Wizards of the Coast Announces ‘Transparent’ Feedback Process on D&D’s New Game Licence

Wizards of the Coast Announces ‘Transparent’ Feedback Process on D&D’s New Game Licence

In the wake of Gizmodo’s reporting on Wizards of the Coast’s plans to update Dungeons & Dragons’ long-established Open Game Licence — the proprietary agreement that allows creatives to develop new content and systems using the rules of the iconic RPG — the publisher’s ongoing apology to creators has lead to the announcement of 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, akin to how the company currently solicits feedback for Unearthed Arcana (pre-release rulesets for new class variations and more) and the upcoming new edition of Dungeons & Dragons, dubbed One D&D.

“We are sorry. We got it wrong. 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,” Brink’s statement reads in part. “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.”

io9 broke the news of WOTC’s plans for an “OGL 1.1” on January 5, where a leaked draft of the newest iteration of the licence included royalty payment for creatives who make more than $US750,000 ($1,041,150) on products using the licence, as well as controversial steps to both phase out the authorization of the current version of the OGL, 1.0a, and wield more creative control on properties and homebrew systems created under the new terms. Feedback among both fans and third-party TTRPG developers alike was immediately outspoken, with publishers like Pathfinder developer Paizo announcing its own multi-system game licence as a rebuke, while WOTC remained silent, cancelling planned announcements before releasing an initial statement last Friday, January 13.

“Thank you for caring enough to let us know what works and what doesn’t, what you need and what scares you. Without knowing that, we can’t do our part to make the new OGL match our principles,” that statement, credited only to the D&D Beyond Staff, concluded. “Finally, we’d appreciate the chance to make this right. We love D&D’s devoted players and the creators who take them on so many incredible adventures. We won’t let you down.”

A second FAQ for a “2.o” version of the licence, also obtained by Gizmodo, still included several of the more controversial updates, notably the de-authorization of the 1.0a OGL, in spite of Wizards of the Coast’s statement declaring the leaked updates as drafts “already changed in the latest versions by the time of the leaks.” However, now it appears that the publisher is going back to the drawing board in a much wider capacity, with plans for a new proposed version of the OGL that will be open to public feedback from D&D players.

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