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

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jgsugden

Legend
Reading this thread I can see how a lot of Qonspiracies become popular.

Sometimes people leave to pursue new opportunities, higher pay checks, better work life balance etc. They are people, not machines.

The sky is not falling.
There is a huge different between the two. People (me included) saying: 2 things jump out: Reduced advertising, loss of pretty much the entire public face of the company. Both of those are indicators of potential negative news in the future. It is not inappropriate to express concern.

Now, if we were driving to Alabama to storm the headquarters and put Kenreck in in charge, then you could draw the parallels fairly.
 


Thing is, the scald of rpg companies is so small compared to other industries and I don't think some realise how much so. Many very typical companies can claim revenues more than 1000 times what WotC makes, and they're the giant.

Most other companies are small businesses in scope. And as small businesses there's only so much opportunity and advancement they can offer to employees. Most well performing employees could get a sizeable increase to their income in different industries, or may be tempted to other small start ups because they're pooling their limited resources into and area of interest to that employee.

There's a lot of incentives for employees in the rpg "industry" to move on to new opportunities, and only limited capability for the companies to retain them.

So I don't think there's some high brow corporate maneuvers going on and I find a lot of the talk of 6e or watching starting a new competing digital branch to be exaggerations.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Yeah - What that says is exactly why people are bringing this up: They cut back their spending on Critical Role advertising, and thus do not get the top of the show bit from Riegel. Others are getting the top bill - and those folks do not have the resources of D&DB. Generally speaking, companies cutting back on their advertising is not a great sign. It is no shock that they don't want people reading anything into it. Whether it meant nothing or was a clear sign of the apocalypse, they'd have that exact same desire. When you add that to the generally bad sign of so many public figures from the company leaving all at once - it says there MAY be cause for concern in our investment in the companies products. It could be a sign that they expect to have significant troubles this year.

On the other hand, it may all just be coincidence and poor PR practices.
The question then would be — what troubles? D&D is growing year on year. Online gaming has boomed during the pandemic. What’s your hypothesis? What troubles do you posit?
 



jgsugden

Legend
The question then would be — what troubles? D&D is growing year on year. Online gaming has boomed during the pandemic. What’s your hypothesis? What troubles do you posit?
You're asking me to speculate? We're seeing things that could be symptoms. That doesn't mean we can pull an exact diagnosis out of thin air.

However, if you really want SPECULATION:

* Their entire business if dependent upon the license from WotC. Without it, they have nothing. So, there could be a lack of clarity around the license renewal. I worked for a company that had 80% of their business come from a client - that then left. Not good.

* They could have some idea that Fandom is going to streamline/cut costs. As they have had inadequate resources to fully implement things that have been in the books since the very beginning (Life Cleric, for example), that could be something that drives people out while the getting is good. Most people in Corporate America have felt a budgetary Sword of Damocles.

Is there any substantial evidence of either of these things? No. However, those HYPOTHETICAL situations might both result in cuts to advertising, and to people leaving for other options.
Evidence. Nothing so far shows it’s reduced. That post snip sure doesn’t. Show it or stop.
So, basically, you'll ignore obvious signs of something because I don't have inside information that it would be impossible for me to collect?

They used to - every single week - get the top billing and a skit out of Riegel to promote their product. Now, they do not. Do you think they're paying the same for less promotion? Would you? Further, they are not even listed as a sponsor every week. do you think they give money just to not even be mentioned? The folks getting that top billing now are smaller operations with seemingly far less revenue. Do you think these smaller operations outbid them week after week? If you can't connect those dots and feel confident that they obviously cut back their CR advertising $.... it is not worth having the discussion. People that demand proof for self evident situations where inside information would be required... well, they're usually more interested in proving they are right than in finding what is right.
 

darjr

I crit!
You're asking me to speculate? We're seeing things that could be symptoms. That doesn't mean we can pull an exact diagnosis out of thin air.

However, if you really want SPECULATION:

* Their entire business if dependent upon the license from WotC. Without it, they have nothing. So, there could be a lack of clarity around the license renewal. I worked for a company that had 80% of their business come from a client - that then left. Not good.

