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DnD Giving Up on the Creator Economy; a Sign of Things to Come for Web3by@tprstly
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DnD Giving Up on the Creator Economy; a Sign of Things to Come for Web3

by Theo PriestleyDecember 21st, 2022
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Wizards of the Coast seems to be abandoning the creator economy it set up years ago and is going back to chasing the money instead. Over 84% of DnD players use third-party content for their adventures under the open license. 93% stated they’d not use a new system under development if it’s not supported according to a forum poll.
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Here’s a company that seems to be abandoning the creator economy it set up years ago and is going back to chasing the money instead — Wizards of the Coast.


If you’ve played 5e DnD you’ll know that ‘homebrew’ — the ability to create new game content based on Dungeons and Dragons under an Open Game License and sell it — has been a staple part of the game for many years. I own some licensed games written by fans myself like Candlekeep Mysteries.


Over 84% of DnD players use third-party content for their adventures under the open license, and 93% stated they’d not use a new system under development if it’s not supported according to a forum poll.


This, in essence, is exactly what Web3 was trying to promote as part of the creator culture; that IP can be shared, modified, and profited from, under agreement, using blockchain-based technologies as a means of tracing and ensuring equitable rev share.


WOC had this set up under web2 without blockchain — it’s an important aspect to note. But now, much like some NFT rugs, they appear to be pulling the plug on the foundations of what they created themselves in favor of a new direction called One D&D.


During the 3e generation of DnD, third-party publisher Paizo created the “Pathfinder” system using the open license, which grew to become a popular alternative to DnD. However, revoking the open license in 4e contributed to its failure while also elevating Pathfinder from a minor alternative to a major competitor for the main brand itself.


This showed something that I don’t think many Web3 startups have thought of. Especially those claiming that the creator economy is the way to go — that a fan or third party could potentially create something better and more popular than the original IP or project and essentially take over the brand itself.


In this instance, while WOC may be considering this move away from the open game license to prevent the creation of another Pathfinder, it might end up pushing players away from One D&D in the process and back to previous generations.


Dungeons and Dragons fans are up in arms about this, Wizards of the Coast is remaining tight-lipped while One D&D is still in development but if I were you, whether a player of DnD or not, I’d be keeping an eye on this because we may one day see this being mirrored across Web3 projects that are heavily invested in creator economy ideals.


Sidenote: I absolutely adored the 80s cartoon series!



Also published here.