D&D (2024) The One Dnd Strategy

Stalker0

Legend
So beyond the nitty gritty's of this news and that news....lets talk about the strategy regarding One Dnd. And here's what we know.

A Focus on Physical and Electronic Integration
This is a solid plan. We live in a world of smartphones, people routinely bring laptops to games, and of course the big rise in remote gaming after the pandemic. WOTC has decided to go into this with both feet, and I think that is a solid strategy.

I think the key here will be simplicity. We already have digital tools that people use, what you want to capture are the people that have been nervous to try it or are very anti-tech and so any level of setup complexity is an instant no for them. We need the Iphone of digital tools....something so simple that even your anti-tech grandmother can use it.

An Edition-Less Dnd
To me this is more marketing fluff than anything. We can call this what we want...but at the end of the day its 5.5, or 5.25, or 5.75....depending on the amount of changes. Now if the game was completely electronic, you could try to pull this off. You could just periodically make rules changes or adjustments in your digital books, and have an "ever evolving" game where you can't really say when 5e ended and 6e began, etc. However, with the anchor of physical books that's pretty difficult to do. Eventually WOTC will have milked their monies off of 5e material, and either they work on a new revenue stream to keep it going, or they go with the tried and true....new books with big enough changes to get people to pay more money.

Boardgames
We are in the "golden age" of board games at the moment, its never been a better time to be a board game designer (ok maybe before the pandemic, but this general era). WOTC continues to use its dnd license to create board games, which is a smart secondary revenue stream. The other thing about the board game market is the arrival of "accessorizing". A lot of hard core board gamers are willing to pay good money for special tokens, custom board inserts, improved minis, etc. A $50 board game could get you $200 or more once you account for all the secondary things the hardcore audience will play to make a great game even better.

Backwards Compatibility
This one is a key question mark, and we won't REALLY know what it means until we see the first products. On the one hand, this could be the hand tied behind your back, stifling your designers and chaining them to old ways of thinking. On the other, done well you get a whole bunch of new books sold and maintain sales of your old adventurers too.

Near Term Focus on Adventurers and Settings
This next year especially will see the rise of old settings given the 5e treatment. A smart plan, you have to be careful about releasing crunch until the new core books come out and people see how backwards compatible they are, but you still need to make money. Adventurers and settings are more rules agnostic, so you can publish them with fewer concerns.

Dnd Licensing - What's next?
Probably the biggest one I'm curious to see is what is the next thing to get a dnd stamp on it? We have seen movies, board games, etc. But more than the game, the "brand" of Dnd is your most valuable asset, so how will WOTC leverage that asset for revenue will be one of the biggest strategy questions remaining to be answered.
 

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UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
IIRC WotC has been saying this since the D&D Next playtest 10 years ago -- 5E was going to be the last 'edition'.
Yes though at the time they did let slip how close it came to be canned. I think they was not expecting to have a lot of money to invest in new product.
 


Stalker0

Legend
IIRC WotC has been saying this since the D&D Next playtest 10 years ago -- 5E was going to be the last 'edition'.
Sure but at the end of the day that is more of a branding and marketing thing. If you keep the same book cover but swap out half of the pages...its a different book.

If WOTC is saying that 5e is so perfect that in another 10 years we will be playing by pretty much the same ruleset we do now...that might be true, but will it be successful? That would be a big change compared to history, where we used editions as a kickstart for a whole new batch of sales. Maybe that is feasible as WOTC looks at other ways to leverage the dnd brand to generate continuous revenue, maybe we have moved beyond the rules as the money drivers. Or maybe its just a delusion, and in 10 years time when it serves them (and people have forgotten the "no more editions claim", they will hype up a "new edition" to jumpstart staggering sales. Time will tell of course.
 


Reynard

Legend
I'd like to hear if/how the SRD fits in.
They should expand it the way Paizo does with Pathfinder etc, because that is the intent of the thing, but they won't. The DmsGuild works too well for them, I think. I'm not even sure they are going to drop a new SRD for One.
 



UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Sure but at the end of the day that is more of a branding and marketing thing. If you keep the same book cover but swap out half of the pages...its a different book.

If WOTC is saying that 5e is so perfect that in another 10 years we will be playing by pretty much the same ruleset we do now...that might be true, but will it be successful? That would be a big change compared to history, where we used editions as a kickstart for a whole new batch of sales. Maybe that is feasible as WOTC looks at other ways to leverage the dnd brand to generate continuous revenue, maybe we have moved beyond the rules as the money drivers. Or maybe its just a delusion, and in 10 years time when it serves them (and people have forgotten the "no more editions claim", they will hype up a "new edition" to jumpstart staggering sales. Time will tell of course.
We will not be playing with the same rules in 10 years time, we are not even playing with the same rules now. At least not all of us, since some of us are using rules from Tasha's and so forth. But aside from a low production of splat books the other remarkable thing about 5e compared to 3.x is the low level of power creep. If anything the powercreep is wide rather than tall.
I think that WoTC have come to regard splat churn as an unreliable way to do business on the scale they want. They want the ttrpg to pay for itself and to provide fuel and ip for other revenue streams. Digital services, sold on subscription, video and boardgames, TV movies, merch.
 

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