WotC Hasbro Bets Big on D&D

During today's 'Hasbro Fireside Chat', Hasbro's Chris Cocks, chief executive officer, and Cynthia Williams, president of Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming mentioned D&D, and about betting big on its name. This was in addition to the Magic: The Gathering discussion they held on the same call.


The following are rough notes on what they said.

D&D Beyond
  • Leaning heavily on D&D Beyond
  • 13 million registered users
  • Give them more ways to express their fandom
  • Hired 350 people last year
  • Low attrition
What’s next for D&D
  • Never been more popular
  • Brand under-monetized
  • Excited about D&D Beyond possibilities
  • Empower accessibility and development of the user base.
  • Data driven insight
  • Window into how players are playing
  • Companion app on their phone
  • Start future monetization starting with D&D Beyond
  • DMs are 20% of the audience but lions share of purchases
  • Digital game recurrent spending for post sale revenue.
  • Speed of digital can expand, yearly book model to include current digital style models.
  • Reach highly engaged multigenerational fans.
  • Dungeons and Dragons has recognition, 10 out of 10
  • Cultural phenomenon right now.
  • DND strategy is a broad four quadrant strategy
  • Like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings or Marvel
  • New books and accessories, licensed game stuff, and D&D Beyond
  • Huge hopes for D&D
What is success for the D&D Movie
  • First big light up oppourtunity for 4th quadrant
  • Significant marketing
  • They think it’ll have significant box office
  • It has second most viewed trailer at Paramount, only eclipsed by Transformers
  • Will be licensed video games, some on movies
  • Then follow up other media, TV, other movies, etc.
  • Bullish on D&D.
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“D&D is under monetized” is a terrifying thing to hear from the Hazbro CEO.
Yes it is.
I mean, I get it. I have always understood that to WotC, seeing Blizzard make BILLIONS off of Diablo and WoW leaves an aftertaste to some execs that that is D&D's money that somebody else is making.

In some ways, that's true, too. Hopefully, they'll keep a level head about all of this stuff. It's easy to be distracted and over-reach. That would be a potential disaster. There are competitors and substitute products in the marketplace. When what you've really got going is brand recognition and top-of-mind? Don't get cocky.


I crit!
Another terrifying phrase in your bulleted list, “digital game recurrent spending for post sale revenue,” certainly makes it sound like they aren’t just talking about those things.
True, that’s part of the game bit. But note the emphasis was also on licensing and the movie/tv and media.


D&D Beyond

  • 13 million registered users
And if each user spends an average of $100 on D&D Beyond (subscription fee + additional products)?

You do the math.

Based on the comment after this about being undermonetized, you can bet they are looking at ways to get as much money from that registered userbase. Even an increase of $10 per user would be huge. Sadly, I see a bunch of microtransactions coming.


I'm a registered user of D&D Beyond. Have never used it short of logging in to get free stuff I'll never actually use.
I am a registered user of DDB and I use it weekly to run my Foundry VTT games. I also PAY EXTRA so that all of my players have access to mybooks I purchased on DDB. My players DO NOT own WotC 5e hardcovers. While I do own about half of the ones I have on DDB in physical form -- I have not used a dead tree product to play or run 5e at any time. I am digital only and prefer it that way. I no longer purchase physical products in the 5e line, either.

That doesn't make one of us right and one of us wrong. It does mean, however, that your perspective on the importance of this digital product to WotC's long-term success is probably too low.

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