A new leak promises to reignite controversy in the Dungeons & Dragons community. According to sources within Wizards of the Coast, D&D Beyond plans to increase its highest-tier subscription price by more than 400 percent.
Dungeon Scribe, better known as Hos, broke the news on Twitter that WotC had plans to change D&D Beyond’s subscription tiers. Currently, the D&D tools and resource site has three tiers for every level of player: a free tier that allows new players to create limited characters using the base D&D rules, a Hero tier with unlimited characters and campaigns and early access to new tools, and the DM-focused Master tier which allows content sharing across several accounts. Players can also pay for new sourcebooks such as the recent release of Spelljammer for access to even more character classes and monsters.
However, Hos’s sources said that Hasbro executives handed down an order to increase D&D Beyond’s monetization by raising the price of the Master tier to $30 per month. In addition, the free tier would restrict access to all homebrew content and deauthorize OGL 1.0a, raising the specter of content theft that caused Wizards to back down from a leaked draft of OGL 1.1.
The leak was later backed up by DnD Shorts and Nerd Immersion, two D&D content creators that also said they had sources within WotC.
“I can confirm these changes are what @Wizards digital game VP Chris Cao has planned for the future of D&D,” wrote DnD Shorts. “The $30 per month is for the highest tier, and includes monthly content drops. Their dream is everyone paying $30 per month to play.”
According to Hos, the 400 percent increase in price is not being proposed by “rational minds.” Hasbro, the massive gaming conglomerate that owns the Dungeons & Dragons IP, “reportedly handed this down, ignoring suggestions or input from their own staff.”
News of this massive price increase comes soon after Wizards of the Coast was forced to retreat from proposed changes to the Open Gaming License, which allows content creators to create and monetize content for Dungeons & Dragons. The changes would have required a 25 percent royalty to be paid to Wizards–and by extension Hasbro–for all sales above $750,000. It would also have required content creators to provide their content free of charge to Wizards of the Coast, who could then use it in their own official releases.
Only after an open revolt from the D&D community did WotC issue a statement saying that it would further revise OGL 1.1, but some content creators say that the damage is already done. Hos reports over 40,000 D&D subscribers have already left the site. That number will surely only increase as news of a 400 percent price hike spreads.
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