An Open Letter to WOTC - D&DNext

The announcement of a new edition of Dungeons and Dragons, an edition dedicated to unifying the player base, represents an enormous opportunity for WOTC. D&D enjoys incomparable brand recognition in its field. It's the grandfather of all RPGs. Don’t just revise the rules for the new iteration of D&D, revise your business model.


Platform: a foundation for growth and opportunities unforeseen. Apple, Amazon, Facebook, etc. have all achieved unimaginable success by creating a platform and embracing the indie market.


People look for convenient, accessible, trusted sources for content online. Look to your own success with the D&D Insider. Give the community a place to share and reap the profits by providing the service. Reunite the D&D community with this new edition. In addition to traditional offerings, build a D&DNext digital platform.


THE BAZAAR


A digital store open to the independent community. Establish a standard license and profit sharing formula in favor of content creators. Manage all submissions, but do not invest time developing them. If they meet the quality standard, simply offer them in the Bazaar stamped with an Approved for D&DNext banner. Do not claim any ownership of these materials. The digital D&DNext platform (Bazaar) will thereby enjoy the Safe Harbor protections in the DMCA. The Bazaar is a service, not a product demanding traditional risks and investments.


No independent game effort can match the brand recognition of Dungeons & Dragons. Offer the D&DNext platform to indie developers as a place to sell their products. Not only will this aid in maintaining a leadership position in the market, WOTC will profit from providing the service.


The Bazaar should feature all manner of digital gaming aids, each Approved for D&DNext:




  • adventure modules




  • comics




  • art (generic and custom)




  • ebooks & short stories




  • random map generators




  • random name generators




  • 3D printing programs for custom miniatures




How about a program for tablets featuring a portrait on your character sheet that updates as your character changes gear and levels - a digital throwback to the grognard days when players were customizing miniatures to represent characters on the table. What about indie digital game developers? Mobile games? A simple standard license for the Bazaar will lead to innovative D&DNext digital games.


Properly organize the Bazaar for keyword and category searches: adventure by character level, dungeon or wilderness module, mobile game, map, art, etc.


The D&D Brand Management Team should become a group that monitors all submissions to the D&D Bazaar for quality, rules compatibility, world compatibility, talent recruitment and editorial control of the D&D game. A community embracing the platform will be the greatest source of advertising imaginable.


In this century, anything that can be digitized, will be digitized and distributed. Combat piracy by building a platform. A one-stop destination filled with a wealth of continuously generated material. One that is easy to access and trusted (no malware). One that features a standard of quality and reasonable prices for digital offerings. That is how you combat piracy.


If you hope to unify the various editions of D&D with this new edition, you must provide the community a common shared platform. Dungeons & Dragons is participatory game. A social, imaginative experience sustained by a participatory culture. Take advantage of the game’s history, embrace the future and build a D&DNext platform.

wholly supported

and call it


Bazaar of the Bizarre



Laughing
This is exactly what Wizards ought to do. An app store for D&D, where independent designers can submit content, Wizards screens for quality, and offers the best to the gaming public in exchange for a cut of the profits. Takes the pressure off WotC to crank out new material every month while still allowing a steady flow of product.

Implement a print on demand feature, in which players can order hard copies of their favorite books, and you won't have to deal with complaints that you're abandoning the print format. It works for White Wolf, it'll work for D&D. 
Wishlist: -Alternate ability bonuses for pre-PHB3 races -Lots more superior implements or an official customization rule -Monk multiclass feat that grants Unarmed Combatant
This sounds interesting. Could someone explain how the 3D printing programs for custom miniatures would work? At the moment I see something that would create an illustration using a program like poserpro. Or is the intent to create an actual metal miniture?
This sounds like an incredibly awesome idea, a fantastic way for WotC to leverage D&D's strong brand identity and build a dedicated place where fans can make cool stuff to help or entertain other fans.

However...given WotC's rather dismal history when it comes to IP and digital issues, I can't help but feel pessimistic. This is a company, after all, that not even a month ago started taking legal action against just the types of fans-helping-fans tools that the proposed Bazaar would encompass--though for Magic rather than D&D. I feel it's very unlikely they're going to suddenly turn around and decide to let their fans start doing that kind of thing for D&D.

