot of work into figuring out that side of the equation."
Reading between the lines, don't hold your breath. WotC / Hasbro still sees PDFs / Ebooks as cannibalizing dead tree sales. We have DnDClassics because all of those products are out of print. Are they selling anything in PDF that they recently reprinted?
On the OGL -- "No news yet, but we do plan to announce something within the next couple of months or so." 
To another OGL question [Mike never says "OGL" though] -- "Yes - we're working on plans right now to allow people to use the D&D system to create their own stuff."
I suspect here going to see a licensing scheme for publishers (No OGL) and a fan license, as the second answer refers to people, not publishers.

We can already create our own stuff our own stuff for ANY edition - it's the legal and organized sharing of such works that something like the OGL gives safe harbor to. I strongly suspect that the "fan license" will not allow work to be sold for profit, or, if it can be, WotC owns the final product and gets a cut of the sales.

Without a subscription type service resulting in recurring income, 5e is not going to make the money the suits at Hasbro expect from a Dungeons & Dragons RPG.

I'm surprised no one asked about the Annual WotC Xmas Purge ;)

4 comments:

  1. "Are they selling anything in PDF that they recently reprinted?"

    No. There is no overlap at all between the reprints and the PDFs.

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  3. "Without a subscription type service resulting in recurring income, 5e is not going to make the money the suits at Hasbro expect from a Dungeons & Dragons RPG."

    My read of *everything* Mearls has said about 5e, up to and including the AMA, is that D&D is basically an IP farm; they're going to make a solid core game and produce a few books a year that get internet/geek chic buzz, and then leverage that into products that actually make money, like videogame licenses.

    At this point, Wizards knows what to expect from D&D sales. They've adjusted their strategy accordingly, and I think it's a very smart one.

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  4. They've got 4 5e products on D&D Classics right now.

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