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D&D General Adam Bradford, Lauren Urban, Todd Kenrick Leave D&D Beyond

They join lead writer James Haeck, who left a couple of weeks ago. Adam Bradford is the D&D Beyond co-founder, and VP of Tabletop Gaming at its owner, Fandom. Lauren Urban is DDB's Community Manager. Todd Kenrick is the company's Creative Manager.

D&D Beyond, launched in 2017, is currently owned by Fandom (previously known as Wikia), after it acquired the company in 2018 from previous owner Curse, a Twitch subsidiary.

DDBeyond.png





According to Cam Banks, creator of DDB owner Fandom's Cortex, all three received offers elsewhere which they could not turn down.


 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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JRedmond

Explorer
I want to work in your industry, where there's a cauldron of money to throw at problems. A lot of times, a better offer is one that your current employer simply can't top.

When I leave my current job, which I expect to happen before summer, it'll be for a combo of opportunities my current employer can't compete with, even if they had a cauldron of money (they do not) and a higher salary.
You're welcome to, I work in IT and yes there is a cauldron of money to throw at problems. My point is D&D Beyond is not a small press like Kobold Press they have a little bit of money. I would have said Todd wait two more weeks to make the announcement and we'll give you a $5000 bonus for example. And yes this happens all the time in the corporate world.
 

I can easily see the license ending and this all being folded back into WOTC.
I can see Cindy Crawford coming to her senses and begging me to run away with her, but there's no real evidence that either of these things are true.

The D&D Beyond license appears to have benefited both parties and WotC still pushes it heavily. If there's a reconsideration, it'll come with 6E/the Anniversary edition.
 

You're welcome to, I work in IT and yes there is a cauldron of money to throw at problems. My point is D&D Beyond is not a small press like Kobold Press they have a little bit of money. I would have said Todd wait two more weeks to make the announcement and we'll give you a $5000 bonus for example. And yes this happens all the time in the corporate world.
Ha, no, it really doesn't. You are in an unusually cash-rich enterprise. Normal people get a cake and beers after work.

There's also no evidence that Todd's departure is causing $5,000 or more worth of damage to D&D Beyond's image.

Folks are going to be really disappointed if/when these folks show up at exciting places like Amazon and Microsoft and an MMO publisher and not some surprise new competitor to the D&D Beyond throne.

I'm not even sure who would have the resources for such a thing. Paizo's got plenty of other stuff to worry about right now, Free League doesn't have a single unified system that would lend itself to a D&D Beyond-style product, and everyone else is significantly smaller. Maybe they've all been lured away by a big board game company, but Fantasy Flight has been cutting, not expanding.

I have a hard time picturing who the "this is all pointing to something big" folks could possibly be imagining is behind it.
 


JRedmond

Explorer
Ha, no, it really doesn't. You are in an unusually cash-rich enterprise. Normal people get a cake and beers after work.

There's also no evidence that Todd's departure is causing $5,000 or more worth of damage to D&D Beyond's image.

Folks are going to be really disappointed if/when these folks show up at exciting places like Amazon and Microsoft and an MMO publisher and not some surprise new competitor to the D&D Beyond throne.

I'm not even sure who would have the resources for such a thing. Paizo's got plenty of other stuff to worry about right now, Free League doesn't have a single unified system that would lend itself to a D&D Beyond-style product, and everyone else is significantly smaller. Maybe they've all been lured away by a big board game company, but Fantasy Flight has been cutting, not expanding.

I have a hard time picturing who the "this is all pointing to something big" folks could possibly be imagining is behind it.
We'll agree to disagree, I obviously won't convince you but it would have been to possible to or limit prevent people freaking out.
 

Mistwell

Legend
When staff leaves, especially en masse, there is often very little truth revealed behind why people are leaving. The employees want it to look like their choice, as do the employers, regardless of whether that is true or not.

