Am I no longer WoTC's target audience?

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
Planescape only needs a planar handbook, and adding Sigil and factions. It is more lore/fluff than crunch. If you want something with plot, then the option can be comics or novels, without crunch at all. Even I dare to say Planescape has got lot of numbers (for the jackopt) to be adapted to a media project. Even it would be in podcast shows as Critical Role, good advertising with low level cost.

And you can bet if there is a Planescape return somebody will ask about the Gate-Towns, the planar dragons, the demiplanes or the para/quasi elementals. You never can please everyone.
 
It's hard to argue with their current success, and the factors that seem to have contributed to that success. Especially when compared to recent past editions, and the factors that contributed to those failings.

I mean, it seems like the release of Forgotten Realms and Dark Sun campaign books did little to help 4E's success. Why should they expect anything different now? Their books are doing just fine without providing a full on setting Realms book. They're slowly getting to different areas of the setting, and doing it while packaged with adventure paths.

The setting books they've done so far....Ravnica, Ebberon, and now Wildemount....all have a pretty strong reason for existing. Ravnica tapped into the Magic the Gathering fanbase. Wildemount does the same, but with the CR fanbase. Ebberon is the youngest of the "classic" D&D settings and the on with the lease amount of content, while also still having a vibe that is different than the kitchen sink approach used by the Forgotten Realms.

If these books do well, then I expect we'll continue to see setting books. But it's just going to be at a slow pace. They're not going to start cranking out more settings like crazy now. They're going to take a setting and look at what it has to offer to customers, and how wide the appeal will be. They then have to weight that against other settings and products to determine what's the best move at any time.

Part of what they seem to want to do is create an evergreen edition. To do that, they need to keep the slow and steady pace, and hope that the open game license and DMs Guild can help those who are looking for additional material at a faster pace.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
shrug..

Speaking only for myself, I haven't been WotC's target audience since WotC took the game over, which is fine with me in one way and not in another.

It's fine in that I still look over what they put out and now and then buy such bits of it that look halfway useful (mostly adventures), but if I don't buy something I don't at all feel like I'm missing out on anything. I homebrew my settings, but there's still one or two (Mystara and Birthright, I'm looking at you) that if they were ever re-released and-or updated I'd give 'em a long hard look.

It's not fine in that I'd prefer they continue to support older editions (in my case, 1e) by including conversion guides in their adventures - or, put another way, making them fully backwards-compatible. That would bring me - and probably a whole bunch of other players/DMs of past editions - at least partway back under their target-audience umbrella.
 

Haffrung

Explorer
IThere is no lack of 5E material available if you don't arbitrarily restrict yourself to official WotC hardcovers.
For my part anyway, that's not an arbitrary distinction. The overwhelming amount of content on the DM's guild is amateur, and it looks and reads amateur. One of the values WotC (and a handful of other RPG publishers) brings to the table is professional layout, editing, and document design. I'm actually buying WotC 4E books at my FLGS and converting them to 5E. Which is a hassle - and kinda weird. I'm basically waving money in WotC's face, but they're not taking it.
 

Haffrung

Explorer
So what's the point between "starvation" and "saturation"?

Because I have no clue. To say we're "starved" for content is a bit hyperbolic. All of which, of course is just my opinion and carries absolutely no weight whatsoever. Just like everyone else on this forum. :p
There are RPG companies that design and publish many more books per year than WotC, even though they sell far fewer of each book published. And of course previous editions of D&D saw WotC publish many more books a year as well.

Doesn't it seem odd to you that the biggest RPG publisher by an order of magnitude publishes two books a year, while companies with far fewer resources publish 5 or 8?
 

3catcircus

Adventurer
But if they license it out then they lose the option of mining that old intellecutal property in the future. There's not a lot of reason for them to do that. That and I have no clue if other companies would be interested or how you would value it.
It depends. There is no one size fits all licensing agreement. It's easy enough to create T's&C's dictating what the limits are for any licensee or sub- licensee.

That could license to a 3PP to create a 5e treatment of x, y, z products while licensing the same IP to a different 3PP to create 5e treatments of other products. The challenge is to properly adjudicate discrepancies across existing products to prevent propagation of errors...
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
There are RPG companies that design and publish many more books per year than WotC, even though they sell far fewer of each book published.
If lack of sales continue to outstrip number of books published I am not sure this is a sustainable business model. And will inevitably lead to layoffs. Or closures.

Doesn't it seem odd to you that the biggest RPG publisher by an order of magnitude publishes two books a year, while companies with far fewer resources publish 5 or 8?
This fails to mention the extensive playtesting cycles that Wizards books undergo. Companies with far fewer resources simply do not have the time or resources to spend doing this. So they can publish more books in a similar timeframe.
This also fails to mention the general quality of the books produced by Wizards. Binding issues and bizarre page layouts notwithstanding.
To be able to maintain market visibility companies with far fewer resources need to flood the market in a sense. But this is also not wise.
 

3catcircus

Adventurer
We just ran through the 2e adventure(s) Four From Cormyr using 5e. Our DM converted on the fly, and the adventure ran exceptionally well. I'd never even heard fo that adventure before and it was a blast. Have you tried using 2e adventures in 5e?
Core mechanics are easy to convert. It's the mechanics providing setting-specific flavor that are the problem. Recall the 3e regional feats? Great idea to provide specific flavor. Now do that for Dark Sun or Greyhawk... I seem to recall a Dragon article that tried to 3e-ize all the old settings.

