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D&D General The Era of D&D and Star Wars

GreyLord

Hero
This is a thread, inspired by another thread " sell out: Hasbro and the Soul of D&D " which was inspired by another thread " D&D gets a new division at Hasbro " which is convoluted to say the least.

Rather than saying D&D (or Star Wars for that matter) sold out, it could be more useful to see that it has advanced through different stages in life, stages which revitalize it into a new and different form (sort of like reincarnation). What's interesting is that you could see Star Wars and D&D following paths which you could say are kind of parallel in how they work.

Original Era

D&D (1975-1985) - This is Arneson and Gygax D&D. This is their baby, this is the era which is predominantly influenced by them and their ideas. This is where we get OD&D, than AD&D and finally BX/BECMI D&D. You see a sharp spike and an extremely popular period of time, after which it starts to decline in popularity after Gygax is kicked out. It created an entirely new genre and redefined fantasy games forever after.

Star Wars (1977-1985) This is the Trilogy Era, when the Original Trilogy of Movies came out. It redefined the Blockbuster and made new goalposts of what movie making was all about.

The Reinvigorated Era

D&D (1989 - 1995) This is when they came out with AD&D 2e and the Rules Cyclopedia. D&D was not quite as popular during this era as it was in the early 80s at the height of the original era, but 2e did breathe life into the hobby for many years until interests started to wander to other areas. The Core rules always were profitable, but other ventures did not bring in as much money as hoped. It was there, still in the minds of many, but it just didn't have the heights it used to.

Star Wars ( 1986 - 1997) This is where Hollywood sort of lost interest in Star Wars. It was seen as a dead property, at least for investment. This is when the Star Wars RPG (WEG) comes in and sort of revitalizes the scene. A few years later Timothy Zahn gets and idea and official approval from George Lucas to create a book sequel. It is officially recognized as OFFICIAL from Lucas arts, and revitalizes even more interest in Star Wars. In the next few years the RPG and novels keep Star Wars alive and though Lucas will say it is not the story he would have planned, it is official otherwise, or a lesser canon of official where they can be canon as long as they do not contradict his story ideas. Lucas's story ideas come first and foremost, but after that, the novels are considered official by him in filling in the gaps, thus starts the various tiers of Lucas Canon as seen by Lucas and his company. This comes into play in the next era as Lucas is true to his word...it is HIS story that takes precedence over the novels. If there are contradictions, his stories (which are the movies) are the canon ideas first and foremost.

Like D&D, this is an era where Star Wars survives but is no where near the popularity that it was during the original era.

The Resurrection Era

D&D (2000 - 2008) D&D gets bought, and then bought again. Now Hasbro owns it and a NEW Edition is coming. 3e is created. D&D booms into popularity again. It may not be as popular as it was in the early 80s (25 million players vs. 5 million players of 3e) but it is IN THE PUBLIC's MIND more than ever. It is a resurgence of interest. There are millions of gamers today (2020) that got their start during this era of gaming. It is suddenly popular again among the RPG crowds and gamers. It is the Big Boy of RPGs on the block once again. A lot of criticism comes out between the differences between the Original Era D&D and the New 3e D&D, but regardless of what one thinks, 3e resurrected a dying brand. D&D is THE brand now for Roleplaying. Convention attendance surges, popularity increases, and the hobby is basically risen on new hands.

Star Wars (1999 - 2005) The prequel era. Star Wars has it's movies make Blockbusters once again. For the next few years Star Wars is competing with Lord of the Rings for being the most popular movie franchise out there. People rave about it. However, just like D&D it has it's criticisms. Many are very unhappy with the new Prequels and how they are done. There is still no denying that financially and culturally the Prequels are a massive success.

The Rising Era of popularity

D&D (2013-2021) With the arrival of 5e, D&D is rising once again in popularity. It is hard to estimate how big it is right now, but many would say it has at least 15-20 million players. It's popularity has never been this great for over 25 years! It is busting all expectations and still growing. It is everywhere in modern culture and is common enough for it to enter into common conversation.

Star Wars (2013 - 2021) Disney buys Star Wars. Many do not know what to expect and the Sequels are released. Some controversy, but overall Star Wars once again rockets into the public consciousness. Disney+ has created and even greater level of Public awareness and the Mandalorian has skyrocketed with Baby Yoda and other items which have gravitated Star Wars to be the most popular it has been for years.


So...rather than saying it's sold out, perhaps seeing that they have different eras of popularity. Some have greater or lesser popularity, but there are various periods of popularity. I brought up Star Wars because I see it following a similar pattern, perhaps inspired by the same generations that turn over and in turn come into each new respective era of the franchise/brand.

