Friday, January 6, 2023

[James Mishler Games]: The OGL: Known Unknowns and Unknown Unknowns

I go away for less than two weeks and all Hell breaks loose.

That'll teach me to try to take a vacation!

I'm sure you've seen the news all over the place.

We know that some elements of the leaked New "OGL" are true, from statements by those who are already working with it or have negotiated to do so.

We do not know if Hasbro intends to "de-authorize" the Old OGL for everyone or only for those who opt-in on the New "OGL."

We do not know if they try to kill the Old OGL for everyone else if it would even be legal or not.

Doesn't really matter, if they intend to lawyer up and follow up C&Ds with actual lawsuits.

Might not be moral; might not be ethical; might not be legal. But that's the way the system works here.

I don't think anyone has the money or wherewithal to fight this thing; it would take years and years before anything was resolved, likely without the ability to publish under the Old OGL until it was resolved.

We don't know how this is going to work with DriveThruRPG.

We don't even know all the things we don't know yet!

But I do know one thing. I'm not going to deal with it.

Even if they don't follow through now, there is no knowing if they might try to follow through later.

And besides, I'm no fan of the way they are mistreating the community of designers and players by even toying with these ideas. No sir, I don't like it at all.

Ergo, James Mishler Games is getting out of the OGL publishing business.

Starting tomorrow morning (Saturday, January 7) most of my products will go on sale at 23% off...

In celebration of 23 years of the OGL, almost all our products are 23% off!

The sale is scheduled to last through January 12th. Rumors have it that the New "OGL" might be released on Friday the 13th. 

How apropos.

If so, and if there is as expected a sunset date on the Old OGL, right or wrong, legal or not, I'll have my products down on or before that date.

So, if you've been on the fence about buying my products, buy them while you still can. And download them right away, as we don't know if we can still keep them hosted after that. Then save them in several locations (backing up in multiple locations is always a good idea, anyway).

My return to publishing thereafter depends on a couple of things.

First and foremost, Kelsey Dionne of The Arcane Library has already announced that she is pivoting away from 5E and going to focus on the Shadowdark RPG, which will be rewritten to ensure it is not entangled with the OGL.

I will be supporting Shadowdark once it releases. That release is now, of course, delayed.

Unfortunately, this whole kerfuffle means that I will no longer be able to publish for Labyrinth Lord. However, Dan Proctor has already considered some options of what to do in the event that Labyrinth Lord has to go away, so I will be looking into that, as well.

Many other companies are considering creating their own RPGs and offering them in a true, non-revocable, perpetual license. I'll look and play through some of those, and then see what strikes my fancy.

Until then, as the mood strikes me, I'll probably concentrate on writing system-free products, such as encounters, NPCs, Locations, and various worlds and world elements.

I've got a LOT of Hexographer maps I can offer.

Finally, I will also look into re-writing Isle of Eldisor to be essentially system-free. That would require extensive changes and require some time. I hope to be able to offer it in the same "slot" as the original Isle of Eldisor product so that those who purchased it can simply download it. I'll have to see how that works on DriveThruRPG.

Thank you for your support for the last 10 years. None of this would have been possible without you.

This is definitely not the way I wanted things to go on the 10th Anniversary of James Mishler Games.

But sometimes, you just never know...

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