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

Panda-s1

Scruffy and Determined
I've got a bad feeling about this....

"Today Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast are excited to announce the latest official D&D setting is…..Monopoly! Yes, now your adventurers can finally explore iconic locations like Park Place and Boardwalk! Loot legendary treasure from the mythical Community Chest! New playable races include Top Hat, Race Car, and other favorites. Also includes rules for new downtime activities like real estate management and going to jail. Pre-order your copy today!"
man you just sold me on the new Monopoly setting. exploring a decrepit Atlantic City as a d&d party sounds awesome. though if there isn't a battleship race I'ma riot.
Ok, what I want to know is how the heck did Monopoly have double-digit growth? Seriously???
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.
idk about you guys, but I find playing Monopoly on a digital platform a lot more enjoyable. you don't have to throw around paper money every 5 seconds, also the game enforces rules a lot of players don't think are real (auctioning every property someone decides not to buy is a big one in my experience). hell my dad's been into Monopoly basically his entire life and I still mostly played on SNES until the pokemon set came out.

I also find that bad tabletop games with less complicated rules to be way better social encounters than complicated games in terms of actual social interaction, like it's a lot easier to go off topic without losing track of the game.
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.
I'm 3000% certain WotC has done this with Magic in the past, like numerous times, and only Duels and Arena have had any real success (well, other than Online).

hell, D&D has a long history of that as well. old school PC gamers remember the gold box series, and Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights both arguably stood out apart from their source material. I think the only real issue is the last two didn't heavily brand themselves as "Dungeons & Dragons" games.
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
man, 4e tanking was more than the game itself. I feel like the climate surrounding games at the time meant it barely had a chance. a lot of people now say that it was an objectively decent game, if not flawed, but back then it a lot of gamers were like "THIS GAME IS LIKE WOW I REFUSE TO PLAY IT NNNGH".
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?
they're basically collectors' items at this point. like I said my dad's a lifelong Monopoly player. back in the 90's when we had money to vacation I remember him buying both the San Francisco and Seattle editions of Monopoly, which we never played, it was mostly a souvenir. granted at that time the special city editions were the only official variants Monopoly licensed, but I'm sure if they did a Monopoly for something my dad is interested in, e.g. motorcycles, he'd probably accept it as a highly valuable gift.
They do for each country it's released in.
I don't think they do that anymore? IIRC they ditched using irl currency a while back and replaced it with their own proprietary currency symbol (the M with the two lines going through it).
 

Panda-s1

Scruffy and Determined
Why not just have Hasbro buy DnD Beyond so they can offer discounted pricing to those who buy the bound copies of the books?
y'know as much as I wish they did this at this point it would be VERY hard to enforce. if they were to do this they'd have to have been doing it since 5e first launched in 2014. I own a PHB, first printing, but how would I even prove to WotC that I bought it?

also not sure why Hasbro would need to buy D&D Beyond to make this happen.
 

Dire Bare

Adventurer
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.
I would disagree.

Make crap games, in-house or licensed out, and your brand will develop a reputation for crap games. If every time I download a Warhammer video game and it's crap, then I'm not likely to think, "Hey that was not fun, but I bet the super-expensive tabletop version is a lot of fun to play!"

Conversely, if I download a really fun Warhammer video game, then when glancing at that spendy box of miniatures in Barnes & Noble, I just might pick it up to check out the plastic version of the hobby.
 

Panda-s1

Scruffy and Determined

Dire Bare

Adventurer
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?
I'm a teacher with a cabinet full of board games for my students to play during downtime.

Nobody wants to play the cool hobby or party games I stock, like D&D Dungeon Mayhem, Exploding Kittens, or Cobra Paw. They all gravitate to the classic "family" games like Sorry, Jenga, Connect Four, and Clue. I hate Monopoly, so don't have a copy, but the kids are constantly asking me why I don't. I should probably pick one up, either the classic version on the cheap, or some sort of themed version to help me stomach it.

Don't underestimate "casual" and "family" games like Monopoly . . . . LOTS of people love and play these games.
 

Panda-s1

Scruffy and Determined
now that's more like it, though tbh I'm not sure he keeps up with racing like he used to and racers as properties might lose him. motorcycles as properties? definitely into that. classic motorcycles as properties? he'd be over the moon.

speaking of over the moon, fortnite monopoly is a thing now...
It's easy to put up big growth numbers when you have no competition...
seriously though, Monopoly has had to compete with the likes of Catan once Americans realized there are actual good board games out there. the fact they've been able to market Monopoly that well is kind of impressive.
 

vecna00

Explorer
I've got a bad feeling about this....

