D&D General Hasbro activist begins proxy fight, urges Dungeons & Dragons spinoff

Dancey is a slightly problematic source, as he hadn't worked at Wizards for about a decade at that point, and was in leadership at Paizo to boot. Not to say that he was lying, but there's a lot of room for a game of telephone at play there.
Same as Mike Mearls quote from up thread, I suppose. He starts saying "I wasn't there when they decided, but I believe that was it". Did "they" (whoever they are) really want one set of rules to "rule them all" platforms?
 

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I read the presentation. Going in I assumed that this was just the usually BS useless fincial sector scam for profit, Hedge Fund game. I also concidered the possibility that Alt Fox was itself just a proxy for a big media company like Amazon or Netflix that want to split WotC off so it can snatch it up.

But reading the presentation they make solid arguements that Hasbro has misused the profits from WotC, instead of making strong reinvestiments in WotC core products and IPs, they have them doing goofy stuff like digital Ouchie Boards, and a series of video game failures and buying Eone, etc...

They have a solid plan for MtG, they are absolutely right about Arena not getting the kind of investiments it should be, such as getting multiplayer in.

So they 100% right about this and they have my full support.
 

buying Eone, etc...
That exact sentence mentions buying Power Rangers was 'A bad decision". Power Rangers. Super Sentai. One of the highest grossing media franchises out there

Now, it can be said they haven't handled the brand well, but anyone who states that was a bad purchase I instantly question their angle. They might have some good ideas, but their angle is clearly 'Profit' above anything else
 

Hasbro shouldn't want to be too dependent of licenced franchises, but they want to make money with their own IPs. Hasbro wants D&D not only for the most selled tabletop roleplaying game, but other products as novels, comics, toys, merchandising...

My theory is Hasbro wants other types of products with the D&D brand, but also they want to publish other franchises as d20 TTRPG. If they sell a Monopoly, Clued, Risk...version of famous franchises. Why not for example d20 versions of Starcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Fortnite: Save the world..? The TTRPGs is the right product for teenages and young adults too old to buy toys.

Those are wrong. Hasbro should keep working to promote their own brands.

I wonder if maybe I have read too many conspirancy theories, but this starts to sound as if somebody didn't want WotC's franchises to become too popular but these were controlled by certain people.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
I collect Transformers as my other hobby, so collectors being brushed aside as a nothing market kind of upsets me given my receipts :p. Also, I haven't played MTG since 5th edition, I'm just not down with the hyper-competitive scene that they cater too.

This group seems to be laser focused on MTG, and especially digital MTG. Everything else seems to be collateral damage. In a time where digital monetization methods are becoming heavily scrutinized (NFTs, Lootboxes, Right to own, etc). I cant help but wonder if their plans are even going to be possible in the near future.

That said, this line right here has me the most worried:

  • A one-stop-shop digital subscription & pay-as-you-go offering for a true-to-physical Dungeons & Dragons (“D&D”) experience

I severely doubt everyone here is on-board with having to subscribe to play D&D. I have a D&D Beyond account (cause it's convenient), but I also have my own set of books for when that inevitably goes away.

At the end of it all, I just can't tell if this is a group of investors using the angry MTG: Arena customers as a wedge point so they can refocus WoTC to get more money via digital sales, or said angry (and wealthy) MTG: Arena customers who are attempting a takeover because they got fed up.
 


Sorry, maybe my level of English isn't enough good to understand this. It is OK to listen the suggestions and think about these. The management of M:tG and D&D are too different and special from the rest of entertaiment products. Here the consumer wants a different type of things, and you can't use the same marketing strategy.

WotC is becoming the goose of golden eggs within Hasbro, with a growing value. And if WotC was spinned off, other megacorporations would try to adquire it.

This sounds as if anybody didn't want Hasbro's IPs became too popular and potential rival for other famous brands.

I guess WotC wants to bet for the fusion of tabletop game and videogames. Using ones to promote others.

Other point is not all in the entertaiment industry is about economy and money, but also cultural influence.

* If WotC was spinned off, could it publish games based in Mattel's franchises? Ever After High d20, the roleplaying game!!

Edit: I am thinking, and my opinion is Hasbro should keep working to create and promote their own IPs. It is not only for their interest, but also because this should be right for the fandom. The main entertaiment corporations need rivals, and like they will be forced to create characters and stories the fandom really like. And I even I advice WotC to buy IPs by other littler companies.
 
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éxypnos

Explorer
In the end it doesn't really matter to me because there are better "D&D" games out there than what WotC produces. This has been the case since ~3.5. What made D&D explosively popular was a combo of Basic and AD&D. Forget the clunky rules engine, It was the excitement, the danger (yes PCs died! often), the unknown, the interaction. Hasbro could mothball the I.P. but NOT the game. Gygax's 3rd edition of D&D, as he called it, would live on. Many other fine examples would too.
 

nevin

Hero
Eh ... I think that we need to be clear about something, here. I made sure to differentiate different types of SAs (shareholder activists)- some of are motivated by environmental concerns, some by corporate governance concerns, some by financial concerns, some by ethical concerns, etc. This includes everything from "tree huggers" and "higher wage" types to "give us higher dividends" and "you aren't maximizing shareholder value."

