D&D General D&D Book Prices Are Going Up

WotC announced today that D&D books will be increasing in price this year.

Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants will be $59.99 as a preorder and $69.99 thereafter. These will apparently come as physical and digital bundles, so you won’t need to buy the D&D Beyond version separately.

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This space is dedicated to communicating clearly and transparently with our players- even when the topic isn’t particularly fun. Since the release of the 2014 D&D core rulebooks, we’ve kept book prices stable. Unfortunately, with the cost of goods and shipping continually increasing, we’ve finally had to make the decision to increase the price of our new release print books. We're committed to creating high-quality products that deliver great value to our players and must increase our prices to accomplish that.

This will go into effect starting with Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants and new releases after Glory of the Giants. Digital pricing is unaffected by this MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price) increase, as digital products don’t need to be printed or shipped. The increase also doesn’t impact backlist titles. While we can’t promise that there will never be a change to the prices of digital products and backlist titles, we have no plans to increase either.

Players who purchase the Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants digital-physical bundle through Dungeons & Dragons store can get the bundle for $59.95 for the entire preorder window, which is consistent with our current digital-physical bundle pricing. After the preorder window closes, digital-physical bundle prices will go to $69.95.
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
This is the cynical side of me speaking...

But that sounds like an EXTEREMLY large increase for "inflation"? Especially when you consider that digital pricing is minimally affected. (Yes the "we don't need to ship/print" arguement SOUNDs reasonable on it's face, but we can safely assume that WoTC will be making a massive attempt to move away from phsyical and gain digital traction over the next few years, since it's easy to monetize add-ons.

I normally like to give companies (even large for-profit ones) the benefit of the doubt, but WotC has proven to be less than forthright and upfront for the most part, and have publically announced that D&D is "under-monetized".
Inflation since 2014 is over 28%, this is a 20% increase. So, effectively even after the price increase the books are cheaper than they were 9 years ago.
 

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ShadowDenizen

Explorer
But, (playing Devils Advocate), given the vast amounts of money that are being generated from D&D (probably more from ancillary material than core books), couldn't they have cut a break on the increase in books? Or even eaten it?

I know WotC is a for-profit (arguably greedy) company, but the goodwill of long-time (and even new) fans is priceless, as many companies are now learning. Plus, RPG's are a luxury, so many people will be daunted by the existing price-point, let alone the "inflated" price, since D&D is still one of the only RPG's that requires a 3-book entry to play. (So that price increase is effectively modified by x3 for new players.)

Not trying to be incendiary or hateful, here, just realistic and questioning company motivations as the steward of this license, as someone who's been playing since Basic D&D/AD&D 1E.
 
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Oofta

Legend
But, (playing Devils Advocate), given the vast amounts of money that are being generated from D&D (probably more from ancillary material than core books), couldn't they have cut a break on the increase in books? Or even eaten it?

I know WotC is a for-profit (arguably greedy) company, but the goodwill of long-time (and even new) fans is priceless, as many companies are now learning. Plus, RPG's are a luxury, so many people will be daunted by the existing price-point, let alone the "inflated" price, since D&D is still one of the only RPG's that requires a 3-book entry to play. (So that price increase is effectively modified by x3 for new players.)

Not trying to be incendiary or hateful, here, just realistic and questioning company motivations as the steward of this license, as someone who's been playing since Basic D&D/AD&D 1E.
Realistically? Why shouldn't they make a reasonable profit on their products? That's kind of what companies do.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
But, (playing Devils Advocate), given the vast amounts of money that are being generated from D&D (probably more from ancillary material than core books), couldn't they have cut a break on the increase in books? Or even eaten it?

I know WotC is a for-profit (arguably greedy) company, but the goodwill of long-time (and even new) fans is priceless, as many companies are now learning. Plus, RPG's are a luxury, so many people will be daunted by the existing price-point, let alone the "inflated" price, since D&D is still one of the only RPG's that requires a 3-book entry to play. (So that price increase is effectively modified by x3 for new players.)

Not trying to be incendiary or hateful, here, just realistic and questioning company motivations as the steward of this license, as someone who's been playing since Basic D&D/AD&D 1E.
You could make that case, but the obvious response is that they did eat the inflation cost for nearly a decade: books released in 2022 were making less money than in 2014, absolutely for certain, because costs have strafing increased. But a company can only keep their prices low for so long before they need to adjust them.
 

