Dungeons & Dragons publisher Wizards of the Coast and its parent company Hasbro have been under fire for the past week for changes to their Open Gaming License, the rule that allows for third parties to create content using the rules and setting of D&D. Independent creators and third-party publishers have reacted with anger, as has the fanbase. Movements for a “Free DND” have led to mass cancellations of D&D Beyond subscriptions, a petition with over 50,000 signatures, and a swath of announcements by publishers and designers that they’d be reducing their use of 5E or leaving it all together. The continued backlash led to a post earlier today from D&D’s executive producer Kyle Brink directly responding to the fanbase’s worries.
In it, Brink apologized for the approach taken to the proposed changes:
“Our language and requirements in the draft OGL were disruptive to creators and not in support of our core goals of protecting and cultivating an inclusive play environment and limiting the OGL to TTRPGs. Then we compounded things by being silent for too long. We hurt fans and creators, when more frequent and clear communications could have prevented so much of this.
Starting now, we’re going to do this a better way: more open and transparent, with our entire community of creators. With the time to iterate, to get feedback, to improve.”
According to Brink, they will approach the OGL similar to how they’ve approached One D&D and the Unearthed Arcana. A draft will be posted this Friday and Wizards will be open to feedback from the community at large for two weeks.
He also made assurances in the post that certain creative aspects of the Dungeons & Dragons community will remain untouched. This includes both produced work like video shows, TikToks, and actual plays. DM’s Guild will not be affected, nor will work published under the OGL 1.0. He finally emphasized that “there will be no royalty or financial reporting requirements” and that “you will continue to own your content with no license-back requirements.”
We’ll have more details on this story and changes to the OGL as it develops.
Image via Dungeons & Dragons
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