OneDnD What happens if One DnD fails?


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DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I mean, I mostly agree with what you're saying here, but I think we have to allow that this is a big "if".
You're absolutely correct... this whole argument of mine relies on HasbrotC getting working what they want made and that it maintains a steady place in the market. If they can't get it online, then they're truly up the river.

I'm thinking of the D&D Beyond VTT in the long-term like it's World of Warcraft currently-- a program that still chugs along and gives its customers exactly what they want, while changing things up continually to keep their customers engaged in the system. It might not be at its most profitable stage at this point in its life, but its still brings in more than enough money to keep the servers on and online and the workers paid. Same could be said for something like Board Game Arena-- isn't probably making the money it did during the pandemic with probably fewer subscribers... but it's maintaining enough of a flow to keep the service up and running.

If WotC's VTT for Dungeons & Dragons can get up and running similarly... then they have the potential of a long-term money influx where there will always be customers willing to shell out a certain number of bills each month to get to play.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I personally really wished WotC would have left 5e alone and let it ride for a couple more years. The PHB was still doing well.
And it can still do well. If you haven't had the same issues with Rangers, Sorcerers, Monks, the Great Weapon Master and Sharpshooter feats, the Stealth rules etc. that other players have had over these past 8 years... then there's no reason not to just keep playing the 2014 book as you always have.
 

If WotC's VTT for Dungeons & Dragons can get up and running similarly... then they have the potential of a long-term money influx where there will always be customers willing to shell out a certain number of bills each month to get to play.
Yeah and this was also the goal in 2008 with 4E. They gave up on it entirely with 5E (even the design of the game is at odds with the concept), but I think the burgeoning success of Beyond made them start rubbing their little hands together lol.

I like to think when Beyond passed 10m subscribers some WotC exec, previously slumped at his desk, shot bolt upright with the Metal Gear Solid alert noise.

 

Xyxox

Hero
In corporate speak, failure is not meeting revenue and profit expectatons. to an outsider, D&Done could look like a massive success and still be considered a massive failure due to the failure to meet the expectations.

If the movie and the series both fail to be profitable, that alone could mark a failure in the brand even if subscriptions are at least close to expectations.

Success or failure here are entirely dependent upon what has been presented as expected success internally. I've seen highly profitable product lines in a company shelved for no other reason than the line was not profitable enough or there was not enough volume to keep the investment in the product line going. In many cases, this is tied directly to rates of return in other markets because if a company can take the money invested in a specific profitable product and invest it in a security fund with limited risk for a better return, that profitable product is doomed
 


It won’t. The internet is not real life.

They may not reach everyone they were going to before this mess but it will do fine.
Fine isn't good enough.

As Xyxox points out:
In corporate speak, failure is not meeting revenue and profit expectatons. to an outsider, D&Done could look like a massive success and still be considered a massive failure due to the failure to meet the expectations.
Which happens regularly.

No-one sane expects it to be a total flop, but given WotC is investing tens of millions, they're expecting serious returns.

And software, especially games, often fails to meet expectations. So acting like it's a sure thing is just acting like an exec at some game company who is 100% certain [new game] will be a huge hit, only to find it does 30% of the numbers they expected - still making money, but not the kind of money that would make it worthwhile to them.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
So the worst (for WotC and Hasbro) happens. One DnD launches and [fails].
(Cutting out the potshot at 4e there because 4e's launch was actually quite good - it took a while before they realized that 4e sales were on the same declining trend that 3e's had been towards the end of 3e and that the 4e launch wasn't doing what they needed it to because they hadn't solved the fundamental problem of the monthly supplement publishing model).

The worst that happens for D&D in the immediate term is that their bungling causes its growth to stop or even reverse. D&D stays the biggest RPG in the US because, well, it's D&D. So it can actually take a big dip in people leaving the game and still remain the top dog in the RPG world for a long time.