Obviously my list is not complete, and perhaps inaccurate, but I thought it more interesting to see them as eras of popularity for various gamers than something more negative.
 

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payn

Adventurer
This is closer to how I see it, (although this is pretty convoluted itself). I dont think D&D can sell out because its not a band. Its a brand of game.
 

Gadget

Adventurer
Interesting take. I'd point out that Hasbro bought WOTC after 3e was released (though very early in the 3e era), and they were largely after the immense profits from the collectable card market of, at the time, Pokeman (which WOTC had the license for) and Magic. D&D was somewhat of an ancillary concern and they were largely hands off as far as micromanaging it goes. Also, I believe 5e came out in 2014, not 2013. Though 2013 was part of the public playtest that helped generate interest and anticipation, so 2013 is probably appropriate to include in the stage.

I would also say that things like the Clone Wars tv series and Rebels had much to do with keeping the Star Wars fan base rolling, though obviously the Prequals and the recent Disney+ vastly increased exposure.
 

ninjayeti

Adventurer
This is a thread, inspired by another thread " sell out: Hasbro and the Soul of D&D " which was inspired by another thread " D&D gets a new division at Hasbro " which is convoluted to say the least.

Rather than saying D&D (or Star Wars for that matter) sold out, it could be more useful to see that it has advanced through different stages in life, stages which revitalize it into a new and different form (sort of like reincarnation). What's interesting is that you could see Star Wars and D&D following paths which you could say are kind of parallel in how they work.
Which in turn inspires my thread: Is Mike Mearls the J.J Abrams of D&D?
 

FickleKnight

The Torn
Interesting take. I'd point out that Hasbro bought WOTC after 3e was released (though very early in the 3e era), and they were largely after the immense profits from the collectable card market of, at the time, Pokeman (which WOTC had the license for) and Magic. D&D was somewhat of an ancillary concern and they were largely hands off as far as micromanaging it goes. Also, I believe 5e came out in 2014, not 2013. Though 2013 was part of the public playtest that helped generate interest and anticipation, so 2013 is probably appropriate to include in the stage.

I would also say that things like the Clone Wars tv series and Rebels had much to do with keeping the Star Wars fan base rolling, though obviously the Prequals and the recent Disney+ vastly increased exposure.
Point of order. WoTC bought TSR on April 10, 1997, with 3rd Edition released in 2000. Very much a WoTC publication.

Edit: Derp! Misread. My bad!
 
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I wonder how would be a mash-up version of Star Wars created by the own fandom for their TTRPGs.

Would you allow a Star War multiverse with canon alternate timelines?
 

Justice and Rule

Adventurer
This is closer to how I see it, (although this is pretty convoluted itself). I dont think D&D can sell out because its not a band. Its a brand of game.

It's practically the entire genre for most people, in the same way Star Wars is Space Opera for the vast majority.
 


Hatmatter

Laws of Mordenkainen, Elminster, & Fistandantilus
This is a thread, inspired by another thread " sell out: Hasbro and the Soul of D&D " which was inspired by another thread " D&D gets a new division at Hasbro " which is convoluted to say the least.

Rather than saying D&D (or Star Wars for that matter) sold out, it could be more useful to see that it has advanced through different stages in life, stages which revitalize it into a new and different form (sort of like reincarnation). What's interesting is that you could see Star Wars and D&D following paths which you could say are kind of parallel in how they work.

Original Era

D&D (1975-1985) - This is Arneson and Gygax D&D. This is their baby, this is the era which is predominantly influenced by them and their ideas. This is where we get OD&D, than AD&D and finally BX/BECMI D&D. You see a sharp spike and an extremely popular period of time, after which it starts to decline in popularity after Gygax is kicked out. It created an entirely new genre and redefined fantasy games forever after.

Star Wars (1977-1985) This is the Trilogy Era, when the Original Trilogy of Movies came out. It redefined the Blockbuster and made new goalposts of what movie making was all about.

The Reinvigorated Era

D&D (1989 - 1995) This is when they came out with AD&D 2e and the Rules Cyclopedia. D&D was not quite as popular during this era as it was in the early 80s at the height of the original era, but 2e did breathe life into the hobby for many years until interests started to wander to other areas. The Core rules always were profitable, but other ventures did not bring in as much money as hoped. It was there, still in the minds of many, but it just didn't have the heights it used to.

