Hasbro delays update to Dungeons and Dragons open game license as fan base revolts

Hasbro delays update to Dungeons and Dragons open game license as fan base revolts
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Hasbro rolled the “natural” – automatic miss – convincing fans that rewriting the two-decade-old open game license is nothing more than a revenue boost.

Their children’s company, Wizards of the Coast (WOC), which owns the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons, has leaked changes to its open game license, causing an uproar among its fanbase.

In 2000, WOC released OGL 1.0, which allowed third-party creators to use WOC characters, rules, game systems, and products in their creations. This symbiotic relationship has spawned a cottage industry that includes hit shows like Critical Role, Dimension 20, Not Another D&D Podcast, and Dungeons and Daddies: Not a BDSM Podcast. WOC more than they have in decades.

Some have called this last decade a renaissance for D&D, with pandemic bans only helping the game’s meteoric resurgence in popularity.


A week ago, the leaked OGL 1.1 was released, which essentially canceled that relationship and, among other things, required some major third-party creators to pay WOC upwards of 20-25% royalties for using their game systems and products.

This has been the reason huge backlash among the fan base 67,000 signed an online petition, costing the company about $400,000 in monthly revenue. After dealing with a week of public outcry, Hasbro issued a statement withdrawing its new license.

“It’s clear from the reaction that we rolled a 1. It’s clear that it’s no longer possible to fully achieve all three goals while staying true to our principles,” the company said in a statement. “It will not include any royalty structure.”

Hasbro shares

FILE – This April 26, 2018 file photo shows the Hasbro logo in New York. Hasbro’s third-quarter profit missed Wall Street’s attention, and revenue fell as consumers watched their spending on toys more closely due to inflation concerns. (AP Photo/R (AP Newsroom)

“You will hear people say they won and we lost because hearing your voice made us change our plans. Those people will only be half right. They won – and so did we.”

Among those demonstrating against the company, the announcement received a cold reception. While some noted this as a victory, others argued that it changed nothing and the WOC still intended to change the OGL. The boycott resulted in a guess 40,000 canceled subscriptions this number is increasing every day. Anger within the fan base only grew after the WOC president’s recent comments came to light.


“D&D has never been more popular and we have a really great fan base and engagement.” Wizards of the Coast President Cynthia Williams In December, UBS informed investors during a virtual firefight. “But the brand makes really little money.”


D&D has seen a surge in popularity among third-party content creators, having been featured in Netflix’s hit Stranger Things, and will no doubt see another boost from the upcoming film D&D: Honor Among Thieves. The release of OGL 1.1 has been officially delayed.

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