Should I Still Support Hasbro?

The Blind Eternities forum

Posted on Jan. 10, 2023, 8:13 p.m. by DemonDragonJ

I just saw this post, and Hasbro has been quite clearly displaying great greed, but this is simply too much; I greatly enjoy playing both Magic the Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons, but I do not wish to support a company that blatantly steals from its employees.

What does everyone else say about this? Should I continue to support Hasbro?

Also, why is the author of that post demonizing capitalism, rather than the true villains, greedy CEO's and stockholders?

Gleeock says... #2

Depends on what way you support them I suppose. If you throw 100's of $$ at new products, then I'd say yes. I'm mostly all for dialing back for the most part... but that is just me. I've seen some people at the LGS that are spending addict amounts of $$, & that is their prerogative but, any reason to dial it back at the current costs of these hobbies is probably a good thing.

January 10, 2023 8:43 p.m.

Caerwyn says... #3

That post--like 99% of the conversation surrounding the alleged leaked draft of OGL 1.1 (D&D's fan content policy)--is mischaracterizing the facts.

Anyone who thinks the alleged draft means anything does not understand what the word "draft" means nor do they understand how negotiations work. Without more information about what exactly that draft represents (a first draft? An internal draft? An initial offer Wizards intended be rejected? A final draft?) it is worth exactly _nothing _in terms of how informative it is.

Now, could Wizards try to do something with their fan creation policy many might see as draconian? Perhaps--but right now we don't know if they will, and anyone who says "OMG, Wizards is trying to do X" is either a fool or purposefully misleading readers/viewers for clicks.

January 10, 2023 9:12 p.m.

Gleeock says... #4

Wow! I should proofread sometimes :). I meant, no, don't support them if you feel like the hobby is gouging you too much. For me its skating season, so I get to keep stepping back. The freedom feels nice :)

January 10, 2023 9:42 p.m.

Crow-Umbra says... #5

I haven't moved to a sentiment of completely divesting from MtG, yet. The writing was on the wall for the past couple years. Definitely disappointing to experience what some of us joked about a couple of years ago.

Personally, at this point I will be buying singles exclusively, & purchasing from my local shops as much as possible. I plan on shifting to primarily proxying, and purchasing art pieces from my favorite MtG artists when possible.

I think there are ways in which we can remain supportive of our favorite local businesses and artists, without divesting from MtG entirely. I'm focusing on more of a divestment from sealed product directly from Hasbro/WotC.

January 10, 2023 10:05 p.m.

Gleeock says... #6

$250.00 for a sealed box of cardboard (taking up space) or a new pair of skates = easy equation for me :)

But yeah, I haven't completely divested either. Just setting limitations on how much I will invest - fairly similar to Crow-Umbra at this point. I hope more players speak with their wallets, though trend with this hobby would say otherwise.

January 10, 2023 10:50 p.m.

Crow-Umbra says... #7

There's a variety of elements that we all love about our experiences through MtG. For me, the community element of time spent with friends at kitchen tables and LGSs, and the works all of the incredible artists are my favorites. I'd rather spend all my MtG budget at those local shops that are community spaces for people that might not have any space elsewhere.

Quite a few MtG artists sell prints and other merchandise through their personal sites. I've started compiling a list of bookmarks for my favorite artists so that I can buy merch and art from them directly.

I'd rather that my money support the elements that I love most about MtG in the most direct manner possible, and remove WotC/Hasbro from that equation as much as I can afford to.

January 10, 2023 11:18 p.m.

Dead_Blue_ says... #8

Can someone shed some light on the situation at hand?

January 11, 2023 midnight

Caerwyn says... #9

Dead_Blue_ - A gaming website pretending to be journalists - Gizmodo - published an article saying they reviewed a leaked draft of the upcoming updated D&D license Wizards uses to allow third-parties to use Wizards of the Coast's intellectual property. The article--like far too many gaming journalism articles--failed basic journalistic rigor, such as not disclosing what type of draft the leaked was (such as if it was an internal draft, an initial draft, a final draft, etc.) or disclosing that they did not know what type of draft it was, and therefore the contents should be taken with a grain of salt. They also consulted with an attorney, but the quotes from the attorney they included in the article heavily indicated that the attorney said more than the article reproduced--and that the article only reproduced the siliceous possibilities while ignoring "but it may mean something more mundane" analysis.

Folks with little-to-no ability to read critically missed all of the glaring journalistic red flags and have taken the alleged leaked draft as if it were the gospel truth of what Wizards wanted to do. The alleged draft does contain some terms which are problematic--but, and this can't be overstated, it still is just a draft that has no indication of being the final version.

TL;DR: Many gaming journalists should try being journalists first and gamers second and, until that happens, players should learn they need to read gaming articles with a critical eye rather than treat the "reporting" as sacrosanct.

January 11, 2023 12:12 a.m.

Caerwyn says... #10

Just to provide an update on this for OP's sake and anyone else who might be following, Wizards did get around to responding.