This sounds interesting. Could someone explain how the 3D printing programs for custom miniatures would work? At the moment I see something that would create an illustration using a program like poserpro. Or is the intent to create an actual metal miniture?

Actual metal (well, more likely plastic) miniatures. Printing 3D objects is a thing.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

We'd been discussing how Wizards should do something like this in our own group. If Wizards want to unite D&D players from all editions, they're going to have to do more than publish a new set of rules; they're going to have to build an inviting community that players of all editions feel they can get something out of and contribute to.

Nice idea - I hope something comes of it.
This is certainly one of the best ideas I've read in a while.
I always wondered how could Wizards find an open, vast and -why not- profitable way to achieve a great dela of interest and a refreshing dynamic in the game, and this could be it: the aswer was in my iPod all along:
1.- A virtual store where creative folks can show and sell their content
2.- Wizards can curate quality, copyright and whatever.
3.- Everyone wins,
        -Wizards: an updated and always new store with lots of content and taking a small piece of the profits
        -The freelance community: with a great platform to reach a lot of people
        -The gaming community: with a diverse library to choose from.

I couldn't suppor this enough: now Monte and company: hire a guy to do this and let it happen!

I truelly couldn't imagine a 21st century DnD... now I do! 
This is a company, after all, that not even a month ago started taking legal action against just the types of fans-helping-fans tools that the proposed Bazaar would encompass--though for Magic rather than D&D. I feel it's very unlikely they're going to suddenly turn around and decide to let their fans start doing that kind of thing for D&D.



I'm not familiar with this incident, but the fact that it wasn't set up by Wizards is likely a key factor here. They have intellectual property to protect, and even if a fanmade program isn't doing them any actual harm, they still have to go after copyright/trademark infringement as a matter of legal precedent- if they don't vigorously enforce their property rights, they have less solid ground to stand on in future cases where harm IS being done.

Basically, you can't cherry-pick whom you go after for violations, or a judge might rule that you gave up the right to go after ANYONE.

Also, Wizards/Hasbro wasn't making any money off of the Magic thing. That's very important. 
Wishlist: -Alternate ability bonuses for pre-PHB3 races -Lots more superior implements or an official customization rule -Monk multiclass feat that grants Unarmed Combatant
However...given WotC's rather dismal history when it comes to IP and digital issues, I can't help but feel pessimistic. This is a company, after all, that not even a month ago started taking legal action against just the types of fans-helping-fans tools that the proposed Bazaar would encompass--though for Magic rather than D&D. I feel it's very unlikely they're going to suddenly turn around and decide to let their fans start doing that kind of thing for D&D.


Oh no, they did it for D&D as well.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
I am 101% behind this idea.
I will pay 101% for anything in that store that DDi sets up.
Please, oh, please, for the love of all the Gods, and Demi-Gods, GO DIGITAL IN 5E!
For real this time.
Viva La "what ever version of D&D you are playing right now!"
Great idea
I agree with this. I think that doing this and adding a small charge (say 5% of the cost of an app) that goes to wizards would make it profitable for them without them really having to do much work. 

I hope that WOTC doesn't associate itself with the media companies etc. that are completely failing to adapt to the digital age and inciting the ire of the next generation of consumers in the process (c.f. many of the big music/television/phone companies). I don't tend to use very much digital content at my table, but I certainly would while doing prep work, and I would pay for a 5e equivalent of D&D insider if it actually unrolled the content that 4e D&D insider promised. 

I even did pay for 4e insider while I was playing 4e, but there wasn't enough there to keep going, and I stopped playing 4e anyway.
     This is the best thing that WotC coud do. It would minimize the development necessary for them, while maximizing the content available for the consumer; all WotC would have to do is offer guideline/requirements and quality control.

