January was a monster of a first month of 2023 for Tabletop and Dungeons & Dragons communities. After the month started with the private sharing and week-long deadline for D&D creators to sign a new Open Gaming Licence (OGL), to wanting to gather crowd feedback for an OGL 1.2, and now with an early look at the results from the community Wizards of the Coast have announced today via a new D&DBeyond post that they won't be making any change to the Dungeons & Dragons OGL 1.0a.
The survey for OGL 1.2 was meant to be open from last week until February 3rd, and then Kyle Brink, EP of D&D, stated that there would be feedback on or before February 17th but the new post states that in just one week there have been over 15,000 responses... and it was heavily in disfavor of the draft of the OGL 1.2. Some of the key stats that were highlighted in the blog post are:
- 88% do not want to publish TTRPG content under OGL 1.2.
- 90% would have to change some aspect of their business to accommodate OGL 1.2.
- 89% are dissatisfied with deauthorizing OGL 1.0a.
- 86% are dissatisfied with the draft VTT policy.
- 62% are satisfied with including Systems Reference Document (SRD) content in Creative Commons, and the majority of those who were dissatisfied asked for more SRD content in Creative Commons.
Before reaching the close date of the survey, WotC has decided to listen to the voice of the community and creators, so they "are leaving OGL 1.0a in place, as is, Untouched." They're also "making the entire SRD 5.1 available under a Creative Commons license". This last change is an expansion over the few pages that had been made part of the Creative Commons in the previous post.
With this announcement, those who are currently working on projects can continue to create content, and those interested in creating D&D 5e content don't need to fear for their IP or to accidentally create something deemed hateful by WOTC. With this change, any of the worries surrounding the VTT implementation or the creation of spell effects is also nullified.
This full walk back comes as a major victory to many of the #OpenD&D community that have been seeking Wizards of the Coast to see the error of their way by trying to lock down Dungeons & Dragons knowing how the community is a core aspect of the brand. In terms of the next steps over the upcoming days, we'll see how the community of creators and players responds to the 1.0a walk back and how their relationship with the game and brand will evolve.