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WotC Announces OGL 1.1 -- Revised Terms, Royalties, and Annual Revenue Reporting

There has been a lot of speculation recently about WotC's plans regarding the Open Gaming License and the upcoming One D&D. Today, WotC shared some information. In short, they will be producing a new Open Gaming License (note that the previous OGL 1.0a will still exist, and can still be used). However, for those who use the new OGL 1.1, which will be released in early 2023, there will be some...

There has been a lot of speculation recently about WotC's plans regarding the Open Gaming License and the upcoming One D&D. Today, WotC shared some information.

In short, they will be producing a new Open Gaming License (note that the previous OGL 1.0a will still exist, and can still be used). However, for those who use the new OGL 1.1, which will be released in early 2023, there will be some limitations added with regards the type of product which can use it, and -- possibly controversially -- reporting to WotC your annual OGL-related revenue.

They are also adding a royalty for those third party publishers who make more than $750K per year.

Interestingly, only books and 'static electronic files' like ebooks and PDFs will be compatible with the new OGL, meaning that apps, web pages, and the like will need to stick to the old OGL 1.0a.

There will, of course, be a lot of debate and speculation over what this actually means for third party creators, and how it will affect them. Some publishers like Paizo (for Pathfinder) and others will likely simply continue to use the old OGL. The OGL 1.0a allows WotC to update the license, but allows licensees to continue to use previous versions "to copy, modify and distribute any Open Game Content originally distributed under any version of this License".


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1. Will One D&D include an SRD/be covered by an OGL?

Yes. First, we’re designing One D&D with fifth edition backwards compatibility, so all existing creator content that is compatible with fifth edition will also be compatible with One D&D. Second, we will update the SRD for One D&D as we complete its development—development that is informed by the results of playtests that we’re conducting with hundreds of thousands of D&D players now.

2. Will the OGL terms change?

Yes. We will release version 1.1 of the OGL in early 2023.

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.

So, what’s changing?

First, we’re making sure that OGL 1.1 is clear about what it covers and what it doesn’t. OGL 1.1 makes clear it only covers material created for use in or as TTRPGs, and those materials are only ever permitted as printed media or static electronic files (like epubs and PDFs). Other types of content, like videos and video games, are only possible through the Wizards of the Coast Fan Content Policy or a custom agreement with us. To clarify: Outside of printed media and static electronic files, the OGL doesn’t cover it.

Will this affect the D&D content and services players use today? It shouldn’t. The top VTT platforms already have custom agreements with Wizards to do what they do. D&D merchandise, like minis and novels, were never intended to be part of the OGL and OGL 1.1 won’t change that. Creators wishing to leverage D&D for those forms of expression will need, as they always have needed, custom agreements between us.

Second, we’re updating the OGL to offer different terms to creators who choose to make free, share-alike content and creators who want to sell their products.

What does this mean for you as a creator? If you’re making share-alike content, very little is going to change from what you’re already used to.

If you’re making commercial content, relatively little is going to change for most creators. For most of you who are selling custom content, here are the new things you’ll need to do:
  1. Accept the license terms and let us know what you’re offering for sale
  2. Report OGL-related revenue annually (if you make more than $50,000 in a year)
  3. Include a Creator Product badge on your work
When we roll out OGL 1.1, we will also provide explanatory videos, FAQs, and a web portal for registration to make navigating these requirements as easy and intuitive as possible. We’ll also have help available to creators to navigate the new process.

For the fewer than 20 creators worldwide who make more than $750,000 in income in a year, we will add a royalty starting in 2024. So, even for the creators making significant money selling D&D supplements and games, no royalties will be due for 2023 and all revenue below $750,000 in future years will be royalty-free.

Bottom line: The OGL is not going away. You will still be able to create new D&D content, publish it anywhere, and game with your friends and followers in all the ways that make this game and community so great. The thousands of creators publishing across Kickstarter, DMsGuild, and more are a critical part of the D&D experience, and we will continue to support and encourage them to do that through One D&D and beyond.
 

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GDGD

microscopic
Public companies answer to people who have no interest in the product beyond its financial success. That, to me, is a problem.
I'm not seeing why. Financial success = success. Is there a game out there you're thinking of that's financially unsuccessful but is successful in some other way? Or the reverse, financially successful games that fail in other ways? I'd be very curious to see this game that's wildly financially successful but is a terrible game everyone hates.
 

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Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Paradox Interactive games. You'll probably spend more than $150 each one with various dlc but I'n terms of per hour entertainment it destroys D&D.

D&D 3 hours a week plus canceled sessions. Hell due to Covid restrictions I've ran maybe 10 hours of D&D since August 2021.

Each Paradox title is thousands of hours. Added bonus they don't say no, you don't have to smell anyone and they don't tend to cancel at last minute.

So beats D&D on price, initial buy in and convenience. Generally get 7-8 years of content. Currently Stellaris bis my thing but Hearts of Iron 2, Crusader Kings II and EUIV have done me well.
I have a friend who plays or runs 3 different campaigns on a weekly basis. If that accounts for 10 hours of table time -- never mind the GM prep time, which is still part of the hobby -- and granting two weeks off a year, that is still 1000 hours of RPG a year. If he GM'd all 3 of those games for different groups, that would be something like 10,000 ROG man-hours per year.

