Critical Role Wildemount: Most Pre-orders Since D&D Core Rulebooks

It seems that the most popular D&D setting in the 5E era is... Wildemount! Talking about the upcoming Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, WotC's Greg Tito said on a Twitch stream recently that "we're pretty sure that this book has seen the most pre-orders and pre-release excitement since any of the core rulebooks for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition were released".

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Here's the quote in full:

"...It was number 1, ranked number 1, for all books on Amazon. How many of you out there remember when Amazon was just selling books? Raise your hands. Yeah, that's me. So it's really cool, even though obviously I do a lot more other fun stuff right now, there is a ton out there that are excited for this book, and it isn't even out yet.

"We have little bit of an internal metrics, but we're pretty sure that this book has seen the most pre-orders and pre-release excitement since any of the core rulebooks for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition were released, and if you've been following along at home, Dungeons & Dragons has been selling like hotcakes since 5th Edition released in 2014."

It sounds like the Critical Role setting is proving more popular (at least right now) than traditional D&D settings like Ravenloft or Eberron, newer ones like Ravnica, or adventures set in the Forgotten Realms.

Explorer's Guide to Wildemount will hit game stores on March 17th.
 
Russ Morrissey

Comments

pedr

Explorer
I’m not surprised. I expect there’ll be a significant group for whom this is the first D&D book they buy, and many others who will own this and the PHB.

I think it’d probably beat a hypothetical Forgotten Realms Campaign guide, even though that would also attract people who aren’t regularly buying the adventures or rulebooks.
 

akr71

Adventurer
This is great news, but not really surprising - CR fans show up in droves.

I am still undecided if I want this book. More spells and class options are cool, but not required.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Also indicates that prioritizing this product over old school Greyhawk/Darksun/Spelljammer settings was probably the right call. There's only so much room for new settings, I'd rather have a more-or-less clean slate than yet another FR publication myself.

As far as not being "owned" by WOTC, I'm not sure how that works. I mean, Eberron was the result of a contest and the idea wasn't initially developed in-house. Is this really that much different?
 

Ringtail

World Traveller
I'm quite excited for this setting. I am a fan of Critical Role certainly, but having followed the show Matt's world of Exandria fills most of the standard D&D tropes.

He has his own flair of course, but it could be a great alternative to Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk, delivering the 'classic' D&D experience.

I know he uses the Dawn War Pantheon. In the Green Ronin book the skipped the names in favor of generic titles, like the Archheart for Corellon or the Storm Lord for Kord. I'm curious if we will see the original names make it into this book since it has WoTC's blessing. The one exception being Sarenrae, from Pathfinder, which will certainly need a new name.
 

vivsavage

Explorer
I'm not very familiar with Critical Role, so I don't know what the fuss is about. Is there anything unique about Wildemount compared to Forgotten Realms, Eberron, etc? Didn't the CR folks already publish a world guide for 5e under Green Ronin?
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I'm not very familiar with Critical Role, so I don't know what the fuss is about. Is there anything unique about Wildemount compared to Forgotten Realms, Eberron, etc? Didn't the CR folks already publish a world guide for 5e under Green Ronin?
CR is one of the most popular D&D streams out there. It's based on a home campaign created by Matt Mercer, I believe the other publication was for a different continent.

So no, it's not really much different other than any other setting, most of which started as home campaigns. However from what I've read it's a fairly cohesive setting that doesn't have years of baggage and history from multiple sources.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
I think the sales of this book also highlight just how much a factor the world of streaming has affected D&D's success and made the game as huge as it currently is. I know many players like to poo-poo the idea of watching people play D&D... but the sales of this book are an incredibly strong indicator of just how many people have had Critical Role be their introduction or their primary go-to into the world of Dungeons & Dragons.

5E did a very good job of being an edition that re-introduced older players to either switch in, or come back to the game. But it was Critical Role and other streamers that helped bring in the huge swathe of younger players to the game for the first time-- the generation for whom game streaming of all types has become their primary entertainment. And while this book might not be what many of the older generation wants (those who want to recapture the nostalgia of game worlds past)... the younger generation sees their game world available to be played in alongside all the characters they love.
 

schneeland

Explorer
Doesn't surprise me, and is just further proof of how big CR is (and how much CR fans are willing to buy anything related to their favourite show). I don't think, I'll buy it (I have stopped watching the show quite a while back), but I'm happy for all those who can enjoy the book and hopefully also use it at their gaming table.
 
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dbm

Explorer
It's just a thing, not good or bad.
It might be a bad thing from a WotC perspective. Hasbro seem to see the world in terms of brand IP multi-media potential, so the reason they like D&D is brand recognition and the ability to spin that into licensed games, films, TV series etc. The ‘Toys that made us’ series is very interesting in that regard, talking about how brands become multi-media money making machines.

So, if Critical Role’s IP started to dominate the core D&D brand that might be a bad thing because it would imply that consumers are more interested in seeing a CR film or TV series than a ‘D&D‘ series (what ever that might be...)

At the very least, WotC may be keen to buy that IP...
 

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