Thanks for seeing me, Mr. Coast. Or… Can I call you Wizards? My associate is bound in silver chains; it should provide us a moment to speak. Let me congratulate you first on the new movie and television show and everything else that comes with the level of currency you've attained. Indeed; I was happy to help. I remember when you came to us and wondered how you could get people to try D&D, and we suggested a podcast. Different time, huh?
Most people I allow into my confidence are surprised to learn that I don't get paid to do Acquisitions Incorporated. It certainly isn't for lack of trying! I had to figure out other ways to make it work. When the book we did together came out, and the check hit, I literally divided the check by the number of people who worked here and gave everyone a share, like on a pirate ship. The performers on the show get paid, and they get paid on time, but my "payment" is just… my regular salary. I sought out the license to make shirts and stuff as a way to make a business case for doing it, but also because designers are skittish, fickle creatures like cats, and they always need new toys to play with.
I mostly do it because it's fun. Do you know what's not fun?
I understand that something happened to the stonk, and that this caused an ever widening circle of black crows to erupt over your offices (figuratively) and your brand (literally). I also know many, many people who work there and would never have anything to do with this. The people I know are drawing tentacles or painting museum quality pieces or trying to figure out how to stuff as much classic Dungeons & Dragons texture into the new version as they can. That is to say, they understand perfectly well what Dungeons & Dragons is and you can ask them about that at any time.
There are lots of conversations occurring, public and private, at varying levels of volume, about the "leaked" Open Gaming License document. Is it a leak? A test fire? I've heard people say that the community is overreacting, that the OGL can't actually be retroactively nullified, or that actually yes it can, or that it's only going to affect people above a certain earnings threshold, but they can change the license at any time, and so on. Smarter, more credentialed people than me are welcome to continue in these efforts. I think these are all very interesting, but what it's done in aggregate is manufacture chaos.
The practical, predictable result of this chaos is that open systems are coming out of the woodwork, from supergroup collabs like Kobold Press, Chaosium, Green Ronin, and Paizo, to RPG powerhouse MCDM. I'm shocked, startled, and mystified that there hasn't been an announcement from Critical Role slash Darrington Press, who has the most to lose, and whose legendary exploits the new OGL seems custom made to curtail.
Dungeons & Dragons isn't really a brand - it's a culture, which is a million times better than a brand. And it's not like that doesn't have direct implications for the bottom line: D&D is on its most successful iteration ever precisely because it's a universal touchstone. I've heard - you know, from you - that streaming and podcasts are to thank for that. I can't really make heads or tails of your apology, but let me say this: you have entered treacherous waters entirely of your own volition. Literally just turn around, and walk back out.