Dungeons & Dragons publisher Wizards of the Coast has had to backtrack on its new licensing rules following an outpouring of criticism from fans and third-party publishers. The company had planned to implement strict legal protections in its new Open Game License (OGL), but after facing backlash from the D&D community and concerns that it was going against the spirit of the OGL, Wizards of the Coast has decided to walk back the changes.
The company announced that it still intends to create a new OGL for its intellectual property, but it will not include a royalty structure that gives itself access to works made by third-party creators. The new OGL will focus on protecting and cultivating an inclusive environment for D&D content and will only cover content for tabletop role-playing games. Other forms of expression, such as educational and charitable campaigns, livestreams, cosplay, and virtual table-top uses, will remain unaffected by the OGL update.
Wizards of the Coast also clarified that the new OGL will not include license back provisions, which had led some to believe that the company would steal work made by third-party creators. "Under any new OGL, you will own the content you create. We won't," the publisher reassured.
The company also explained that its original draft of the OGL had included provisions to prevent the use of D&D content in hateful and discriminatory products, address attempts to use D&D content in blockchain or NFT projects, and ensure that the OGL is for content creators rather than major corporations. However, after realizing that it could not achieve these goals while staying true to the spirit of the OGL, Wizards of the Coast decided to backtrack on the changes.
It is currently unknown when the publisher will release its updated OGL. However, it's clear that the D&D community can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that they will continue to have control over the content they create and that Wizards of the Coast is listening to their concerns.