D&D General Dan Rawson Named New Head Of D&D

Hasbro has announced a former Microsoft digital commerce is the new senior vice president in charge of Dungeons & Dragons. Dan Rawson was the COO of Microsoft Dynamics 365.

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Hasbro also hired Cynthia Williams earlier this year; she too, came from Microsoft. Of Rawson, she said "We couldn’t be bringing on Dan at a better time. With the acquisition of D&D Beyond earlier this year, the digital capabilities and opportunities for Dungeons & Dragons are accelerating faster than ever. I am excited to partner with Dan to explore the global potential of the brand while maintaining Hasbro’s core value as a player-first company.”

Rawson himself says that "Leading D&D is the realization of a childhood dream. I’m excited to work with Cynthia once again, and I’m thrilled to work with a talented team to expand the global reach of D&D, a game I grew up with and now play with my own kids.”

Interestingly, Ray Wininger -- who has been running D&D for the last couple of years -- has removed mention of WotC and Hasbro from his Twitter bio.
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

darjr

I crit!
right well how many times i have heard this line, oh CD's are a fad, records are better or case tapes, i will go as far to say that small USB chips will at some point replace this as well down the road, heck you can fit many gigs on a small chip plug and play now. Once this becomes the norm you will never see many going through ther process of making a book. How many pay phones can you find in your town compared to 10 years ago. The digital age is great but, people love to use things to gain an advantage or make money, remember when you can buy a game own it and play it when ever you want. Now it's all about an online connection to a server so you don't really own the game or any thing in it, you just bought the right to access it.
Look WotC could get rid of physical books right now.

They could have ten years ago with PDF.

They could have with PDF and DNDBeyond as a profit generating partner five years ago.

They could have done it with 4e and even as much and as hard as they tried to be digital they also had books planed out for years.

I mean some day it's probably going to happen, but not as soon, it'll happen when all physical books also decline, me thinks.

From what I understand print novels still do well against digital, or even better.

This at least shows digital for books isn't a done deal, it looks like a bit of a struggle.

WotC has a physical book that sells in the top 200 of ALL amazon books. It's been in the top 100 recently. it's been bouncing around up there for almost a decade.

Every-time someone says they are going to walk away from books because they like money are wrong, they'll stay with books because they like money. IMHO.
 

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WotC has already said they want people to use their phones more easily. Why have a physical book when the Beyond version is right there in your phone? Everyone has a phon now.

WotC/Hasbro will do what makes the most financial sense. And not having to print and ship physical books might be a mighty big plus for them.

This reminds of all the MtG doomsayers who were like this is the end of paper cards, the game is going all digital! when Arena came out, a few years later, way, way more paper cards are being printed then ever before with the latest growth being in paper magic.

Digital D&D is not replace paper D&D it will merely expand the options folks have and WotC does enough surveys and marketing research to know this.

What is far more likely is integration between digital and paper for max flexibility and for more collectible focus for physical products, the alt covers are just the beginning. Imagine collectible foil versions of monster and spells cards, collectable versions of character sheets, etc...
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
mean some day it's probably going to happen, but not as soon, it'll happen when all physical books also decline, me thinks.
If.

People called the death of books 20 years ago, and it hasn’t happened.

At most, D&D will stop being books when D&D dies off.

Like…books will be made out of some futuristic material that our lazy descendants will incorrectly still call paper, before D&D stops being books. 😂
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
If.

People called the death of books 20 years ago, and it hasn’t happened.

At most, D&D will stop being books when D&D dies off.

Like…books will be made out of some futuristic material that our lazy descendants will incorrectly still call paper, before D&D stops being books. 😂
Absolutely this. Though I do think the 5E trend of big production art heavy smorgasbord books will definitely continue: cheap small books aren't in the offering.
 



doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
They did! Neverwinter is still kicking and predominantly uses 4E rules and powers. It's pretty fun at first, though super grindy as most MMOs are.
The environments are very fun to explore, but yeah dear lord the grind…Very fun stronghold system, too, if you have an active guild.

If I could reliably play and get about a dozen other people to play regularly…😂
Absolutely this. Though I do think the 5E trend of big production art heavy smorgasbord books will definitely continue: cheap small books aren't in the offering.
I really hope we get a rules compendium paperback like the one for Essentials. That book was worth its weight in gold.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I really hope we get a rules compendium paperback like the one for Essentials. That book was worth its weight in gold.
To be honest, seems counterproductive for WotC given Beyond: books are definitely here to stay, but certain formats are somewhat obviate by searchable online databases.
 


