Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast released new statements about their changing Open Game licenses for Dungeons & Dragons since they seem to have taken a huge step back. After several days of receiving a massive online backlash over leaked content of their new Open Game License, Version 1.1, it appears plans to release a new OGL has been canceled (for the time being).
The company posted a statement on the D&D Beyond site, saying the initial intention behind the OGL 1.1 was to stop the usage of their assets on Web3, in blockchain titles, and NFTs, all of which would go against the spirit of the original OGL. The company went on to say they were unable to continue working with the new license using the language they had, and were going to be working on a new release for One D&D. Heres a chunk of what was said in the post.
“The next OGL will contain the provisions that allow us to protect and cultivate the inclusive environment we are trying to build and specify that it covers only content for TTRPGs. That means that other expressions, such as educational and charitable campaigns, livestreams, cosplay, VTT-uses, etc., will remain unaffected by any OGL update. Content already released under 1.0a will also remain unaffected.
What it will not contain is any royalty structure. It also will not include the license back provision that some people were afraid was a means for us to steal work. That thought never crossed our minds. Under any new OGL, you will own the content you create. We won’t. Any language we put down will be crystal clear and unequivocal on that point.
The license back language was intended to protect us and our partners from creators who incorrectly allege that we steal their work simply because of coincidental similarities. As we continue to invest in the game that we love and move forward with partnerships in film, television, and digital games, that risk is simply too great to ignore. The new OGL will contain provisions to address that risk, but we will do it without a license back and without suggesting we have rights to the content you create. Your ideas and imagination are what makes this game special, and that belongs to you.”
While it certainly sounds as though Dungeons & Dragons’s community has had a hand in this, time will still tell whether the company has damaged the game’s reputation moving forward. Paizo is already moving on to its own OGL, which will bring in several more companies in reaction to what was leaked. Hundreds have taken to social media to reveal they canceled their subscriptions to D&D Beyond as protest, and several others said that they might not be playing the game going forward.