However - D&D isn't a brand that is being ignored anymore. D&D is central to Hasbro's plans for the future. A shrinking or even just flattening D&D is counter to Hasbro's future strategies. So panic would likely set in at Wizards HQ, lots of people who don't deserve to lose their jobs will be fired, and people who do deserve to lose their jobs will quietly exit the company for other companies who like the moxie of their poor decision making skills, likely before the shinola hits the fan. Possibly things in development get cancelled - like their VTT. Layoffs for D&D Beyond probably also happen if they can't point to growth, even if it's flat and not actually shrinking.

Activist investors take this as more evidence that Hasbro is mismanaged and work towards a shareholder revolt. Depending on how bad the press is and how bad the drop in growth is they might succeed this time. Hasbro and Wizards get separated back into different companies and the activists put someone at the head of Wizards who they think will be better at extracting money from the pockets of Magic the Gathering and D&D players than the current crop.

Magic is easier to monetize than D&D so the efforts get put there. Best case D&D gets a "placeholder" edition placed under an open gaming license and we get a repeat of the post-5e rollout where Wizards didn't expect the game to do anything but remain a viable brand for other products. Worst case is D&D gets put into the Wizards equivalent of the "Disney Vault" and they stop doing anything with it at all, waiting for a time when they think the brand is viable again. It sits in there for a decade or so before someone thinks they might be able to do something with it for the 201x nostalgia market.
 

Xyxox

Hero
And software, especially games, often fails to meet expectations. So acting like it's a sure thing is just acting like an exec at some game company who is 100% certain [new game] will be a huge hit, only to find it does 30% of the numbers they expected - still making money, but not the kind of money that would make it worthwhile to them.

And software titles with massive IP behind them have even higher expectations than most, so when they crash and burn it is usually epic (c.f. Marvel's Avengers).
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
The question of "failure" here is twofold, so we would need to split the two sides up before we could answer anything. OneD&D "failing" can mean two separate things-- no one enjoys playing the game itself... OR that the 2024 books and possible VTT do not bring in enough revenue for WotC's liking.

It can be entirely possible for one side to be a rousing success and the other side a failure purely from the views of the people who are concerned with each side. So we could not state with any certainty an answer to the original thread question unless we got what I would suggest is a highly unlikely scenario-- which is nobody enjoys the 2024 D&D game, AND the VTT and/or D&D Beyond lose tremendous amounts of money. If both sides of the interest came up snake-eyes... then yeah, a claim of OneD&D "failing" would be obvious.

But if most people love the corrections, edits, and additions to the 2014 5E game that gets publish in the 50th Anniversary edition... but not enough people go in on the VTT and it does not make the revenue the executives hope for? Is that a "failure"? Probably only to some, and not at all to many others. So if someone says that OneD&D "can't" fail... I'm guessing it is because they don't see how these new books could be so radically different from the 5E that most people love so as to change people's feelings on the "new" game. The same way that most people did not think the corrections that came about in 3.5 were a failure... or the corrections that Paizo did in their "3.75" Pathfinder were a failure either. And in that regard, I tend to agree-- I just don't think the game ultimately changes enough to remove/ruin everything in 5E that most people love.

That being said... if WotC's money-making plan via the VTT still drops a goose egg... then it wouldn't matter that the 2024 game itself wasn't a "failure"... it'll possibly be treated as such by the executives anyway.
 
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Jer

Legend
Supporter
(And since this would be the second time they've tried to make D&D huge, and the second time it's blown up in their faces, I doubt we'd see a third chance.)
Is it ironic that the one time it did get huge under their stewardship wasn't really because of anything they did?
More than that -- it got huge when they were actively ignoring it for once.
All of this is 100% correct. The absolute best growth that D&D has ever experienced as a game is when the company producing it reduced its publication schedule down to crumbs, put it back under an open license for the fans to support for themselves, and then staffed the product team with a skeleton crew to keep the brand alive for non-gaming purposes.

There's a lesson for executives to learn in there, but as I've said elsewhere it would hurt their feelings to learn it, so they won't.
 

