4E WotC, DDI, 4E, and Hasbro: Some History - Page 7
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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by xechnao View Post
    I wonder where these money ended.

    Can someone that has experience with this kind of business present us with a plausible scenario?
    WotC: Hi.

    Developer: Hi.

    WotC: We want X, Y & Z for A dollars to be delivered by B time. Can you do it?

    Developer: Of course we can! GIMME GIMME GIMME! Yay! We're rich! Whooo!

    WotC: Umm... B time has arrived... err... where's our stuff?

    Developer: Erm... we spent all that money you gave us on whores and ale... they're very time-consuming activities!

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kzach View Post
    I think you need to brush up on your corporate history; TSR was a complete mess of individuals vying for personal power in order to take advantage of a hot property. Few, if any, had any passion for the game at all.
    Jim Starlin wrote on his blog about a meeting he had back in his Marvel days with the TSR folks, Gygax included, and was surprised by how passionate the TSR folk were about D&D. Specially when compared to their equivalents in Marvel, who never read comic books. Starlin had long talks with Gygax that day, after the meeting (which, alas, never materialized into Marvel D&D comics).

    Of course, this was back in the day when Gary was still at TSR.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kzach View Post
    WotC: Hi.

    Developer: Hi.

    WotC: We want X, Y & Z for A dollars to be delivered by B time. Can you do it?

    Developer: Of course we can! GIMME GIMME GIMME! Yay! We're rich! Whooo!

    WotC: Umm... B time has arrived... err... where's our stuff?

    Developer: Erm... we spent all that money you gave us on whores and ale... they're very time-consuming activities!
    Could it be that the original company representative takes his share of whores and ale, especially if he can find a way to hide it and blame the money loss somewhere else?
    It is conspiracy-theorizing but are there any solid control mechanisms that something like this does not happen?
    I am wondering this, since there should be controlling mechanisms of the developer's progress first place and it seems that there weren't any. Or is it not like that?

    I mean, don't they exist some progress controlling methods regarding the development of software, especially for projects like that? What is usually happening in practice? It is this matter that puzzles me the most, yet this is not my field of knowledge, at all.

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Klaus View Post
    Jim Starlin wrote on his blog about a meeting he had back in his Marvel days with the TSR folks, Gygax included, and was surprised by how passionate the TSR folk were about D&D. Specially when compared to their equivalents in Marvel, who never read comic books. Starlin had long talks with Gygax that day, after the meeting (which, alas, never materialized into Marvel D&D comics).
    Actually, wasn't that Jim Shooter's blog, rather than Starlin? I remember reading something like that not too long ago.

    Jim Shooter: Items of Interest – And Gary Gygax

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klaus View Post
    Jim Starlin wrote on his blog about a meeting he had back in his Marvel days with the TSR folks, Gygax included, and was surprised by how passionate the TSR folk were about D&D. Specially when compared to their equivalents in Marvel, who never read comic books. Starlin had long talks with Gygax that day, after the meeting (which, alas, never materialized into Marvel D&D comics).

    Of course, this was back in the day when Gary was still at TSR.
    TSR, Inc. - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Agent View Post
    Hasbro didn't buy D&D. They bought WotC. And they bought WotC for Magic and Pokemon.
    According to Peter Adkison, this is not true. The value of the license was a big part of the decision. There was a podcast in late 2011 where Peter shared his asking the Hasbro CEO for confirmation and the CEO confirming.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andalusian View Post
    Actually, wasn't that Jim Shooter's blog, rather than Starlin? I remember reading something like that not too long ago.

    Jim Shooter: Items of Interest – And Gary Gygax
    Yeah, Shooter. Got 'em mixed up.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kzach View Post
    Hasbro buying D&D was the worst thing that could ever happen to it, IMO.
    Doubtful. D&D has been through all sorts of incredible dire straits as well as successes, and the two are usually linked. For example, novels have at various times been financial successes or the near-ruin of the company. I can't recommend reading Designers & Dragons enough for a perspective on how all RPG companies survive challenges.

    And while EN World can be pretty unfriendly to 4E, keep in mind there are at least as many happy 4E players as there are of 3E. We can easily forget how many gamers are just having fun rolling dice without any edition wars participation.

