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D&D 5E The Pitfalls of Success: Hasbro Success Story, Take 2

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I still find this point incredibly misguided and dismissive of the actual situation of “most people today.” We’re not idiots, we recognize the conflict between artistic integrity and corporate influence. Wealth inequality has simply grown to the point that fewer and fewer can afford to take the “high ground.”

I'll add, corporate influence can sometimes (believe it or not), result in better quality art. George Lucas was given quite a few limitations when making the first Star Wars, including a limited budget and script re-writes. When he later made the prequels which he largely financed himself, he had near complete artistic freedom. Up to you to decide whether you like the original trilogy more than the prequels!
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I'll add, corporate influence can sometimes (believe it or not), result in better quality art. George Lucas was given quite a few limitations when making the first Star Wars, including a limited budget and script re-writes. When he later made the prequels which he largely financed himself, he had near complete artistic freedom. Up to you to decide whether you like the original trilogy more than the prequels!
Very true! While artistic integrity and corporate influence are at odds, artistic integrity doesn’t automatically translate to quality.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
Let's not kid ourselves, D&D is at its best in a long time, but we all know it is the Magic money (and Arena Money while at that) the reason for this "promotion".

Will we see more D&D videogames? likely. Will the D&D movie be cool to have? yes. Will it make money? Who knows? I'll watch it as soon as I can and then maybe will be able to find a few more players locally. Meanwhile, Wizards already has all of my money this summer anyway...
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
I'll add, corporate influence can sometimes (believe it or not), result in better quality art. George Lucas was given quite a few limitations when making the first Star Wars, including a limited budget and script re-writes. When he later made the prequels which he largely financed himself, he had near complete artistic freedom. Up to you to decide whether you like the original trilogy more than the prequels!
Dah, of course the prequels! And clone wars! n_n
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
Very true! While artistic integrity and corporate influence are at odds, artistic integrity doesn’t automatically translate to quality.
Indeed. Sometimes limits are good, because they ground you and force you to get outside your comfort zone.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Let's not kid ourselves, D&D is at its best in a long time, but we all know it is the Magic money (and Arena Money while at that) the reason for this "promotion".

Will we see more D&D videogames? likely. Will the D&D movie be cool to have? yes. Will it make money? Who knows? I'll watch it as soon as I can and then maybe will be able to find a few more players locally. Meanwhile, Wizards already has all of my money this summer anyway...
100% this
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Very true! While artistic integrity and corporate influence are at odds, artistic integrity doesn’t automatically translate to quality.

And I suppose to redirect this back to Hasbro and WotC, I think it's fairly clear that Hasbro has been happy with its success and is "promoting" it in the company to have more investment and resources. That is, IMO, a good thing. I'm not as confident in the IP mining (looking at you D&D film), but most merchandising for D&D like toys and such is stuff Hasbro already does, so I'm not sure how they can "make it worse."

Anyway, I think the TTRPG team of D&D has been pretty successful and growing, and that the corporate folks are unlikely to "fix what 'aint broken" and tinker with it.
 

embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
4. What was up with that whole 90s ska revival, anyway? Zoot suits? ZOOT SUITS?!!??
As a Gen-Xer, I will not brook any disparagement of 90s dancehall ska.

Feel free to slam Cherry Poppin' Daddies, however.

That said, D&D, while it performs very well, is, as they say, punching above its weight class. It generates a lot of revenue but has a relatively low cost. At this point, it is a Hasbro property like Risk, Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble, or Battleship. It requires no advertising money. People know it exists. Just put it on the shelf in Target.

It's a lot like the Skyrim model. Make a solid product. Not a perfect one. A solid one. Then, just leave it be. If people want to make content for it, let them. It will sell units, allowing you to collect money. Skyrim is a buggy mess with outdated assets. But it has an amazing community of support. You can download updated assets and bug patches for free and wind up with a game that looks like it came out this year, not ten years ago.

Want a new adventure for 5e? Well, you can wait for WOTC to release it or get a 3PP adventure. The 3PP has no cost to WOTC and serves as free advertising, and also keeps people invested in the product.

When you're running a machine that prints money, don't mess with the machine. It will print money for as long as you don't screw with it.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Indeed. Sometimes limits are good, because they ground you and force you to get outside your comfort zone.
I think there's a difference between A) choosing limitations for artistic/aesthetic reasons and B) limitations imposed by low budget on the one hand or corporate oversight on the other. That said, limitations under (A) can work to the good (they are after all a creative choice) and limitations under (B) can be worked around and/or looked at as trade-offs along a spectrum.
 


My opinion is today the main strategy is multimedia franchises, this means making money with different products: games, toys, novels, comics, TV shows, shirts and the rest of merchandising.

Today D&D is becoming one of the main Hasbro's franchises, with M:tG next to Transformers, Power Rangers, G.I.Joe and Litle Pony.

