BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

WotC Eyes ‘Deauthorizing’ the OGL 1.0a, Community Pushes Back

4 Minute Read
Jan 24 2023

As Wizards of the Coast eyes deauthorizing the OGL 1.0a, even with the OGL 1.2, the community voices their frustration via surveys and more.

Wizards of the Coast has promised more transparency and an ‘open conversation’ about their proposed changes to the Open Gaming License with the OGL 1.2. Many in the D&D community are taking them up on that offer. Including the architect of the OGL, with a petition gathering steam to the tune of almost 25,000 signatures.

One of the big questions out there right now, is whether or not WotC can deauthorize the OGL 1.0a, which WotC certainly seems to think so, and if they do, why WotC can decide whether existing content will remain legally available or not.

Wizards of the Coast Draws Community Pushback

Last Thursday, Wizards of the Coast released a draft version of their proposed OGL 1.2, and on Friday, they followed with an FAQ and opened up a survey for community feedback. There were a few big changes made as part of the proposed new license. Chief among them, opening up portions of the D&D core rules under the Creative Commons license.

Additionally, they walked back many of the big changes in the OGL 1.1 leak, which sparked the whole community uproar leading to thousands of D&D Beyond subscription cancellations. Among these are the proposed royalties and restrictions on the kinds of content people could develop.

But many pointed out that WotC still plans to deauthorize the OGL 1.0a, which it claims it must in order to implement the OGL 1.2.

And this seems to be the sticking point for the community. Notable publishers/content creators shared their survey responses, including pointing out that there’s no question at all regarding the OGL 1.0a deauthorization.


However, perhaps the most notable feedback came from Ryan Dancey, one of the co-creators of the OGL 1.0a.


Ryan Dancey – The OGL 1.0a Cannot Be Deauthorized

Since the OGL controversy began, Dancey has been a voice arguing that the OGL 1.0a cannot be deauthorized. As one of the co-creators of the license, he offered up his perspective from “in the room” that WotC leadership at the time never planned to revoke or deauthorize any version of the license.

And to that end, Dancey published an open letter and then circulated a petition calling on Hasbro to take no action to deauthorize the OGL 1.0a.

And after WotC’s initial statement, Dancey updated the petition with a note about Hasbro’s reaction: “Hasbro continues to move, but has not met our demands.”

They continue to move from their initially brutal positions but they have still not done what we require them to do, which is to make a statement that they cannot and will not attempt to deauthorize or revoke v1.0a of the OGL.

Reminder: In their first statement they defined their goals as protecting their intellectual property and stopping successful projects from making money from Open Game Content.

In their second statement, they changed their rationale and prioritized policing open game content in a shameful attempt to link their business tactics to the struggle for human rights and dignity, and control the use of the D&D intellectual property, and stopping successful projects from making money from Open Game Content.


Today they’ve attempted to change their grievances again; in their third statement, they now say their objectives are cultivating an inclusive play environment and limiting Open Game Content to products for tabletop-only projects.

But Dancey maintains that Hasbro “does not have the power to change the terms of v1.0a” including not being able to modify the license.

At press time, almost 23,000 had signed Dancey’s petition.

In the meantime, WotC’s survey is open for feedback


Author: J.R. Zambrano
  • D&D: Five Easter Eggs From 1st Edition, Hidden In Plain Sight