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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MGibster

Legend
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?
I don't think anyone can deny the desire to be rid of the original OGL is clearly part of WotC's strategy to monetize D&D. But at least we can all breathe a sigh of relief comforted by the fact that this isn't a microtransaction.
 


CommodoreKong

Explorer
This article is very interesting to read here, 7 months in the future, after the OGL mess and after the D&D movie release.

I had forgotten that apparently Hasbro had hired 350 people for D&D Beyond. I assume that's mostly for the VTT but Hasbro must have sky high expectations on how much money it's going to bring in to hire that many people. If it doesn't do gangbusters I could see the D&D division getting some serious cuts.
 

darjr

I crit!
What does this mean? A Chris Cocks quote from wotcs 2022 financial statement QnA here

D&D Beyond is a great platform. It's a really good value, and it's something that's been a good growth factor for us. You know, we find it -- we feel, you know, about eight months into owning the asset, it's been a really good purchase for us. It was EPS accretive within six months of joining the company, and we had over 20% user growth through the end of 2022.

Does this mean DNDBeyond covered it's cost to hasbro already?
 
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What does this mean? A Chris Cocks quote from wotcs 2022 financial statement QnA here

D&D Beyond is a great platform. It's a really good value, and it's something that's been a good growth factor for us. You know, we find it -- we feel, you know, about eight months into owning the asset, it's been a really good purchase for us. It was EPS accretive within six months of joining the company, and we had over 20% user growth through the end of 2022.

Does this mean DNDBeyond covered it's cost to hasbro already?
I don’t think so. The last sentence makes two separate claims, that share value has increased since the acquisition, and that DDB has had 20% growth, but one must bear in mind that there is a free tier to DDB.

IMO, it’s a statement designed to thread a very fine needle. I may just be cynical, from having heard corporate speak for the last ten years while being privy to what is actually going on, so I view corporate statements as the same as political speeches.
 

mamba

Legend
I had forgotten that apparently Hasbro had hired 350 people for D&D Beyond. I assume that's mostly for the VTT but Hasbro must have sky high expectations on how much money it's going to bring in to hire that many people. If it doesn't do gangbusters I could see the D&D division getting some serious cuts.
I am not sure why they would need to keep 350 people once the VTT has been built either.

When you build a house, you also reduce the number of workers once construction has finished ;)
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
What does this mean? A Chris Cocks quote from wotcs 2022 financial statement QnA here

D&D Beyond is a great platform. It's a really good value, and it's something that's been a good growth factor for us. You know, we find it -- we feel, you know, about eight months into owning the asset, it's been a really good purchase for us. It was EPS accretive within six months of joining the company, and we had over 20% user growth through the end of 2022.

Does this mean DNDBeyond covered it's cost to hasbro already?

Basically, yes, the Beyond acquisition was profitable to shareholders (the important part) before the OGL situation even happened. Based on the more recent report, it seems Beyond membership kept growing in Q1 even through all of that.

"An accretive acquisition increases the acquiring company's earnings per share (EPS). Accretive acquisitions tend to be favorable for the company's market price because the price paid by the acquiring firm is lower than the boost that the new acquisition is expected to provide to the acquiring company's EPS."

 

Oofta

Legend
I am not sure why they would need to keep 350 people once the VTT has been built either.

When you build a house, you also reduce the number of workers once construction has finished ;)

Depends on how incremental an approach they're taking. In general if you have a relatively short term project it's easier to hire contractors. In any case having had a career in IT, it's always best to keep your resume up-to-date because you never know when direction will change and you need to look for new opportunities. If they do lay off a bunch of people, it will just be business as usual.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I am not sure why they would need to keep 350 people once the VTT has been built either.

When you build a house, you also reduce the number of workers once construction has finished ;)
The VTT model isn't like building a house and leaving it, it's like building a factory to make new things to sell people.

We do know how WotC will .onetime the VTT yet, but no doubt DLC will be key. Of rheubare smart, the core free part will be robust enough to get people into it before they decide to spend a few bucks.
 

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