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DnD’s New License Agreement Has Fans Jumping Ship to Other TTRPGs

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Fans respond with frustration over changes to Dungeons & Dragons licensing agreement, sparking calls from some to change TTRPG systems.

Dungeons & Dragons players took to social media to express anger and frustration over the new Open Gaming License (OGL), claiming they’ll seek a new TTRPG system.

Earlier today, a leaked version of Dungeons & Dragons‘ new OGL revealed plans to significantly alter current allowances for third-party creators and enforce more compliance and, in rare cases, royalty payments to developer Wizards of the Coast (WotC). Fans quickly took to social media to express their anger over the changes, with many suggesting they’ll change to Pathfinder or another system instead. Many also assigned blame for the changes to Hasbro, which now owns Wizards of the Coast and its products, and pleaded with fans not to send threats to the WotC employees.

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What’s in the New OGL for DnD?

The leaked OGL, if proven accurate, requires all D&D content creators to inform Wizards of the Coast of their commercial products directly and, if they make over $750k on it, to pay the company royalties for any earnings above that amount. In addition, commercial content is strictly limited to the “creation of roleplaying games and supplements in printed media and static electronic file formats.” Anything else, such as videos, computer games, virtual tabletops, fiction and graphic novels, apps, music and other miscellaneous creations must have WotC’s approval.

Fans expressed concern for small businesses specializing in modified content for Dungeons & Dragons, as the new OGl would require them only to make products approved by WotC. Others worried how this might affect popular lets plays like Critical Role and Dimension 20, which many credit with the current level of popularity Dungeons & Dragons has achieved beyond its appearance in Stranger Things. In the leaked document, WotC noted it would welcome criticism and hear fans’ concerns, something many community members called D&D players to engage in.

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Beyond changes to the OGL, Wizards of the Coast revealed it had cancelled the development of five video games based on Dungeons & Dragons. WotC said that the developer “made some changes to our long-term portfolio to focus on games which are strategically aligned with developing our existing brands and those which show promise in expanding or engaging our audience in new ways.” This does not impact Baldur’s Gate III, which has its full release in August. Fewer than 15 employees lost jobs at WotC due to the shelving. However, it remains unclear how this will affect the two independent developers, Otherside Entertainment and Hidden Path Entertainment, along with two other external studios with their cancelled projects.

It remains unclear if the leaked OGL is a final version. Wizards of the Coast has yet to release a comment on the situation.

Source: Twitter

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