March 25, 2023

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D&D leadership issues a new apology and details next steps with OGL

Dungeons and Dragons So did the publisher, Wizards of the Coast a huge amount of damage to her reputation over the past few weeks. Now its new executive producer, former video game developer Kyle Brink, has released it Full apologies on behalf of his team.

“We’re sorry,” Brink said in a post on D&D Beyond. “We got it wrong.”

The thing Brink and his team have gotten wrong is the recent version of the Open Games License, also known as the OGL, which is a decades-old legal framework that allows additional content to be created based on some elements of the Dungeons & Dragons ruleset. Wizards originally said that it would change OGL In order to protect the brand From the interlocutors – including attempts to include blockchain technology in D&D 5th Edition. But fans and business partners alike have remained skeptical of her intentions.

Later, a draft version of a new version of OGL – first reported by io9 Then later validated by Polygon – it sent shock waves through the tabletop RPG industry. Its rulings would have upended the business model of many other publishing companies, including Paizo (PathfinderAnd starfinder), Kobold Press, Green Ronin, et al. But smaller, indie creators were also surprised, with many wondering if they’d be able to retain ownership of their D&D-based creatives going forward.

This concern was heightened by Wizards’ silence for a week after the leak. Fans have organized on social media and elsewhere, creating numerous petitions and even boycotts of Wizards’ online platform, D&D Beyond. Brink’s post reads as an attempt to stop this bleeding, which is reported to be in Tens of thousands of users.

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It’s also worth noting that this is the first official statement regarding OGL to have a Wizards employee’s name attached to it in about a month.

“Our language and requirements in the OGL draft were annoying to creators and not in support of our core goals of protecting and polishing the overall gameplay environment and limiting OGL to TTRPGs,” Brink said. “Then we compounded things with silence for so long. We hurt fans and creators, when communications could have prevented them.” Repetitive and obvious a lot of this.”

It should be noted that this post, made on Wednesday, is in stark contrast to the original apology posted by Wizards. Just last week. The post ended with a warning to fans, “You’ll hear people say they won, and we lost because your votes forced us to change our plans. These people will only be half right. They won — and so do we.” This post, which was not attributed to any specific individual on Wizards or the company’s owner, was seen by many as an insult, or even as a refusal to acknowledge the many legitimate concerns raised by fans and publishers. This is amazing the new The apology reads more like a complete retraction of the brinksmanship that was displayed in the leaked OGL.

“You deserve some stability and clarity,” Brink wrote, before laying out the clear next steps for the new OGL. A new draft version will be released this week, on or before January 20, and will be served a survey allowing fans to give feedback — unlike the process used to To test and balance the TTRPG itself.

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Brink added that whatever form the new OGL takes, it will have no impact on fan-generated video content, miniatures or other extensions, the content of virtual tabletop platforms such as Roll20 and Foundry VTT, or — most importantly — the content that has been created. previously created and owned ownership of that content from now on.

“You will continue to own your content, with no license restoration requirements,” Brink said.

Despite these new assurances, many creators simply aren’t willing to take Wizards at their word moving forward. That includes Paizowhich had already undertaken to foot the bill for creating a new license outside of Wizards and Hasbro’s control.

Brink, whose previous experience includes working on Guild wars 2, took over the D&D brand from Ray Winninger, who served as executive producer for over four years. winner He left the Wizards in October After leading the groundbreaking tabletop RPG through a period of incredible growth, including during the first few years of the COVID-19 pandemic.