Should WotC buy a Fantasy Novel Publisher like Tor next?

gyor

Hero
As others have already noted - buying a publisher might net you the book publishing rights for the titles currently in publication. But it may not get you all fo them. And it WILL NOT get you the software, TV, or movie rights - those are separate, and you'd have to get them from each author (if they weren't already optioned out to someone).

Plus, the scales are completely different. Tor Books publishes new titles by the dozens each year. WotC does a handful. It would not just be about having a channel to publish, or content deals they actually wouldn't get - it would become about managing a whole separate business that they don't have the expertise in.
So aim lower, buy a smaller, but reasonable size Publisher.
 

gyor

Hero
This is rampant speculation. Not a shred of evidence Wizards is doing any of this.

What has happened; Wizards exploring partnerships with different IPs and third-parties (the Rick and Morty box, the Acq. Inc. book, mentioning Exandria from Critical Role in the Descent). They've also opened a Texas office exploring new IPs that is outside of Magic or D&D.

That combined just looks like more ways of growing D&D, and there certainly aren't any big moves like buying publishers. The Texas office could be exploring d20, or something completely different.

And again, Hasbro has minimal influence on what Wizard's does. They don't try to tell their subsidiaries what to do if they're already really profitable.
You just forgot they just bought a company with 55 employees that is still hiring more talent, who bought a more larger work space. Tuque Games might still be indy size and one reasonably success game, but that would still likely cost a lot more then an indy fantasy novel publisher. So yeah that is a big movie, and Tuque studios is already bragging about going AAA, which suggests a massive investiment from WotC. So yeah they made a really, really big move, much bigger then buying a indy fantasy novel publisher, which would cost peanuts in comparison.
 

gyor

Hero
It's possible. Seems odd letting Star Wars slide away though but yeah we don't have the financials.

Your not going to make Megabucks with a Star Wars RPG. You'll get into top 5 with it but it's not gonna be tens of millions of dollars.

FFG Star Wars battle game might idk.
It was a wise choice, the value of Star Wars liciencing has dropped hard.
 

gyor

Hero
Publishing is a business for the big boys now: it's mostly big publishing conglomerates, or self-publishing.
Some examples of small independent Sci Fi/Fantasy novel publushers that aren't imprints are:

Bellebooks
Angry Robot
Edge (Canadian Publisher, great distrubtion in Canada, good distrubtion in North America)
Great Old Ones
Pen-L Publishing
Ghostwood Books
Double Dragon
Solstice Publushing

And I found these after a very brief search. Buy one and have them WotC novels in addition to their regular novels.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Some examples of small independent Sci Fi/Fantasy novel publushers that aren't imprints are:

Bellebooks
Angry Robot
Edge (Canadian Publisher, great distrubtion in Canada, good distrubtion in North America)
Great Old Ones
Pen-L Publishing
Ghostwood Books
Double Dragon
Solstice Publushing

And I found these after a very brief search. Buy one and have them WotC novels in addition to their regular novels.
Unlike a video game studio, probably isn't worth the ROI versus selling novel rights.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
I mean by default aren't they a book publishing company?

I hadn't noticed that their novel lines were now coming from other publishers until this thread though. Interesting.
 
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Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
You just forgot they just bought a company with 55 employees that is still hiring more talent, who bought a more larger work space. Tuque Games might still be indy size and one reasonably success game, but that would still likely cost a lot more then an indy fantasy novel publisher. So yeah that is a big movie, and Tuque studios is already bragging about going AAA, which suggests a massive investiment from WotC. So yeah they made a really, really big move, much bigger then buying a indy fantasy novel publisher, which would cost peanuts in comparison.
Big leap to go from buying one indy developer to buying a publisher like Tor. Even bigger leap to say buying a company like Games Frikkin Workshop (I know that LuisCarlos, but that's who I originally quoted).

Also I think you're strongly downplaying purchasing Tor; it's been around for 39 years. No idea how many employees they have, but it's a weird leap to say "Wizards bought a video game developer; publishing next???"
 

