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
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.
They actually discussed some of this recently. That the initial release will not have everything that they might want to add because they want to release and see how people use it while getting feedback. There are so many things you could do with a VTT like procedurally generating locations, populating the world with NPCs or adding more animation tools. Because they're not going with a web based option, there are a ton of things they could do that would differentiate them from other systems.

It will be interesting to see what they come up with, assuming it's ever anything other than vaporware. I'm hopeful, but we'll see.
 

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CommodoreKong

Explorer
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 ;)

It's not like the VTT is going to be a one and done thing, I imagine we'll continue to see official DND content come out just as quickly if not more quickly than the past few years. I'm guessing all newly made official WotC content will need to be in the VTT when it launches on Beyond and in print, including adventures which need to be programmed, have art and sound assets created, bug tested, etc. While they can likely cut the headcount down somewhat after the launch of the VTT it will likely need to be far higher than DND Beyond or the DND group have ever had for headcount.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
They actually discussed some of this recently. That the initial release will not have everything that they might want to add because they want to release and see how people use it while getting feedback. There are so many things you could do with a VTT like procedurally generating locations, populating the world with NPCs or adding more animation tools. Because they're not going with a web based option, there are a ton of things they could do that would differentiate them from other systems.

It will be interesting to see what they come up with, assuming it's ever anything other than vaporware. I'm hopeful, but we'll see.
I think it will exist, and it's worth noting that the same Digital team at WotC has already delivered a major billion dollar a year piece of software, Magic: Arena...using the same engine. I think they can make it happen, whether it's worth it is another question, but I'm not the target audience myself.
 

Oofta

Legend
I think it will exist, and it's worth noting that the same Digital team at WotC has already delivered a major billion dollar a year piece of software, Magic: Arena...using the same engine. I think they can make it happen, whether it's worth it is another question, but I'm not the target audience myself.

I agree, I think it will be released as well. I also think they're taking the right approach, different from the competition but still using proven technology. But I'm always skeptical of pretty much any software actually seeing the light of day until I actually see it.

I may end up using it because a player moved (we currently use zoom and a camera pointed at our map) and another is moving before the end of the year. If it works as well as some early reports for in-person play and if we can simultaneously support a couple of remote people I'll consider it.
 

mamba

Legend
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.
to a degree, you certainly need more coders to build it than to keep improving it. What you still need is people making new assets, but depending on how much you built already (all old adventures ? all monsters?) you might need fewer as well.

There is a reason why I wrote ‘not need to keep’ rather and ‘let everyone go’. I am expecting some reduction, there is no way you need 350 to maintain / expand the VTT.
 

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