Dungeons & Dragons bans the use of NFTs

Dungeons & Dragons bans the use of NFTs

Dungeons & Dragons has clarified its stance on the use of NFTs and blockchain technology, prohibiting its use for third-party monetization of the game’s intellectual property. 

Wizards of the Coast backtracks controversial license changes

Wizards of the Coast, the publisher of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), has announced that it will be scrapping some of the planned changes to the license agreement for the popular role-playing game. The decision comes after a significant backlash from the D&D community.

Last month, the company announced several crucial changes to its Open Game License (OGL) in order to capitalize on the untapped monetization potential of the game. Additional revenue seemed to be easily within reach if the company were to leverage third-party ventures created by the community. However, disclosure of the details behind the update were not well-received.

Following the community’s uproar, Wizards of the Coast announced that it would not go through with some of the controversial changes that were planned for the game’s open license. The new license will not include any royalty structure. However, it’s worth noting that the protection of the OGL will not extend to NFTs or any element of crypto, for that matter. The update reads:

“We wanted to address those attempting to use D&D in web3, blockchain games, and NFTs by making clear that OGL content is limited to tabletop roleplaying content like campaigns, modules, and supplements.”

According to Wizards of the Coast, the OGL needed to be updated to make sure that it continues to allow independent creators to build and expand the games universe while preventing profit-seeking entities from exploiting the company’s intellectual property, including through the issuance and sale of NFTs. 

Following the footsteps of Grand Theft Auto

In November 2022, Rockstar Games made a similar move to ensure that projects would no longer be able to legally use NFTs to monetize Grand Theft Auto V (GTA-V) role-playing servers. The policy change bans commercial exploitation within the third-party servers, including the sale of loot boxes, corporate sponsorships or in-game integrations, in-game virtual currencies, and the general use of cryptocurrencies and NFTs within the servers.

Dungeons & Dragons’ previous OGL update met with backlash

The company had previously shared plans to update the Dungeons & Dragons OGL in December 2022. The license has been in effect for many years, allowing enthusiasts and other organizations to generate and market adaptations based on the game’s intellectual property. 

The update was intended to address issues related to fan-made content and projects, including D&D-inspired NFT collectibles and projects. Initial license changes included the deployment of royalty fees for derivative projects. However, the proposed changes caused controversy among content creators and members of the D&D community. 

In today’s update, Wizards of the Coast claims that previous drafts of the update to its game license were aimed at getting feedback from the community, although it does recognize that it did so poorly. The update reads:

“Our plan was always to solicit the input of our community before any update to the OGL; the drafts you’ve seen were attempting to do just that. We want to always delight fans and create experiences together that everyone loves. We realize we did not do that this time and we are sorry for that. Our goal was to get exactly the type of feedback on which provisions worked and which did not–which we ultimately got from you.”

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