* They could have some idea that Fandom is going to streamline/cut costs. As they have had inadequate resources to fully implement things that have been in the books since the very beginning (Life Cleric, for example), that could be something that drives people out while the getting is good. Most people in Corporate America have felt a budgetary Sword of Damocles.

Is there any substantial evidence of either of these things? No. However, those HYPOTHETICAL situations might both result in cuts to advertising, and to people leaving for other options.

So, basically, you'll ignore obvious signs of something because I don't have inside information that it would be impossible for me to collect?

They used to - every single week - get the top billing and a skit out of Riegel to promote their product. Now, they do not. Do you think they're paying the same for less promotion? Would you? Further, they are not even listed as a sponsor every week. do you think they give money just to not even be mentioned? The folks getting that top billing now are smaller operations with seemingly far less revenue. Do you think these smaller operations outbid them week after week? If you can't connect those dots and feel confident that they obviously cut back their CR advertising $.... it is not worth having the discussion. People that demand proof for self evident situations where inside information would be required... well, they're usually more interested in proving they are right than in finding what is right.
Well that’s better. But it’s all still speculation.
 

darjr

I crit!
Also one persons “obvious” signs may just be conspiracy theory. You may indeed be correct but man your posts read like a person with a wall covered in random photos and twine. Do you not see that?
 

Zardnaar

Legend
6E will arrive when it arrives the earliest I expect it is 2024. Failing that some sort of special anniversary new cover or something.
 


Oofta

Legend
This just in! People in tech moved in from their job for a better/different one.

Also: water is wet.
What? That's ridiculous! I would never ... hold on ... flips through resume seeing how many time I've switched jobs for better or different opportunities ... okay. Maybe. :blush:
 

Wait.... DDB is NOT owned by Curse anymore? Then why the blazes do I still have to use a freaking Twitch account to log in (or Facebook, Google, whatever poison is out there)?!? Wouldn't separating from Curse (Twitch / Amazon) be the ideal moment to get rid of that cursed (hah!) junk?
 

jgsugden

Legend
Also one persons “obvious” signs may just be conspiracy theory. You may indeed be correct but man your posts read like a person with a wall covered in random photos and twine. Do you not see that?
My posts read like: There is a reason to express concern because there are multiple circumstances that could be indicative of trouble.

Yours read like: Unless you provide me overwhelming evidence I am wrong I will refuse to consider any possibility that there might be something wrong with my view.

Do you not see that?
 

Emirikol Prime

Explorer
Wait.... DDB is NOT owned by Curse anymore? Then why the blazes do I still have to use a freaking Twitch account to log in (or Facebook, Google, whatever poison is out there)?!? Wouldn't separating from Curse (Twitch / Amazon) be the ideal moment to get rid of that cursed (hah!) junk?
You don’t have to use it. They left it as an option.
 

darjr

I crit!
My posts read like: There is a reason to express concern because there are multiple circumstances that could be indicative of trouble.

Yours read like: Unless you provide me overwhelming evidence I am wrong I will refuse to consider any possibility that there might be something wrong with my view.

Do you not see that?
No. Your posts invent trouble. Your posts posits things we do not know as if they are true and proof positive that there is trouble. You go beyond the evidence.
Just one example,

* They could have some idea that Fandom is going to streamline/cut costs. As they have had inadequate resources to fully implement things that have been in the books since the very beginning (Life Cleric, for example), that could be something that drives people out while the getting is good. Most people in Corporate America have felt a budgetary Sword of Damocles.

you invented almost all of that in this case.

you don’t “know” ya know?
 
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Backcountry164

Explorer
Be unsurprised if it's WotC.

If it is, expect 6E sooner rather than later.

Definitely possible, but I've seen poaches that looked exactly like this.
WotC has flat out said that they will only do books. Anything else will be licensed out. So why would they poach people whose experience lies in other areas?
Corporate reshuffling looks just like this too. If you watched Todd's goodbye video he sure didn't seem excited to be moving on to greener pastures...
 

SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
Also one persons “obvious” signs may just be conspiracy theory. You may indeed be correct but man your posts read like a person with a wall covered in random photos and twine. Do you not see that?
I didn't feel their speculations were that crazy, just more like...speculation.
 


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