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#42: Sean, Shane, and SRD

Fifth Element

Retired User
With respect to the SRD, you didn't mention that the $5,000 fee is only for early access to the SRD. Everyone will be able to publish 4E stuff, without paying a fee, starting January 1, 2009.

Also, try not to take business decisions personally. It's not insulting. Nor is it ludicrous - you also offer no support as to why you think the new OGL is going to "suck".

Sure it's a bitch for small publishers, who can't afford to pony up the dough and will have to wait to publish. But the larger publishers, who can afford the fee, are generally (though not always) producers of high-quality products. They should be able to provide us with plenty of good material.

Edit: You also seem to be confusing the SRD and the OGL. You imply that the SRD will not be an SRD since it will be less open somehow. I think you mean the OGL will not truly be an OGL. Of course, the old OGL was never completely and freely open anyway.
 
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Spectral Knight

Retired User
With respect to the SRD, you didn't mention that the $5,000 fee is only for early access to the SRD. Everyone will be able to publish 4E stuff, without paying a fee, starting January 1, 2009.

Also, try not to take business decisions personally. It's not insulting. Nor is it ludicrous - you also offer no support as to why you think the new OGL is going to "suck".

Sure it's a bitch for small publishers, who can't afford to pony up the dough and will have to wait to publish. But the larger publishers, who can afford the fee, are generally (though not always) producers of high-quality products. They should be able to provide us with plenty of good material.
Actually, it'll be a bitch for everyone wanting to publish d20-related material.

In publishing, you compete for shelf space. The sooner your product is out, the sooner it can be making you money. That half-year's delay puts you behind somebody with deeper pockets who, quite likely, was in your shoes nearly a decade ago when the old OGL made them a publisher.

Sure, you can start early like they can. If you've got a small mint lying around that you don't need for such silly things as next month's groceries and rent, anyway.

It's true that the ones who can afford the fee are the ones who usually publish decent material. But that doesn't rule out smaller ventures, many of whom have equally good ideas but no budget to speak of. Privateer Press comes to mind, and they might well be out in the cold if they decide to go 4E with their excellent Iron Kingdoms setting. And they started out as the much-storied three guys with computers and art skills. If they were starting out with 4E, they might go broke before the first Witchfire book hit the shelves. And $5000 is hardly peanuts to the bigger guys. Quality costs money.

It all comes down to a rather tough choice: give WotC free money and start out soon, risking financial difficulties (at least), or wait and be behind when more prosperous publishers have been selling for half a year?

This isn't without risk for WotC, either. Without a groundswell of support for their system, including game settings, 4E runs a not-insignificant risk of being all dressed up with nowhere to go. After all, this is the company that has yet to publish an original setting without getting it from someone else, and The Realms isn't scheduled to hit the shelves until 2009. Six months is enough time for 4E to tank. There hasn't been a decade to build up anticipation for The Next Great Game this time, rather like the early 3.5 release.
 
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