Just a day ago, there was a fear that Hasbro and Wizards would never back down. The gaming community was furious and heartbroken. Our sense of betrayal was palpable.
Wizards of the Coast didn’t just back down. They learned their lesson. Not only has Wizards stated that they will not attempt to revoke the OGL, they’re putting the entire SRD 5.1 in a Creative Commons license to prove that they’re serious about making this status permanent. They have, almost literally, put their money where their mouths are. This statement is the first one I’ve seen that makes me think they might be serious about being on the right side of history rather than just hiding behind the progressive community:
We wanted to protect the D&D play experience into the future. We still want to do that with your help. We’re grateful that this community is passionate and active because we’ll need your help protecting the game’s inclusive and welcoming nature.
We wanted to limit the OGL to TTRPGs. With this new approach, we are setting that aside and counting on your choices to define the future of play.
I’m sure there will be many people who don’t want to trust Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast after this, and I get it. We all have to make our own choices about giving people second chances when they make mistakes. For my part, though, I’m going to give them that chance. Two weeks ago, while trying to defend their folly, representatives for Wizards said: “Second, you’re going to hear people say that they won, and we lost because making your voices heard forced us to change our plans. Those people will only be half right. They won—and so did we.” That wasn’t true then, but it is now. I’m asking our community to open the door to D&D’s redemption. People at Wizards put their careers on the line to make this happen. There was a lot of firepower at Hasbro coming down on us, and the developers who loved our hobby were able to get this done anyway.
Thanos is beaten. Sauron has fallen. We blew up the Death Star. Now it’s up to us to do the hard work of being the good guys in peacetime. It’s always easier to unite against a common enemy than find ways to coexist in a fractious alliance, but we can only decide what to do with the time that is given us. We’re going to have to work on that inclusive and welcoming nature together if we want to prove this was about honor. Let’s do the right thing together.
Robin Flanagan (they/them), aka Peter Flanagan, lives in California with their wonderful wife and muse, a stepson, and a crazed feline. An occasionally too-avid player of and writer for tabletop roleplaying games, their other passion is metaphysics, which informs most of their fiction.
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