Chris Pine’s New Movie Is Being Boycotted
Dungeons & Dragons fans are boycotting the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves because Wizards of the Coast's controversial changes to its open gaming license.
Chris Pine’s upcoming film Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is being boycotted over a controversy that’s been raging through the RPG world since earlier this month when Wizards of the Coast (WotC), who own Dungeons & Dragons, made changes to their Open Gaming License (OGL). The OGL previously allowed third-party creators to make products compatible with the rules of D&D, the new version seems to do the exact opposite, and a lot of players are furious. Fans are voicing their complaints with hashtags like #BoycottDNDMovie.
As explained by Games Radar, WotC first issued the OGL over 20 years ago, in 2000, which allowed other RPG creators to use D&D mechanics, perhaps most famously Pathfinder which essentially echoes earlier versions of the game. The revised OGL leaked earlier this month, and among other things invalidated the original OGL, said that WotC would need to be notified about any “monetized content” using the license including earnings reports, and that WotC would need to receive a royalty for any products using the license earning over $750,000 annually. This was more than enough to get players to swear off Chris Pine’s upcoming Dungeons & Dragons adaptation.
Along with publishers using the OGL responding either by announcing their own licenses or plans to abandon the D&D mechanics, fans have already been making a financial dent in WotC and its parent company Hasbro. So many players canceled their subscriptions to the online Dungeons & Dragons Beyond that its page crashed. This couldn’t come at a worse time for Chris Pine’s Dungeons & Dragons film which will hit theaters at the end of March.
Last Friday, apparently feeling the heat from the backlash, WotC released a statement in a blog post walking back many of the revisions to the OGL. They assured fans there would be no royalties demanded, that creators would own the content they create, that content created under the original OGL would not be affected, and that non-profit ventures such as “educational and charitable campaigns” wouldn’t be impacted. But fans have proven distrustful of this message.
If this controversy significantly impacts the release of Chris Pine’s Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, it will be yet one more cinematic disappointment in the franchise. A Dungeons & Dragons movie was released in 2000, ironically the same year as the OGL, and its failure crippled the fantasy game‘s chances to compete against the Lord of the Rings films. Two poorly received direct-to-video sequels followed, but hardly anyone noticed.
Chris Pine stars as Egdin the bard in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, which takes place in the franchise’s Forgotten Realms setting. Pine is joined by Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sohpia Lillis, Hugh Grant, Chloe Coleman, Jason Wong, and Daisy Head. The film is co-directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, and arrives in theaters on March 31.