WotC wants the digital market, and not only videogames. I wonder about the potential of (free) webcomics.

Too soon for the 6th Edition but we could bet WotC wants to create a d20 Modern to publish TTRPGs based in famous franchises, not only Star Wars d20, but also the famous superheroes franchises (Marvel and DC). This is a serious challenge for game designers, to find a system easy to be understood by the new players, right power balance, and retrocompatible with 5th Ed. Why do you think Hasbro parternerd with Renegade Game Studios?

WotC would like to use d20 Future (Star Frontiers+Star*Drive) but not yet because Disney doesn't want a new rival for Star Wars.

* 2021 will be a year with radical changes in the complete entertaiment industry, and indirectly this will affect IPs by the biggest companies. Let's say now we can't guess the future acquisitions and mergers within media companies. Maybe this can be a horrible year for AT&T(Warner/DC) and Disney, so bad they had to agreee some merger with other. Anti-monopoly could allow it if both aren't big fishes after the post-epidemic economic fall.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Also, Ska is great, fight me.
That's the impression that I get.

vqrzv9vlwcs21.jpg
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
When you're running a machine that prints money, don't mess with the machine. It will print money for as long as you don't screw with it.

Sure!

But the thing is ... wouldn't it be nice if the machine made more money?

All you have to do is tinker with it a little. Because, you know, more money, right!

And if you succeed, that means that you can tinker some more ... and make even more! And we all love more money!

Just gotta keep on tinkering. Wait, the machine stopped working? Oh well.
 
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dragoner

Dying in Chargen
Colt firearms bought holley (carburetors and other speed parts) because of aluminum casting, then colt lost their gov't contract and holley's re-vamped line became the major business of the group, at which point holley unloaded colt to a guy in the UK.

That's the thing about business, the environment can totally change in 5-10 years.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Colt firearms bought holley (carburetors and other speed parts) because of aluminum casting, then colt lost their gov't contract and holley's re-vamped line became the major business of the group, at which point holley unloaded colt to a guy in the UK.

That's the thing about business, the environment can totally change in 5-10 years.

Agreed. Which is why this moment is so interesting.

Is D&D a whole IP? Is it like Marvel? Lord of the Rings (soon on Amazon)? Or even Transformers? Is it something that can be monetized as an on-going asset?

Or is it more a game having its moment in the sun, where the value is in the playing of it, and the IP itself (the Forgotten Realms, the Mind Flayers, the Fireballs) isn't going to mean much outside of the game?
 

ardoughter

Hero
Supporter
Agreed. Which is why this moment is so interesting.

Is D&D a whole IP? Is it like Marvel? Lord of the Rings (soon on Amazon)? Or even Transformers? Is it something that can be monetized as an on-going asset?

Or is it more a game having its moment in the sun, where the value is in the playing of it, and the IP itself (the Forgotten Realms, the Mind Flayers, the Fireballs) isn't going to mean much outside of the game?
D&D has had since the beginning (more or less) a successful novel line. It might not have been good but it was commercially successful. It also a long legacy of successful video games. It has not had movie or TV success mostly because no-one has thrown enough money at D&D story telling in those medium.

I never played Baldur's Gate but I get the impression that one could base a decent TV series on it, Neverwinters Nights 2 could make a movie or TV series or Dragonlance or the Crystal Shard would also make a reasonable premise for a movie or TV series.

None of these stories done in another medium would be a blow by a blow remake of the other format and it should not be
 

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
Agreed. Which is why this moment is so interesting.

Is D&D a whole IP? Is it like Marvel? Lord of the Rings (soon on Amazon)? Or even Transformers? Is it something that can be monetized as an on-going asset?

Or is it more a game having its moment in the sun, where the value is in the playing of it, and the IP itself (the Forgotten Realms, the Mind Flayers, the Fireballs) isn't going to mean much outside of the game?
Who knows? Though I have heard D&D casually mentioned more than in the past, and not with the usual derision about being nerds or something.

In the past, I seem to remember that the film rights were tied up in a separate contract, which is anathema to most entertainment IP's.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Who knows? Though I have heard D&D casually mentioned more than in the past, and not with the usual derision about being nerds or something.

In the past, I seem to remember that the film rights were tied up in a separate contract, which is anathema to most entertainment IP's.
The rights for D&D movies were held by SweetPea entertainment as long as they produced sequels to their original (bad) movie. They produced a couple of Sci-Fi movies but eventually taken to court where they settled [1].

Since then it's been kind of bouncing around, this is the furthest it's gotten to becoming a real movie that I'm aware of.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
The rights for D&D movies were held by SweetPea entertainment as long as they produced sequels to their original (bad) movie. They produced a couple of Sci-Fi movies but eventually taken to court where they settled [1].

Since then it's been kind of bouncing around, this is the furthest it's gotten to becoming a real movie that I'm aware of.

This he bought the movie rights in 1991 for 10k.
 


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