Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks told investors that the organized protests against D&D OGL changes will have little impact on the bottom line, but are looking to deliver “a strong outcome for the community and game.”
For those who have been following the proposed changes to Dungeons & Dragons’ OGL (Open Gaming License), it’s been a frustrating few weeks. Between issues with how Magic The Gathering is handling card production to Hasbro’s handling of D&D Beyond and the issues with Wizards of the Coast, it’s been a doozy for tabletop gamers everywhere.
When a leaked version of the OGL appeared online, fans started the #OpenDnD hashtag to protest the changes being proposed. Many wanted D&D Beyond (the digital platform for Dungeons & Dragons) customers to cancel their subscriptions. The hope was that by hurting Hasbro financially, that leverage could be gained against the proposed changes to the OGL. While the controversy did make headlines, a significant portion of D&D’s lore and its ruleset entered the public domain in order to try to appease fans.
During a pre-scheduled, yearly earnings call with the CEO of Hasbro, Chris Cocks, some of these issues were discussed, with Cocks stating the company “misfired on updating our Open Game License” but has “since course corrected.” Continuing on, Cocks assured investors that the protests organized—specifically the mass cancellation of D&D Beyond accounts—will have little to no impact on Wizards of the Coast’s bottom line in 2023.
Hasbro acquired D&D Beyond in April 2022, and Cocks said Thursday that his organization has since made good on its investment with around 20% user growth in 2022 and “commensurate” growth in revenue.
While that isn’t exactly good news for those who were trying to get Hasbro to understand the issues at hand across the company, it seems that enough has been done to get things going back on the right track, and a statement of wrongdoing is a good place to start.
While the OGL issues seem to be improving, it does appear there may be some long-term effects. Much of the D&D brand’s future will depend on the success of an upcoming movie, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. Also coming soon is the release of Baldur’s Gate 3, which Cocks said should boost Hasbro revenues in the fall.