I think most people are fairly aware of those in common discussions. However, I think there are also those who benefit from the confusion between the first group and the more specific type of SA here- those who acquire a specific interest in order to immediately capitalize in the short term; common terms used in the past were "Corporate Raider," or "Asset Stripper," or even "Perennial Strike Suit Litigant."

I agree that the umbrella term "activist shareholder" covers all of this (and more). I was making what I thought was the rather banal point that many people were unaware of these distinctions; that they might not know that the asset fund behind this was a Hedge Fund behind this (Alta Fox Capital Management) prides itself on generating "exceptional risk-adjusted returns" and, for example, previously did the same thing with Collector's Universe, Inc., which led to Collector's Universe being sold to an investor group led by ... Nat Turner, you know, the guy they nominated for the board of Hasbro (also, the sale would encumber the target with a lot of debt).

This is all perfectly normal, and I'm not saying it's wrong- I'm just saying that there are different types of shareholder activists, and that there are those who benefit from people unknowingly using the term.
If everyone would remember that shareholders have money, and follow what the changes will do for the shareholders they'd do better. Like most things in modern life if you follow all the money decision everything usually makes sense
 

nevin

Hero
In the end it doesn't really matter to me because there are better "D&D" games out there than what WotC produces. This has been the case since ~3.5. What made D&D explosively popular was a combo of Basic and AD&D. Forget the clunky rules engine, It was the excitement, the danger (yes PCs died! often), the unknown, the interaction. Hasbro could mothball the I.P. but NOT the game. Gygax's 3rd edition of D&D, as he called it, would live on. Many other fine examples would too.
No what made d&d explosively popular was two things. One it hit the middle spot between simple d6 systems like tunnels and trolls and the hours long measure your movements games. Add that to the fact that it's first few medium sized competitors tried to make their games "more realistic" which meant complicated and slow meant they had no real competition till gurps or palladium in the 90's . Honestly till Pathfinder there was no direct competitor to d&d. And I'd argue with 2e we are back to that again because 2e isn't a competitor to anything but PF1e
 


éxypnos

Explorer
No what made d&d explosively popular was two things. One it hit the middle spot between simple d6 systems like tunnels and trolls and the hours long measure your movements games.
No, D&D was already running fast when T&T came out. The measure your movement games weren't a competitor really. I worked in games and sales of them during this period.
 

nevin

Hero
No, D&D was already running fast when T&T came out. The measure your movement games weren't a competitor really. I worked in games and sales of them during this period.
It was running fast compared to othe rrpg games which combined were all smaller than even pf2 today
 

nevin

Hero
Gamers are not necessarily smart business people.



So, your customers are your opponents, then? Your customers are your enemies?
Parellis law 20 percent of your customers will provide 80 percent of your profits.

Now piss off the other 80 percent and you can lose that high spending 20. Think about that dynamic and you'll begin to understand how the average customer often becomes perceived as the enemy.

If 80 percent of your customers are happy with the product, but say 1/2 of the high profit customers aren't then 40 percent of your profits depend on bridging the gap between the two.

Customers provide the revenue but herding cats sucks. And cats is a good way to think of rpg gaming customers
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Parellis law 20 percent of your customers will provide 80 percent of your profits.

That's the Pareto Principle, and your interpretation of it is... unconventional. If you use this principle to willfully ignore segments of the market because they don't yield much of you profit, you find yourself in a death spiral.

Start with 100 customers. The Pareto Principle says that 80% of them don't get you much profit, so you can cheese them off, and allow them to leave.

Now you have 20 customers. The Pareto Principle says that 80% of them don't get you much profit....

Then you have 4 customers....

Then you have 1 customer...

The Pareto Principle is not about customer management.
 

nevin

Hero
No my point was it easy for companies to get so focused on the 20 percent and forget the 80 percent. I never said it was good business, I simply pointed out why it tends to happen in business. Once the penny pinchers or accountants are making decisions it's far easier to goose your stick focusing on the deep pockets. But I agree it's an almost gaurranteed losing strategy.
 



Dire Bare

Legend
Dancey is a slightly problematic source, as he hadn't worked at Wizards for about a decade at that point, and was in leadership at Paizo to boot. Not to say that he was lying, but there's a lot of room for a game of telephone at play there.
I'm not saying Dancey is a liar, but . . . . perhaps it's just word choice, but that certainly sounds like what you are implying.

Dancey isn't a liar or problematic, he also isn't a prophet or an oracle, but . . . . most of his commentary on the industry has been spot on. He's a bright guy, and well-connected in the industry, even long after leaving WotC. Dancey doesn't always have the inside scoop, but I trust his opinions over most that get bandied about in these discussions.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I'm not saying Dancey is a liar, but . . . . perhaps it's just word choice, but that certainly sounds like what you are implying.

Dancey isn't a liar or problematic, he also isn't a prophet or an oracle, but . . . . most of his commentary on the industry has been spot on. He's a bright guy, and well-connected in the industry, even long after leaving WotC. Dancey doesn't always have the inside scoop, but I trust his opinions over most that get bandied about in these discussions.
I didn't say he was lying there, necessarily...but he wasn't a primary source, either, since he wasn't even around WotC for 3.5, let alone 4E.
 

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