D&D Beyond Cancellations Changed WotCs Plans


Gizmodo has revealed that the partial OGL v1.1 walkback yesterday was in response to the fan campaign to cancel D&D Beyond subscriptions, with "five digits" worth of cancellations. However, the site also reveals that management at the company believed that fans were overreating and that it would all be forgotten in a few months.

In order to delete a D&D Beyond account entirely, users are funneled into a support system that asks them to submit tickets to be handled by customer service: Sources from inside Wizards of the Coast confirm that earlier this week there were “five digits” worth of complaining tickets in the system. Both moderation and internal management of the issues have been “a mess,” they said, partially due to the fact that WotC has recently downsized the D&D Beyond support team.

Yesterday's walkback removed the royalties from the license, but still 'de-authorized' the OGL v1.0a, something which may or may not be legally possible, depending on who you ask.

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Can someone explain the "5 digits complaining" thing? To me it sounds like it was only 5 tickets for cancelations but I know I'm not understanding it correctly.


The "Term Sheets" thing is new to me. Lol. They just assumed everyone would be so eager to please they would instantly show their bellies.
Well, not everyone - only the really big players who'd be affected by the royalty terms in the first place. Getting the largest companies on board early would certainly have been attractive for WotC.


The EN World kitten
Here's a quick breakdown of the article's major points:
  • "After a fan-led campaign to cancel D&D Beyond subscriptions went viral, it sent a message to WotC and Hasbro higher-ups. According to multiple sources, these immediate financial consequences were the main thing that forced them to respond."
  • "According to those sources, in meetings and communication with employees, WotC management’s messaging has been that fans are “overreacting” to the leaked draft, and that in a few months, nobody will remember the uproar."
  • In late 2022, WotC offered "term sheets" (sweetheart deals that would supercede the terms of the original OGL v1.1) to roughly twenty of the largest D&D-compatible content creators. Part of the terms included only paying 15% royalties, and WotC marketing these third-party products via D&D Beyond platforms (except during "blackout periods" around WotC's launching a new product).
  • Cancelling a D&D Beyond account generates ticket in that's handled by customer support; according to what a source told Gizmodo, there's currently "five digits" worth of such tickets in the system.
Most of the rest is reiterating things we've already learned (though that helps to put things in perspective and give a wider context to what's happening).

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