Parmandur

Legend
I mean by default aren't they a book publishing company?

I hadn't noticed that their novel lines were from other publishers until this thread though. Interesting.
They used to publish novels, but haven't since 2016. They don't have the staff to do so anymore (editors dedicated to fiction, etc.). They do publish RPG books, but game manuals are a different animal.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Big leap to go from buying one indy developer to buying a publisher like Tor. Even bigger leap to say buying a company like Games Frikkin Workshop (I know that LuisCarlos, but that's who I originally quoted).

Also I think you're strongly downplaying purchasing Tor; it's been around for 39 years. No idea how many employees they have, but it's a weird leap to say "Wizards bought a video game developer; publishing next???"
Also, Tor is owned by one of the five major English language publishers, who is in turn owned by a large German corporation.
 

gyor

Hero
Big leap to go from buying one indy developer to buying a publisher like Tor. Even bigger leap to say buying a company like Games Frikkin Workshop (I know that LuisCarlos, but that's who I originally quoted).

Also I think you're strongly downplaying purchasing Tor; it's been around for 39 years. No idea how many employees they have, but it's a weird leap to say "Wizards bought a video game developer; publishing next???"
Tor was just the first though off the top of my head, I've since listed smaller, more realistic fantany publishers.
 

gyor

Hero
Also, Tor is owned by one of the five major English language publishers, who is in turn owned by a large German corporation.
Okay, yes Tor was a bad example, but I have since given better ones, can we move on from the Tor example.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Okay, yes Tor was a bad example, but I have since given better ones, can we move on from the Tor example.
Sure. But.. there is still no reason for them to buy an entire publishing house. They are publishers. If they lack staff with particular expertise, they can hire staff, without purchasing an entire publishing house, with much less risk.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
I know my theories are only speculation, but we can't say this is totally impossible. Let's say it is possible but not probable. At least I enjoy telling it.

WotC doesn't need to buy other companies for their IPs but if these are really good and popular (in a no-Western public). And WotC knows a good toy line what becomes a tabletop RPG is perfect for the new teenages who would rather videogames, miniatures and board games. A good hook may be a famous franchise they knew as toys when they still were preteens.

And novels also can make money as media adaptation, for big or little screen. The comingsoon serie based in Magic: the Gathering is only the beginning. Hasbro has got ambitious plans about the movies adaptations of its franchises and let's remember now they have got former Saban's franchises, not only power rangers.

They could use novels and comics like a cheaper version of the pilot episode of new teleseries to test the reaction by public opinion. They would dare to publish more stories set in Ravenloft, someone supernatural romance with some monster girl, but also with a softer tone as R.L.Stine "Goosebumps", PAX serie by Åsa Larsson, Ingela Korsell and Henrik Jonsson, or "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark".

In the age of the internet streaming services as Netflix there is space for a media product, the hybrid of visual novels+adventure games, the interactive films as that episode of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. This format could be perfect for epic gothic adventures in Ravenloft.

Gamma Worlds is also possible as an interactive cartoon in streaming platforms, like the 80s cartoon movie for adults "Heavy Metal" but a "shonen" public. The level of violence wouldn't be very hard, more like "Exo-squad" cartoon.
 
So aim lower, buy a smaller, but reasonable size Publisher.
Why? What would be the point? Buying a computer game studio provides people with skills that WotC didn't have. WotC have all the skills they need to produce and distribute novels - that they don't indicates they don't want to, not that they can't. It makes more sense to let some other company carry the risk.


Buying a TV (e.g. animation) production company - that might make some sense, but I suspect it would be way too expensive.
 
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Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Buying a TV (e.g. animation) production company - that might make some sense, but I suspect it would be way too expensive.
Given that Hasbro just closed on a deal to buy eOne, a Canadian mass media company whose divisions include Film & Television production company (they were one of the companies behind Criminal Minds!) who makes the Peppa Pig and PJ Masks cartoons... I kind of doubt that WotC will buy one.

Though they might get to do some favorable intracompany licensing deals for eOne to produce D&D related content.
 

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