Wizards condemns new DnD OGL leaks as “misinformation”

DnD has been accused of creating AI DMs, $30 D&D Beyond subs, and ignoring playtest feedback, but publisher Wizards of the Coast says these claims are "false"

DnD playtest misinformation statement - Wizards of the Coast art of a gnome pondering books

Wizards of the Coast took to D&DBeyond Twitter on January 19, looking to refute “misinformation” shared in alleged leaks from employees. “Rumours of a $30 subscription fee are false”, the Twitter thread says, adding “no one at Wizards is working on AI DMs”. Wizards also denies accusations that Wizards don’t read playtest feedback, or that D&DBeyond users will be charged for using homebrew material.

“We have designers whose core job it is to compile, analyse, and then act upon your feedback”, says Wizards. “Your feedback has made the game better over the past decade, and your feedback is central to D&D’s future.” “Homebrewing is core to D&DBeyond”, it adds. “It’s not going away, and we’re not going to charge you for it. Your homebrew is, and always will be, yours.”

While D&D has recently released two statements addressing the OGL 1.1 leak shared by Gizmodo, these tweets address newer, separate supposed leaks. Multiple content creators reported on alleged plans to charge $30 for D&DBeyond subscriptions, charge a premium to use homebrew content through the digital tool, and implement “AI DMs”. Parties sharing the accusation include Dungeon Scribe, Nerd Immersion, and DnD_Shorts.

DnD_Shorts shared additional allegations from January 14 onwards, including claims of staff fired for voicing opinions and D&D designers not reading playtest feedback. At least one of DnD_Shorts’ original tweets has been deleted as of January 19, as it received multiple responses from D&D designers refuting the validity of the claims.

Former D&D executive producer Ray Winninger quoted a now-deleted tweet from DnD_Shorts, saying “this is simply false”. “Before I left WotC, I personally read UA feedback”, Winninger adds in his tweet. “So did several others. Many, many changes were made based on UA feedback, both quantitative and written. The entire OneD&D design schedule was built around how and when we could collect feedback.”

Additional designers weighed in, with Wizards designer Mackenzie De Armas sharing a detailed behind-the-scenes of how Unearthed Arcana survey results are handled. Game designer Taymoor Rehman also claimed “I read nearly half a million UA comments my first year working on D&D”.

DnD_Shorts responded to Ray Winninger, announcing the deletion of his tweet. On January 18, he posted a new Twitter thread, saying the sources of his leaks were “verified” but could have been “mistaken” about the D&D feedback situation.

“Today, I passed along information regarding UA survey collection at Wizards”, the Twitter thread begins. “I was told this by two inside sources, both of whom have been verified by multiple people, that OneD&D playtest materials were not being reviewed.”

“However, Ray Winninger, former VP at WotC has come forward and stated that written survey material under his watch was checked and was reviewed”, he adds. “Others at WotC have verified. I now have two groups of people, telling me two different things, both of whom I trust.”

“People can hear different things”, the thread continues. “But hearing it from Ray Winninger makes me believe that my contacts must have been mistaken on this point.” “I’m glad”, DnD_Shorts says. “This survey element was the one thing that really hit different around everything I’ve been told.”

A DnD_Shorts YouTube video accusing Wizards of not reading playtest feedback remains up, but a comment has been added by its creator sharing Ray Winninger’s statement, along with an apology.

“This was a failure on my part to communicate their intent”, DnD_Shorts says. “I’m trying to articulate, as best I can, exactly what information I am given, and this time I failed. I’m sorry. It sucks, because this error will shake the validity of all the community’s information from inside WotC right now.”