You Win: Wizards Of The Coast Will Leave The D&D OGL Alone
A little over three weeks ago, a document leaked out of Wizards of the Coast HQ that suggested plans to revoke the OGL — the Open Gaming License — that has nurtured the Dungeons & Dragons gaming community for over twenty years. It’s hard to think of a proposed product revision that had a more instantly reviled reaction from its consumers, aside from New Coke (and even then, there were people who actually liked New Coke).
The Open Gaming License is what makes it possible for third-party companies to make their tabletop games compatible with the D&D ruleset. But behind the scenes, Wizards started feeling D&D was “undermonetized” and started drafting a new OGL to replace the old, one that would introduce high licensing fees and more creative control by the company over 5E-compatible products. They presented this draft to third party companies. They were taken aback when ALL of them refused to bend.
The weeks since then have produced one apology after another from Wizards, each conceding a bit more of the New OGL, but not giving up entirely. From small hobbyists to powerful podcasters, no one had a kind word to say about it. Finally executive producer, Kyle Brink left it open to public debate and conducted a survey. The results were so clear he called them in early. Nothing less than a complete walkback would satisfy.
- 88% do not want to publish TTRPG content under OGL 1.2.
- 90% would have to change some aspect of their business to accommodate OGL 1.2.
- 89% are dissatisfied with deauthorizing OGL 1.0a.
- 86% are dissatisfied with the draft VTT policy.
- 62% are satisfied with including Systems Reference Document (SRD) content in Creative Commons, and the majority of those who were dissatisfied asked for more SRD content in Creative Commons.
OGL 1.2 is over before it began. The existing products that use 1.0a can continue to be sold without interference or extra fees. The End? Well…as satisfying as an ending can be when a guy punches you in the face and then begs for forgiveness once he finds out it didn’t benefit him.
Now begins the long, long road of rebuilding consumer trust. As far as we know, companies like Paizo and Kobold Press are still moving forward with plans to start adapting their games after a separate open license that cannot be claimed by any corporation. D&D may be the most iconic TTRPG brand, but thanks to this blunder, their days of being the center of that universe may be over.
Loading new replies...
Join the full discussion at the PopGeeks.com - Books, Film, Video Games, Animation Discussion →