    Hasbro comes with incredible resources. They allow for fantastic artwork, for big budgets that allow for experiments like DDI, for the best staff, for the best freelancers, for product lines that try out new concepts, etc. By all accounts Wizards calls its own shots and runs its own game, but has to account for its budget. That's positive. Part of the problem with TSR was that it could operate terribly and not have the necessary financial review. It is true of most failures at RPG companies, where you can go from being a darling of the RPG industry and then closed doors in a year. We should all be thankful for Magic the Gathering being part of Wizards. In a similar way, there are many positives to being part of Hasbro.

  9. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Agent View Post
    Is there any rational reason why we should care about that? If Coke starts selling licorice water in their Coke cans, my nostalgia for what Coke used to taste like isn't going to make me keep buying the brand because otherwise there will be "NO COKE SODA".
    As pointed out in between here and your original post, because it is the gateway brand/drug. Most everyone that plays RPGs starts out with (and has first heard of D&D), and it will still be that way for a long time. It might be in the next 20 years that Pathfinder takes that place* but for now that gateway king is D&D. Therefore, for the good of the hobby even if you've moved on to other games, you need it to be healthy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Agent View Post
    Hasbro didn't buy D&D. They bought WotC. And they bought WotC for Magic and Pokemon.
    Except...

    Quote Originally Posted by Alphastream View Post
    According to Peter Adkison, this is not true. The value of the license was a big part of the decision. There was a podcast in late 2011 where Peter shared his asking the Hasbro CEO for confirmation and the CEO confirming.
    ... I am not the only one that knows this, so we can assume I'm not crazy. D&D was indeed another license whose value was being considered during the acquisition, and I guaran-dang-tee that the sales records for every novel with Drizzit was looked at as more valuable than one setting book of the one RPG game line he was born in.

    For quick example, according to Amazon, right NOW the D&D v3.5 Player's Handbook is rank #40,909. Just The Crystal Shard, the first book that had Drizzit in it, is #77,644. That book however is one of about, what, 50+ novels, all that have been best sellers? And that book is the oldest and first (and that specific one I used, a reprint). The newer they get, the higher the rank goes, like Homeland at #64,568, with the exception of post Spellpague stuff even though that sells well still (it just give correlation that the gamers hate the change, but not the novel-only readers).

    Now, v3.5 didn't exist when Hasbro bought WotC. Amazon did not exist when AD&D 2nd Edition was the game either, but they still have an estimated sales rank. #146,985.

    But the fact remains, that for every 1 D&D book sold, there are about 5 more D&D related novels sold, many to non gamers. That was the sales volume that Hasbro was looking at when they were considering the D&D part of buying WotC. Therefore, my theory stands. Hasbro did not buy the D&D brand for the RPG, they bought it for Drizzit.



    * I wonder how much Pathfinder would be helped with another movie with a young, up and coming Tom Hanks like star being lost in the sewers of a University playing Pathfinder? Or, a concerned parent group, though BAP doesn't have the same ring as BADD...
    Last edited by OpsKT; Saturday, 7th January, 2012 at 01:54 AM. Reason: Adding sales numbers from Amazon for sample

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by xechnao View Post
    I wonder where these money ended.

    Can someone that has experience with this kind of business present us with a plausible scenario?
    Sure, here's an example from the TSR days. TSR decides to get into the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure business, based on the success of others. They jump in with a mad plan to be #1 in the area and make tons of money. They do, initially, then suddenly realize this was a fad. They have tons of novels and are looking at millions in losses. That's an example of a really solid idea, but failure to read the market and monitor it continually.

    Another example is creating deep setting material for Forgotten Realms. You see the initial success, so you start planning out how to cover the rest of the world. Far too late you realize sales are dropping with every release, and now you tons of unsold inventory and need to suddenly change your strategy.

    You come up with the idea of creating a deep immersion RPG experience using audio CDs. You record and package audio tracks to go with a new adventure format. Because you did not have the right accountability and financial checks in place, only after these are released do you realize you are losing a lot of money even when these sell... and they aren't selling very well.

    There are tons of examples like this during the TSR days. We can move forward to the modern era with Gleemax, DDI, and many other decisions.

    It is widely held that both the Red Box and Pathfinder intro set are sold below their cost, on purpose. is this good? It depends on who you ask. Some hold that attracting new players is vital. Others say they learn just fine with core rule books.

    We can look at the decision to start a Pathfinder MMO as a separate entity, but with Paizo money, staff, and resources rather than licensing to a different company. For just $100,000 you too can be part of this. Genius or folly? Only time will tell.

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