Wizards of the Coast apologises for Dungeons & Dragons Open Gaming License fiasco
Wizards of the Coast has apologized for its handling of revisions to its Dungeons & Dragons Free Game License (OGL), which has caused a huge community backlash over the past week.
Details of planned overhauls for an OGL 1.1 were leaked by Gizmodo, and Wizards of the Coast immediately faced an orchestrated pushback from fans and prominent members of the community over rule changes that, among other things, would require anyone to earn money through the use of D&D items to report profits to the business.
The original OGL, which was to be made “unauthorized” after the release of version 1.1 according to Gizmodo’s report, granted non-Wizards of the Coast publishers relative freedom over the use and sale of content that used the existing D&D elements.
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In response to the fallout that followed, Wizards of the Coast delayed the release of OGL 1.1 as it sought to rework major elements based on community feedback. These changes would remove the disclosed royalty structure and license return provisions “which some people feared was a way for us to steal work”, and include assurances “you will own the content you create”. They would also explicitly only apply to TTRPGs (and would not restrict live streams and cosplay), and would not affect content published under the original OGL.
Following that initial statement, Wizards of the Coast has now released a new message making further promises to the community. “These past few days and weeks have been incredibly difficult for everyone,” executive producer Kyle Brink wrote on the D&D blog. “As players, fans and stewards of the game, we cannot – and we will not – let things continue like this.”
“First, though,” he continued, “let me start with an apology. We’re sorry. We got it wrong. Our language and requirements in the OGL project were confusing the creators and did not support our fundamental goals of protection and culture. an inclusive game environment and limiting the OGL to TTRPGs. Then we made it worse by staying silent for too long. We hurt fans and creators, while more frequent and clearer communications could have prevented so much.”
Brink said Wizards of the Coast will now continue to move forward in a “better way”, by being more “open and transparent” with its creator community: “We’ll listen to you, and then we’ll share with you what we’ve heard. . , much like we do in our Unearthed Arcana and One D&D playtests, this will be a solid conversation before we release a future version of the OGL.
To that end, Wizards of the Coast has now shared the proposed new OGL documentation for review and comment. Anyone viewing the document can fill out a quick survey with specific questions about the reviews as well as open form fields for additional feedback.
Brink noted that the investigation would remain open for “at least two weeks” and that notice would be given before it was closed. After that, the company will “compile, analyze, react” to the results, which will then be shared with the community.
“We’re committed to giving creators both input and readiness for any OGL updates,” Brink wrote, before highlighting a “ton of stuff” that won’t be affected by OGL updates:
“Your video content. Whether you are a commentator, streamer, podcaster, live cast member or other video creator on platforms such as YouTube, Twitch and TikTok, you have always been covered by the related policy. to Wizards fan content. OGL does not (and will not touch any of it). Your props for your personal content. clothing, dice, and other items related to your creations, characters, and worlds. No – published works, e.g. contracted services. You use the OGL if you want to publish your works that reference content from the fifth publishing via the SRD. This means that commissioned works, paid DM services, advice, etc. are not affected by the OGL. VTT content. Any updates to the OGL will still allow any creator to publish ATV content and will still allow VTT publishers to use OGL content on their platform. DMs Guild content. Content you post to DMs Guild is published under a Community Content Agreement w ith Dungeon Masters Guild. It doesn’t change. Your OGL 1.0a content. Nothing will affect content you have published under OGL 1.0a. This will still be licensed under OGL 1.0a. Your income. There will be no royalty or financial reporting requirements. Your Ownership of Your Content. You will retain ownership of your content with no license return requirements.”
“You will hear from us again on or before Friday as described above,” Brink’s post concluded, “and we look forward to the conversation.”