This is Audio EXP for the 17th of August 2019, and the title of this episode is Finding Treasure.
[The following is a transcript of Audio EXP: #5]
Imagine having treasure shipped to your door every month. That was the promise that Loot Crate made and now it has gone bankrupt.
The company owes customers, people like you and me, 20 million Dollars and it owes suppliers, people like Marvel and Facebook 30 million Dollars.
The final straw was a company called Vantiv. I hadn’t heard of Vantiv before and little wonder. They are a credit card processing company, and Vantiv refused to process any more credit cards for Loot Crate. They didn’t want to get caught out. Now, I don’t understand why they would be at risk. But theoretically, the concern was that people might request their money back, because Loot Crate did not deliver the loot, and somehow Vantiv would be responsible.
Obviously, when your credit card company refuses to take any more orders on your behalf, you are in trouble.
So, chapter 11 protection it is for Loot Crate, and this gives them the opportunity to sort themselves out. Unfortunately, this means dozens of people have lost their jobs, and thousands of people are wondering what’s happened to their money.
Now, there is a chance that Loot Crate might get bought. There is a company now, a new company, called Loot Crate Acquisition which is in the market to buy Loot Crate.
That sounds really promising, right? But it is possible that Loot Crate Acquisition is just a bluff. The purpose of Loot Crate Acquisition might just be to flush out any real buyers.
So, we’ll just have to wait and see.
The reaction from many people to Loot Crate’s situation has been a lack of surprise. So in news which is more surprising, for me at least, is about DC asking comic book retailers to destroy certain copies of Superman and Supergirl.
Now there’s nothing sinister going on here.
The problem is with the covers. The covers were revealed in advance, and the storyline has not kept pace with expectation, and now the covers don’t match the story.
The comics in question are Superman issue 14 and Supergirl issue 33. Now, retailers are supposed to destroy them, but I imagine some won’t. So some Superman 14 and Supergirl 33 might sneak out there to the public marketplace with the wrong covers on. I imagine this will make them very collectable.
However, if lots of retailers don’t follow DC’s instructions and they hang on to this comics and then lots of people buy them then maybe they’ll be really really common and not collectable at all. It’s not my area of expertise, I’m not claiming to give you any advice here, but I think it’s a pretty interesting story.
And if you want to see what these two covers look like; we have them on the site. You’ll find the link in the description below.
This week in Geek Native, we had another story for which it is important to say we’re not giving you legal advice. This is a story over the legal fight on the use of stat blocks and D&D.
Wizards of the Cost provide the Open Gaming License and setup the DM’s Guild so you can publish your own D&D inspired and derived books and sell them and keep a portion of the money.
Blogger Bob Bodine wasn’t using that. He was republishing versions of D&D stat blocks that that had been redesigned to reduce the amount of cross-referencing DMs needed to do. You know; a stat block that had all the rules you needed in that one stat block.
He got a letter from Wizards of the Coast, an email rather, to ask him to use the OGL or to stop doing this. He’s not going to, or at least, he hasn’t stopped yet. Bob Bodine is a lawyer. He is a gaming copyright lawyer, and he knows it is very tricky to copyright aspects of games.
As far as I understand it, you cannot legally protect the functionality of games, but you can protect the creativity of games. You can’t protect the crunch, you can protect the fluff. However, both these terms have loads of grey areas, lots of exceptions, and it makes it a bit of a legal quagmire.
Over the course of the last couple of months, Bodine has set out his stall, and I think he’s waiting to see what Wizards of the Coast do next. One email from a paralegal doesn’t really suggest the full force of the Wizard’s legal team is on him yet, but it may come to that.
We’ll try and follow the story if that happens.
The last story I’d like to feature on this week’s Audio EXP is a new playtest from Dungeons & Dragons.
It’s a very small playtest that involves the Monk and the Barbarian classes. Wizards have released two new subclasses for both. The Barbarian now has the Path of the Wild Soul, and the Monk gets Way of the Astral Self.
If you’ve had the chance to play with either of those two yet we’d really like to hear about it. So, drop us a note.
That’s a wrap for this week’s episode of Audio EXP. Thank you for listening and a special thanks to all our Patrons. See you next week.
On Audio EXP this week we chat about Loot Crate crumbling while owing $20m to customers, the new D&D playtest and DC asking for certain comic books to be destroyed.
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