WotC Concedes the OGL Fight, Releases Entire SRD 5.1 under Creative Commons

In what many feel to be the only practical solution Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast left themselves the moment they embarked on their misguided quest to revoke OGL 1.0a, a statement released today by D&D’s executive producer, Kyle Brink, not only indicates complete corporate capitulation, but offers additional concessions to placate a month of public outrage, boycotting, and revenue denial.

“When you give us playtest feedback, we take it seriously”, begins the statement. It’s a sentiment that has been shown to be demonstrably false on many occasions of late, but in this instance is sincere. After WotC posted a ‘playtest’ of the next version of the Open Game License, OGL 1.2, over 15,000 people took the time to respond, with the following results:

  • 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.

Perhaps it was the hard numbers that finally sobered the company to the reality that they’d never get away with this. Or perhaps it was the backlash that followed OGL 1.2 attempting to slap a thin coat of paint over the disastrous OGL 1.1 that was leaked and about which WotC attempted to gaslighting the community with claims that 1.1 was just a ‘draft’ and not a legally binding document that they wanted people to sign, and that everyone ‘won’ when the community collectively revolted against the feckless corporate avarice the new licence represented. Or maybe the folks in the finance department finally got a hold of the CFO and said something along the lines of, “We’re down at least 40,000 subscribers on D&D Beyond, which means we’re going to miss our first quarter revenue projections by… well, a lot”.

Whoever WotC was trying to convince with this, it failed. / MARVEL STUDIOS

Whatever the reason, WotC raised the white flag today, agreeing to the community’s demands… and then some:

The feedback is in such high volume and its direction is so plain that we’re acting now.

1. We are leaving OGL 1.0a in place, as is. Untouched.
2. We are also making the entire SRD 5.1 available under a Creative Commons license.
3. You choose which you prefer to use.

These concessions protect the integrity of the open game content and protect royalty-free use of the core rules of third and fifth editions in perpetuity. And yes, we double checked: this time, it’s the entire SRD that’s being released under Creative Commons—all 400 pages of it, rather than the mere 58 pages WotC had previously committed, which would only have allowed creators to make agnostic d20 adventures.

Congratulations, everyone. We did it. Together.

Feature Image: Tyler Jacobson / Wizards of the Coast

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