Wizards of the Coast apologizes to fans for the new Dungeons & Dragons license

Something small: Wizards of the Coast felt dragon fire after a leaked copy of the game’s new open license sparked backlash from the gaming community. The company backtracked, promising to take a license with a more open approach and that it would listen to fans’ opinions.

Wizards of the Coast was ready to update its old Open Game License (OGL) for Dungeons & Dragons-inspired role-playing games (TTRPG). However, the updated document leaked and turned the TTRPG world upside down. Gamers, streamers, and creators have canceled their gaming subscriptions en masse, forcing WotC to change its plans accordingly.

The new OGL 1.1 document, which was leaked at the beginning of the month, is set to significantly restrict how TTRPG creators and the entire community can adapt the core rules of Dungeons & Dragons into their work. One of the most problematic changes was the required earnings reports for D&D-inspired games to be sent directly to WotC. Furthermore, OGL 1.1 would have made the old license “unauthorized” immediately.

After delaying the release of OGL 1.1 and reassuring fans and creators about the good intentions of the new license, D&D executive producer Kyle Brink wrote apology. Wizards of the Coast is sorry, Brink said, because the language and requirements in the OGL draft were “disturbing to creators and not in support of our primary goals of protecting and nurturing the overall gameplay environment.”

Brink stated that more frequent and transparent communications could have prevented a lot of OGL-related chaos, but now WotC wants to try things the right way. First, by reassuring fans that the new license is strictly limited to the TTRPG market. Any changes included in OGL 1.1 will not affect “at least” non-desktop creative efforts such as video content (streaming, podcasts, etc.), DIY extensions, and unpublished work.

The Open Game License 1.1 will not affect content created under OGL1.0a, and “there will be no royalty or financial reporting requirements.” In addition, ownership of the content will not change, without license retake requirements. Going forward, WotC will be more open to community feedback to improve OGL while preserving the traditional D&D community.

The company is now involved Latest new OGL draft (which moved from 1.1 to OGL 1.2), awaiting fan review and feedback as they already do with playtest material. After two weeks, WotC will collect the submitted feedback to “combine, analyze, react and present back what we heard from you.”

The 1.2 Open Game License should contain the most fundamental changes of the leaked OGL 1.1 draft, including the revocation of the OGL 1.0a license, which seems necessary to make the update work. It will also prohibit hateful content or conduct and protect D&D’s “total gaming experience.”

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