Return to Dungeons & Dragons when delicensing OGL, adds Creative Commons license
For a while there, it looked like Hasbro and the Wizards of the Coast franchise were about to destroy more than two decades of goodwill from fans, but the company is making some important moves to reverse course. announced today (via Gizmodo).
The executive producer of Dungeons & Dragons has announced that it is withdrawing its plans to launch the Open Game License 1.2, which will replace and de-license the Open Game License 1.0. Wizards of the Coast issued this license in 2000 with the intention that it would last indefinitely.
“Once you give us feedback during the demo, we take it seriously,” wrote Brink. “More than 15,000 of you have filled out the survey. The results of the live survey are clear. You want OGL 1.0a. You want irrevocability. You like Creative Commons. Responses are quantitative. It’s so big and its direction is so clear that we’re taking action now.”
In other words, the fan made enough noise to use Disintegration and the Unsalvable Mage.
“We will keep OGL 1.0a. As is,” continued Brink. “We’re also offering the full SRD 5.1 under a Creative Commons license. You choose which one you want to use.”
Brink herself explains the importance of placing an SRD, or System Reference, under a Creative Commons license. System Reference version 5.1 is the latest version of the open source D&D rules, allowing third parties to use the Dungeons & Dragons fundamentals to create additional D&D content or build new ones. another game using the rule set.
“This Creative Commons license makes the content freely available for any use. We do not control that license and cannot change or revoke it. It is open and irrevocable in a way that is not required. ask you to take [Wizards of the Coast’s] word for it,” wrote Brink. “And its openness means no need [Virtual Tabletop] policy. Placing an SRD under a Creative Commons license is a door. One go, no return.”
These are some major concessions from the Wizards of the Coast side. As Brink states, the company cannot take SRD 5.1 material out of Creative Commons after placing it there, and they have no control over the wording of that license. It is beyond the reach of Wizards. We have covered in great detail the part that led to this, which you can read here. Wizards’ initial response was the kind of weak feedback that companies often give when they’re still doing something people don’t like. Trouble with that move is that D&D fans are used to reading confusing words and arguing with people about it–there’s a reason some D&D players are called lawyer rules.
The level of backlash from the community caused the change to OGL to capture the attention of not only longtime D&D fans but also regulars, and ended with discussion on countless websites, podcasts, and YouTube channel. D&D has seen popularity not only from the continued popularity of Netflix’s Stranger Things, but also due to the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic that has kept people indoors and led to Profits increased by 33% from D&D from 2020 to 2021.
Along with that sudden increase in profits, Hasbro is adapting Dungeons & Dragons into a movie, Honesty among lies, and it looks like the company is hoping to turn it into a fantasy-themed movie similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With all that money, executives might hope to lock in all the profits other companies are making from their rule sets, but end up doing the exact opposite. With this move, it looks like Hasbro and Wizards have finally understood the damage they are about to do to one of their most beloved franchises and have taken steps to protect it from themselves.
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