Baldur’s Gate 3 Won’t Be Affected By Dungeons & Dragons’ Updated OGL

There’s a storm raging in the Dungeons & Dragons community. Ever since leaked drafts of an updated Open Gaming License (OGL) leaked from Wizards of the Coast, the D&D community has been in an uproar over proposed changes that would initially have publishers pay a 25-percent royalty and could even have opened the door to content theft. Wizards has since issued apologies over OGL 1.1 and has promised a more open and transparent process for OGL 1.2, which was recently posted to the D&D Beyond website.

The community is still looking over the new and improved OGL, and while criticisms remain, it seems a lot better than Wizards’ initial offering. We’ll have to wait and see how both Wizards and D&D creators and players hash things out, but there’s a big question hanging over the whole controversy: what about video games?

Specifically Baldur’s Gate 3, perhaps the most anticipated new Dungeons & Dragons-based video game ever made. Would OGL 1.2 affect the game's development?

Short answer is "no." In a statement to VG247, Baldur's Gate 3 developer Larian Studios said that they had nothing to say about the OGL debate, but that whatever comes of it, Baldur's Gate 3 will be unaffected. Indeed, OGL 1.2 makes no mention of video games, although it does have an entire page devoted to virtual tabletops, perhaps hinting at Wizards' future plans.

Although content already published under OGL 1.0a (the very first OGL that essentially allowed everyone to publish content for D&D freely) will remain unchanged, OGL 1.2 deauthorizes OGL 1.0a so that any newly created content cannot use the old license. And although OGL 1.2 is far more permissive than OGL 1.1, it is still not quite as permissive as OGL 1.0a. It especially notifies creators and users of virtual tabletops that anything which goes beyond replicating the pen-and-paper experience virtually–such as animations for spells or characters–would be a violation.

Baldur's Gate 3 releases sometime in August 2023.

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