Video Games

Wizards of the Coast OGL Change Draws Ire From Creators and Fans Alike: ‘It’s Not Right’

The tabletop industry appears to be experiencing a seismic shift based on leaked documents indicating that Wizards of the Coast intends to implement a more restrictive Open Game License (OGL) agreement.

according to Recent Gizmodo ReportHasbro subsidiary Wizards of the Coast, is poised to undo its long-standing OGL, which allows third-party publishers and fans to create D&D content using game rules. The license allows countless creators to use tools like Kickstarter to create and distribute their own D&D content, and allows large publishers like Pathfinder creator Paizo to create tabletop space in its own right. I was able to become a giant of

The new license, dubbed OGL 1.1, reportedly makes a number of amendments to the D&D policy, including adding a requirement that all creator-sold products be registered with Wizards of the Coast. The new agreement also introduces a new 20-25% royalty payable to Wizards by licensed users over $750,000 per year, but Wizards has a “non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, sub-licensable , royalties” will be awarded. A “free license” to use content created using OGL for any purpose. The new contract would force all authors to adopt his OGL 1.1, despite the explicit wording that the current version could never force an author to make such a move. increase.

Wizards of the Coast replied, “OGL isn’t going away.”

After rumors began circulating online about these changes last month, Wizards of the Coast issued the following in response to online backlash from fans: Statement on the D&D forum.

“OGL isn’t going away,” writes Wizards of the Coast. “You can create new D&D content, publish it anywhere, and play games with your friends and followers in all the ways that make this game and community so great. A Thousand Creators, this is an important part of the D&D experience and we will continue to support and encourage them to do it through One D&D and beyond.”

However, the leaked OGL 1.1 draft seems to tell a different story altogether. It aims to thwart competitors like Green Ronin Games, which sells a number of products that use OGL.

If I publish under OGL 1.1, the contract allows WotC to republish all my work at their discretion. That’s wrong.


In OGL 1.1, Wizards states: It is not intended to subsidize major competitors. Especially now that PDF is the most popular distribution format. With alternative D&D games like Pathfinder becoming immensely popular in recent years, Wizards is increasingly interested in reigning supreme in his OGL.

WOTC’s OGL changes come amid growing pressure to generate more revenue from parent company Hasbro. Just last month, CEO Cynthia Williams explained at her digital event with investors that her D&D is “really unmonetized” and that the lock on “regular spending like you see in digital games.” I have expressed an interest in removing it. These statements were made shortly after Hasbro’s stock price plummeted. Analysts criticized Magic: The Gathering’s handling.

Leaked documents gained more credibility When Kickstarter game director Jon Ritter tweeted“After WoTC decided to make changes to OGL, Kickstarter was contacted. KS has no hidden benefits or financial rebates, this is clearly their license, not ours.”

The lower percentage Ritter refers to is a 5% reduction in royalty payments offered to projects funded through crowdsourcing platforms, confirming the rumored OGL 1.1 changes. am.

IGN reached out for comment, but Wizards of the Coast declined to comment further, pointing to statements about D&D Beyond.

“That’s wrong”

Now that the draft details of OGL 1.1 are out, fans and creators alike are sounding the alarm. Flagbearer Games lead his designer Pat Mooney told IGN: In the spring, we plan to kickstart a sourcebook on the American Revolution. ”

He went on to write: However, if I publish under his OGL 1.1, the contract allows WotC to republish all my work at their discretion. That’s wrong. “

YouTuber Nerd Immersion, who uses OGL to create D&D content, told IGN: Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the creators unhappy with these changes ended up designing new RPG systems instead… 4e and the game system his license was originally from. created Pathfinder using his OGL. “

Some publishers, like MCDM, are still optimistic. to fans on twitter“Regarding OGL 1.1, MCDM has been advised by legal counsel and does not expect it to affect the development of Flee, Mortals. If other products are impacted, we will let the community know.” “

Tyler A. Thompson, an attorney who represents game publishers Sad Fishe Games and Prudence Holdings, both of which rely on OGL, said: wrote in a letter To Wizards, “Creators will not be bullied,” and that if Wizards does not clarify planned changes in OGL 1.1, his clients will be “allowed by law, including contacting majors.” Underage publishers may participate in anticipatory breach and other claims against Wizards. “

Only time will tell if the leaked OGL 1.1 draft sees the light of day. After all, it’s not D&D without a DM asking, “Are you sure?” Before making a choice that completely flips the game.

Travis Northup is a writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @TieGuyTravis and read his book Click here for game distribution.

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