Essentially they confirmed that the leaked document was real--but threw their attorneys under the bus and said that it was a document drafted during the negotiations with third parties. The fact it was pretty draconian is pretty normal in those cases--attorneys often draft documents that represent the strongest possible position in the functional equivalent of drawing a magical Christmas land hand (i.e. if everyone else, including the judge, was dumb and gave them the best possible terms).

With the lawyers being thrown under the bus, Wizards substantively responded on what they will be including in their new draft once released:

  1. Preservation of folks' rights under OGL 1.0 for content created under OGL 1.0.
  2. Affirmation they will not be seeking a license to use any materials published under OGL 2.0 (and acknowledging this was a case where their lawyers drafted a term which did not mean what they were intending).
  3. They are not going to move forward on charging royalty fees on the 20 or so top developers.
  4. Expanding the OGL to cover more things than just writings, including cosplay, virtual tabletops, etc.

All told, Wizards has said their actual version, once released, will be removing all the most problematic terms from the earlier draft, so there really is not cause for alarm (unless Wizards is dumb enough to deliver something other than they said they would be delivering--even then, that's not cause for alarm until the document is actually released).

January 13, 2023 9:01 p.m.

aholder7 says... #11

Based on the direction wizards has been going, coupled with the draft of the 1.1 that was leaked I personally would suggest discontinuing support for them at least until a point where you feel that they have changed to a point that you feel comfortable supporting them again. I think that while the stage of the draft may color the situation a bit differently, the underlying concepts of the new OGL still seem highly concerning. The response they gave today also comes across to me as very disingenuous and attempts to reframe the narrative instead of taking responsibility for their decisions. I see no reason to believe that wizards has had any meaningful change of heart and is attempting to find the minimal amount of change they need in order to stem the bleed of people leaving. I believe that voting with your wallet is the best way to convince a business to change things you don't like. If you dislike the direction, don't support them. If they do things that make you believe that they are going to do right by you and the community, support them. They are a business and at the end of the day will make decisions based on profit and loss. So make your voice heard, whatever that opinion may be.

January 13, 2023 10:10 p.m.

Dead_Blue_ says... #12

Man there’s someone in charge at wizards that clearly doesn’t give a f%{< about what the company has built over the last few decades and doesn’t seem to care about the customers either

January 14, 2023 12:58 a.m.

Caerwyn says... #13

As aholder7 is kind enough to demonstrate, there are a lot of really bad takes on the apology by folks who are determined to be angry about the whole affair and put that animosity over critical reading. I know, shocking--normally people who forget the "enter" key exist are such a reliable source of information.

Since someone decided to peddle some nonsense here, let's look at the facts:

the underlying concepts of the new OGL still seem highly concerning.

The "underlying concepts" of the new OGL are (a) they do not want mega companies to benefit from the OGL, (b) they do not want racists to benefit from the OGL, and (c) they do not want folks to make D&D NFTs.

All of these are valid underlying concepts and show flaws in the current OGL that Wizards has been lucky to avoid being problematic.

For the first, nothin presently stops a company like Amazon (who it should be noted recently got more involved in D&D by distributing The Legend of Vox Machina) taking advantage of the current OGL to make a competitor. This is fair--and also something they indicated they are basically abandoning because they do not want to inadvertently hurt Critical Role or the like.

The second is also something they have a clear interest in--OGL content is tied to D&D and uses their intellectual property. That is, after all, the point. Wizards does not want their intellectual property used to promote racism--also a good thing.

And third, nothing in the current OGL prevents folks from making D&D NFTs, and Wizards doesn't really want others to be engaging in the whole NFT grift with their property.

The response they gave today also comes across to me as very disingenuous and attempts to reframe the narrative instead of taking responsibility for their decisions.

Simply wrong. Not only did they say they failed--they said they critically failed. They did so in a cutesy D&D way--but that's kind of the job of PR folks. They also apologized specifically for creating a worse environment for their fans.

I see no reason to believe that wizards has had any meaningful change of heart and is attempting to find the minimal amount of change they need in order to stem the bleed of people leaving.

People do not trust Wizards because they think (with good cause) that Wizards is greedy. That is exactly why you can trust them that they will stick to the promises outlined in their missive--it would be a financial disaster to backtrack on their damage control promises, and corporate greed is not going to let them add that PR disaster on top of a few months of bad PR.

And that's where things actually stand--as far as corporate apologies go, this was not just a good one, but an exceptional one. Not only did it provide information about what happened (lawyers being lawyers; drafts from conversations with major third-parties that were not ready for the less objective analysis of the public being made public), it provided action items that specifically addressed and specifically promised revocation of every legitimate concern folks raised with the OGL draft.

Right now, I think the best course of action is to adopt a "let's see what happens next", approach, coupled with some casual optimism. That and maybe improving education systems across the world, because this entire affair has proven most folks apparently do not know what the word "draft" means and forget how to read when they are angry.

January 14, 2023 1:36 a.m.

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