So it's finally happened? D&D reduced to board games...

Kichwas

Half-breed, still living despite WotC racism
I read the situation very differently. I've met Mike Mearls, not a very in depth conversation, but he's probably the only poster on here I've met personally, and gamed with. (Although that was admittedly a demo.)

He really is a straightforward guy. He is not allowed to talk about certain things, due to corporate policies, but he really tries. He seems pretty confident that Wizards is committed to putting out D&D the tabletop RPG for the foreseeable future.

So what is my theory on what is happening? 4th Edition sales are below expectation, and declining as the amount of crunch has grown overwhelming.

But wasn't Mearls just a complete outsider d20 hobby guy until he had a few writing successes and was then brought on board WoTC to write for 4e (and maybe late 3e - I don't know). Ie: he's not a leader there, just a contracted writer who may now be an employee.

Point there being that he might have no more clue than anyone else as to what their plans are. And in fact might have less - American companies are notorious for keeping their own employees in the dark.

Is 4E doing poorly?

Is it just doing poorly for the expectations of an agency like Hasbro, or is it doing poorly by gamer standards?
(unconfirmed example of this being the Marvel 'stones' game that came out a few years ago. I had -read- at the time that it was the best selling adaptation of Marvel ever, possibly one of the best selling super games ever; but it was canceled by Marvel as they were used to the sales figures they got out of licensing to movies and video games. Of course I'd only 'forum read' that and it might be patently untrue - but it did feel right for how this things can go when a larger industry touches into a fringe industry and fails to adjust expectations.)

I've been out of touch with gaming for a while now. I think my last login here was in 2009. Just came by looking for a random other topic and saw this thread. So I have -no idea- how things are going and am only commenting in reflection of what I've quoted... :) If 4E -is- doing poorly maybe its a reflection of people like me. Life has kept me out of table top gaming since 08, and I've filled the gap with MMOs.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Kichwas

Half-breed, still living despite WotC racism
I understood your post. :)

I was simply pointing out that WOTC is damned if they put the preview material inside the paywall, and damned if they put it outside the paywall. (Pointing more towards El Mahdi's post)

Well from a marketing standpoint - you want to put a preview behind some kind us 'give us your contact info' - but no more. Then use the contact info to target spam people with a higher chance of being interested rather than annoyed. :)

Making people pay you to watch your commercial though - is never the ideal route.
 


delericho

Legend
I was simply pointing out that WOTC is damned if they put the preview material inside the paywall, and damned if they put it outside the paywall. (Pointing more towards El Mahdi's post)

The difference is that if they put the material outside the paywall, then the people who complain are insane. If WotC put the previews inside the paywall, then they're the ones who are insane.
 

delericho

Legend
But wasn't Mearls just a complete outsider d20 hobby guy until he had a few writing successes and was then brought on board WoTC to write for 4e (and maybe late 3e - I don't know). Ie: he's not a leader there, just a contracted writer who may now be an employee.

As I understand it, Mearls was the big beneficiary of the OGL movement - he started as an unknown, became known due to quality work, then got a job with Monte Cook's Malhavoc, then moved across the WotC as a member of the team, and has most recently taken over from Andy Collins as the head of, um, something.

IOW, I think he's now pretty high up on the creative side of things (as opposed to the business side).
 


Henry

Autoexreginated
But wasn't Mearls just a complete outsider d20 hobby guy until he had a few writing successes and was then brought on board WoTC to write for 4e (and maybe late 3e - I don't know). Ie: he's not a leader there, just a contracted writer who may now be an employee.

Hi, Arcady! Long time no see, and hope you're doing well!

Mearls since May or so of 2010 has held the Title of D&D Tabletop Manager (Bill Slavicsek is basically D&D Brand Manager now, but in Mike's words, "The tabletop is his own little corner to play in." If people don't like the direction the tabletop game is going in right now, he's the guy the buck stops with, from what I can tell. :)

Don't be a stranger! (Or at least stop by the Circvs Maximvs once in a while and say hi.)
 

GreyLord

Legend
Is it just doing poorly for the expectations of an agency like Hasbro, or is it doing poorly by gamer standards?

Hmmmm...IN MY OPINION....

Seriously...poorly by gamer standards? That's pretty poor. D&D is NOT doing that poorly by a far shot. AT least in sales. It's doing excessively well, in fact one of the top, if not THE TOP selling RPG currently.

As for Hasbro expectations...I imagine that there was some hype fed to Hasbro in regards to Essentials and the Red Box. It did well...but NOT as well as Hasbro felt it should do. I think it could be hard to live up to some expectations Hasbro has currently of the D&D brand. I think Hasbro hopes WoTC's branching out in arenas outside of just RPG's will bring in more funds, more gamers, and...did I say more money (oh, I guess that would be funds).

I think WotC did well overall. I think there was already an expectation that WotC would sell D&D decently, but nowhere near the marks set...PRIOR to the year even being over or even before the 4th quarter started. Things were set in motion already with that.

I for one am looking forward to the War game (or Ameritrash type game, however you see it) that will be coming out later this year. I hope it sells well...but I haven't the foggiest whether it will or won't.

And once again...of course...as if it has to be stated...this is IN MY OPINION.
 

Votan

Explorer
I don't like 4E enough to buy into it as an RPG, but I did get intrigued enough by the Ravenloft game to buy it, and my family and I like it, a lot. We are also seriously considering the new board game as well.

So WOTC did finally come up with a way to get me to play 4E and enjoy it.

So I would say that is pretty good marketing.

And I think the real test of a company is that they make games that people like to play. If D&D evolved into something else that was fun, neat, and interesting then I would hardly be in a position to complain. :)

I just don't want the sort of "paint by numbers" material that can show up in any brand when the spark is gone. D&D has rarely been susceptible to this phenomenon but one wouldn't like to see a new trend.

Good boardgames are a better outcome than that, even if the RPG material slowly faded away.
 

Holy Bovine

First Post
Speaking as an infamous 4E critic....

The board games look really cool!!!!

Castle Ravenloft (the board game) is fast approaching the top of my favourite board game list. We've played it half a dozen times and still get beat by it (or squeek out the barest of bare victories). Love the mechanics and love the game play.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top