Worst case scenario: Could WotC "break" the whole industry?

Aberzanzorax

First Post
Inspired by a number of recent events...

What if WotC screws D&D up royally? Like, far worse than they have so far...


Could they break the industry?

Could they ruin everything if they tried (or were just even mroe radically incompetent)?

Or is the industry way, way bigger than WotC?


Your opinion?
 

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Wicht

Hero
My opinion is that I will keep playing D&D (though not 4e) for as long as I can. Whether it is supported or not is another question. That being said, if WotC dropped all support of TRPGs, I think that some other companies would see an increase in their sales, thereby allowing them to sustain their businesses until one of them became the true market leader.
 

Lord Xtheth

First Post
I think there is the posibility for Wizards to lose D&D, or sell it or whatever, but the industry itself is way bigger than WotC itself, and will survive, even if WotC somehow completely goes out of buisness.
 

Dice4Hire

First Post
I think you only need ot look at the people who play older editions of D&D, especially those supported by fan websites, to answer that question.

The hobby is bigger than WOTC, but WOTC is the main company that gets D&D into mainstream bookstores and such, so losing WOTC would hurt.
 

Treebore

First Post
Inspired by a number of recent events...

What if WotC screws D&D up royally? Like, far worse than they have so far...


Could they break the industry?

Could they ruin everything if they tried (or were just even mroe radically incompetent)?

Or is the industry way, way bigger than WotC?


Your opinion?


I think the hobby will be broken when we all quit playing the games. WOTC can certainly hurt it, but I think Paizo, Mongoose, Green Ronin, and everyone else will keep it alive.
 

DaveMage

Slumbering in Tsar
What if WotC screws D&D up royally? Like, far worse than they have so far...

Could they break the industry?

Could they ruin everything if they tried (or were just even mroe radically incompetent)?

Or is the industry way, way bigger than WotC?

The rest of the industry was doing well enough (maybe better) when TSR was failing, so no, I don't think WotC could ruin everything if they fail or tried to ruin things for everyone else.
 

Staffan

Legend
The problems I see from WOTC imploding are more long-term in nature.

A significant chunk of the RPG market belongs to D&D. If Wizards stop making D&D (and deep-six it instead of selling it off), that's gonna put a hurting on many FLGSes. Many of these will have to close or direct their business away from RPGs. That, in turn, will make it harder to recruit new players to replace those that stop playing for whatever reason.

We're already in a similar situation with more and more people buying their games online, but a potential WOTC implosion would make it much worse.
 

Korgoth

First Post
The problems I see from WOTC imploding are more long-term in nature.

A significant chunk of the RPG market belongs to D&D. If Wizards stop making D&D (and deep-six it instead of selling it off), that's gonna put a hurting on many FLGSes. Many of these will have to close or direct their business away from RPGs. That, in turn, will make it harder to recruit new players to replace those that stop playing for whatever reason.

We're already in a similar situation with more and more people buying their games online, but a potential WOTC implosion would make it much worse.

Are there actually game stores out there that don't also sell several of the following: comic books, games workshop stuff, historical miniatures, collectible games, j-pop stuff and boardgames? If a store just sold, or even mostly sold, role playing games I don't see how it could survive, especially these days. But if a store sells mostly other stuff but has a few shelves of role playing games, and gets by on that mix, I don't think WOTC going under would sink it.

Really, the actual money seems to be in Settlers of Catan, FFG products, minis, etc.

I don't think WOTC going down would sink the industry. I think the industry would keep on keepin' on, and would be more hobbyist-focused.

Paizo, FFG, Mongoose, WW and others would keep putting out product. I think D&D retro-clone products would become higher profile as shops looked for D&D stuff to put on the shelves.
 

Xyxox

Explorer
Worst case scenario, Hasbro shelves D&D and the OGL becomes the focus of RPGs for years to come.

Hasbro will never ever sell D&D. Hasbro is not in the business of selling off their IP.
 

carmachu

Explorer
Did they screw up? Yes.

Took something away from customers, bad PR, AND their competetion moved in and offered a discount or free on theirs.

Breal the industry? Doubtful.
 


SirFrog

Explorer
If D&D disappeared, the hobby would not collapse, but it would shrink heavily because the steady influx of people that D&D brings into the hobby would practically disappear.

Without the steady influx of people that almost all of the other companies rely on, many will close up. Consolidation will occur and 2 or 3 companies will end up controlling the RPG market...probably SJG, WW, and Paizo...just my 2 cents.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
That may depend on what you're talking about when you talk of "the industry".

To hear the various business guys (from WotC and elsewhere) tell it, in one sense WotC pretty much is "the industry". In terms of raw sales, even the closest competitor (White Wolf) is not particularly large. So, in that sense, yes WotC can kill the industry if it stops publishing D&D.

On the other hand, WotC cannot, in the short term, kill the hobby - people can play for a long time without new WotC content. Long enough for someone else using 3e OGL content, or some other system, to step up and make a name for themselves.
 

BryonD

Hero
To hear the various business guys (from WotC and elsewhere) tell it, in one sense WotC pretty much is "the industry".
I think this is true. But even if they did completely screw it up (not happening now, and not looming) there would be much wailing and much chaos. And then things would settle back to some other semi-equilibrium state fairly similar to how it is now.
 
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Solodan

First Post
WotC won't go down, it has licenses to print money that are not RPG related.

If D&D got further manhandled, the industry would survive.

But it would also splinter - everyone would go and play their favorite game. Some would stay with 3.5/4E/older versions of D&D (Just because nothing more good comes out, doesn't mean we can't play what we have) Others would find the excellent offerings of other companies.

Honestly though, the splinter effect is already happening. D20 games were sort of a utopia - everyone could play their different games but for the most part we could all easily speak each other's language. One player could invite another to play an entirely different system, and for the most part, the transition would be painless. More brainpower would be spent to understand the new world rather than the new rulesystem.

To some extent, that still exists. However, clearly the trend is to move away from that somewhat.

Will that be good or bad? Who knows?
 


carmachu

Explorer
Let me put it this way:

How can WotC hurt/kill the industry more with this latest item, then they already have with a splintering of the fanbase that seems to have happened?
 

tomBitonti

Adventurer
Let me put it this way:

How can WotC hurt/kill the industry more with this latest item, then they already have with a splintering of the fanbase that seems to have happened?

Well, I was taking your question a different way: How much harm has Hasbro done to their business partners in denying them a stream of revenue?

That is: I took "the industry" as "RPG business entities other than Hashbro", and "fan driven products and utilities".

My read is that Hasbro doesn't care about the industry as a whole: They are focused on their own bottom line. I think that they think that they can weather the damage to the industry as a whole, because they are the market leader.

I think, though, that the market as a whole ought to be building bridges, not burning them: Pen and paper RPGs must survive in a market that also contains MMORPGs, and Multi-Player shooters.

(On the other hand, maybe Hasbro has seen that the only way to survive is to dramatically alter the business model: Don't compete with online games; ride in their wake. Switch to a subscription model with sales driven by power cards, miniatures, and the online character generator. But, even if that is the case, then what they seem to be doing is cutting and running, and don't intend to share the lifeboat when they reach it.)
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
What if WotC screws D&D up royally? Like, far worse than they have so far...

This is a basic assumption which I think is frankly silly.

It's OK if your OPINION is that you do not like the way WOTC has handled D&D with 4e. But to state it as fact in a basic assumption in your post, like it's the same as assuming the sky is blue?

I think WOTC has done a relatively good job so far with D&D and 4e. That's my opinion however, and I would not presume to tell everyone that my opinion is fact that should then be built on both others as a basic assumption.
 

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