D&D Digital Plans To Be Revealed On February 21st

Brian D. Goldner, Chairman of the Board and CEO at Hasbro took part in the company's Quarter 4 2019 earnings call. This included several references to D&D.

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  • D&D grew again for the sixth year in a row.
  • Streaming D&D content was up nearly 50% on last year.
  • Substantial new (digital) gaming plans for D&D will be revealed on February 21st at Hasbro's Analyst Day
  • Total games category grew by 6%, as D&D, MtG, and Monopoly bolstered declines elsewhere.
  • Profit declined due to digital D&D and M:tG digital games investment.
"Well, good morning, and we did see very strong growth for Magic: The Gathering and increased growth for Dungeons & Dragons. "

"Magic: The Gathering revenues increased more than 30% in the year, behind double-digit growth in tabletop play and a strong first year for Magic: The Gathering Arena. Dungeons & Dragons revenues grew for the sixth straight year, and we are meaningfully investing in both brands to drive engaging storytelling, while developing new digital games with high margin profitable growth longer term. We look forward to sharing our 2020 new gaming plans for Magic and D&D on February 21. MONOPOLY had double-digit revenue growth and grew in each region with new themes and relevant entertainment tie-ins. We advanced our consumer products licensing business growing revenues double digits and expanding operating profit margin. We've broadened our licensed brand portfolio and expanded our reach with original live events that drive consumer engagement."

"In addition, for D&D, we did see our sixth straight year of growth. We are seeing about 150 million hours of content viewed on Twitch and YouTube, which is up nearly 50% year-on-year. In the first half of 2020, we are seeing a lot of new initiatives coming for the brand, but again I'm going to let Chris walk us through at at our Analyst Day, our plans for digital gaming, which are again substantial for D&D that begins in 2020."

"You'll also see great digital game development for D&D. And we will see you on February 21 to outline that."

"Our total games category grew 6% for the year, fueled by growth in Magic: The Gathering and MONOPOLY. Higher revenues from Dungeons & Dragons and several classic games titles did not offset declines in our Hasbro Gaming portfolio"

"Adjusted operating profit and profit margin declined as we invest in digital gaming initiatives including Magic: The Gathering Arena and future Magic and Dungeons & Dragons digital games."

"We delivered compelling gaming experiences, led by the work of our teams at Wizards of the Coast. Our positive results to date have us on plan to double Wizards of the Coast coast revenues over five years from 2018 to 2023."

You can read the full transcript at The Motley Fool.
 
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Russ Morrissey

Comments

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
They have never had much success though.

I'm sure Hasbro is frustrated by this, but I'm not.
At producing RPGs? They have made the single most popular RPG on the planet.

They also have multiple successful boardgames, and the world's most popular trading card game.

If that's not much success, I don't know what is. The statement "The only way to produce a ttrpg is if it's publisher only exists in that sector, and not in any of the infinitely more lucrative sectors such as board games, action figures, movie merchandise or computer games" is demonstrably false.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
At producing RPGs? They have made the single most popular RPG on the planet.

They also have multiple successful boardgames, and the world's most popular trading card game.

If that's not much success, I don't know what is. The statement "The only way to produce a ttrpg is if it's publisher only exists in that sector, and not in any of the infinitely more lucrative sectors such as board games, action figures, movie merchandise or computer games" is demonstrably false.
I think you respond because you personally don't like what I'm saying, and that you're being too literal in an effort to avoid having to say "I disagree".

But never mind.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
Don't be so rude, @CapnZapp. If you can't be polite, don't post.
I mean that it has never been good news for us ttrpg:ers when our publishers have dipped their toes in other markets. The main reason for this is that there's much more money to be made in those other markets (almost even not knowing which exact markets we're discussing). In other words, ttrpg has historically been an exceedingly non-profitable market.

So every time the main result of that "branching out" has been that all focus has been shifted away from the ttrpg product, with a bad result for those of us that mostly care about the ttrpg hobby (and not the brand, the IP, the companies or anything else).

Of course, in rather many instances this hasn't been because the company has been particularly successful. In many instances the far-greater profits of greener pastures has instead acted mostly as a lure - with little experience outside ttrpgs the companies have failed spectactularly. Again, with bad results for us who never wanted computer aids or board game implementations; just more supplements for our ttrpgs.

And no, WotC is not an exception. I maintain that the flaws of 5E are rooted in how Hasbro mostly care about the D&D brand for its potential outside ttrpgs.

The fact WotC has produced "board games, action figures, movie merchandise or computer games" only means they're a MUCH larger outfit than every other ttrpg publisher; that they can soak losses unlike any other.

