D&D apologizes again for license debacle, and promises an update on Friday

Dragonlance Shadow of the Dragon Queen announcement trailer
(Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

Update (Jan 27, 2023): Since the publication of this article, publisher Wizards of the Coast has done a full 180-degree turn and announced that the D&D OGL won't be changing anymore due to the overwhelming public response. 

Original story follows.

After another public apology, Dungeons & Dragons publisher Wizards of the Coast has revealed that the latest version of the new D&D license (or 'OGL') will arrive on Friday, January 20th, following widespread backlash.

Hot on the heels of an official response last week that walked back the most contentious elements of this revised D&D license, the team is promising to gather player feedback and iterate on the document in coming months. It also clarifies what won't be in the new OGL. Namely, there won't be any "financial reporting requirements" as initially feared. In addition, anything already published under the original OGL (also called OGL 1.0a) will "always be licensed under OGL 1.0a." Actual plays, streams, podcasts, and accessories based on worlds created with the license also remain unaffected.

Written by Kyle Brink, executive producer for Dungeons & Dragons, the post begins by admitting that "our language and requirements in the draft OGL were disruptive to creators and not in support of our core goals of protecting and cultivating an inclusive play environment and limiting the OGL to TTRPGs. Then we compounded things by being silent for too long. We hurt fans and creators, when more frequent and clear communications could have prevented so much of this." It then goes on to discuss the plan for the license moving forward, which is going to be "more open and transparent, with our entire community of creators."

Utilizing the same feedback system used for Unearthed Arcana (a series of posts that playtest new material), it'll "ask you specific questions about the document and include open form fields to share any other feedback you have." After its launch, this survey will remain open for two weeks.

The post wraps up by reiterating changes to the new D&D OGL, many of which we have already been unveiled. Along with scrapping royalty fees and making it clear that content creators will own anything they create using the license, products released on DMs Guild aren't going to be impacted. Virtual tabletop services and commissioned work remain unchanged too.

You can read the entire post (opens in new tab) via D&D Beyond.

It's been a busy month for the best tabletop RPGs; in the wake of the turmoil, rival Paizo announced its own license that was so popular it crashed the website. What's more, so many fans canceled their online D&D subscription that it crashed the page. 

Benjamin Abbott
Tabletop & Merch Editor

As the site's Tabletop & Merch Editor, you'll find my grubby paws on everything from board game reviews to Lego buying guides. I have been writing about games in one form or another since 2012 and can normally be found cackling over some evil plan I've cooked up for my group's next Dungeons & Dragons campaign.