     All this with the release of the promised modular, all encompassing D&DNext. Brilliant! 
Good idea. I'd submit some of my adventures, too, especially if I could get some leftover money from it. Three dollars a month is one D&D book a year!
Are you interested in an online 4E game on Sunday? Contact me with a PM!
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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
Ideas for 5E
I too think this is a great idea.  I have a Dungeons and Dragons folder on this computer that has 10 years of gaming materials on it.  Custom maps, modules, npc's, artwork, weapons, magic items, etc.  For me its all old campiagn stuff, but if I had a venue to share it I think some people would fine some of it useful.  AND I am not alone.  So many of us DMs put countless hours of work into our games.  To share even some of that content x1000 DMs or more will be a lot of useful stuff for people to use in this next itteration of the game.
It's an interesting idea, and basically represents the non-D&D universe of informal gamer networks that started back in the 80's when Gygax tightened his grip on the franchise.  That diaspora generated hits like Arduin, Talislanta, RuneQuest, and many other RPGs in reaction to the petrifaction of AD&D e1, and who could write for it.  It's still going on in various BBS's, BLogs and websites around the world, including this very site.

Now to play devil's advocate:
Hasbro won't (and by extension WotC can't) loosen it's grip on what it sees as the rights to the D&D franchise and it's desire to hit a monetary threshhold for the product. 

The analogy to Apple Apps is clever but misplaced.  Apple doesn't have the same legal or financial relationship to apps that Hasbro has to D&D and it's various franchises.  Apple makes money no matter what the App is.  Hasbro loses money every time someone else publishes something for its franchises. 

Unless you plan on working for free and paying Hasbro to publish your work on their site so they can make profit off of it by selling it to other DMs. 

Basically, you can't cherry-pick whom you go after for violations, or a judge might rule that you gave up the right to go after ANYONE.

I don't think it would be productive to get into a full discussion of this here, but I would like to make a quick comment: I believe you're right that it's likely a good idea for WotC to do something when other people start using their copyrighted materials or trademarks. However, I also believe that taking sudden legal action as they did in this case is a poor choice of somethings.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Yes. This is a good idea.
I think this is a great idea. If offering digital content by third parties wasn't profitable, SJ Games wouldn't still be running e23. I think it could work really well for WotC.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

Great idea! I would surely use such a service.

I can’t support this hard enough.  I hate to use it as an example because everyone does but then again everyone does because it is such a great example, but Valve has proven that convenience, customer service, and reasonable prices can and will show profitability.  I absolutely love the print on demand idea and as much as it would hurt my local gaming hobby store I can say I would definitely participate.  Add interactive e-book editions of everything they print as well and you have something that I believe the community at large will really get behind.  The interesting thing about going tech friendly is that it helps easy people that are more familiar with video games into the community.



I would like to emphasize that it would go a long way towards building even greater customer loyalty to add in copies of the electronic material with the purchase of the print on demand books.  That way its WoTC saying "Hey bud, I see you bought out new PHB so I added a copy of the digital version to your library.  You know just in case it comes in handy."  Rather than "Hey man, you paid $30 bucks for that book but if you want the same material in an easy to travel interactive medium that will be another $15."  Throwing in the e copy will make the players feel more appreciated and it costs you nothing because there will be people that buy just the E-books.


I love the idea of a customer creation app and service for minis.  WoTC could probably work out a deal with someone like Shapeways or any of these new 3D printing services that allowed them to create custom minis and maybe even dice based off of a character generator similar to a character creator in any of the many RPGs we have all played.  If you can get with a 3rd party to do the dev work it could be awesome.     


Your biggest concern should be your brand image in conjunction with creating and maintaining a level of excellence and attention to detail that has made so many of the WoTC products memorable.  This may be WoTC’s best and brightest chance and creating a lasting brand into the future of gaming.  As far as a comprehensive license goes that is the best idea of all presented in the above letter.  There are so many small game studios that I am sure would love to put a true D&D branded and approved product out there.  It works well for you because you are able to endorse and profit from your brand and it works for them because they have the advertising arm of WoTC supporting them in moving their product.   This could and should apply for art, novelization, even music.


 


I really hope the crews look at these things and give them some serious weight.  Innovation will be the only thing that moves you forward and the ability to turn effectively crowd source a super active and naturally creative fan base into a mutually profitable business model even smells like money.

