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Dungeons & Dragons Scraps Plans to Update Its Open Game License

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 Sword of Dungeons and Dragons by artist Chris Rahn

Sword of Dungeons and Dragons by artist Chris Rahn
Image: Wizards of the Coast | Chris Rahn

Wizards of the Coast, publisher of Dungeons & Dragons, announced today that they will no longer be pursuing deauthorization of the Open Gaming License 1.0a, abandoning plans previously stated in the drafted OGL 1.2. This statement comes after relentless fan backlash against the decision to deauthorize that was revealed after io9 reported on a leaked OGL 1.1. After three weeks of near constant pressure, it appears as if Wizards of the Coast is fully paying attention to the fanbase.

The deauthorization of the OGL 1.0a was a huge sticking point for fans and third party publishers who made a living using the license that was granted nearly two decades ago. Opinions varied on whether or not Wizards of the Coast could even legally deauthorize, with many people, including Ryan Dancey, vocally arguing that it was never intended to be deauthorized and the very act of doing so was not built into the legal wording of the license.

This sentiment was expressed so overwhelmingly in the playtest OGL 1.2 that Wizards of the Coast had to pay attention. Originally they were going to keep the playtest open for two weeks, however Brink writes, “the feedback is in such high volume and its direction is so plain that we’re acting now.” The concessions D&D makes in this announcement are huge: they will not attempt to deauthorize the OGL 1.0a, they are putting the entirety of the Systems Reference Document for D&D 5.1 into the Creative Commons, and they are abandoning its previously-stated intentions for Virtual Tabletops.

One thing to note is that Brink states that putting the entire 400-page SRD into the Creative Commons means that fans don’t need to “take [Dungeons & Dragons’] word for it.” That Brink would explicitly acknowledge the lack of trust between fans and publishers and Wizards of the Coast is incredible.

[Editor’s Note: This article is part of the developing story. The information cited on this page may change as the breaking story unfolds.]

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