D&D 5E Are we at, or close, to peak D&D? Again?


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Zardnaar

Legend
D&D's greatest threat is video games.

Entertainment dollar per hour atm is 3-1 in videogames favor. 300 odd hours on AC Origins/Odyssey is 2-3 years of D&D.

No prep required.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
A $400 start-up cost ($100 for the rulebook alone) isn't going to get you a lot of eight-year-olds, though.
The kind of eight year olds that Games Workshop is marketing to, not really a problem, same as Legos. WotC has a wider possible audience.

D&D does have a definite advantage there, in that the Starter Set and Essentials Kit combined are like $40 at Target, and after that the only necessary costs are pencils, paper and time, all of which come easy to most middle schoolers.
 

Shiroiken

Legend
But here's the thing about enjoying success. For the most part ... it ends. Success is similar to cruising down the highway doing 90 passing all of the traffic and feeling all happy inside and then you accidently shift from fifth to first instead of to fourth and watch your engine leap out out of your hood.**
Success is also cruising steadily down the highway at 55. While the boom of the golden age is legendary, it ended with horrible business decisions that ultimately ended in bankruptcy (the engine leapt out of the hood). There was a second boom called 3rd edition that didn't end as dramatically, but instead dropped the speed from 90 back to 55. It wasn't a boom and bust, so much as a quick rise and slow decline back to normal. Very likely 5E will have a similar fate, but it appears that WotC/Hasbro has learned from the mistakes of the 3E boom (limited bloat and controlled 3PP), which I think will slow the decline further.
 

MGibster

Legend
A $400 start-up cost ($100 for the rulebook alone) isn't going to get you a lot of eight-year-olds, though.
Games Workshop's bread and butter audience has been white middle class adolescent males for many years now. But in recent years they branched out to attract younger customers with their YA line of books Warhammer Adventures targeted at the 8-12 year old demographic. And these books have girls and people of color on the covers so their trying to broaden their audience even more. But their mantra for many years has been "Boys turn 16 every day." They expected people go get into the hobby and exit after a few years.
 

auburn2

Adventurer
I think the fall in the 90s had a lot to do with poor management and poor QC. Those things could sink D&D again, but I don't think they will.

The business model is a lot different now, putting aside the mass media idea, D&D right now makes less I think on actual sales than it does on royalties. All those people selling modules for $3.00 on DM guild - wizards is getting a cut of that. That is fundamentally different than the late 80s and early 90s when the money was all in the print from TSR. What really killed the game was the crap modules they were putting out because they needed volume to stay afloat.
 

pogre

Legend
I want to say, "I don't care." The truth is I do kind of care - I'm not sure why. D&D being popular or unpopular or failing commercially would not really affect me. I have played plenty of dead games over the years and still do on occasion. Why do we care? It is weird.

It will ebb and flow in popularity, but I agree the next step with multi-media (especially movies and tv) could have a big influence on whether it continues to grow. My guess is we're near the top of this wave.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
Games Workshop's bread and butter audience has been white middle class adolescent males for many years now. But in recent years they branched out to attract younger customers with their YA line of books Warhammer Adventures targeted at the 8-12 year old demographic. And these books have girls and people of color on the covers so their trying to broaden their audience even more. But their mantra for many years has been "Boys turn 16 every day." They expected people go get into the hobby and exit after a few years.
The nice thing for WotC is that they don't particularly expect people to age out, even if 40% of players now are Gen Z, per WotC numbers:

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