It's an interesting idea, and basically represents the non-D&D universe of informal gamer networks that started back in the 80's when Gygax tightened his grip on the franchise.  That diaspora generated hits like Arduin, Talislanta, RuneQuest, and many other RPGs in reaction to the petrifaction of AD&D e1, and who could write for it.  It's still going on in various BBS's, BLogs and websites around the world, including this very site.

Now to play devil's advocate:
Hasbro won't (and by extension WotC can't) loosen it's grip on what it sees as the rights to the D&D franchise and it's desire to hit a monetary threshhold for the product. 

The analogy to Apple Apps is clever but misplaced.  Apple doesn't have the same legal or financial relationship to apps that Hasbro has to D&D and it's various franchises.  Apple makes money no matter what the App is.  Hasbro loses money every time someone else publishes something for its franchises. 

Unless you plan on working for free and paying Hasbro to publish your work on their site so they can make profit off of it by selling it to other DMs. 


Devil's Advocate Zoxesyr,
Someone at WOTC needs to calmly explain some facts to the legal team:

  • OGL already let the horse out of the barn

  • Attempting to absolutely control the D&D Intellectual Property will strangle it

  • If you cannot absolutely control the IP, find a way to monitor and guide its growth

  • WOTC business protection relies on trademark more than copyright

  • Offering a sales platform along with the APPROVED FOR D&D trademark will entice game developers (and an army of indie gamers) to surrended a percentage of the sales price in return for the brand recognition


 Apple offers a sales platform along with an inherent Approved for iOS "trademark" in return for a percentage of the sales price. The only difference here is perception - "computer stuff" vs printed books. Both are products based on intellectual property. Both are governed by a common set of laws. However, only one is dominating its market. 

If you don't like the Apple analogy, look into what's happening with Kindle ePublishing and its growing impact on the traditional business model.

If WOTC cannot unite the community with D&DNext, the D&D trademark will continue to lose market value. Anyone here can name a number of competing RPGs without even bringing up D&D edition wars. 

Yes, WOTC (Hasbro) will have to pay the independent developers the larger share of the income derived from each sale to be successful. But it will make money every time material is sold on its D&DNext platform!


  • money that required no upfront investment

  • money that comes with built-in market research benefits

  • money that comes with premiere talent scouting for freelancers

  • money that comes without any research and development costs

  • money that comes with much less inherent risk than traditional business models

  • money that WOTC will NOT be making without a D&D ePlatform 

The last thing D&D needs is to be turned into eD&D.
The last thing D&D needs is to be turned into eD&D.


As someone who plays vastly more D&D than I could previously due to the availability of the Virtual Table, I'm curious why you think this.

It more than tripled my playtime, and lets me play with people from the global D&D community.

How could this possibly be bad?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
The last thing D&D needs is to be turned into eD&D.


When you say eD&D do you mean an online game, a la Dungeons & Dragons Online? or do you mean something like the Tiny Adventures (discontinued Facebook game)? or do you mean like Heroes of Neverwinter (current Facebook game)? Because, yes, those are not D&D in the sense that most of us here are talking about.

If you mean a place where I, a young writer who has DM'd for more than half his life to date, can share my stories, campaigns, ideas, custom creations with others and (le gasp!) maybe even subsidize my D&D addiction with the very game I love playing - and this is the eD&D you fear, I'm sorry, I must disagree.

When my father taught me the game before I turned 10 so that my math and reading skills would jump up, I found myself enthralled and absorbed into a world of my own making. When I told the kids in school about this game my father and I would play two nights a week, they were interested, but dare not say it. Years later, after I left that school district, I found that half of those kids were playing on the weekends in one of their basements. I was lucky enough that my father's group let me join them for a trial few games, and then I became a consistent player. I was almost 20 years younger than the next youngest person at the table. I made connections far beyond my normal age group and then found people my age. I was the lucky one. I found gamers. College came, and I was displaced, no gamers that I knew of, then I found the college sponsored "Gaming Club" and then BostonGamers, and now I know hundreds of people that play in my area. But I'm one of the lucky ones.

