Amid the deafening silence from Wizards of the Coast after io9 reported on a leaked draft of their new Open Gaming License, Paizo, one of their competitors, launched a bold new initiative. Alongside a few key partners, which include popular third-party publishers like Kobold Press, Chaosium, and Green Ronin, the Pathfinder publisher announced that they would be financially supporting the establishment of the Open RPG Creative (ORC) license, unassociated with any company, that would be open for third-party developers.
Immediately after announcing the ORC, support began flooding in on social media. The announcement has promised that the ORC will address major pressure points that fans pointed out with WotC’s proposed Open Gaming License (OGL) 1.1, and will be stewarded by a non-profit in order to prevent anyone who uses the ORC to renege on its contents.
Paizo announced yesterday that over 1,500 publishers, virtual tabletop companies, law firms, artisans, and content creators have currently signed on to support the ORC. The list of companies includes some of the biggest names in the industry, including Roll20, Monte Cook Games, Demiplane, Evil Genius Games, and Gale Force 9. All hope to help establish a third-party “safe harbor” in order to “encourage innovation and collaboration in the tabletop gaming space.”
It’s worth noting that Lisa Stevens, Paizo’s owner, and Jim Butler, Paizo’s president, both worked for Wizards of the Coast during the time when Dungeon & Dragons issued their first Open Gaming License in 2000. Brian Lewis, of Azora Law, who will be working on creating the ORC, was also involved in establishing WotC’s OGL. They hope to offer the first iteration of the ORC for feedback in February
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