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D&D 5E What if the D&D Core outsells the revised D&D Core?


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Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
If it were to happen (which I dont think it will), and I was in WotC shoes (which I'm not), I'd go for a Essential D&D, branded a simpler, no-nonsense game based on the basic 5e rules, with streamlined player options and general rules (remove Inspiration, clearer stealth, simple exploration rules for wilderness and dungeons, rules for sidekick/henchmen/animal companion etc). Maybe with a few throwbacks to previous editions.
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
If WotC repeats some horrible mistake from the past (pre-4e "insult the existing player base" marketing comes to mind) then a problem will arise. If they sell the revisions as "improved by integrating feedback from years of experience around the table and the e-table" it should be fine. (Inside joke and my pet peeve: "featuring an Index that locates the rule you need!" )

My proposed 'if 5.5 is a dud' backstop would be to move the original Core Rulebooks to a POD-like status. Yet another reprint run can be ordered later if the new Core Rulebooks for whatever reason disappoint - or the old books can be kept in this semi-available status for as long as desired.

And it would not hurt to 'tidy up' the Old Book PODs by fixing typos &c.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
What would you do if you were WotC?

What do you think WotC would do?

It just struck me, what if WotC revises the core books but the originals continue to sell like they do now? What happens if they outperform the new core books? What happens if they out preform them a lot?
This sort of thing isn't without precedent...I mean, "New Coke" was a thing that happened. But it would have to be a royal flop, on the same magnitude as New Coke. Unlikely, but possible I suppose.
 

Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
Regarding the original post, I am unworried.

WotC has experience with this kind of situation. 4e did ok, but perhaps not as well as it could. So, via surveys and research, they reconnected to the customer base. Notably, WotC moved forward, creating 5e. They never went backward by creating new products for 3e.

WotC is working on a 50th anniversary edition. I am excited about it.

Some people speculate it will be a full-on 6e edition change. Maybe most expect some kind of 5.5e. Personally, I am skeptical it would even qualify as "5.5" update.

There will be some updates in format, the ability score process will decouple from the race selection process, and there will be a cleanup of some of the lore. These are all well within "5.0" parameters.

Everything else is speculation.

No matter what changes come − even no matter what surprises come − WotC is doing due diligence to ensure the customer base is able to keep pace.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
Some people speculate it will be a full-on 6e edition change. Maybe most expect some kind of 5.5e. Personally, I am skeptical it would even qualify as "5.5" update.
I think they will acknowledge it is 6E, but barely in the fine print and just keep on calling the game "Dungeons & Dragons" without qualifier. I think we have seen most of the actual changes in print already, though Classes are a bit of a wildcard.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Sure yea. But what if the new core tanks? Regardless?
Your question seems a bit insistent here. That is, people are suggesting that your formulation of the question is a bit flawed (as it assumes some things that are either impossible, deeply unwise, or extremely unlikely), and your response seems to have been "okay but what if these things happened anyway?"

So...if WotC is so unwise as to leave large numbers of "unrevised" books in circulation, and the new books somehow tank really really hard and are rejected by the player base, AND the market almost exclusively turns to 3PP or even other games (like PF2e), then they'll probably notice after a year or two, their profits will drop, and they'll pack it in and start working on 6e.

Like... you're basically saying, "What if 5.5e just fails?" And the answer is almost surely, "then we'll get 6e." Hasbro has seen that D&D can make money, perhaps even a lot of money. They won't let that golden goose just keel over.

But, again, all of this is extremely unlikely. Core books always sell well. Doesn't matter the edition. People want to try the new hotness. And, as I noted in another thread, I think 5e has finally gotten completely past the honeymoon/"puppy love" infatuation phase, and people are starting to be more critical than effusive. That doesn't mean they hate it, but it does mean the overall tone seems to be one ready for change (though there are major holdouts constantly complaining, as is always the case with change.)

It's a bit like asking "what if the JWST fails to deploy?", getting told all the safeguards and tests etc. done to prevent that possibility, and then asking "okay but what if it fails anyway?" The answer is in the question: it fails, so we probably try again with something different.
 

darjr

I crit!
Your question seems a bit insistent here. That is, people are suggesting that your formulation of the question is a bit flawed (as it assumes some things that are either impossible, deeply unwise, or extremely unlikely), and your response seems to have been "okay but what if these things happened anyway?"

So...if WotC is so unwise as to leave large numbers of "unrevised" books in circulation, and the new books somehow tank really really hard and are rejected by the player base, AND the market almost exclusively turns to 3PP or even other games (like PF2e), then they'll probably notice after a year or two, their profits will drop, and they'll pack it in and start working on 6e.

Like... you're basically saying, "What if 5.5e just fails?" And the answer is almost surely, "then we'll get 6e." Hasbro has seen that D&D can make money, perhaps even a lot of money. They won't let that golden goose just keel over.

But, again, all of this is extremely unlikely. Core books always sell well. Doesn't matter the edition. People want to try the new hotness. And, as I noted in another thread, I think 5e has finally gotten completely past the honeymoon/"puppy love" infatuation phase, and people are starting to be more critical than effusive. That doesn't mean they hate it, but it does mean the overall tone seems to be one ready for change (though there are major holdouts constantly complaining, as is always the case with change.)

It's a bit like asking "what if the JWST fails to deploy?", getting told all the safeguards and tests etc. done to prevent that possibility, and then asking "okay but what if it fails anyway?" The answer is in the question: it fails, so we probably try again with something different.
That’s because that is what I’m interested in? What would you do? What do you think WotC would?

Not if you think it’s possible or not.

It’s not like a rocket launch, all or nothing. It’s more like what really happened to the James Webb through no fault of the engineers, it got hit by space debris.
 

MGibster

Legend
So, out of curiosity, I looked upmwhat defines a "fad" exactly, and it turns out that D&D right now doesn't qualify as a fad at all. It has been growing too hard for too long now to fit under the rubric, though it can vary between fields.
I think the more general definition of fad is that it's a short but intense popularity for something. I'm not sure how short, short might be though. But enough of me being a pedant, the salient point here is that your argument is sound. While I don't think the popularity of D&D can be sustained, I don't think it's a fad.
 

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