Star Wars ( 1986 - 1997) This is where Hollywood sort of lost interest in Star Wars. It was seen as a dead property, at least for investment. This is when the Star Wars RPG (WEG) comes in and sort of revitalizes the scene. A few years later Timothy Zahn gets and idea and official approval from George Lucas to create a book sequel. It is officially recognized as OFFICIAL from Lucas arts, and revitalizes even more interest in Star Wars. In the next few years the RPG and novels keep Star Wars alive and though Lucas will say it is not the story he would have planned, it is official otherwise, or a lesser canon of official where they can be canon as long as they do not contradict his story ideas. Lucas's story ideas come first and foremost, but after that, the novels are considered official by him in filling in the gaps, thus starts the various tiers of Lucas Canon as seen by Lucas and his company. This comes into play in the next era as Lucas is true to his word...it is HIS story that takes precedence over the novels. If there are contradictions, his stories (which are the movies) are the canon ideas first and foremost.

Like D&D, this is an era where Star Wars survives but is no where near the popularity that it was during the original era.

The Resurrection Era

D&D (2000 - 2008) D&D gets bought, and then bought again. Now Hasbro owns it and a NEW Edition is coming. 3e is created. D&D booms into popularity again. It may not be as popular as it was in the early 80s (25 million players vs. 5 million players of 3e) but it is IN THE PUBLIC's MIND more than ever. It is a resurgence of interest. There are millions of gamers today (2020) that got their start during this era of gaming. It is suddenly popular again among the RPG crowds and gamers. It is the Big Boy of RPGs on the block once again. A lot of criticism comes out between the differences between the Original Era D&D and the New 3e D&D, but regardless of what one thinks, 3e resurrected a dying brand. D&D is THE brand now for Roleplaying. Convention attendance surges, popularity increases, and the hobby is basically risen on new hands.

Star Wars (1999 - 2005) The prequel era. Star Wars has it's movies make Blockbusters once again. For the next few years Star Wars is competing with Lord of the Rings for being the most popular movie franchise out there. People rave about it. However, just like D&D it has it's criticisms. Many are very unhappy with the new Prequels and how they are done. There is still no denying that financially and culturally the Prequels are a massive success.

The Rising Era of popularity

D&D (2013-2021) With the arrival of 5e, D&D is rising once again in popularity. It is hard to estimate how big it is right now, but many would say it has at least 15-20 million players. It's popularity has never been this great for over 25 years! It is busting all expectations and still growing. It is everywhere in modern culture and is common enough for it to enter into common conversation.

Star Wars (2013 - 2021) Disney buys Star Wars. Many do not know what to expect and the Sequels are released. Some controversy, but overall Star Wars once again rockets into the public consciousness. Disney+ has created and even greater level of Public awareness and the Mandalorian has skyrocketed with Baby Yoda and other items which have gravitated Star Wars to be the most popular it has been for years.


So...rather than saying it's sold out, perhaps seeing that they have different eras of popularity. Some have greater or lesser popularity, but there are various periods of popularity. I brought up Star Wars because I see it following a similar pattern, perhaps inspired by the same generations that turn over and in turn come into each new respective era of the franchise/brand.

Obviously my list is not complete, and perhaps inaccurate, but I thought it more interesting to see them as eras of popularity for various gamers than something more negative.
I can get down with this. Thanks. I do not see evidence from the last six or seven years of D&D books or hearing interviews with D&D writers that there has been a sell out. The writers and editors involved are nurturing the history and legacy of the game while making a terrific game for an enormously large group of new and old players. To be honest, with the incredible innovations of the OGL and the support Wizards shows for local game stores through their alternate covers that are only available at brick & mortar stores, as well as other community-building programs, I would say that D&D has very much not sold out.

But, whatever. I have been teaching for almost twenty years and for the last 15 or 20 years, it seems like young people, if anything, want to sell out to some sexy brand. "Sell out" does not have the power it did when I was young.
 

Stormonu

Legend
I think I’d add an earlier era - Wild West Era (-1979) For D&D.

The game is still in its infancy, people are filling the holes in the game with their own creations and some of the more popular home brew is gaining notoriety (Arduin’s Grimoire, Dragon mag additions, etc.)

Similarly, for Star Wars you had things like Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers and a entire shift in Hollywood trying to bottle the Star Wars magic or otherwise filling in the holes that the first movie left (including novels like Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, the Marvel Star Wars comics[all hail Jaxx!], etc.)
 


Zardnaar

Legend
Not sure of your point of order. The person you replied to only mentioned Hasbro buying WotC afterwards, not that D&D wasn't a WotC publication.

Yeah WotC buyout and Hasbro buy out two different events.

2E,3E,4R,5E all sold out and you could make the arguement for Basic and B/X as well.
 


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