Wizards of the Coast has backed down from several controversial changes proposed in OGL 1.1, an update to D&D's Open Gaming License. Leaked drafts of OGL 1.1 had the Dungeons & Dragons community in an uproar when it threatened to impose a 25 percent royalty on all third-party sales, and homebrew creators were especially concerned with provisions that would give Wizards of the Coast permanent access to anything they created, allowing the D&D publisher to use that content in official releases without crediting or paying the creator.
The proposed changes would undoubtedly have harmed the vibrant community that the current license has fostered over the years, likely leading to the closure of smaller stores that sell fan-made D&D content. Backlash against the proposed changes was swift and severe, with a petition gaining tens of thousands of signatures and many canceling their D&D subscriptions.
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Now it seems that Wizards of the Coast has backed away from the leaked draft proposals, writing in a statement on D&D Beyond that such drafts were intended to gauge public feedback and were unlikely to have been fully implemented–even though a reported leak at times contradicted Wizards' words.
"It was never our intent to impact the vast majority of the community," the site wrote. "However, it’s clear from the reaction that we rolled a 1."
WoTC said that the draft proposal had been intended to curtail "hateful and discriminatory products," address those attempting to cash-in on D&D's popularity through NFTs and other blockchain games, and to ensure that rival corporations can't use the OGL "for their own commercial and promotional purpose."
Fans were skeptical of this as Wizards of the Coast itself had been the ones to publish hateful and discriminatory content in Spelljammer with the release of the Hadozee, which initially were described as a race of uplifted monkeys bestowed intelligence by a benevolent wizard. Language surrounding race has also been described as hurtful, which led to it being changed in the coming D&D One.
"The next OGL will contain the provisions that allow us to protect and cultivate the inclusive environment we are trying to build and specify that it covers only content for TTRPGs," the statement continued. This meant removing the 25 percent royalty provision and the license back provision, allowing content creators to retain ownership of their creations in the revised update to the OGL.
Wizards stated that a revised draft OGL will be made available shortly, adding that the public outcry was instrumental in making these changes.