D&D General Penguin Random House To Stop Distributing D&D [UPDATED!]

A memo which went out to retailers this week indicates that Penguin Random House will not be distributing Dungeons & Dragons products in mainstream bookstores from 2024.

Effective December 31, 2023, Penguin Random House LLC will cease distributing titles for Wizards of the Coast LLC. Depending on the product, please ensure that the vendor of record for Wizards of the Coast LLC titles is changed to one of their new distributors listed here: Distributors | WPN."

WotC uses a range of distributors, including Alliance, Diamond, GTS, and more in the US, and Asmodee and others in the UK and Europe. Most of these deal with hobby trade (game stores and the like) retailers, while Penguin Random House is a general book trade publisher. Of course, the game will still be available on Amazon, also.

This isn't brand new news--WotC announced this back at the beginning of September.

UPDATE--WotC spoke to ICv2:

Penguin Random House is a valued partner and publishing licensee of Wizards of the Coast. While we deeply appreciate the excellent service provided over the years by PRHPS, we are now shifting our distribution strategy to utilize the capabilities of Hasbro to sell and distribute D&D products to retailers, and we will continue to partner with PRH on licensed D&D titles like the recently released Lore & Legends and the upcoming Hero's Feast: Flavors of the Multiverse. This change to distribution of Wizards' D&D roleplaying game publications such as rulebooks and adventure content won't affect fans as they will continue to find Dungeons & Dragonsproducts at their preferred retailers.


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If this does impact bookstore distro, that'll be a huge blow to new players. I got my first books from a bookstore, at age 11, and it'd make me sad if there were fewer little arcane corners of conventional bookstores holding the promise of dice-rolling adventure and dragons on covers of chunky texts.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Interesting that ICV2 has a different take on the news.

Article disappeared but here is the cached version:
PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE DUMPS DISTRIBUTION OF 'DUNGEONS & DUNGEONS'
As Well as Other Wizards of the Coast Titles
Posted by Jeffrey Dohm-Sanchez on October 5, 2023 @ 8:45 am CT

Penguin Random House will cease distribution of Dungeons & Dragons, as well as all other Wizards of the Coast titles, as of December 31, 2023.

The largest trade publisher in the United States has decided to call it quits on distributing WotC's books to its customers. PRH handled a variety of WotC products for the trade channel, which included D&D specialty books (see "New 'Dungeons & Dragons' Cookbook") and Magic: The Gathering novels. PRH also distributed novelty products for both D&D and Magic, like puzzles, post cards, and tarot decks (see "'The Dungeons & Dragons Tarot Deck'"). The co-op claims cut-off date for claims is December 31, 2023, and returns on these products will be accepted until June 20, 2024.
 

Clint_L

Hero
DDB might be all fine and dandy but it isn't a fix all and isn't a permanent thing. One day that will go away and then what do you have?
DDB is more permanent than physical copies of the books. Digital sales are rapidly growing, and WotC gets to keep all the $$$. Sales of physical books are rapidly declining, and WotC only gets to keep a cut.

DDB is not going away, it is the cornerstone of OneD&D planning.
 

DDB is more permanent than physical copies of the books. Digital sales are rapidly growing, and WotC gets to keep all the $$$. Sales of physical books are rapidly declining, and WotC only gets to keep a cut.

DDB is not going away, it is the cornerstone of OneD&D planning.
I believe they meant as a customer. As a customer, someday DDB will indeed go away.

As someone who has been reading through 20-30 year old copies of my D&D books for ideas and fun, despite exclusively using DDB for my 5e books, I am purchasing physical copies to make sure I still have them 20-30 years from now.
 

beta-ray

Adventurer
Interesting. I guess we'll see how it all pans out (how available the books will be in the near future). I've noticed more companies partnering with PRH recently (Marvel Comics, Dark Horse, etc) so this is an interesting change.
 

Random House doesn’t just distribute D&D books—they also publish them. Novels, that is: the current Dragonlance trilogy as well as the movie tie-in novels were all published by Random House.

That publishing deal is probably based on a totally different contract than the distribution deal. But if Random House is getting out of the D&D business, I would assume they might be finished publishing new D&D novels too.
Pretty sure the Dragonlance novels being published by PRH is a Weis and Hickman arrangement since they approached WotC about getting the Dragonlance license. This news shouldn’t have anything to do with the 3rd book being released.

No idea who published the movie tie-in novels though.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I believe they meant as a customer. As a customer, someday DDB will indeed go away.

As someone who has been reading through 20-30 year old copies of my D&D books for ideas and fun, despite exclusively using DDB for my 5e books, I am purchasing physical copies to make sure I still have them 20-30 years from now.
This. All websites are short-term by nature, and ones that you have to log in or subscribe to don't work very well with archiving services. If you're thinking in terms of decades (or even just years), physical copies is the way to go.
 


This. All websites are short-term by nature, and ones that you have to log in or subscribe to don't work very well with archiving services. If you're thinking in terms of decades (or even just years), physical copies is the way to go.
The DDB bundles are the way to go, if you care about having things long-term IMO. DDB is absolutely great for play though, but personally I like to have a book for the initial read-through. I’m probably WotC’s ideal customer. lol

Though I wish they’d figure out how to cut FLGS in on the bundles.
 

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