Category Archives: Business

Fireside Game Signs with KidStuff PR

Fireside Games

Fireside Games has announced that they’ll be working with KidStuff PR. One of a very small number of public relations agencies focusing only on children’s products and toys, KidStuff PR offers a unique and targeted approach to publicity, promotions, and creating a buzz. The 29-year-old agency’s specialization has led to close relationships not only with key media influencers but also in the toy industry community—exemplified by the agency’s past public relations roles with the Astra, the Toy Association, and scores of manufacturers worldwide.

KidStuff PR has fostered relationships with a vetted group of over 200 influencers for over a decade. Recently, the agency has mentored and sought out partnerships with influencers who are families of color to diversify the life experiences of influencers who review clients’ products. This aspect of the agency’s influencer portfolio and the relationships it has built appealed to Fireside Games. The world of toy influencing has been dominated by white families, and Orman saw a need to address it.

Renegade to be the new home of Sid Sackson’s classic Acquire

Renegade Game Studios

Renegade Game Studios and Hasbro have expanded their partnership to make Renegade the new home for Acquire, Sid Sackson’s classic game of big-city real estate. A partnership was first announced in October 2022, with the announcement that Renegade would be taking over Axis & Allies, Diplomacy, Robo Rally, and Squad Leader. Renegade will be releasing a new version of Acquire in 2023.

First released in 1963, Acquire puts gamers in the shoes of a real estate mogul, vying for control of companies as they expand, merge, and gain value. Renegade’s latest version will incorporate community feedback and feature much-desired features like a return to the 9×12 gridded plastic board, plastic tiles and buildings, and classic theming of the hotel chains, including one named for the late great designer Sid Sackson. The rulebook will also be updated to include clarifications and adjustments gathered from previous versions of the game.

Gamers can expect the new updated version of this classic game in 2023 with distribution in friendly local game stores as well as specialty retailers worldwide. Localized editions are in the works and will be announced at a later time. 

Renegade will also be supporting the game with a Gen Con Championship held in Indianapolis this August.

Dungeons & Dragons OGL 1.0a is remaining in place, untouched

Dungeons & Dragons Players Manual

The feedback was clear, players want their OGL1.0a. Wizards of the Coast has a new update about the future of Dungeons & Dragons concerning their Open Game License (OGL).

To catch people up, a draft version of an updated OGL was leaked causing an uproar in the Dungeons & Dragons community over changes that included fees and restrictions. Recently, the D&D team has walked it all back promising a “working conversation” that included feedback before anything new was released. Well, the responses are clear with over 15,000 overwhelmingly against changes.

The big takeaway is that 88% do not want to publish TTRPG content under the proposed OGL 1.2. 89% of those who answered would be dissatisfied if OGL 1.0a was deauthorized. When it comes to Creative Commons and Systems Reference Document (SRD), 69% were satisfied and those who aren’t want more SRD in Creative Commons.

The results are pretty clear and the Dungeons & Dragons team seems to be listening. In a blog post, the team stated:

  1. They are leaving OGL 1.0a in place, as is. Untouched.
  2. They are also making the entire SRD 5.1 available under a Creative Commons license.
  3. Players can choose which they prefer to use.

Also included in the post is the SRD 5.1 with the Creative Commons license.

What’s next? We’ll have to see. But, the D&D community spoke up and the corporation has listened.

Role announces its support for ORC

Open RPG

It’s been an interesting few weeks for the tabletop roleplaying community. Debates over open licensing have been at a high with a group of publishers coming together to announce a new license, ORC.

Role has announced that it will fully support all works published under the ORC initiative.

You can read Role’s full announcement below:

It’s been an incredible few weeks in the TTRPG community. We’ve seen & participated in the rise of a great tide of creators, publishers, and platforms charting a new destiny & embracing the open license-mentality that makes this medium so special and unique.

We’re pleased to announce that Role will fully support all published works under the upcoming ORC license initiative! 

Role has always been a community & platform that puts creators first. This has not changed. Our convictions around an open publishing ecosystem have never wavered. We believe in a TTRPG industry that embraces the community storytelling, game design, and innovation that is uniquely born from all of us working together.

Wizards of the Coast promises a “Working Conversation” about the Open Game License

One D&D

Wizards of the Coast and Dungeons & Dragons have been experiencing a lot of backlash based on a leaked early draft for the next iteration of their Open Game License. After a stretched-out period of silence, the company finally addressed the issue last week addressing the goals for the update and some more details. Kyle Brink, the Executive Producer on D&D, has taken to the web to give a further update and promise a period of feedback from the community.

In addressing the path forward, Brunk apologized for how things were handled and the initial language for the updated OGL.

The company is switching gears focusing on being more transparent with the community and allowing for surveys and feedback about the update.

A new proposed OGL documentation will be released on or before Friday, January 20th at which point a survey and period of feedback will begin for two weeks.