An online community, expansive, well polished, where you can find other gamers, DMs, people who share a love of these stories and more - we've needed this. I hope, no, I demand in all my arrogance, that we need this. More than just a simple forum, more than just a few facebook groups or g+ circles or what have you. We need our haven, our place to find other gamers, find friends, and make the magic real again.

May D&DNext give us all the opportunities I was so terrifyingly lucky to have. Find a group, find many, find a game or find inspiriation to make a game, and then pay it all back and share that experience.

Or maybe I'm just an aging gamer who still remembers that when I talked too loudly about D&D in school I was in detention for talking about evil satanic devil worship - and I'm just hoping my children will never have to go through that.
The last thing D&D needs is to be turned into eD&D.




im gunna throw a shout to vales' post because he's basically hit it right there, but in response to this all I have to say is dude as much as I love the books the paper and the pencils.  Welcome to the future man.  there is a reason I don't really seek to play shadowrun as much anymore.  It was the day I realized I could in fact run a quadracopter drone with the commlink in my pocket.
This is a great idea and I very much approve. An app store kind of ecosystem can increase quality of 3rd party products as well as monetize them without needing extra development time and capital.  This is, of course, in addition to WotC's own products!  I do think it's important to have a print on demand feature as well.  A PDF is nice in terms of portability but it's just a bit hard to sift through several of them at once at the table.  It would also allow your FLGS to have physical material to sell whilst running games and connecting gamers.

@daVALESian: The community aspect you bring up is also a good point.  Let's bring people together whether it be online through a VT or in person via a network to find other gamers in your area.  I do realize that this is available already in some form, but with some refinement and encouragement,  just imagine what the community could foster...
I have mixed feelings about this.

The problem with an App Store model is quality control. Product quality is pretty much the lottery. These kinds of app databases are polluted with unreliable, unfinished worthless junk.

I like printed books too. I like the colorful maps you have in the campaign settings. I find it difficult to imagine how you could have a campaign setting with an official timeline in a world where everybody contributes.

That said, if I still get to buy the quality books WoTC used to offer before 4th edition, than I’m all for it. I usually spend a lot of time making nice and clean adventures; I wouldn’t mind making a few bucks off of it.
In order to make this work for WoTC, I think they would need to charge for every submittion to the store.  If they don't do something like this, they will end up having to review lots of low quality submittions.  Reviewing each submittion even bad ones takes an employee's time which costs them money.

They may be able to offer reduced submittion review prices for people who plan on making lots of submittions.

Once the store has been up and running, they would be able to offer either reduced submittion review prices or waive the cost entirely for submitters who have a history of submittions that are both approved and well rated by the community.

The biggest concern they would have is making sure that the store doesn't end up reducing the value and sales of their own products. 

Obviously they'd need to make sure their products would always appear at the top of the list during searches in the store.  Even if I was searching for products by a specific non-WoTC author, they should list 5 WoTC products (above the search results) that if possible would be in some way related or similar to the search results.  So if I'm looking for adventures produced by myself, I'd first see 5 WoTC's adventures and then the adventures that I had submitted.

Some restrictions they could introduce is that maybe only WoTC could submit content for the official D&D campaign setting.  Other users would need to either make their adventures generic or geared to a non official D&D campaign setting.  Maybe only WoTC can release new classes and races.  I'm sure there are lots of other sorts of restrictions that could be added to make sure WoTC has a definite niche that only they can fill.
I think with the App Store/Marketplace model they can do quite well. Right now, most modules that are released are fairly standalone from the primary timeline, with a few notable exceptions. That said, I don't see a problem with them re-releasing things like the Tombs of Horrors, The Temple of Elemental Evil, etc as they have done, as they are well known, well loved, and well recieved modules.

I do like the idea of them placing official products above user submitted items in the store, that's a reasonable expectation, though I think 3 would do just fine. I'd hate to see them have to force something to "fit" the search just because the 3rd party object might be a bit too off the normal mark but still be approved, but I trust they'll do what they have to do to stay alive as a company, and more power to them in that aspect.

