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WotC 7 Digital D&D Games In Development

Following up on the Hasbro earnings call a couple of weeks ago, WotC"s CEO Chris Cocks announced at New York Toy Fair (D&D comes up after about an hour of the audio - a lot of it is about Magic: The Gathering) that there are seven digital D&D games in development, with at least one coming per year. Unfortunately, there's no other solid information.

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Of course, 'digital' can mean anything from full-fledged console or PC games to mobile and Facebook games.

What we already knew:
There was a slide show at the event which you can view online. D&D doesn't feature much in it, as it covers all of Hasbro's brands. One of them does feature a small image of a mobile game, though - looks like the existing Warriors of Waterdeep rather than a new game.

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Russ Morrissey

Comments

The videogames, teleseries and movies are the best advertising, but a good work needs time and talent, and more money and pressure doesn't help very much. Sorry but I am afair we will have to await for a good time.

The future of the new titles depend on the sales success of the media projects. We can ejoy an indirect advertising with other IPs of the same genre, for example Warcraft and the Witcher but we should take care or a saturation will be counterproductive, and then the medieval fantasy will be "old-fashion" like the spaguetti western movies. If this happens, WotC should to be ready with a no-medieval fantasy title, maybe something like d20 Future/Star Frontiers/Star*Drive/Gamma World. (the good new is the time travel and parallel universes will be canon in this d20 Future, allowing crazy mash-up or reboot of the franchises).

If there are videogames set in a no-FR world the candidates are Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Dark Sun and Ravenloft. I guess the strategy is "we learn to make good titles, and after we will publish the adaptation of the favorite lines". The good new is we can see "one-shot" stories as a test, like the pilot episodes to know the reaction of the public.

Other option is to use Enternaiment One to produce new movies and series and later these to be adapted to TTRPG. But this means d20 system should find the right power balance about firearms and modern technology because some media titles are set in the modern age.
 

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Raduin711

Explorer
Should we assume Dark Alliance is more or less a remake?

For a minute I was excited but I somehow got Dark Alliance and Demon Stone mixed up. Dark Alliance was... okay.
 




Cergorach

The Laughing One
It is an interesting conundrum for a large company like Hasbro. Profits from RPG's are a pittance compared to video games, which are a pittance compared to movies, but the RPG is the basis of your IP.
That totally depends on the movie budget and also whether the film is received well or not... As for D&D, the D&D 2000 movie cost around $45 million to make and they lost about $11 million on it. On the other hand, the first Transformers movie cost around $150 million to make and the had a profit on that of $560 million, plus all the toys they made for it. The issue here is, that Hasbro didn't finance it, they license it out. On one side that doesn't create risk of loosing money, very little effort on actually doing work for the profit someone else makes, and they can make toys which is their core business. The same goes with most video games, with the big exception, in WotC's case is Magic: Arena. And that exception is making them tons of money with way less costs then paper Magic, more profit directly for WotC, with a potential larger playerbase.

BG3 through Larian is the first D&D game in a decade and a half (since NWN2), that isn't a flop, a remaster from ~20 year old game or an expansion to said ~20 year old game... It wouldn't honestly surprise me if Hasbro wanted to buy Larian if BG3 performs well. Video games can make very decent money if handled well, especially when you own the studio that makes it. Companies like EA or Activision Blizzard make a lot more profit compared to Hasbro...
 


Cergorach

The Laughing One
Behold! A traveler from the future.
Atleast I'm not a Mindflayer that's Trolling... ;-)

Maybe 'isn't a flop' isn't a good way to describe it. Let's call it 'potential to succeed'. I won't be preordering it, but I suspect it'll be good, and I know that "Successes from the past aren't guarantees for the future.".
 




The time-travelers would rather the name "crononauts".

*Don't believe him! THACO will not come back, but Acuity and Spirit will be added to the abilitie scores in a sourcebook of optional rules. And the island of Jakandor will be the setting of the crossover of D&D, Transformers y Power Rangers.
 

Aaron L

Adventurer
It is an interesting conundrum for a large company like Hasbro. Profits from RPG's are a pittance compared to video games, which are a pittance compared to movies, but the RPG is the basis of your IP. They need to walk the fine line of staying loyal to the fan base, and IP, while simultaneously trying to expand that fan base through other mediums to increase profits.
And that's a very delicate balancing act, trying to expand to a larger audience while battling the inherent truth that doing so will dilute the unique qualities that make it beloved to the core fans. The narrower the audience the deeper a thing can be, and making it more palatable to a wider audience necessarily requires making it more shallow and generic so as to cast as wide a net as possible and appeal to the lowest common denominator. The "It's Popular Now It Sucks" attitude isn't just crude hipsterism, it has a sincere truth at the core of it.

This genericization has a been an increasing problem with the Forgotten Realms for decades; "everything plus the kitchen sink" may make room for something for everyone, but it also necessarily means dilution to the point of blandness. Think of what Disney does to traditional mythological stories, removing any kind of hard edge to the original stories and turning them into saccharine and toothless shadows of themselves devoid of anything that might potentially offend anyone.

I am still very glad that they did a great job of mostly managing to pull it off with the 5th Edition, even if I am very unhappy with the proliferation of the gaudy demon- and dragon-people as common playable races in the core PHB (they are just incredibly irksome and gross to me, rendering things that should be reserved as unique and special into mere mundanities.) But apparently they are popular with people who want their cute horned monstergirls like you see in certain lame anime and video game series. It's actually shifted the entire tone of D&D away from its origins in recreating the feel of old Weird Fiction pulp stories of adventurers going out and exploring dungeons to gain fame and fortune, where fighting monsters was merely part of the process as another obstacle to overcome, to something much closer to the horrifically awful Isekai anime genre and with the entire goal of adventuring becoming merely to fight monsters and gain levels for its own sake. (Don't get me wrong; I love good anime, but when it's bad it is incredibly bad, and I think it has been a bad influence in this case.)
 