Directly from the post, the new updated OGL will have no impact on at least the below:

  • Your video content. Whether you are a commentator, streamer, podcaster, liveplay cast member, or other video creator on platforms like YouTube and Twitch and TikTok, you have always been covered by the Wizards Fan Content Policy. The OGL doesn’t (and won’t) touch any of this.
  • Your accessories for your owned content. No changes to the OGL will affect your ability to sell minis, novels, apparel, dice, and other items related to your creations, characters, and worlds.
  • Non-published works, for instance contracted services. You use the OGL if you want to publish your works that reference fifth edition content through the SRD. That means commissioned work, paid DM services, consulting, and so on aren’t affected by the OGL.
  • VTT content. Any updates to the OGL will still allow any creator to publish content on VTTs and will still allow VTT publishers to use OGL content on their platform.
  • DMs Guild content. The content you release on DMs Guild is published under a Community Content Agreement with Dungeon Masters Guild. This is not changing.
  • Your OGL 1.0a content. Nothing will impact any content you have published under OGL 1.0a. That will always be licensed under OGL 1.0a.
  • Your revenue. There will be no royalty or financial reporting requirements.
  • Your ownership of your content. You will continue to own your content with no license-back requirements.

You can read the full statement here.

Free League Develops Two New Open Game Licenses

Free League Publishing

Free League Publishing has announced the development of two new Open Game Licenses (OGL). One is a rework of the Year Zero Engine OGL, and the other is a new license specifically designed for third-party modules for the upcoming Dragonbane fantasy RPG.

The work on these new licenses was initiated last year but was intensified after the news regarding the update of Wizards of the Coasts’ OGL v1.0, on which the Year Zero Engine (YZE) license was based.

The Year Zero Engine in various iterations has been used in most Free League RPGs in recent years, including Mutant: Year Zero, Coriolis, Tales From the Loop, Forbidden Lands, ALIEN, Vaesen, Blade Runner RPG, and the upcoming The Walking Dead Universe RPG. The YZE is an accessible, fast, and adaptable rules framework that encourages story-focused and player-driven playstyles.

The new Year Zero Engine OGL is designed to be easy to understand and use for creators. It will give creators an irrevocable, worldwide, and royalty-free right to use Year Zero Engine Standard Reference Document (YZE SRD) and freely publish their own roleplaying material based on it.

Alongside the new YZE OGL, the YZE SRD itself is being given a major overhaul and update, based on the developments of the Year Zero Engine in recent years. The new SRD will include more rules variants and add rules for chases, vehicles, travel, and magic.

Beside the YZE OGL, Free League will also release a third-party license for the upcoming Dragonbane RPG, which was successfully Kickstarted last year. This license allows creators to freely publish RPG supplements explicitly compatible with Dragonbane, and to place the special A Module for Dragonbane logo on the front cover.

A Module for Dragonbane

The Dragonbane license is intended for third-party supplements for the game, not new standalone games, and thus does not have an SRD. This license is similar to the Free League Workshop community content program on DrivethruRPG, but allows creators to freely choose where to share or sell Dragonbane modules and without paying any royalties to anyone.

Both new Free League OGLs will be released in the next few weeks.

Unrelated to the two new OGLs, Free League currently publishes two product lines for 5E using WotC’s v1.0 OGL: The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying (based on the original game The One Ring) and Ruins of Symbaroum (based on Symbaroum). Based on the latest announcement from WotC, it seems like these two game lines can continue largely unaffected even after their updated OGL, but Free League continues to monitor the situation as more information becomes available.

Atlas Games announces its support for Paizo’s ORC License system

Atlas Games

With an unknown future concerning Wizard of the Coasts’ Open Gaming License, numerous other companies are stepping up with their own gaming license. Paizo recently released its ORC licensing system.

Atlas Games has announced its plans and where its company stands in the shifting and unknown future. Read their full statement below:

Written by John Nephew, owner Atlas Games

You’ve probably heard about the Open Game License controversy. In brief, after 23 years of consensus over what the OGL is and how it works, Wizards of the Coast appears to have planned to revoke and replace it with something else (an “OGL1.1”) going forward. Linda Codega at i09/Gizmodo broke the news, and they have been staying abreast of the story as it develops. 

As we wrote in an update to Planegea backers, though Planegea is published under the OGL1.0a and the SRD5.1, we do not see this having any effect on our delivery of rewards for that campaign.

But suddenly a lot of people are anxious about what the OGL means, after relying on it for 23 years. In the face of this uncertainty, a group of publishers led by Paizo Publishing and Azora Law are working to the Open RPG Creative (ORC) License, designer to service the needs of the RPG community and to be assigned to a non-profit entity rather than a single corporation and its potential future changes in ownership and agendas. We have great confidence in Azora Law (they handled our trademark registrations for AtlasGames and Open Upon a Time), and a long history of collaborating with many of the game companies involved. 

Atlas Games support the ORC. We have already released the WaRP System SRD under the OGL 1.0a, for Over the Edge; we expect to also release it under the ORC License as soon as it is finalized.