Now what about the different cosmologies in the different settings vs core? I've handwaved it away by stating to my players that the Great Wheel is the true architecture and the FR or Eberron architectures are how people in those realms perceive it - frame if reference and all that.

What about cleaning up idiosyncracies between different products for the same campaign setting that don't align with each other?

All those things are what takes time - time that older players and DMs usually don't have. No DM wants to think through 4 different references if that don't have to. The 3e FRCS as far as I'm concerned is the gold standard for what a campaign setting book should consist of, if it is given a 5e treatment.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Doesn'tit seem odd to you that the biggest RPG publisher by an order of magnitude publishes two books a year, while companies with far fewer resources publish 5 or 8?
WotC put out seven major releases last year, and 4-ish seems to be the ongoing plan. It doesn't seem odd, once they have repeatedly explained how the slow roll allows them to make more money and get more people playing.
 
Because otherwise everything you just is about as valid an assertion as saying they use a magic 8-ball to make decisions.
That would make as much sense as every other theory we've heard....
Am I no longer WoTC's target audience?
Magic 8-ball says: "Don’t count on it."

Seriously (no, not really, it's just an awkward segue) though, I don't no why I hadn't thought of it before, but "no longer" implies that you were, at some point in the past, their target audience. But, just because you bought their stuff before doesn't mean they were gunning for you, you could have just been caught in the blast radius...
...collateral sales, as it were.
 

Slit518

Explorer
I agree with you TC on your OP.

I am not interested in modules, nor am I interested in their cross-over products, like Rick & Morty or Stranger Things.

I like books that add options for players, that add monsters, and add stuff for DM's.

I go one step further, I am not really interested in any of their fictional worlds either.
 

3catcircus

Adventurer
There are RPG companies that design and publish many more books per year than WotC, even though they sell far fewer of each book published. And of course previous editions of D&D saw WotC publish many more books a year as well.

Doesn't it seem odd to you that the biggest RPG publisher by an order of magnitude publishes two books a year, while companies with far fewer resources publish 5 or 8?
How many of the small publishers have a possibly-non-engaged board and shareholders driving things?

Small publishers don't have the distractions of huge publishers. Small publishers are in control of their own schedules and can decide how much work that they can take on instead of having it assigned to them by a manager. Small publishers don't have the inefficiency associated with larger publishers. Small publishers don't have the overhead of large publishers. How much time is each WotC employee spending on mandatory HR-dictated training each year?
 

Haffrung

Explorer
How many of the small publishers have a possibly-non-engaged board and shareholders driving things?
That's my point. WotC's publishing tempo is driven by shareholders who expect a higher return on investment than moderately-sized RPG publishers like Paizo do. If the CFO said they needed to cut releases down to one a year, the design team would say aye-aye captain and spin it as though that were the ideal number from a game perspective.
 
That's my point. WotC's publishing tempo is driven by shareholders who expect a higher return on investment than moderately-sized RPG publishers like Paizo do. If the CFO said they needed to cut releases down to one a year, the design team would say aye-aye captain and spin it as though that were the ideal number from a game perspective.
Well, that's true of just about any company, isn't it?

And while maximizing profits is certainly going to be a factor in their decision making, part of that will also be longevity. From all we've seen, they want to maintain this edition for as long as possible.

So it really depends if they're playing the 5-10 year game, or the 20 year game.
 
Just thought I'd share some images of recent products that show who the target market is these days (my two year old daughter has expressed that the Owl Bear is her favorite thing):
This is the kind of stuff that I'd expect kids to like and that I think is cool for them to make, but I am definitely leery of giving a kid the actual MM or the like, especially once they can read and actually get how creepy some of the monsters are. Some kids will be just immune - sounds like yours are - but like I said, there are kids who watch terrifying horror movies in single digit ages and are fine - it's just that most aren't.

Ironically though the person I know who would most like that Owlbear is 40... maybe I should get it for him...

How much time is each WotC employee spending on mandatory HR-dictated training each year?
When people say stuff like this, I start thinking "Have you actually worked at a real company, or do you just read about them on the internet?". Because realistically, a lot of mandatory training in large companies is absolutely NOT "HR-directed" (and complaining about "HR-directed" is about 3 feet away from complaining about "namby-pamby politically correct snake person snowflakes!"), and there's really not going to be enough of it to make any kind of measurable dent in your output, unless you're only employed there for like six months or less, and even then it'll be a single-digit percent.
 

Parmandur

Legend
This is the kind of stuff that I'd expect kids to like and that I think is cool for them to make, but I am definitely leery of giving a kid the actual MM or the like, especially once they can read and actually get how creepy some of the monsters are. Some kids will be just immune - sounds like yours are - but like I said, there are kids who watch terrifying horror movies in single digit ages and are fine - it's just that most aren't.

Ironically though the person I know who would most like that Owlbear is 40... maybe I should get it for him...



When people say stuff like this, I start thinking "Have you actually worked at a real company, or do you just read about them on the internet?". Because realistically, a lot of mandatory training in large companies is absolutely NOT "HR-directed" (and complaining about "HR-directed" is about 3 feet away from complaining about "namby-pamby politically correct snake person snowflakes!"), and there's really not going to be enough of it to make any kind of measurable dent in your output, unless you're only employed there for like six months or less, and even then it'll be a single-digit percent.
For sure my kids are unusual, but the material is being skewed towards kids and families, very strongly.
 

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