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D&D’s OGL Changes Spark a Union of European Studios Dedicated to Open Gaming

2 Minute Read
Jan 23 2023
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As D&D’s OGL plans shake up the tabletop industry, a new union of European Studios forms to promote RPGs as art and protect creators.

D&D’s plans to change the OGL have had a far-reaching impact. Creators from all over have been reevaluating and adjusting their own future plans in the wake of D&D’s Open License debacle. As the community rallies around the idea of an #OpenDnD, several European roleplaying studios have formed a new union.

The European RPG Studios Union is three different studios: Studio Agate, Uhrwerk Verlag, and Acheron Games. Between the three studios, a variety of works can be found. Everything from an alt-history fantasy game to dark gothic fantasy RPGs, as well as several adaptations that use the 5th Edition ruleset. Which raises the question of WotC’s ability to alter/deauthorize the OGL 1.0a worldwide — how would things hold up overseas?

While those answers will be forthcoming, the ESU has one principle firmly in mind. RPGs can be much more than they already are.

The European RPG Studios Union – RPGs as Art

In their press release, the ESU said that one of its biggest drives was to push for tabletop RPGs to be recognized “as a genre of literature and form of art before national and European institutions.” Their reasoning is that this recognition will help expand the resources available to RPGs. Programs that offer government subsidies to other art forms like books, films, or video games would become open, potentially, along with promoting the academic study of RPGs at universities.

As the ESU said in their release:

“We believe that roleplaying games are one of the most modern and relevant media to create interpersonal bonds. They are a tool to develop soft skills for the players. Their distribution and practice needs to be encouraged, taught and supported by institutions just as for other artistic media such as movies, music and video games.”

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Which would help establish protections for tabletop creators as well. Many are often freelancers, and the ESU would see them afforded more stability. But its first and foremost priority will be throwing in its support for the #OpenDnD movement:

“We stand ready to work with the actors of this movement to make roleplaying games more open and accessible, both for the public and for content creators. The idea is to defend the open source spirit of the OGL which allows a microcosm to exist, to publish and to live from this work. Hasbro’s current stance threatens many jobs in Europe.”

All eyes are on Hasbro/WotC, it seems

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