Going forward, we are considering other RPG rules and content that we can release under the ORC. We have long had internal discussions about  how to open up licensing of Ars Magica. We will look closely at the ORC License as the means to do so. Nothing is firmly decided, but we intend to deliberate in public and in conversation with the game’s community as we move forward. And we will be looking to the community for help with the work of making it happen.

Stop by our message boards if you have thoughts to share on this topic!

CLICK HERE TO READ THE BLOG POST

Wizards of the Coast releases an update on its Open Game License

One D&D

There’s been a lot of chatter and protest against a leaked draft of the update to the Open Game License for Dungeons & Dragons.

Launched in 2000 for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition, the license allowed the use of a portion of the game for third parties to create compatible material. During the 4th edition, there was a more restrictive royalty-free license called the Game System License which took away some freedoms from the original license (though that was irrevocable and remains in use). Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition returned to the OGL and featured additional licensing options by publishing through the Dungeon Masters Guild storefront which allowed for the sale of content and creators could name their own price with Wizards of the Coast and OneBookShelf taking 50% of the proceeds.

With One D&D on the horizon, a new version of the license has been in the works and a leaked draft caused an uproar in the community. The unconfirmed leaks claimed the original OGL would be discontinued and the new 1.1 version would include royalty fees and greater rights to the material by Wizards of the Coast. This led to threats of protest and other publishers announcing their own open licenses.

Wizards of the Coast today released a response about the updated OGL which has still not been released.

The statement claims the revised OGL had three goals:

  1. The ability to prevent the use of D&D content in hateful and discriminatory products
  2. To address the use of D&D in web3, blockchain games, and NFTs, making it clear the OGL content is limited to tabletop roleplaying content like campaigns, modules, and supplements
  3. To ensure that OGL is for content creators, homebrewers, aspiring designers, players, and the community. It’s not meant for major corporations

The leaked draft’s section about royalties was to apply to large corporations attempting to use the OGL for their own content. The company has admitted they fumbled that and they can’t achieve all three goals.

The company has now stated the next OGL will focus on protecting and cultivating an inclusive environment and specify it only applies to tabletop RPG content. Educational, charitable campaigns, livestreams, cosplay, VTT-use, and more will remain unaffected by the update. Content released under 1.0a will also be unaffected.

The new update will also not contain any royalty structure or license back provisions. That was a concern by some thinking Wizards of the Coast would use it to steal work.

You can read Wizards of the Coast’s full statement here.

Metallic Dice Games is now Fanroll

FanRoll logo

Metallic Dice Games (MDG), founded in 2014 and recently sold to toy industry veteran Neal Hoffman has “rolled” into the new year with a new name. The company announced its decision to rebrand the company as FanRoll and has launched its new website, FanRollDice.com.

Shark Tank Alum, Neal Hoffman led a group of investors to purchase Metallic Dice Games, a leading tabletop dice company, this past summer. While the company started with a focus on metal dice, it now has over 300 SKUS ranging from liquid core dice to tabletop accessories. The rebrand is to better reflect where the company is and is going in the future.

MDG made a massive impact on the dice industry when they launched Elixir DiceTM, liquid-filled dice with a snowglobe-like effect. With combined Kickstarters reaching over $1.2MM, the company is eager to launch this innovation and bring it to the mass market. 

Adam Hackett, MDG’s founder, and Fanroll’s new Chief Product Officer has made numerous product introductions into the retail market. FanRoll will introduce individual D20s of their popular liquid core Elixir Dice this spring. The company has also developed a new line of blind packs, branded Misfit Dice using the tagline “Adopt a Misfit”, which includes unique packs of mini, resin, and metal dice. Hackett expects to launch new items every other month throughout 2023.

FanRoll Dice was busy this past fall and had recently announced partnerships with numerous podcasts including NADDPOD, Homebrew, and Glass Cannon Network. The company is actively seeking out new marketing partnerships.

Paizo announces a System-Neutral Open RPG License

Open RPG

There’s been lots of chatter and rumors about Wizards of the Coast’s upcoming new version of its Open Gaming License (OGL) causing an unknown future in tabletop roleplaying. In response, Paizo has begun work on a new open, perpetual, and irrevocable Open RPG Creative License (ORC).

Since 2000, the OGL has improved the community, incubated creativity, and grown the business of not only the licensees but the licensor. A stated goal of a perpetual and irrevocable OGL was to ensure the establishment and longevity of gaming networks and to drive sales to both. Recent reinterpretation notwithstanding, it succeeded with roleplaying games seeing a golden age and creativity level not seen in decades. Many companies including Wizards of the Coast have benefitted from that growth.

The Open RPG Creative License (ORC) will be built system agnostic for independent game publishers under the legal guidance of Azora Law, an intellectual property law firm that represents Paizo and several other game publishers. Multiple leading publishers have already signed on to the effort to create a new and truly open license that allows all games to provide their own unique open rules reference documents that open up their individual game systems to the world.

You can find the complete details on Paizo’s blog.

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