Just because you would prefer to play Stellaris -- and apparently don't particularly like playing with other humans -- doesn't make it a better deal than D&D.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I have a friend who plays or runs 3 different campaigns on a weekly basis. If that accounts for 10 hours of table time -- never mind the GM prep time, which is still part of the hobby -- and granting two weeks off a year, that is still 1000 hours of RPG a year. If he GM'd all 3 of those games for different groups, that would be something like 10,000 ROG man-hours per year.

Just because you would prefer to play Stellaris -- and apparently don't particularly like playing with other humans -- doesn't make it a better deal than D&D.

The question veas asked I've answered. Don't like the answer tough.

I've spent less in Paradix titles since 2009 than I've spent in 5E alone.

Added bonus I didn't not generally buy anything paradox related but online friends do.

Well I don't really pay money for D&D either tbf. Well not my money anyway.

Anyway it's less effort, more hours played and cheaper as well.

Due to lack of hours played these days I've had the "is it time to quit D&D" discussion.

I own Victoria 3 haven't played it yet. Cost me 0.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Paradox Interactive games. You'll probably spend more than $150 each one with various dlc but I'n terms of per hour entertainment it destroys D&D.

D&D 3 hours a week plus canceled sessions. Hell due to Covid restrictions I've ran maybe 10 hours of D&D since August 2021.

Each Paradox title is thousands of hours. Added bonus they don't say no, you don't have to smell anyone and they don't tend to cancel at last minute.

So beats D&D on price, initial buy in and convenience. Generally get 7-8 years of content. Currently Stellaris bis my thing but Hearts of Iron 2, Crusader Kings II and EUIV have done me well.
Stellaris is probably my favorite video game of all time.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I'm not seeing why. Financial success = success. Is there a game out there you're thinking of that's financially unsuccessful but is successful in some other way? Or the reverse, financially successful games that fail in other ways? I'd be very curious to see this game that's wildly financially successful but is a terrible game everyone hates.
You're conflating three separate issues. Financial success, popularity, and being a well-designed game.

The first two are generally inexorably linked. The third, however, is not directly tied to the first two. A well-designed game doesn't mean it's popular or a financial success. Conversely, being popular or financially successful in no way implies it's a well-designed game. There are quite a few popular and financially successful games that are abhorrently designed. There are also mountains of well-designed games that are neither popular nor financially successful.

Other kinds of success include, but are not limited to: successfully getting the author's vision out to the world, successfully conveying the concept to the reader, successfully eliciting a particular type of game play at the table, etc.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
The question veas asked I've answered. Don't like the answer tough.

I've spent less in Paradix titles since 2009 than I've spent in 5E alone.

Added bonus I didn't nt generally buy anything paradox related but online friends do.

Well I don't really pay money for D&D either tbf. Well not my money anyway.

Anyway it's less effort, more hours played and cheaper as well.

Due to lack of hours played these days I've had the "is it time to quit D&D" discussion.
You can see how your situation isn't universal, though, right? And it doesn't serve to undermine the position that D&D is among the cheapest hobbies out there when measuring expenditure to hours of entertainment, right? I mean, if we really wanted to quibble, wouldn't you have to include everything you have spend on your PC (or whatever you are using to play those games with)?
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I'm not seeing why. Financial success = success. Is there a game out there you're thinking of that's financially unsuccessful but is successful in some other way? Or the reverse, financially successful games that fail in other ways? I'd be very curious to see this game that's wildly financially successful but is a terrible game everyone hates.
Everyone doesn't have to hate it. I and the people I play with have to be irritated by changes that may have something to do with prioritizing keeping shareholders happy over making design decisions for a product we buy.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Stellaris is probably my favorite video game of all time.

It would be on my shortlist currently in 2 multi player games.

EUIV was also a timesuck.

They derailed my fomsole addiction anyway. The rare few console games I buy now are usually a few years old at deep discounts eg 70% off including all dlc etc.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
You're conflating three separate issues. Financial success, popularity, and being a well-designed game.

The first two are generally inexorably linked. The third, however, is not directly tied to the first two. A well-designed game doesn't mean it's popular or a financial success. Conversely, being popular or financially successful in no way implies it's a well-designed game. There are quite a few popular and financially successful games that are abhorrently designed. There are also mountains of well-designed games that are neither popular nor financially successful.

Other kinds of success include, but are not limited to: successfully getting the author's vision out to the world, successfully conveying the concept to the reader, successfully eliciting a particular type of game play at the table, etc.
Said far better than I could have.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
You can see how your situation isn't universal, though, right? And it doesn't serve to undermine the position that D&D is among the cheapest hobbies out there when measuring expenditure to hours of entertainment, right? I mean, if we really wanted to quibble, wouldn't you have to include everything you have spend on your PC (or whatever you are using to play those games with)?
If you asked your question with an agenda in mind beyond getting a fair answer, that's not their problem, to be honest.
 

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