• Resources are back! Use the menu in the main navbar. If you own a resource, please check it for formatting, icons, etc.

New WotC Layoffs?

I have been unable to verify any of this, so consider this no more than a "rumour report". However I'm hearing that layoffs have occurred at WotC this week, and that one of the victims is art director Mark Painter. Again, all rumour at this point.
 
Russ Morrissey

Comments

chibi graz'zt

Villager
It wouldnt surprise me. I posted this in another thread, but Hasbro sold a big card manufacturing plan, so its obviousy affecting Magic the gathering. Wizards is definitely downsizing in alot of ways. This is both good and bad.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Mark Painter? Hasn't he been one of the last holdouts from TSR days? Could this be a retirement?
 

Shemeska

Adventurer
The rumor I've seen on twitter and FB mentioned that it primarily hit the DnD group. But I haven't seen any confirmation or details.
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
All reports I'm aware of have Magic doing really, really well. The selling of the Magic card plant has much less to do with the game doing poorly than a desire for a different business plan where Wizards/Magic outsources its printing (as it did in the early days) rather than be directly responsible for it. It very likely has very little to do with what's going on in D&D-land.
 

Jester David

Adventurer
Well, D&D isn't doing many books at the moment, so they don't really need an art director., let alone 2-3. All that is handled by the outsourced studios.
 

Grimjack99

Villager
MerricB is correct. Without getting into details, this has to do with corporate vision, and restructuring, not some ominous corporate design to warp D&D or Magic. We should give Mark, and his associates our best wishes in these coming days.
 

Evenglare

Villager
Can I just point out that I ****ing hate the word "restructuring" along with most corporate BS speak. Also, with the rate at which they are releasing material, I'm surprised that ANYONE is left on the team. Mearls seems like he's capable enough to delegate work to other companies so wizards doesn't have to actually do anything with D&D, as far as making new adventures. As far as I understand it the adventures are created by other companies, and wizards themselves only put out 1 document a month of a few playtesting mechanics. They don't seem to want to give us an OGL because one of their guys has been in a courtroom for the better part of a year. Whats the point of even having ANYONE on the team anymore other than Mearls, an editor, and some sort of Quality assurance person?

Outsource and contract artists, contract adventure modules, write up a few rules every month and then whenever they decide to release a rule books (which we have no idea what they are thinking) have the editor do layouts of it, if any sort of rulebook is even in the works. I mean, I'm happy with 5e at this point with just the 3 books. I don't even really understand why they have their department open anymore at wizards. If they need a team for some projects, then that's certainly news to me. I have heard no such plans, so after a year of being tightlipped I'm going to have to go with what I know they are doing. Essentially a small playtest of rules every month.
 

Mistwell

Hero
Can I just point out that I ****ing hate the word "restructuring" along with most corporate BS speak. Also, with the rate at which they are releasing material, I'm surprised that ANYONE is left on the team. Mearls seems like he's capable enough to delegate work to other companies so wizards doesn't have to actually do anything with D&D, as far as making new adventures. As far as I understand it the adventures are created by other companies, and wizards themselves only put out 1 document a month of a few playtesting mechanics. They don't seem to want to give us an OGL because one of their guys has been in a courtroom for the better part of a year. Whats the point of even having ANYONE on the team anymore other than Mearls, an editor, and some sort of Quality assurance person?

Outsource and contract artists, contract adventure modules, write up a few rules every month and then whenever they decide to release a rule books (which we have no idea what they are thinking) have the editor do layouts of it, if any sort of rulebook is even in the works. I mean, I'm happy with 5e at this point with just the 3 books. I don't even really understand why they have their department open anymore at wizards. If they need a team for some projects, then that's certainly news to me. I have heard no such plans, so after a year of being tightlipped I'm going to have to go with what I know they are doing. Essentially a small playtest of rules every month.
And...a bunch of non-TRPG stuff you've apparently ignored for a year :)

I mean, let's assume you hate Dragon+. OK...but still, LOOK at what they are advertising there. Notice anything?
 

Icon_Charlie

Villager
All reports I'm aware of have Magic doing really, really well. The selling of the Magic card plant has much less to do with the game doing poorly than a desire for a different business plan where Wizards/Magic outsources its printing (as it did in the early days) rather than be directly responsible for it. It very likely has very little to do with what's going on in D&D-land.

Think it is more for quality control than anything else. Magic is doing fine at this moment.
 

Evenglare

Villager
And...a bunch of non-TRPG stuff you've apparently ignored for a year :)

I mean, let's assume you hate Dragon+. OK...but still, LOOK at what they are advertising there. Notice anything?
Just went to their catalog page. Here's what I saw

Out of the abyss- adventure path outsourced
Princes of the apocalypse - Outsourced.
Sword coast legends- Developed by another company for wizards.
Drizzt book - Don't need the RPG team for that.
Spell storm book - See above
Dragon + - Basically a news/social media app. I'll concede to this one by hiring on a webddev.

