Hasbro, Wizards Of The Coast und die Open Game License: WotC rudern zurück

Nach dem Leak einer »über­ar­bei­te­ten« Open Game Licen­se für DUNEONS & DRAGONS kam es in den letz­ten Wochen zu eini­gen Ver­wer­fun­gen in der Fan- und RPG-Ver­lags­sze­ne. Ich hat­te mehr­fach berich­tet, auch dar­über, dass ande­re Ver­la­ge jetzt eige­ne offe­ne RPG-Lizen­zen pla­nen. Hin­ter­grund des gan­zen Dra­mas kann gewe­sen sein, dass Has­bro im ver­gan­ge­nen Jahr dra­ma­ti­sche Gewinn­ein­brü­che zu ver­zeich­nen hat­te und des­we­gen viel­leicht auf die Idee kam, zusätz­li­che Pro­fi­te aus D&D zie­hen zu wol­len, um die Aktio­nä­re zu beruhigen.

Das ging dra­ma­tisch schief, man hat­te offen­sicht­lich die Orga­ni­sa­ti­ons­fä­hig­keit der Bran­che und die Markt­macht der Fans unter­schätzt. Unter ande­rem wur­de zur Kün­di­gun­gen der Abos von D&D BEYOND auf­ge­ru­fen, einer kos­ten­pflich­ti­gen Abo­platt­form, die digi­ta­le Tools zum Spiel bereit stellt. Dort gin­gen berich­ten zufol­ge dar­auf­hin die Kün­di­gun­gen durch die Decke.

Der mas­si­ve Wider­stand und die Kün­di­gun­gen haben nun dazu geführt, dass man sei­tens Wizards Of The Coast schein­bar ein­lenkt (wir wer­den abwar­ten müs­sen, was kon­kret pas­sie­ren wird) und sowohl die alte OGL nicht zurück neh­men möch­te und wei­ter­hin umfang­rei­che Ände­run­gen an der neu­en vor­neh­men will.

Doch mög­li­cher­wei­se ist es jetzt zu spät, denn sowohl Pai­zo als auch Free League Games haben eige­ne offe­ne Gaming-Lizen­zen ange­kün­digt und die wer­den das auch sicher trotz des WotC-Rück­zie­hers durch­zie­hen. Denn man weiß nicht, wann sie es sich erneut anders über­le­gen werden.

Hier der kom­plet­te Wort­laut der Erklä­rung, die WotC letz­ten Frei­tag auf der D&D BEY­OND-Web­sei­te ver­öf­fent­lich­ten, und die von PR-Sprech nur so trieft:

An Update on the Open Game Licen­se (OGL)

When we initi­al­ly con­cei­ved of revi­sing the OGL, it was with three major goals in mind. First, we wan­ted the abi­li­ty to pre­vent the use of D&D con­tent from being inclu­ded in hate­ful and discri­mi­na­to­ry pro­ducts. Second, 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. And third, we wan­ted to ensu­re that the OGL is for the con­tent creator, the home­bre­wer, the aspi­ring desi­gner, our play­ers, and the community—not major cor­po­ra­ti­ons to use for their own com­mer­cial and pro­mo­tio­nal purpose.

Dri­ving the­se goals were two simp­le princi­ples: (1) Our job is to be good ste­wards of the game, and (2) the OGL exists for the bene­fit of the fans. Not­hing about tho­se princi­ples has wave­r­ed for a second.

That was why our ear­ly drafts of the new OGL inclu­ded the pro­vi­si­ons they did. That draft lan­guage was pro­vi­ded to con­tent creators and publis­hers so their feed­back could be con­si­de­red befo­re anything was fina­li­zed. In addi­ti­on to lan­guage allowing us to address discri­mi­na­to­ry and hate­ful con­duct and cla­ri­fy­ing what types of pro­ducts the OGL covers, our drafts inclu­ded royal­ty lan­guage desi­gned to app­ly to lar­ge cor­po­ra­ti­ons attemp­t­ing to use OGL con­tent. It was never our intent to impact the vast majo­ri­ty of the community.

Howe­ver, it’s clear from the reac­tion that we rol­led a 1. It has beco­me clear that it is no lon­ger pos­si­ble to ful­ly achie­ve all three goals while still stay­ing true to our princi­ples. So, here is what we are doing.

The next OGL will con­tain the pro­vi­si­ons that allow us to pro­tect and cul­ti­va­te the inclu­si­ve envi­ron­ment we are try­ing to build and spe­ci­fy that it covers only con­tent for TTRPGs. That means that other expres­si­ons, such as edu­ca­tio­nal and cha­ri­ta­ble cam­pai­gns, live­streams, cos­play, VTT-uses, etc., will remain unaf­fec­ted by any OGL update. Con­tent alrea­dy released under 1.0a will also remain unaffected.

What it will not con­tain is any royal­ty struc­tu­re. It also will not inclu­de the licen­se back pro­vi­si­on that some peop­le were afraid was a means for us to ste­al work. That thought never cros­sed our minds. Under any new OGL, you will own the con­tent you crea­te. We won’t. Any lan­guage we put down will be crys­tal clear and une­qui­vo­cal on that point. The licen­se back lan­guage was inten­ded to pro­tect us and our part­ners from creators who incor­rect­ly alle­ge that we ste­al their work sim­ply becau­se of coin­ci­den­tal simi­la­ri­ties. As we con­ti­nue to invest in the game that we love and move for­ward with part­ners­hips in film, tele­vi­si­on, and digi­tal games, that risk is sim­ply too gre­at to igno­re. The new OGL will con­tain pro­vi­si­ons to address that risk, but we will do it without a licen­se back and without sug­ges­ting we have rights to the con­tent you crea­te. Your ide­as and ima­gi­na­ti­on are what makes this game spe­cial, and that belongs to you.

A cou­p­le of last thoughts. First, we won’t be able to release the new OGL today, becau­se we need to make sure we get it right, but it is com­ing. 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.

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. Any chan­ge this major could only have been done well if we were wil­ling to take that feed­back, no mat­ter how it was provided–so we are. Thank you for caring enough to let us know what works and what doesn’t, what you need and what sca­res you. Without knowing that, we can’t do our part to make the new OGL match our princi­ples. Final­ly, we’d appre­cia­te the chan­ce to make this right. We love D&D’s devo­ted play­ers and the creators who take them on so many incredi­ble adven­tures. We won’t let you down.

OpenRPG Pro­mo­gra­fik Copy­right Paizo

AutorIn: Stefan Holzhauer

Meist harm­lo­ser Nerd mit natür­li­cher Affi­ni­tät zu Pixeln, Bytes, Buch­sta­ben und Zahn­rä­dern. Kon­su­miert zuviel SF und Fan­ta­sy und schreibt seit 1999 online darüber.

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