While I'm glad to see that Ha$bro has called a CHECK FIRE on the OGL 2.0 mission, I'm not convinced (clearly
) that this isn't the end of things. I don't think we won anything.....hell, I don't think there were any
winner here, everybody lost. I'm a big fan of win-wins, but this was a loss all around.
WotC has traditionally devalued previous editions of Dungeons & Dragons, favoring the current/upcoming edition. It's arguably the reason we're on edition...5, 6....is 7 already in the works somewhere? It's the reason my beloved HackMaster exists (WotC traded off the rights to 1st & 2nd Edition because they were producing D&D 3.0). Things changed a little bit when Ha$bro figured out they could make a few bucks "reprinting" older AD&D material, really just printed PDFs. I'm of the belief that Ha$bro realized that they could squeeze a little more profit out of "the old stuff", but their focus was on the upcoming edition and this OGL re-write was really to maximize their margin here.
Ha$bro didn't expect the huge backlash largely because they didn't value those earlier editions. They still should have due to how messed up things would be for creators going forward, but that's what happens when marketers and analysts operate in a vacuum. I'm also of the belief that this withdrawal of the current OGL 2.0 is also monetary based in that Ha$bro doesn't want to spend what cash they have on lawsuits, especially when they already have enough bad press. Sales are down for the company and they're laying off 15% of its workforce.....not a good sign, even if WotC is doing (relatively) well.
No, it's lose-lose for the most part. The player base knows that Ha$bro can't be trusted and they know that the player base can, and will, be vocal. Yes, they threw in an olive branch by making the 5.1 SRD a Creative Commons license, but they deliberately left the OGL 1.0a "untouched". I think that if WotC/Ha$bro wanted to really make a statement and address the real elephant in the room they would have come out with OGL 1.0b that simply made the OGL "irrevocable". The 5.1 SRD doesn't do a whole lot if you're making OSR material.....
What I think, and I'm clearly a pessimist, is that Ha$bro is biding it's time. There will be a OGL 2.0 and while it might not be as far-reaching as the last attempt, it will be the end of OGL 1.0a. Ha$bro will make sure they have their ducks in a line, plug any and all leaks that they can, and ram it down our collective throats when they think they can get aways with it. We taught them how not to disseminate bad news to the community, and they probably know who will be the most likely to bring expensive lawsuits. The 5.1 SRD changes might very well be to placate some of these other companies......like why would Paizo care about the OGL if they're covered by the 5.1 SRD? Now this is speculation on my part, I haven't done, and for my sanity probably will never, do a deep dive on Pathfinder &/or the 5.1 SRD.
Now is not the time to sit back and think that this is over and "we've won". Sure, the shelling has stopped....for now, but it can pick back up. At best Ha$bro called for an armistice, not a peace treaty.....
Please, continue to support the smaller publishers that would have been affected by the OGL 2.0 disaster, basically anybody wanting to use the Open RPG Creative License, but also those that are still sticking with the OGL 1.0a.
I hope it'll be years before we have to revisit this...maybe in time for D&D Ten....so maybe 2035?