‘Dungeons and Dragons’ producer issue apology, next steps on crafting OGL

dungeons & dragons
via Hasbro

Wizards of the Coast have released an official apology to the DnD community after months of backlash due to a leaked document for the upcoming OGL update. The update was meant to be released on Jan 13, 2023, but was pushed back due to fan outcry.

The game’s executive producer, Kyle Brink released an official statement on D&D Beyond titled “A Working Conversation About the Open Game License (OGL).” He expressed how he and his team got it all wrong and admitted that the leaked draft was “disruptive to creators.” He also pointed out that WotC was “silent for too long” and hurt the community.

“First, though, let me start with an apology. We are sorry. We got it wrong.

“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.”

Brink also announced that on Jan 20, a new proposal for the OGL update will be released to the community for them to assess and will be asking for feedback. The process will be similar when the game release playtest material for players and DM’s to test out before its official release.

At the end of the statement, he clarified some things that are in the effort to quelch the backlash the game was receiving throughout the past few weeks. He announced that no one will be forced to pay royalties if they create homebrew content for DnD commentators and content creators never were and won’t be affected by the OGL. And that items published under the OGL 1.0 won’t be affected by the new changes.

“Finally, you deserve some stability and clarity. We are committed to giving creators both input into, and room to prepare for, any update to the OGL. Also, there’s a ton of stuff that isn’t going to be affected by an OGL update. So today, right now, we’ll lay out all the areas that this conversation won’t touch.”

The OGL backlash caused fans to cancel D&D Beyond subscriptions and large third-party publishers like Pathfinder‘s creator, Paizo, announced that they would create their own Open Game Licence. Twitter user @DnD_Shorts released an email from an anonymous employee from Wizards of the Coast on Twitter, where it revealed that the company knew that the community is upset and how upper management never saw players in a positive light.

Brink and the WotC team promise to be more open with the community and will be hearing more from them on Friday.