Also, don't discredit the freelancers as having sub-WotC level quality. I have an artist girlfriend for art, I have three other DMs that talk shop with me regularly, I've basically have a small game design team in my apartment all with different flavors to add to the mix. There isn't a doubt in my mind that we'd be pushing full steam at make some high-quality modules, campaign additions, stories, and everything under the sun.

Also, don't discredit the freelancers as having sub-WotC level quality. I have an artist girlfriend for art, I have three other DMs that talk shop with me regularly, I've basically have a small game design team in my apartment all with different flavors to add to the mix. There isn't a doubt in my mind that we'd be pushing full steam at make some high-quality modules, campaign additions, stories, and everything under the sun.



Like the ones that created Pathfinder Wink?
If this could be done it would truly be awesome. Lets hope WOTC take this idea seriously.

For those of you with kids please check out the D&D Parents Group. http://community.wizards.com/dndparents

Sorry I didn't want to seem like I was bashing freelancers or hinting that they make lower quality products.  But you have to admit if WoTC opens up the store for anyone to submit, not all freelancers are going to be submitting great products.  If you look at any of the app stores for any handheld devices etc..., you will see in the store lots of garbage apps.  That doesn't mean some freelancers don't submit games on par with Electronic Arts or any of the other major game developers.

I think the community wants to see great products, WoTC doesn't want to spend big bucks on employee salaries to review thousands of submittions if only a low percentage of those submittions will be approved.

By having a fee to submit products, WoTC will both reduce the number of submittions and increase the quality. 

If I need to pay $50 to submit an adventure, I'm going to make sure it looks good, plays well and is interesting.  I may even have other DMs try to run the adventure for their groups to see how it works. 

If I have already submitted a few products which both WoTC has approved and the community has well rated, then maybe I can make submittions either at a reduced rate or without any charge.
If I need to pay $50 to submit an adventure, I'm going to make sure it looks good, plays well and is interesting.  I may even have other DMs try to run the adventure for their groups to see how it works.



Presuming a fictional price of $5 to download the adventure, once you've sold 17 of them you've covered the fee and any taxes and WotC cut (I'm figuring on an 80/20 split between the designer and WotC, which I've seen elsewhere for such deals). So that's not bad.

Other DMs run the adventure -- absolutely! The barrage of errata that came out for 4e should demonstrate to WotC just how valuable proper playtesting is. I think if I were on the staff that reviewed submissions I'd want the submission paperwork to have a statement that the adventure or whatever had been properly playtested. Having worked for a game publisher myself, I've seen how designers can miss things because they're so familiar with the material that they overlook what would be obvious to new eyes.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

If I need to pay $50 to submit an adventure, I'm going to make sure it looks good, plays well and is interesting.  I may even have other DMs try to run the adventure for their groups to see how it works.



Presuming a fictional price of $5 to download the adventure, once you've sold 17 of them you've covered the fee and any taxes and WotC cut (I'm figuring on an 80/20 split between the designer and WotC, which I've seen elsewhere for such deals). So that's not bad.

Other DMs run the adventure -- absolutely! The barrage of errata that came out for 4e should demonstrate to WotC just how valuable proper playtesting is. I think if I were on the staff that reviewed submissions I'd want the submission paperwork to have a statement that the adventure or whatever had been properly playtested. Having worked for a game publisher myself, I've seen how designers can miss things because they're so familiar with the material that they overlook what would be obvious to new eyes.



This is so very true. I just re-designed a website and took a bunch for granted, we're still in pre-release but now open to a small group of folks who've already found a number of issues that the rest of the designers and myself overlooked because we couldn't see the forest from the trees. Anyone who thinks they can be the only set of eyes on a module is going to find that they'll be bounced for review many many times, and if the $50 fee you're tossing up there is anywhere near close, and if it's per time you hand it to WotC's review team, that means you really want to scour it with a good and varied group of people first to save you  money and them time.