ShadowDenizen

Explorer
Realistically? Why shouldn't they make a reasonable profit on their products? That's kind of what companies do.

I guess "Reasonable" is in the eye of the beholder?
But if they don't have any fans to BUY the products in the first place, the point is kinda moot.
Many companies that are "too big to fail" are feeling the effects of pinching their fans unncessarily.

Again, not trying to be trollish! But how companies treat their customers is an interesting topic, now more than ever, and many companies that are "too big to fail" may find that not to be the case, while companies like Paizo (and dozens of other smaller publishers) are benefitting from the (arguable) missteps of WotC.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I guess "Reasonable" is in the eye of the beholder?
But if they don't have any fans to BUY the products in the first place, the point is kinda moot.
Many companies that are "too big to fail" are feeling the effects of pinching their fans unncessarily.

Again, not trying to be trollish! But how companies treat their customers is an interesting topic, now more than ever, and many companies that are "too big to fail" may find that not to be the case, while companies like Paizo (and dozens of other smaller publishers) are benefitting from the (arguable) missteps of WotC.
Paizo is charging the same increased price for their new books, last I checked, and Paizo staff were openly praising the move from WitC to increase the price.
 

Oofta

Legend
I guess "Reasonable" is in the eye of the beholder?
But if they don't have any fans to BUY the products in the first place, the point is kinda moot.
Many companies that are "too big to fail" are feeling the effects of pinching their fans unncessarily.

Again, not trying to be trollish! But how companies treat their customers is an interesting topic, now more than ever, and many companies that are "too big to fail" may find that not to be the case, while companies like Paizo (and dozens of other smaller publishers) are benefitting from the (arguable) missteps of WotC.
So ... what should they do? Never raise prices, lose money on each book? Inflation is a fact of life and WOTC is not immune.

I really don't understand this need to vilify companies for making a profit. It's how they stay in business. If they're charging too much, don't buy the books. If you think Paizo has better products buy theirs. There are plenty of companies that are using inflation to jack up prices, plenty of businesses that do shady stuff. I just see no reason to think WOTC falls into that category in this case.

Are they never supposed to raise prices? Ever? Sell them at a loss?
 

ShadowDenizen

Explorer
So ... what should they do? Never raise prices, lose money on each book? Inflation is a fact of life and WOTC is not immune.

I really don't understand this need to vilify companies for making a profit. It's how they stay in business. If they're charging too much, don't buy the books. If you think Paizo has better products buy theirs. There are plenty of companies that are using inflation to jack up prices, plenty of businesses that do shady stuff. I just see no reason to think WOTC falls into that category in this case.

Are they never supposed to raise prices? Ever? Sell them at a loss?

I'm not vilifying them. (At least not more than any other large company.)

I'm saying they should take the opinion of their customers (who make them.millions if not billions of dollars each year) into account when determining WHEN or IF to raise prices.

Raising prices now after all the disastrous PR this year seems tone-deaf to me. (YMMV of course.)

They could also consider not having a 3-book buy-in to play? They're getting ALOT of press/publicity right now, but what percentage of potential new players ate turned off by the 3-book buy-in to DM?

And again, the concept of moving to digital is plain, and makes sense for them, so if the push is fir that, where they can monetize the character-builder and DDB to the sky, why not cut a break on the physical books for the collectors? (Not even saying "Reduce Prices" [that will never happen] just don't increase by a full 20%)?
 


I guess "Reasonable" is in the eye of the beholder?
But if they don't have any fans to BUY the products in the first place, the point is kinda moot.
Many companies that are "too big to fail" are feeling the effects of pinching their fans unncessarily.

Again, not trying to be trollish! But how companies treat their customers is an interesting topic, now more than ever, and many companies that are "too big to fail" may find that not to be the case, while companies like Paizo (and dozens of other smaller publishers) are benefitting from the (arguable) missteps of WotC.
Except Paizo has also been raising their prices, citing the same thing WotC did. Kobold Press has also been charging more for books. Not sure about other publishers, though I'd recommend looking at preorders if you want to look for price increases since no one seems to be raising prices in existing inventory.
 

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