Wizards’ has followed through on its promise for more transparency.
As promised, Wizards of the Coast has presented the latest revision of its Open Gaming License, called OGL 1.2, to the public. After leaked drafts of OGL 1.1 sent the entire Dungeons & Dragons community into a furor for charging creators a 25-percent royalty and opening the door to content theft, Wizards apologized and took OGL 1.1 back to the drawing board. Days later, D&D executive producer Kyle Brink offered another apology, but also a promise for the next iteration of OGL to be developed in collaboration with the D&D community.
To that end, Wizards of the Coast has presented OGL 1.2 for public consideration. As stated on the D&D Beyond website, “There’s no royalty payment, no financial reporting, no license-back, no registration, no distinction between commercial and non-commercial. Nothing will impact any content you have already published under OGL 1.0a. That will always be licensed under OGL 1.0a.” This was a key concern with third-party publishers and smaller creators publishing content for D&D.
Players and creatives, however, are still concerned with some provisions in OGL 1.2. While Wizards said in its post on D&D Beyond that content published under OGL 1.0a is safe, OGL 1.2 still deauthorizes the original OGL, which some fans are calling a “non-starter.” Wizards argue that it needs to deauthorize the previous license in order to enact new protective measures that forbid hateful content, but creators say that hateful content was never a problem and that OGL 1.2 provides Wizards with the final say on what content gets published and what doesn’t.
Starting our playtest with a Creative Commons license and an irrevocable new OGL. https://t.co/fsnasY6y4Q— Dungeons & Dragons (@Wizards_DnD) January 19, 2023
OGL 1.2 also requires users to waive their right to a class-action or jury trial in the event of a legal dispute. Players aren’t likely to care, larger third-party publishers look at these clauses with worry that Wizards is again seeking to grab power from creators.
People are still picking the new license apart on Twitter on Reddit, but the overall vibe is still pretty negative. Wizards did say this would be an iterative process and this is still just a draft document, so changes are not only possible but expected. We’ll see where WotC is willing to budge in the coming days.