Hot on the heels of controversy surrounding reported changes to the D&D license, enough community members have canceled their subscriptions to online hub D&D Beyond that it apparently collapsed that page on the site.
Following a Twitter post (opens in new tab) from YouTube and TikTok user DnD_Shorts in which they shared an alleged leak from D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast (one which claimed that management was looking at D&D Beyond memberships and cancellations because "it is the quickest financial data they currently have"), prominent D&D personality Ginny Di suggested that followers cancel their subscriptions (opens in new tab) as a way to push back against the license changes, revealing that she already had. Numerous replies and quote tweets claim to have done the same, resulting in reports (opens in new tab) of the subscription management page crashing under the weight of traffic.
According to sources mentioned by Linda Codega at io9 (opens in new tab) (who broke the original story about potential D&D license changes earlier in the month), this has already had an influence on Wizards brass. More specifically, "these cancellations and their impact on the bottom line of Wizards of the Coast is not negligible, according to io9's sources at the company, and has caused upper management to scramble to adjust their messaging around the situation, leading to the delays in the [new Open Game License] release." Before this, DnD_Shorts' contact suggested that management viewed the community's response as "over-reacting."
True or not, Wizards' approach has had to change regardless; after a week of silence other than a short tweet (opens in new tab) via the D&D Beyond account on January 10, D&D finally addressed the uproar by walking back many of the apparent OGL changes and stating that "we’d appreciate the chance to make this right."
This is just the latest development in what has been a bruising week for Wizards of the Coast. Following the initial reveal of OGL changes this January, 26,000 people signed a letter condemning it. That development was met with a major dev starting its own tabletop RPG system, after which D&D rival Paizo announced a new license of its own.
If you're feeling lost by all this, check out our explanation of the D&D license controversy. And for a break from the drama, drop in on our guide to the best board games and the best tabletop RPGs overall.