Temple of Elemental Evil board game - If this is what wizards is doing and neglecting the actual product, then that clearly explains the lack of released from the core foundation of the franchise. In doing so they are spreading them selves thin over way to many projects. This is the same kind of crap that they did with essentials. It's basically corporate ADD. The lack of focus on a product as is dungeons and dragons is a very bad thing. You just can't manage THAT many projects. So there is one of 2 things happening here. Either they need to EXPAND the team to take on these different projects, or they are incredibly over zealous and ignorant if they think they can get the same high standard quality when their attention is spread around multiple projects. Humans don't work that way. Let's suppose that the core team IS working on some board game and I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that they are devoting ALL of their time to it.... well that seems kind of fishy If you are creating a new product it would stand to reason you would hire MORE people or at the very least not fire people. It's like saying, "HEY! We are making a big new project(game or whatever)! Oh yeah, and you're fired. It'll help us out tremendously. "

Not buying that one bit.

So then we have Fantasy Grounds - Outsourced.
Miniatures - Outsourced.
Players companion books, which are essentially small rules which Mearls could handle himself along with an editor.
Lots more books - clearly in the domain of the writers, not the core team.
Comics- Outsourced to IDW
More miniatures - outsourced.
Baldur's gate - Developed by an outside team
And after that... A whole lot of books which is explained above.

So what am I actually trying to look for when you say " Notice what they are advertising"? 99.9% of the things on the site are being done by someone else. Barring the board games (of which I made my point earlier), I see no reason to keep on a staff with no more than .... 3 people. Even then wizards could work with freelancers which would be much cheaper than using full time people. They seem to do that quite a bit actually (When Dungeon and Dragon mags were around, when they rehired monte cook, when they wanted a new setting and Keith Baker made them eberron, etc etc ).

TLDR; Sorry man don't see the justification of keeping on hardly anyone. Like I said before, perhaps they ARE working on some sort of internal project that they haven't announced yet..... but I find that hard to believe that they would layoff people so that they could work on their new material. Makes no sense...
 

ZeshinX

Explorer
This would be the 'D&D Brand' fetish they're currently indulging in. I think what they're trying to achieve is that while D&D certainly is a recognizable brand (even those who don't play generally know what it basically is), they're also trying to make it ultra-profitable, by slapping the D&D logo on anything they can, attempting to make money in areas outside the tabletop game.

I don't blame them for trying. I think it will fail spectacularly, since D&D has ever been, and always will be, a niche brand centered on the tabletop. Small and temporary forays into other markets would likely work, but this shotgun blast approach they're currently taking seems....foolhardy at best. Frankly, Paizo's doing it right. WotC is doing it...oddly.

I like 5e, but I don't much like the D&D Brand right now, if that makes any sense. I've said elsewhere, soon the D&D Division (or whatever its called internally at WotC) will be just one person whose job is to listen to 3rd party proposals...then say "Yes" or "No", and stamp a WotC/D&D logo on it.
 
As much as I appreciate and respect Mike Mearl's work on 5e, I really think D&D has no business being a one man show. As the biggest name in the business it deserves a minimum of 3 or 4 people (I'd prefer more than that) giving it a good portion of their attention. I mean, this is ridiculous to me, considering the size of the team in previous editions.

I think it's about time a billionaire gaming enthusiast buys the brand from WotC/Hasbro so it can have real support (and I'm not talking about a glut of products, I'm actually reasonably satisfied with the slow release rate). As it is now there is always this sense of trepidation that Hasbro is going to just say, "Why do we need anyone working on it anymore?" and just close up shop on D&D, reprinting the current books according to demand. I don't feel they (Hasbro) deserve to be custodians of D&D. They don't "get it."
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Galendril

Explorer
As much as I appreciate and respect Mike Mearl's work on 5e, I really think D&D has no business being a one man show. As the biggest name in the business it deserves a minimum of 3 or 4 people (I'd prefer more than that) giving it a good portion of their attention. I mean, this is ridiculous to me, considering the size of the team in previous editions.

I think it's about time a billionaire gaming enthusiast buys the brand from WotC/Hasbro so it can have real support (and I'm not talking about a glut of products, I'm actually reasonably satisfied with the slow release rate). As it is now there is always this sense of trepidation that Hasbro is going to just say, "Why do we need anyone working on it anymore?" and just close up shop on D&D, reprinting the current books according to demand. I don't feel they (Hasbro) deserve to be custodians of D&D. They don't "get it."
I blame the 'invisible hand' of the market.
 

S_Dalsgaard

Villager
Maybe we should wait and see if this rumor actually has any truth to it and if so, who gets kicked and why, before we (once again) declare the death of D&D and cast Hasbro as the devil himself while we are at it.
 

qstor

Adventurer
They're trying to keep costs down. Its clear their model is to use 3rd party companies to produce the adventures and probably at this point little or no more books from WotC. I was hoping for full size setting books but I guess we'll see.
 

Advertisement

Latest threads

Advertisement

Top