D&D 5E Could D&D Die Again?

Reynard

Legend
It would actually sort of be interesting to see it have to get Parcells out, though. Blizzard buys D&D but Disney buys Forgotten Realms and MS buys Eberron, or whatever.
 

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pogre

Legend
By the OP's definition of "die" - yes, I could see it happening.

People will continue to play of course.

I was running WFRP for a long time after GW/Flame stopped supporting it and it was picked up by Hogshead and them dropped again until 2e came out. Lots of people are playing "dead" games today. I know of an SPI Dragonquest game that's going strong right now.
 

Less popular doesn't been crash and burn though which is what I'm outlining.
That's not really compatible with your "again".

For D&D to die "again", it had to die "before".

If it what happened in the '90s was "death", then absolutely that kind of nadir in popularity can and in fact will happen again. It won't need flops and so on. Most of us here are ageing. We've seen how things come and go. How popularity fades.

And that'll happen to D&D. Right now D&D is kind of like a really inflated stock. It's flying extremely high from a wide variety of factors, but WotC are super-corporate, and frankly, they're going to push D&D into this "lifestyle product" niche were it will lose its charm for a lot of people, and whilst it'll make a ton of money doing it, they'll manage to push it to quite an unpopular place. If they screw up with MtG at the same time, they may well end up selling the IP.

Will someone buy it? Of course they will. The question is, will the company/person who gets it actually doing anything good with it, or better happy with it at this low level of popularity? I suspect the latter. Or even worse, a videogame company could buy it, and let it languish, largely to be used as an IP source, which I think is not unlikely.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
It would actually sort of be interesting to see it have to get Parcells out, though. Blizzard buys D&D but Disney buys Forgotten Realms and MS buys Eberron, or whatever.
Microsoft is Blizzard (they bought them earlier this year, to be finalized in a few months).
 

MGibster

Legend
D&D's cultural footprint is WAY too big for it to die any time soon - folks referring to it as a "fad" apparently do not understand what the word "fad" means. Fads do not last for half a century.
I remember an episode of Star Trek TNG that described television as a fad. If you're measuring time on a geological scale, sure, it's a fad I guess, but any activity that's been done throughout multiple generations isn't a fad.
 



I don't think so. If D&D stopped publishing suddenly (for whatever reason) it would be dead in the broad casual community in 2 years and dead in the gamer community in 5. Of course a handful of people would keep playing even if it was dead, but not many. Continued support keeps RPGs alive. I can't think of an example to the contrary.
There were enough people still playing older editions to create the OSR movement. That has to stand as some kind of example.

I just don't think people who play D&D would get the same gaming experience, that they obviously love, switching to Call of Cthulhu.
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
One day the sun will expand and swallow up the Earth. Unless humans have successfully propagated throughout the galaxy, the death of the human species will mean the death of D&D. We must expand onto other planets in order to save our hobby!


On a more reasonable note, I doubt D&D is going to die any time soon. It's become such a brand that some form of D&D will still be played 50, 100 years from now. I mean, look at Monopoly. Whoever thought that game would still exist (even though it's no longer played as it was originally intended).

But if I'm speculating, here's how I could foresee the "death of D&D."

Due to some kind of financial maneuvering, Hasbro has to offload D&D to another company. This new company wants to turn D&D into a pure profit machine for as long as it can get away with it.

The new company does one of two things:

1) Pivots D&D to a 100% digital subscription-based platform, no longer supporting print books. D&D becomes more of a mobile app with very light rules. You get the basic game for free, and can subscribe for more resources, focusing more on character appearance, digital dice, etc. They bring in loot boxes, somehow.

2) D&D starts churning out a new products at an enormously fast pace. They start doing more tie-ins with other IP. Eventually when these products stop making money the company stops supporting the brand.

Do I think it likely that either scenario is going to happen? No. But I worked for a bit for a video game company that had a really great product that easily could have become a new Pokemon level of success, and it was driven into the ground by its parent company. It was really sad to see.
 


Reynard

Legend
There were enough people still playing older editions to create the OSR movement. That has to stand as some kind of example.

I just don't think people who play D&D would get the same gaming experience, that they obviously love, switching to Call of Cthulhu.
The OSR movement was instigated and supported by a very small but dedicated fanbase. This fact remained true until after 5E blew up and lots of people new to the hobby started to explore its fringes and discovered (and some would say co-opted) the OSR.

That said I was definitely overstating my case. I think a lot of the people that have discovered D&D recently will be on to other things sooner rather than later, and the collapse of D&D as a published property would both accelerate that and would mostly stop new blood from coming in. How long it would take attrition to essentially "kill" D&D outside of tiny holdout communities is anyone's guess.
 

payn

Legend
predator GIF
 


You figure that the majority of gamers out there are buying the new book every time it comes out to use? The sales certainly don't support that idea. The current player base is measured in the millions, but, I really don't think that WotC is banging out millions of copies of every single book they publish. Hundreds of thousands, maybe, but many millions? That would put them in Harry Potter level book sales.

So, no, I don't believe that. I strongly believe that most groups buy a small number of books, play with those for years, and maybe pick up a book here or there. And, that's the group, not the individual. There's already more material for 5e than most groups will use for the foreseeable future. If you start counting in 3rd party stuff, you couldn't put a tiny dent in the total amount of 5e (never minding all of D&D) material out there unless you were playing pretty much daily.

I see no evidence that the hobby needs a constant stream of new books. I understand that publishers need that. Fair enough. And, I understand that people like new books. Heck, I do too. But, I'm not really convinced that a majority (or even a really significant minority) of gamers actually pays much attention to the newest releases.
Err... I misread your post. Early morning posts on my part are probably not a great idea...
 




There was a time not too long ago where many would argue that D&D was the most effective birth control available.
I remember someone made that joke when I was in college... a long time ago, but even then I had to laugh becuse we had women playing with us and as such we had options of women who we shared intrests with.
 



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