While it does mean those ventures haven't managed to tank our D&D publisher, it doesn't mean it's been good for us. (And it nearly did tank the brank during the 4E era!)

If these future digital plans work out, that would more be the exception that defines the rule, than evidence I'm wrong: 99.9% of ttrpg outfits are still so small any branching out will either derail their ttrpg plans or derail the entire company.

Examples are too many to mention: WW/CCP; TSR, FFG, Chaosium, a boatload of now-obscure names, the once-top Swedish name, and so on, and so on...

Have a nice day,
Zapp
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
There is Monopoly Socialism and Feminist version, with special game rules and it isn't a fake.

For streaming podcast my suggestion in the past has been a mixture of machinima, game-live show and videogame streaming where a group of players show in the screen a virtual tabletop with the characters of the Tabletop roleplaying board-game.

Hasbro has noticed the best way to sell more toys is adapting famous franchises, and then better creating and promoting their own IPs. And these as multimedia projects.
 

Dire Bare

Adventurer
I'm skeptical this works for them. Many companies have tried to going into digital games and failed because it's not their core competency and they are not prepared for the massive investment of time and money required to bring out digital games. Not to mention how they can never deliver in the quarter the business had planned to release. Even those that succeed eventually shutter the digital division after a few duds. It would be as if Hasbro decided to go into the movie or TV production business.

Games Workshop has done a fantastic job getting their IP out and not having to take any of the risks inherent in software development. Hasbro would be wise to consider following their model, apart from digital boardgame adaptations.
Games Workshop might be enjoying financial success with this model, I'm not sure, but . . . . personally, as a Warhammer fan, I'm a bit overwhelmed and fatigued by the plethora of video game adaptations that are getting pumped out. There are a TON of Warhammer games for the PC and mobile right now, and I just get lost in the sea. If the releases were more focused on a few quality titles, I'd be more likely to throw my money at them.

Companies have certainly screwed up the shift into making digital games, but that doesn't mean WotC will screw it up this time around. I mean, sure, they could, but there is no guarantee. I am cautiously optimistic.
 

jib916

Explorer
Digital Tools? Perhaps Hasbro has seen the popularity of DND Beyond and wants to profit on in that market?

Is there any information out there about the license to Curse (to produce DND Beyond) and if it is indefinite?

I always wondered about this and was one of the reasons I have always been skeptical of DND Beyond.

Though this is all purely speculation on my part :D (And tbh I would bet its more to do with the Video games being produced than a pen and paper tool / supplement)
 

Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
Digital Tools? Perhaps Hasbro has seen the popularity of DND Beyond and wants to profit on in that market?
WotC has been very smart leveraging the D&D license to drive the brand's growth this edition. They owe a lot of 5E's success to D&D Beyond and other 3rd parties that have done a phenomenal job promoting the game. I don't think Hasbro is going to start yoinking licenses or competing with 3rd parties under the mistaken belief that they can do better. Not only would it cause friction with their business partners, it would create a lot of bad blood with players who have already made large investments in D&D Beyond and other 3rd parties.
 
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Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
We could also get a Monopoly Waterdeep.
I... might actually buy that! :)

But only if one of the game pieces was Xanathar himself and another was his fish in a bowl!

(And it nearly did tank the brank during the 4E era!)
Pretty sure it was 4E that almost tanked the brand, not any efforts of WotC outside of ttrpg.

It's not just that WotC has deep pockets to engage in all this stuff. HASBRO has deep pockets and a wide portfolio of other games to crossbrand D&D with, as well as a diverse company that includes video game producers and a Movie/Television studio.

It's not like the D&D team or even WotC themselves are going to have to invest a TON of time in these things directly. They will internally license the brand to another division and then act as creative and/or continuity consultants etc.

I'm excited to see what they can do.
 

Undrave

Hero
I... might actually buy that! :)

But only if one of the game pieces was Xanathar himself and another was his fish in a bowl!
I think most people buy those themed monopoly for the tokens and artwork anyway.

Pretty sure it was 4E that almost tanked the brand, not any efforts of WotC outside of ttrpg.

It's not just that WotC has deep pockets to engage in all this stuff. HASBRO has deep pockets and a wide portfolio of other games to crossbrand D&D with, as well as a diverse company that includes video game producers and a Movie/Television studio.

It's not like the D&D team or even WotC themselves are going to have to invest a TON of time in these things directly. They will internally license the brand to another division and then act as creative and/or continuity consultants etc.

I'm excited to see what they can do.
I really wish WotC would make us a legit Transformers game... Or a GI Joe/MASK one. Seems like it would be ripe for a game system.
 

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