Jahydin

Adventurer
I'm not sure what the future holds for physical books, but one thing I would bet on is WotC shooting for the moon when it comes to how much money they can get from everyone. And if that's the primary goal, no better way to do that then to go all in on digital so they can microtransaction absolutely everything.

Seeing them sell Magic card packs for $250 each has made me more than cynical of this company now.
 

DarkCrisis

Legend
D&D Books will remain but WotC is going to do everything it can to get you to use Beyond instead. Like easily accessible books on your phone via the Beyond App!

Or Beyond only books.

And while you’re here, why not customize a mini? Did you see this weeks limited time Necro-colored Dice? 10% off first purchase! Why carry around those heavy books? Get the starter bundle for half off!

WotC has been and will push for consumers to go digital. It’s just smart for them money wise.

No books aren’t going away. Probably never but it will be the secondary product.
Heck why not just us DTRPG and make it all print on demand? Special discount for game stores who order to fill their shelves.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
This post quoted is interesting both for what it gets right and for what it gets wrong
right well how many times i have heard this line, oh CD's are a fad, records are better or case tapes, i will go as far to say that small USB chips will at some point replace this as well down the road, heck you can fit many gigs on a small chip plug and play now.
At a certain level CDs are a fad most digital music nowadays is accessed via streaming services. A lot of it free but you must put up with the ads.
A lot of people that download and locally store digital music are digital packrats that have terrabytes of music stored. Some more hours of music/video stored that hours of life left to consume it.
But you can still buy physical media and vinyl is making a comeback. It was not too long ago when you could not buy a new record player for love or money.
Once this becomes the norm you will never see many going through ther process of making a book.
Arguably it is the norm for books and books have made a comeback.
How many pay phones can you find in your town compared to 10 years ago.
As far as I know, public phones were always a public service requirement and when the authorities decided that payphone were more serving the illegal activities than the poor, they withdrew support for public telephones. The phones then vanished as they went out of service and were not replaced.
The digital age is great but, people love to use things to gain an advantage or make money, remember when you can buy a game own it and play it when ever you want. Now it's all about an online connection to a server so you don't really own the game or any thing in it, you just bought the right to access it.
This is completely true, but the digital age has been largely consumer driven. The movie and music industry have fought tooth and nail to prevent digital distribution of their product. If it was not for Apple (when it was small and mostly noted for hardware production) getting some good terms for digital distribution of music and movie on iTunes we would be still struggling to prise music and movies out of the walled gardens of the studios.
In fact, with the rise of rival streaming services, we are looking at a second attempt to rebuild walled gardens in the entertainment industry.

Now the digital age is not all good there are a lot of downsides. I expect some time there will be a major human rights issue with regard to online identity and the fact that Google et al. can remove your digital identity by locking your account and there is pretty much no appeal.

Now, the only reason that D&D is not more digital is that WoTC screwed it up so badly in 2008 and the market was not perceived as large enough for the big boy or the Silicon Valley venture capitalists. In my opinion, if you want the metaverse you start off with a good vr implementation of D&D.
Now, if you want Wizards to continue to produce physical media then you need to keep buying physical media.
 

Let's rebember the physical books keep the value with the time, or it becomes higher, but the videogames become old-fashioned too soon. The books are right for collectors or to be bought for gifts.

The modules are more "short-lived", and here the digital market is better, at least to save space in the room.

Other point is selling DLCs but these being useful for different videogames. For example you buy a D&D pack in the Epic Games Launcher, and with this you get skins for Fortnite, but also for other titles, and more monsters and pieces of artrezoo in other titles. With this the player shouldn't worry about the pack for online videogames because if the servers are closed, the DLC is still useful for other games.
 



Delazar

Adventurer
At this point, the only "books" I still buy are adventures, because I find it easier to leaf through a physical book when I'm DMing a scenario. But rulebooks, monsters books, and settings books, I much more prefer digital, especially databases, so I can find what I need much faster.
 




Parmandur

Book-Friend
WotC is trying a new magazine style product in the UK. A printed periodical.

It’s a test for that particular product but I’d bet it’s also one for testing the magazine waters.
If they do a magazine here in the future, I would suspect it would be more like a cross between that UK product and Highlights, focused on younger readers. Something to catch the eye in the Supermarket check-out and remember "hey, my kids will like those activities."
 

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