Wizards Of The Coast “got it wrong” over proposed changes to Open Game License

“Let me start with an apology. We are sorry”

Wizards Of The Coast has apologised over proposed changes to its Open Game License (OGL), a 20-year-old public document that acts as the basis for many tabletop games.

Earlier this year, the Dungeons & Dragons publisher tried to change its existing Open Game License, which was created in 2000. The public copyright document allows any tabletop role-playing game developers to modify, copy, and redistribute content designed for the Dungeon & Dragons games.

It was later revealed that Wizards Of The Coast’s changes would allegedly make the previous version “unauthorised” and introduce rules that meant anyone earning money through a product built around the OGL would need to report earnings to Wizards Of The Coast.


This led to huge backlash from the community while Paizo, the publisher behind the Pathfinder roleplaying game, announced plans to create their own OGL, called the Open RPG Creative License (OPC).

“We invite game publishers worldwide to join us in support of this system-agnostic licence that allows all games to provide their own unique open rules reference documents that open up their individual game systems to the world,” explained Paizo.

Now Wizards Of The Coast has shared an apology.

Dungeons & Dragons has been a huge part of my life long before I worked at Wizards and will be for a long time after I’m done, said executive producer Kyle Brink. “My mission, and that of the entire D&D team, is to help bring everyone the creative joy and lifelong friendships that D&D has given us.”

“These past days and weeks have been incredibly tough for everyone. As players, fans, and stewards of the game, we can’t–and we won’t–let things continue like this,” he continued before offering a “path forward”.


“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. 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,” he said.

“Starting now, we’re going to do this a better way: more open and transparent, with our entire community of creators. With the time to iterate, to get feedback, to improve.”

Dungeons and Dragons
Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

He then laid out a roadmap for the new OGL.

Before January 20, Wizards Of The Coast will share a new, proposed OGL, with players able to review and offer feedback via a survey that will be open for at least two weeks. “Then we will compile, analyse, react to, and present back what we heard from you.”

Wizards Of The Coast went on to say that video content and any existing work published under the original OGL will remain forever unaffected by whatever future changes occur.

“There will be no royalty or financial reporting requirements,” Brink added.

However many players are still unconvinced, questioning why the OGL needs to be updated in the first place.

In other news, it seems that Nintendo is working on a new Nintendogs game, 12 years after Nintendogs + Cats was released on the 3DS.

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