Dungeons & Dragons Publisher Walks Back on NFT Ban Amid Backlash
Wizards of the Coast, publisher of the classic tabletop RPG, has seemingly ended all Web3 vetoes after ditching plans to update its OGL.
Web3 creators can finally return to the Dungeons & Dragons ecosystem
Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) publisher Wizards of the Coast has abandoned proposed changes to a legal framework that would have clamped down on D&D-inspired NFT projects.
In earlier January, the Hasbro-owned company drew significant backlash from the D&D community after it proposed to modify its long-standing Open Game License (OGL), which allowed fans and companies to create and sell derivative works inspired by the tabletop RPG. These included NFT collectibles, live play shows, graphic novels, and other media based on the global hit.
"The OGL needs an update to ensure that it keeps doing what it was intended to do - allow the D&D community's independent creators to build and play and grow the game we all love - without allowing things like third-parties to mint D&D NFTs and large businesses to exploit our intellectual property," the company wrote in December.
While the firm initially walked back on certain changes to the game license in mid-January, Wizards of the Coast maintained its decision that D&D content like game mechanics would be prohibited from use in conjunction with third-party NFTs. This has prompted Web3 gaming company Gripnr to pivot away from tapping the OGL for its upcoming project, The Glimmering, a blockchain-based tabletop game.
However, after seeing initial results from a poll tied to the proposed updates, in which 86% of the respondents were "dissatisfied with the draft VTT policy," the D&D parent company decided not to move forward with the proposed changes. Based on the announcement, it will also place D&D content included via its System Reference Document under a Creative Commons license that is "open and irrevocable."
This unexpected turn of events is undoubtedly a win for the Web3 community, which has been building exciting projects based on the famous IP. According to Gripnr, they might return to using the Open Game License or D&D contents included in the new Creative Commons document depending on the Council's decision. Alternatively, they could also use OGLs developed by other companies or their own.