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.

Hasbro.jpg


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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Oofta

Legend
I guess I just need a bit more than spooky music and repeated 🦇🦇🦇 ooooh!!! micro-transactions ooooh!! 🦇🦇🦇

Could they change their price structure? Sure. But DDB is just a convenience, it's stopping by Starbucks on the way to work for that cup of coffee instead of brewing it yourself. Same with the as yet to be revealed VTT. It may be slightly more convenient but people are making giant spooky mountains out of a molehill. It might be ever so slightly less convenient to run a game on a VTT not directly supported by WOTC than it is today. Maybe. Maybe not. But even if it's not as convenient it will still be eminently possible.

If WOTC ups the cost to something I can't afford, I'll grab my old PC spreadsheet and continue on playing. They know that. All of this speculation was from a speech to share holders so of course they're going to use buzzwords that the investors want to hear and understand, it's typical corporate speak. Maybe things will change, maybe they won't. Until we see something concrete panicking about something that could possibly maybe happen is way, way, way down on my list of priorities.
 

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UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Since some things have come to light in the month since this thread started ... I'm curious if anyone is still thinking "better monitizing" something is likely to result in a better experience for the customer?
Not normally, there are games where monetisation is not terrible, some are quite popular.

I do not see how you could monetise the normal D&D experience, aside from D&DBeyond where you could buy a class or whatever with the price discounted against eventual purchase of the sourcebook.
I do not believe that anyone would have been too bothered by skins, personalised models and printable minis from the proposed VTT.
 

Since some things have come to light in the month since this thread started ... I'm curious if anyone is still thinking "better monitizing" something is likely to result in a better experience for the customer?

Well I wrote this

This itself is kind of crazy to me. So if you buy all those books on fantasy grounds you're sort of stuck on that platform? And what if wotc says they only want to sell through dnd beyond?

And it sure does look like they want all the "recurrent spending" from roll20, fantasy grounds, etc for themselves.

There was also the argument that executives and the board will want what is best for the long term interest in the company. Now maybe WOTC thinks what they are doing is in the long term benefit of the company, but I also get the sense that new executives are anxious to find ways to double revenue in the next couple years, and launching 1dnd with no competition, especially in the digital space, is their solution to that.
 


Hussar

Legend
Well I wrote this



And it sure does look like they want all the "recurrent spending" from roll20, fantasy grounds, etc for themselves.

There was also the argument that executives and the board will want what is best for the long term interest in the company. Now maybe WOTC thinks what they are doing is in the long term benefit of the company, but I also get the sense that new executives are anxious to find ways to double revenue in the next couple years, and launching 1dnd with no competition, especially in the digital space, is their solution to that.
Hang on though. From a consumers perspective, what's the difference? If I buy the physical book and a copy for Fantasy Grounds, or I buy a physical book and a copy for the WotC VTT, what's the difference? Why is it fine that I pay for two copies (note, WotC is getting a cut likely from that book I bought for Fantasy Grounds) to use with FG, but, apparently WotC is being greedy for offering the same deal on its own VTT platform?

If you're playing VTT, you probably have had to buy two copies (if you want a physical copy anyway) of everything you bought. And, with FG, I cannot actually access those books without going through the Fantasy Grounds program. Which means I cannot access them on my phone, whereas, a D&D Beyond VTT purchase, would likely allow me better access to the books that I buy.

While I get the much deserved dog piling WotC is receiving, we should keep perspective.
 

Hang on though. From a consumers perspective, what's the difference? If I buy the physical book and a copy for Fantasy Grounds, or I buy a physical book and a copy for the WotC VTT, what's the difference? Why is it fine that I pay for two copies (note, WotC is getting a cut likely from that book I bought for Fantasy Grounds) to use with FG, but, apparently WotC is being greedy for offering the same deal on its own VTT platform?

If you're playing VTT, you probably have had to buy two copies (if you want a physical copy anyway) of everything you bought. And, with FG, I cannot actually access those books without going through the Fantasy Grounds program. Which means I cannot access them on my phone, whereas, a D&D Beyond VTT purchase, would likely allow me better access to the books that I buy.

While I get the much deserved dog piling WotC is receiving, we should keep perspective.

It makes sense to pay for the functionality of a vtt, but platform-dependent digital purchases are more of a risk than books or pdfs that you can store locally. For example, I’m sure people have bought a bunch of OGL 3pp on fantasy grounds and roll 20…what happens to all that stuff now, if the license is revoked? Just goes poof I guess.
 

Hussar

Legend
Y'know, I'd have to look. I don't have access to my FG right now, but, I don't recall seeing an OGL on any of the 3pp I bought through Fantasy Grounds. I honestly don't know if they are OGL or not. I'm looking at the Creature Codex, which I own, on the Fantasy Grounds store and it says, "
Copyright (C) 2018 Kobold Press. Kobold Press, and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Kobold Press. All rights reserved. Used with permission. (C) 2018. All Rights Reserved.

This product is Copyright 2018, SmiteWorks USA, LLC. Used under license from Kobold Press. This product's format, programming code, and presentation is copyrighted by SmiteWorks USA, LLC."

But, I don't see any OGL references anywhere.

Under Tome of Beasts, it states:

"
© 2016 Kobold Press. Kobold Press, Tome of Beasts and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Kobold Press. All rights reserved. Used with permission. © 2016. All Rights Reserved.

This product is Copyright 2016, SmiteWorks USA, LLC. Used under license from Kobold Press. This product's format, programming code, and presentation is copyrighted by SmiteWorks USA, LLC. Redistribution by print or by file is strictly prohibited."

Note that last part. Redistribution by print or by file is strictly prohibited. That's certainly not OGL at all.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Y'know, I'd have to look. I don't have access to my FG right now, but, I don't recall seeing an OGL on any of the 3pp I bought through Fantasy Grounds. I honestly don't know if they are OGL or not. I'm looking at the Creature Codex, which I own, on the Fantasy Grounds store and it says, "
Copyright (C) 2018 Kobold Press. Kobold Press, and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Kobold Press. All rights reserved. Used with permission. (C) 2018. All Rights Reserved.

This product is Copyright 2018, SmiteWorks USA, LLC. Used under license from Kobold Press. This product's format, programming code, and presentation is copyrighted by SmiteWorks USA, LLC."

But, I don't see any OGL references anywhere.

Under Tome of Beasts, it states:

"
© 2016 Kobold Press. Kobold Press, Tome of Beasts and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Kobold Press. All rights reserved. Used with permission. © 2016. All Rights Reserved.

This product is Copyright 2016, SmiteWorks USA, LLC. Used under license from Kobold Press. This product's format, programming code, and presentation is copyrighted by SmiteWorks USA, LLC. Redistribution by print or by file is strictly prohibited."

Note that last part. Redistribution by print or by file is strictly prohibited. That's certainly not OGL at all.

Page 430 dead tree format. Maybe cut off pdf?
 

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