"Today Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast are excited to announce the latest official D&D setting is…..Monopoly! Yes, now your adventurers can finally explore iconic locations like Park Place and Boardwalk! Loot legendary treasure from the mythical Community Chest! New playable races include Top Hat, Race Car, and other favorites. Also includes rules for new downtime activities like real estate management and going to jail. Pre-order your copy today!"
As someone who grew up in South Jersey, I'm not sure anyone should adventure in Atlantic City...
 

Todd Roybark

Explorer
It's... no more expensive, and often cheaper, than buying the books elsewhere?
I apologize for being unclear.. rushed post. D&D Beyond pricing is much more reasonable if one is not also purchasing physical books.

I like physical books, sometimes I play RPGs while camping, and for one group we have a no-electronics policy, so I’m back to a pile of books in front of me instead of a tablet for that game.

PDF pricing in general has substantially increased, and part of me thinks it is not solely due to inflation, but rent seeking behavior.

The recent PDF release of Warhammer Fantasy was $45 if memory serves correctly. Now it is a large product, and beautiful, but $50 for a PDF is very expensive. Monte Cook Games PDFs are typically under $20.

Mongoose Traveller 2 PDFs also seem very expensive given the page count and how much of the items seem to be modifications of prior products from one of the multitudinous multiverse of Traveller RPG systems.

Spending $80 to have a physical and digital copy is way too high, for my taste.
Especially as Fair Use doctrine (for now) allows replication for personal use.
 

Undrave

Hero
I'm a teacher with a cabinet full of board games for my students to play during downtime.

Nobody wants to play the cool hobby or party games I stock, like D&D Dungeon Mayhem, Exploding Kittens, or Cobra Paw. They all gravitate to the classic "family" games like Sorry, Jenga, Connect Four, and Clue. I hate Monopoly, so don't have a copy, but the kids are constantly asking me why I don't. I should probably pick one up, either the classic version on the cheap, or some sort of themed version to help me stomach it.
There’s a ‘Monopoly Speed’ that’s meant to end in ten minutes, includes a clock. You also have the Monopoly Gamers games where tokens have unique powers. There’s also a Monopoly Socialism, not sure how that works. There’s also Monopoly Deal the card game that might be a good stepping stone. Maybe you could get them to try out Bang! or Smash Up afterward?

What about some of more ´entry level’ type of board game: Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, I would consider King of Tokyo among those... Castle Panic has a whole set up that looks cool... I think Zombie Dice is approachable...

Gotta agree though, there’s nothing more depressing than people prefering to play Sorry or Monopoly instead of a GOOD game...

Ah! Maybe you should track down one of the old Pokémon Master board game, I hear they’re brutal :p
 
I guess it's out as DnDReader
D&D Reader was never released. There were a few articles—like this one—touting it. The one I saw back in the day didn’t tie it directly to WOTC, and given what I knew about D&D Beyond development at the time, I found it hard to believe the Reader project was real. Apparently there was never an explanation for what happened, or even clarity about who exactly was developing it.
 

Reynard

Legend
First of all, Monopoly is the worst game ever made.

Second, I would really like WotC to lead the way in multi platform sales. I dont want to have to buy every book 3 times -- print, digital and VTT -- to get full use out of it. So if WotC decided to do something like Beyond and Fantasy Grounds in house, that would be a boon to me.
 

ART!

Explorer
Pitch: D&D Monopoly, where you're moving your piece around the board (which looks like a dungeon), buying and trading valuable magic items, and occasionally slaying monsters.

I literally just came up with this off the top of my head.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
First of all, Monopoly is the worst game ever made.

Second, I would really like WotC to lead the way in multi platform sales. I dont want to have to buy every book 3 times -- print, digital and VTT -- to get full use out of it. So if WotC decided to do something like Beyond and Fantasy Grounds in house, that would be a boon to me.
The worst game ever made was fighting lions in the Roman Colosseum.

Well, it was the worst to play at least. Might be fun to watch on Twitch.

I would disagree.

Make crap games, in-house or licensed out, and your brand will develop a reputation for crap games. If every time I download a Warhammer video game and it's crap, then I'm not likely to think, "Hey that was not fun, but I bet the super-expensive tabletop version is a lot of fun to play!"

Conversely, if I download a really fun Warhammer video game, then when glancing at that spendy box of miniatures in Barnes & Noble, I just might pick it up to check out the plastic version of the hobby.
I actually disagree with your disagreement! These videos help explain how GW's plan actually sort-of worked.


Anyway, the larger point is that Warhammer takes a shotgun approach to licensing, and while the bad games fade into obscurity, the good ones get a lot of glory. Either way, the brand gets a lot more light shone on it, giving greater visibility into the world, and translating to greater value for its IP.
 

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