If the fee were $50, this seems close to reasonable, I don't think I'd want to see anything over $75 as that starts getting into a realm of worry for some folks. Even $50 can be scary. A scaling model would probably work best, something like $10 for the PDFs that've been generated by Dragon Artcles (1-5 pages), that might only download for $2, where a full Module (30+ pages) could be submitted for $50-$60 and retail for $5-10. Still cheaper than a printed module, and hopefully just as good. It'd be really nice if they were willing to give you 1 re-submission for free after a cursory review and markup, but they are not required to do so at that point.

IF they do go through with a Marketplace setup, and I am really really hoping they do - I think a scaling model would be ideal, but they'll figure that out and let us know.
I agree with you about the review cost being relative to the length of the document they will need to review.  The $50 fee I was suggesting was not intended to be a money making fee but just to avoid the process costing them money. 

WoTC would need to figure out what is cost effective to review each type or size of document.

In terms of re-submission, I think that if they thought your submission was close and just needed some touch ups, then sure that makes sense.  If not, then I'd say you pay the fee again.
Sorry I didn't want to seem like I was bashing freelancers or hinting that they make lower quality products.  But you have to admit if WoTC opens up the store for anyone to submit, not all freelancers are going to be submitting great products.  If you look at any of the app stores for any handheld devices etc..., you will see in the store lots of garbage apps.  That doesn't mean some freelancers don't submit games on par with Electronic Arts or any of the other major game developers.


This is true. Not everyone will submit great products, but to be honest I don't think WotC always produces great products either.

I don't think having WotC review every product is necessary or even desired (I'd rather decide for myself what I want not have them decide for me). Let the users review and rate it and that right there will be enough to filter out a lot of the garbage.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
The reason why an app store works so well for Apple is that they are in the business of selling devices like the ipod touch, iphone and ipad.  Most of their money is not made selling you their own apps.

WoTC, on the other hand, is not selling you your computer, phone, other computerized device, your bookcase, your table, etc...

In terms of D&D, they are selling you the core game, expansions, adventures and miniatures (I may have forgotten some items).  The point is other than the core game, this is exactly the sorts of content that 3rd party companies and freelancers are going to submit.  If they don't control both the quantity and quality of the products that make it to the app store, they can be shotting themselves in the foot. 

If there are thousands of adventures available already in the app store, will people still be buying the few that WoTC releases?

If there are thousands of classes, feats, powers, etc..., will people still buy the WoTC expansions?

Or will they find themselves in another situation like Pathfinder?  They may not lose ownership of the core game, but other companies may be reaping the profits.

The reason why Apple can afford to take 5% or less of the sales of the app store is because they sell the devices and more apps mean more sales of iphones, ipads, etc...  They can boast of having millions of apps.  If WoTC had millions of items in their app store, I'm not so sure they'd be selling more of their own products.
WotC would have the ability to screen content; anything that doesn't meet quality standards or introduces too much power bloat (500 feats that are just like offical WotC feats, but better!) would not make the cut. Only material that fills a niche WotC material doesn't would make it into the market.

Thus, nothing that steps on WotC's toes gets published, yet there's always plenty of content.

A perfect example would be supplemental material for campaign settings. When TSR was supporting numerous settings, they were investing the same amount of R&D time/money as a core book for something that would only appeal to a subset of a subset of players (those who play in the associated setting and want to use what's in the book.) If WotC farms that out to third parties, then there's full support for all the settings, and Wizards gets to take 20% of the sales just for slapping their logo and some reused art on it. 
Wishlist: -Alternate ability bonuses for pre-PHB3 races -Lots more superior implements or an official customization rule -Monk multiclass feat that grants Unarmed Combatant
I think many companies might find giving WotC 20% to be far too much. Profit margins aren't terribly high in the RPG market, particularly for 3rd party publishers.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
I think many companies might find giving WotC 20% to be far too much. Profit margins aren't terribly high in the RPG market, particularly for 3rd party publishers.



Then they don't get to develop material for 5E. Period.
Wishlist: -Alternate ability bonuses for pre-PHB3 races -Lots more superior implements or an official customization rule -Monk multiclass feat that grants Unarmed Combatant