Matt Thomason

Adventurer
Fine isn't good enough.
Indeed. Someone, somewhere in management is going to ask, at some point, for a report that shows the number of users they actually have and how many were lost during "the great OGL storm of 2023" and never came back. Then they'll be asking why the extra income they could have had from those users is not heading into the bank monthly..
 

Plokman

Explorer
There's a lesson for executives to learn in there, but as I've said elsewhere it would hurt their feelings to learn it, so they won't.
Indeed, they say the definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results each time.

Mattel for a time looked like it was going to listen to the fans for a IP that had been going at this point 77 years old, but no the made it into the same "act like kids are stupid" mentality that we have been suffering from since the 1990s. And I swore off Mattel save for Hot Wheels.

Granted Mattel had only one IP I truly grew up with, Hasbro is a different story and it was only because of 5E that I got into D&D and TTRPGs as a whole. Now they have two franchises I love still, Power Rangers and Transformers I prefer to buy the license brands like Super 7 for Power Rangers and only Transformers I like. Star Wars died in 2012, so I won't buy the garbage Disney Swill but I will collect vintage.

I know that so many people love to march and protest for the dumbest (and truly worthwhile) stuff at government locations, why the freaking crap can we not as a community (and I know there are just as many of us who like swill but like everything there is a half and half) march on Hasbro HQ and protest, I want my fellow community members to be safe, but as long as we don't carry weapons we are in no legal or federal fault.

This is why I plan to make my toy company once I get it running more like A.C. Gilbert the man who saved Christmas (look up the movie by that name it is great) and make my toys for all consumers, I will take everyone seriously on the flaws but also not go too far with it. "It is a sad man who doesn't take care of those who made him a success!"

That needs to be drilled into the mindless fogeys running those boards, they will die lonely and forgotten, we will take their place and keep bringing dreams. Lego got to number 1 for a reason you know, it has only recently made slips and I think are trying to turn around.
 

mellored

Hero
Since OneDnD is backwards compatible, I don't see how it's a problem.

Someone will buy the new PHB (as they stop selling the old one) and they can still play with the other people playing with the old PHB. So any new player will be using a revised class.

And the new version will just be better in a bunch of little ways. So eventually one of those old players will want buy a new book to play the new class.

Over time, everyone will eventually switch. It's just a question of how fast.
 

Clint_L

Hero
That appears to be the strategy - to avoid a jumping off point like previous editions created.

Bu then Hasbro created a brand new jumping off point a few weeks ago, lol.
 

Since OneDnD is backwards compatible, I don't see how it's a problem.

Someone will buy the new PHB (as they stop selling the old one) and they can still play with the other people playing with the old PHB. So any new player will be using a revised class.

And the new version will just be better in a bunch of little ways. So eventually one of those old players will want buy a new book to play the new class.

Over time, everyone will eventually switch. It's just a question of how fast.

That's what is said, but I have real doubts that it is truly "compatible", especially given the obvious differences between things. It's not like you can sub in aspects of the old book with the new.

And I do not think everyone is moving over because that's not how edition changes work. Doesn't matter which edition change it is, there are always a small but substantial portion that are too invested in the old edition that they stay there. I suspect this time around there may be a more substantial portion that want to stay behind because of this whole scandal, let alone if their changes in strategy end up being true.
 

Xyxox

Hero
Since OneDnD is backwards compatible, I don't see how it's a problem.

Someone will buy the new PHB (as they stop selling the old one) and they can still play with the other people playing with the old PHB. So any new player will be using a revised class.

And the new version will just be better in a bunch of little ways. So eventually one of those old players will want buy a new book to play the new class.

Over time, everyone will eventually switch. It's just a question of how fast.
saying ti would be backwards compatible was a PR move. Announce a new version and everybody stops buying the current version. this was to sotop so much sales bleeding, nothing more. There will be conversion guides and nothing more.
 


Haplo781

Legend
Really, they should have just revived 4e and given it a new coat of paint for their digital initiative while leaving 5e and OGL 1.0a alone.
 


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