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.
 
Last edited:
Russ Morrissey

Comments

Todd Roybark

Explorer
After having been disappointed in several previous ‘official’ Vttp or Chargen programs, my feeling has been an integrated Virtual Table top from Hasbro, is like Cold Fusion:
The Product of the Future, and it always will be.

Given the expense of D&D Beyond content, (it is Beyond Reason in my view), while the time is ripe for such a product, will the ‘convenience pricing’ I would expect Hasbro to charge turn away frugal bastards like myself and keep us with third party platforms?

I hope not, but ‘dope’ and ‘hope’ are only two qwerty keys away.
 

HarbingerX

Rob Of The North
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.
The purpose of the games is not to deliver quality, it's to make sure that people outside of the very niche hobby to tabletop wargaming know what warhammer is. Couple that with a great ruleset like 8th edition and AoS and you have a boom in new adoption by a younger generation, which is exactly what we're seeing.

D&D 5e is a great ruleset, and the streaming has lead to a lot of new players. What they haven't done as good a job of compared to games workshop is get the D&D IP into as many eyeballs as possible. They've done it in boardgames, but that's also very niche (though booming). Of course it's not as easy for D&D because of all the setting fragmentation and the reality that everyone's table setting is different. If I say Warhammer to someone they immediately know what that means from the video games.

I still think Hasbro should let someone else take on the risk of video game development.
 

Olaf the Stout

Adventurer
There’s not just one version of Monopoly, these days, and there is a lot of clever marketing that goes into designing new versions.
Yeah, but if ever there was a product that you could describe as being in the “maturity to decline” phase of its product life cycle, surely that is Monopoly. That they can get double-digit gains out of it at this point just astounds me.
 

Olaf the Stout

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.
Yeah, but all the D&D digital offerings so far have been nothing but resounding successes! 😂😂😂
 

Olaf the Stout

Adventurer
Well they released the Nintendo Monopoly Gamer with character powers with booster packs of characters... then the Mario Kart version. There's other variations like Ultimate Banking and Cheater's Edition and Monopoly Socialism...

And of course, every franchise under the sun has a Monopoly these days (the Funko Pop! approach), and then some (Chocolate Lover Monopoly? Dog Lover Monopoly? Beer Lover Monopoly?) which I bet are only bought for novelty collection purpose and maybe played once. If that.

It's basically a franchise of its own. Just search 'monopoly' on Amazon just to see the insane amount of stuff that comes up.



We could also get a Monopoly Waterdeep.
Who the heck is buying them though. I’ve already got one crappy version of Monopoly in my house that never gets played. Why would anyone need more than that?
 

Undrave

Hero
Who the heck is buying them though. I’ve already got one crappy version of Monopoly in my house that never gets played. Why would anyone need more than that?
It's the Funko Pop! system: get casuals to go "I know that thing!" and buy it for giggles. If you tap enough market you can get numbers going.

Also, I think it's for the exclusive tokens? They're like little pewter statues of stuff you like.

Liscencing aside I bet they cost pennies to make too.
 

caudor

Adventurer
I hope some of that funding goes to make D&D Beyond even better. Big changes always gets me excited, but nervous at the same time.
 

Olaf the Stout

Adventurer
It's the Funko Pop! system: get casuals to go "I know that thing!" and buy it for giggles. If you tap enough market you can get numbers going.

Also, I think it's for the exclusive tokens? They're like little pewter statues of stuff you like.

Liscencing aside I bet they cost pennies to make too.
Well they’re not spending any money on development at this point. Any new rules would take minimal time to come up with. It’s just a new board, design a few different playing pieces and print free money for them.
 

Sunsword

Adventurer
I know this isn't related but weren't we supposed to get the 3 D&D core books in Kindle format? Whatever happened to that?
 

Sunsword

Adventurer
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 hope this is not the case. I've invested heavily in DnDBeyond and would be unhappy if something WotC owned enters the market.
 

Sunsword

Adventurer
As a games retailer, I'm a bit nervous. I'm glad M:tG is growing for them, but they've really burdened the Local Game Stores. Only 1 format is consistent in our region and Arena seems to be competing with Paper Magic, as opposed to Magic Online being synergistic.

Additionally, the incentives and perks we used to have disappeared as they have courted Target, Amazon, and Wal-Mart. I understand why they have, but Paper Magic is a very different beast without local tournament support. This is compounded with nearly monthly Magic releases and POD products. All of these are good for WotC but I don't know that they are working so well for the stores. From my perspective, WotC wants more of the money form the secondary market, but whenever a manufacturer has targeted that market the game crumbles. It is great for the manufacturer and the consumer to have POD product but it can completely bork those card's collectability which is what drives M:tG. We'll see, but I'm dubious.
 

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