Actions speak louder than words - I will wait to see what happens to D&DB in the next few months - they need to be on their A game to maintain their customer confidence.
Yeah - actions tend to speak louder than words. They were also leaders of the site. This gives me concerns that perhaps we're headed towards a reduction in service. They'll need to be on their game in the next few months to shake the concerns that people may be having about whether D&DBeyond is dying. They've been slower to support elements of the game, stopped supporting Critical Role, etc... not good signs for a company that should be benefiting from the downturn with more people doing more things virtually.
Yes, we heard you the first time?
 


MGibster

Legend
I’ve changed my mind. I think some speculation threads are plain bile
It's always good to be reminded that we're not privy to what's going on behind the scenes. A few years back my own department at work experienced a lot of turnover in a relatively short period of time. It was a combination of retirements, people leaving for different careers, cities, or employers, and one termination for cause. Turnover in my department is historically low and this threw up a red flag prompting our VP to meet with everyone one-on-one to assess the situation. It turns out there wasn't any deep seeded serious problems that prompted the turnovers it was just a confluence of the stars or something. Sometimes change happens and it's not always for nefarious reasons.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
There's a lot of Chicken Little's claiming the sky is about to fall with D&D Beyond in this thread (likely elsewhere on the intertubes as well).

Relax.

The D&D Beyond team IS losing some good people . . . but we have zero evidence that this is anything to be concerned about. People change jobs all the time. Sometimes, coincidentally, a bunch of folks do it all at once.

If D&D Beyond starts to experience problems rolling out new features, maintaining the site, or anything like that . . . then I'll start to worry.
 

Mistwell

Legend
Here is my suspicion as to what happened:

1) 2020 was a very strong year for them, and a very large bonus just vested on January 1 or February 1 or thereabouts (whether cash, stock options, or both); and
2) They gave 30 days notice as required by their employment contracts after the bonus vested, or otherwise the timing of this lines up with the bonus vesting.

That's it. That's my suspicion - this was simply a good moment to leave, as leaving earlier would have meant leaving a lot of money on the table. I think they're just doing what they said they're doing - each going to a higher paying job, after taking a large bonus from last year's higher profit.
 


darjr

I crit!
It's always good to be reminded that we're not privy to what's going on behind the scenes. A few years back my own department at work experienced a lot of turnover in a relatively short period of time. It was a combination of retirements, people leaving for different careers, cities, or employers, and one termination for cause. Turnover in my department is historically low and this threw up a red flag prompting our VP to meet with everyone one-on-one to assess the situation. It turns out there wasn't any deep seeded serious problems that prompted the turnovers it was just a confluence of the stars or something. Sometimes change happens and it's not always for nefarious reasons.
I get that. It’s the obvious axe grinding and dire speculation in bad faith is what’s got me down.
 

Emirikol Prime

Explorer
I can see Cindy Crawford coming to her senses and begging me to run away with her, but there's no real evidence that either of these things are true.

The D&D Beyond license appears to have benefited both parties and WotC still pushes it heavily. If there's a reconsideration, it'll come with 6E/the Anniversary edition.
You do you sweetie.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Fandom has always been very corporate and a difficult company, as wiki users know.
I wouldn't be surprised if it just got too much, or if WotC is creating in-house integration.

D&D Beyond has been one of my fav channels for years just to watch these three chat about the new content. I'll miss them.

A D&DB sunset/Paizo style splinter though would suck for me, bc I have physical copies AND BBD digital copies and I don't like the idea of having bought tons of books online for ease of reference and then it getting locked out from future releases or closing down or something.

Something definitely smells corporate-like.
 
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That seems unlikely. 5e is still doing quite well. It could be a 5.5, but it doesn't look like they're going for the same sort of major overhaul like they did for 3.5--just dribs and drabs put out in new books, not radical changes.
Yeah, it seems unlikely to me too.

But if they all/mostly turn up as WotC I don't for a second believe we're not getting at least a 5.5E, and quite possibly a 6E, in the next year or two.

I think it's more likely they'll all turn up at some other gaming site.
If it was WotC wanting to get into the field, surely it would be more efficient to buy the whole company - getting the people can help, but getting the platform would potentially save years of rebuilding effort.
Definitely, and that's what I'd expect. It's possible Fandom was being unreasonable though, especially as they pretty much just bought DDB.
 



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