More information has emerged about the new Game System License and for Green Ronin it is looking more ominous. It seems–and I’ve asked WotC to clarify–that if you want to use the GSL you must cease using the Open Game License as a company. Scott Rouse of WotC posted this on EN World (http://www.enworld.org/showpost.php?p=4173113&postcount;=99):
“It won’t surprise me if the GSL is not for everyone. If M&M;, C&C;, Conan, or other OGL stand-alones are successful enough for those publishers to sustain their business more power to them. You’ll get to buy their books in the future. If not, then they can jump on our license and take advantage of some pretty good perks including getting to use the most valuable trademark in PnP RPGs on their products and gain access to our IP/PI.”
This makes it sound like we’ll be forced to choose. We could continue to support Mutants & Masterminds and True20 Adventure Roleplaying or support 4th Edition D&D;, but not both.
It has also come out that the original d20 logo will be going away come June. Not only can you not put the logo on new products, which was expected, but it’ll apparently have to be stripped off old ones if you want to keep selling them. That’s possible with PDF products but it’ll mean you can’t sell printed products after a certain date. In the short tem this means that a lot of 3E product is likely to be dumped on the market for pennies on the dollar. That will make it harder on companies that have decided to keep supporting 3E, most notably Paizo. It also means huge swathes of backstock for many companies will be wiped out.
In short, it looks like it’s more stick than carrot. Now I will point out yet again that we haven’t seen the GSL yet, and we really must before making it a final assessment. If WotC is seriously asking me to give up the #1 superhero game on the market for a chance to support a new edition that has yet to prove itself, that’s really not much of a choice.
Last night when I couldn’t sleep I spent some time pondering what Green Ronin could bring to the table for 4E that would be fresh and cool. Tonight I’ll be thinking about something else entirely.
Ah well, I’m off to Vegas in six hours. Better finish packing and try to get some shuteye.