After io9’s reporting on Wizards of the Coasthis plans to upgrade Dungeons & Dragons‘ long established Open the game license— the proprietary agreement that allows ads to develop new content and systems using the rules of the flagship RPG — the publisher’s ongoing apology to the creators hasd when announcing a new feedback system to create the next OGL.
In a blog post on D&D Beyond’s official website, D&D Executive producer Kyle Brink announced that another new iteration of WOTC’s recent plans for a post-1.0a OGL world will be developed hand-in-hand with community feedback, similar to how the company is currently soliciting feedback for Unearthed Arcana ( pre-release rulesets for the new class variations and more) and the upcoming new edition of Dungeons & Dragonsdoubled A D&D.
“We’re sorry. We misunderstood. Our language and requirements in the OGL draft were disruptive to creators and did not support our primary goals of protecting and cultivating an inclusive gaming environment and limiting OGL to TTRPGs,” Brink’s statement reads in part. “Then we made things worse by keeping quiet for too long. We hurt fans and creators when more frequent and clearer communications could have prevented so much of that.”
io9 gave the news of WOTC’s plans for an “OGL 1.1” on January 5th, where a leaked version of the newest iteration of the license included royalty payments for advertisers making more than $750,000 per product using the license, as well as controversial steps both to phase out the license of the current version of OGL, 1.0a, and to exercise more creative control over properties and homebrew systems created under the new conditions . Feedback from both fans and third-party TTRPG developers alike was immediately forthcoming, with publishers such as Pathfinder Paizo developer announcing a own multi-system game license as a rebuke, while WOTC remained silentcanceling planned announcements before launch an initial statement Last Friday, January 13th.
“Thank you for caring enough to tell us what works and what doesn’t, what you need and what scares you. Without knowing that, we cannot do our part to make the new OGL match our principles,” that statement, credited only to D&D Beyond personal, he concluded. “Finally, we’d appreciate the chance to get this right. We love D&Dthe devoted players and creators who take them on so many incredible adventures. We will not let you down.”
A second FAQ for a “2.o” version of the license, also obtained by io9, still included some of the more controversial updates, notably the deprecation of OGL 1.0a, despite Wizards of the Coast’s statement declaring the leaked updates to be drafts “already changed in the latest versions by the time of the leak”. However, it now appears that the publisher is going back to the drawing board in a much larger capacity, with plans for a proposed new version of OGL that will be open to public feedback. D&D players.
In the new statement, Brink confirms that a proposed new version of the open play license will be released “on or before” Friday, January 20, for review by D&D community. Players will be able to fill out a feedback form similar to the playtests offered for early access with us D&D material in the Unknotted Arcana over a two-week period, after which WOTC will analyze the feedback and in turn present new changes and analysis based on the information gathered.
Brink also reiterated that any future drafts of the OGL will not impact creators, including some steps back from previous intentions in early drafts:
- Video content, in the form of podcasts, live streams or more, already covered by Wizards Fan Content Policy
- Selling accessories for creator-owned content using OGL
- Commission services such as consultancy and commissioned works
- Content published for Virtual Tabletop (VTT) platforms and through the DMs Guild
- Content already published under OGL 1.0a
Also, licensees will no longer need to report royalty and financial information to access OGL, and there will be no license return requirements in the new project.
The proposed system is a sharp 180 on Wizards’ previously stated intent for the new OGL, speaking to the depth of the tumult surrounding earlier drafts of the documentation. Hopefully, this time it appears the publisher is taking the public and financial hurdles it faces following the leak of these plans seriously, and any new iteration of OGL that emerges from this process will be a true collaboration between the company and the community. fostered for generations and reignited a relationship that had lost a significant amount of trust and respect over the past few weeks.
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