Because NFTs have proven themselves to be wildly popular these days, Hollywood and big franchises have jumped on the bandwagon. This is why we’ve seen such recognizable names as Stranger Things and Game of Thrones release NFT collections, though to mixed responses from critics and fans.
One franchise we might not be seeing NFTs from soon is the Popular Dungeons and Dragons (DnD). A cultural force for decades at this point, some might have hoped for a chance to buy some DnD-themed digital assets. But a new policy change from its parent company will likely put an end to this dream.
DnD and NFTs
This whole saga began last year when Wizards of the Coast, the publisher of DnD, announced that it would be making changes to its Dungeons & Dragons Open Game License (OGL). The OGL was what allowed fans of the franchise to create content and products based around it and offer them to others.
When Wizards of the Coast announced that it would be making changes to it and restricting fans’ use of the DnD, there was an uproar among the community. This is something that the company acknowledged in its most recent update in which it said that it would be walking back on some of these changes. In the post, Wizards of the Coast outlined the reasons for its initial decision. First, it said that it wanted to avoid any of its trademarks being used in any hateful or discriminatory content. The second reason, cited, however, had to do with NFTs.
“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,” the January 13, 2023 post said, also citing a desire to avoid corporations taking advantage of the license.
This is quite interesting as it mirrors the decision that Minecraft made last year to not allow NFTs on any of its associated servers, which drew backlash among NFT fans. Perhaps it stems from corporations wanting tighter control over their trademark being used for NFTs but fan-made assets seem to be a no-go for some.
And even with Wizards of the Coast going back on its decision, it will still not be allowing NFTs. Instead, its updated license will protect fan-created and generally non-commercial content.
“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,” the announcement said.
Caution Around NFTs
It is clear that while some brands are jumping head-first into the NFT scene, others are taking a much more cautious approach to these assets, for whatever reason. And while we are not getting DnD NFTs now, we might just get some in the future.