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That is the challenge for the media producers, to fin the right balance between offering something enough new and different but also as popular as possible.

D&D is changing because also the new generations are different. Today children don't enjoy the same cartoons, movies and comics from the past decades. The Flash Gordon of the new century can't be like the one from 80's or the 40's. Some changes are inevitable.

Today tielflings and dragonborns are very popular, and after they will be others, maybe the themself gnomes, because somebody created other character as Lyrion Lannister.

My opinion is you can create lots of characters for speculative fiction, very good-looking and powerfuls, maybe too much, but the true challenge is to find characters admired by the public for their wisdow, like "Little Grasshopper", Obi-wan-kenobi or master Yoda. A character can't be really wisdow but the scripter/writer/author isn't it in the real life. You can hire a group of scripters to write about a "Game of Thrones" spin-off but to create a work what helps people to open eyes to notice, for example, to notice about the true differences between a true leader and a toxic boss, is a different thing, or to hire an army of ghost-writters to publish teenage romances but a true authors writes a story what teachs teenages about what means the true love and the keys of the right relation.

Now D&D is more popular than ever because lot of people have discored what they like it. They are used to the medieval fantasy mythologies but the TTRPGs offer something the current videogames can't. D&D is perfect for geeks who love to create their own fan-art.

The manganime itself isn't wrong, there are good and bad titles. Someones can be source of inspiration. And some players are otakus who started because they felt curiosity about the Legend of the Five Rings.

And the videogame industry is strange sometimes. Fortnite was about to be canceled, after of years working, but then they added the free-to-play Battle-Royal mode and this has become a true smashing-hit.

My advice is to try sell videogames for only online mode, with offline option, is too risky because all the title fight for the "audence share" and many have failed.

A brand isn't enough in the videogame industry. You can't offer a remake or clone of Diablo because the gamers want new things. Many famous franchises have got their own "dark ages", years with titles fallen in the oblivion.

* I am suprised because today videogame studios are making money with the mobiles, with those little screens.
 

ZeshinX

Explorer
The only one that has my interest is BG3, solely due to the Baldur's Gate legacy. I'm cautiously optimistic about it (hopefully that will change to anticipation after Larian's PAX presentation of BG3 in action). Even then, I'm not sure. I'm sure technically the game will be well made and designed, with the rules adapted in such a way as to fit well enough to earn the '3' in its title...but I'm not so sure about the narrative, and I don't think Larian's PAX presentation will spend much time showing/revealing much in the way of that (I don't have confidence Larian can resist and/or manage to not make the game one long, tongue-in-cheek gag like their previous games...all exceptionally well made technically, but for the life of me I just cannot take them seriously).

Solasta has my curiosity given it seems like an outlier...kinda/sorta not official D&D but is D&D, using only the SRD content (which I'm guessing allows them avoid or drastically minimize any licensing costs...dunno how exactly that works). That said, their desired design goals seem difficult to attain, even if they had AAA staffing/funding (which they clearly do not). Sounds a lot like another Sword Coast Legends, but time will tell.
 
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Mournblade94

Adventurer
I have recently played planesscape torment and while great it just felt like another RPG don't get me wrong it was a great game but if I didn't know it was dnd I would have never figured known.
When that game was released it was incredibly obvious because the planescape setting was in everyone's radar. Torment was also one of the best games in the field, there was not the huge glut of games that we get now.
 

Mournblade94

Adventurer
I have a long history with both tabletop and computer based rpgs, and I love them both - but for different reasons. It's true that a cRPG will never achieve the flexibility of the tabletop variety but that doesn't mean they aren't 'D&D' or some other variant. They are definitely RPGs - I play my character in a cRPG the same way I do at the table. I, for one, am happy with this approach and good luck to them. Anything which introduces our hobby to a wider audience gets my vote. Just try to avoid crappy mobile cash-grabs, please! ;)
I have literally reloaded three hours of gameplay because my completionist nature made me kill something just to get a magic item. Then I feel guilty because my character wouldn't have done that... and then i have to replay a few hours.
 

Mournblade94

Adventurer
Not all genres blend together. I think Baldur's Gate III will work because it won't be Baldur's Gate III but more like Divinity: Original Sin III with DnD taste all over. I think Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance won't work because it's a weak try to milk in revenues. If I had to bet, I would say that one of those games that we don't know really yet might become a instant classic. Who knows. Good games work when there are passion within them. When it's all about money, it's easy to notice it.
Funny Enough though Divinity III has Baldurs Gate I written all over it. Full circle.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I have literally reloaded three hours of gameplay because my completionist nature made me kill something just to get a magic item. Then I feel guilty because my character wouldn't have done that... and then i have to replay a few hours.
Sadly, you aren't the only one. I can wipe out any number of nameless guards and monsters, but kill Yosef the Armorer who was alway cheerful and whistling a happy tune? Terminating their digital existance haunts me to this day. :(
 

Azurewraith

Explorer
When that game was released it was incredibly obvious because the planescape setting was in everyone's radar. Torment was also one of the best games in the field, there was not the huge glut of games that we get now.
In our radar definitely but in the general populaces probably not so much but I guess at the end of the day the IP is what makes a good game great.
 

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