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

Aberzanzorax

First Post
Dude, I fully admit it is opinion. I also think, reading the threads in this new subforum, that it is not a unique one.

Disagree if you like, but I hardly think I deserve chastisement for "promoting it as fact."


I'm sorry you misread it that way.
 

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The Ghost

First Post
First, I don't think Wizards/Hasbro drives the role-playing industry* in the same way that TSR had in the late 70s and early 80s.

* I use the term role-playing as a very broad term to include console and internet games as well as pen-and-paper games. This term can also extend to Legos, Barbie Dolls, Cops and Robbers, and pretty much any other form of playing make-believe.

Second, I don't think Wizards/Hasbro would sell D&D. At worst, I think it could be shelved for a number of years if 4e is doing poorly and then released at future date. Of course, we have no actual data that tells us how the game is doing; only anecdotal evidence which varies from person to person.

Third, even if it is shelved the existence of the OGL allows other game companies to continue producing adventures, splat books, etc.

Fourth, role-playing* was around long before D&D. So long as there are people playing make-believe there will be role-playing games.

* Read above on my usage of "Role-playing."
 


darkwing

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?
Nah. First of all, WotC is doing a pretty good job. This PDF thing only affects a few people. The game is much bigger than that.

2nd, If WotC does screw up, there's always someone eager to take their place. I haven't seen anything as good as 4e mechanic wise, but the basic mechanics are known and can be replicated without infringing copyright: balanced classes with standardized yet unique powers, abilities alter basic standard rules, etc...

A few inspired people could take these as starting points and make their own system and classes. Maybe we could even get something similar mechanic wise in a an environment other than medieval fantasy.
 

Enerla

First Post
Some people say: 4e is good.

I think the core question comes from a make-believe standpoint is simple: Does their restrivtions and rules help for an imagineable adventure? How they handle square grid, character progression (where you can't make some logical decisions with the character) are not the best for this reason to say the least.

BUT there is a big big but here, since minuatures games are more popular than RPGs, and they just repositioned D&D when they recognized that there is more people who want to play a game with friends than people who want to roleplay in their setting with help of their roleplaying games, and the later can work well with freeform stuff, etc.

If people, when speak about roleplaying games, see a tactical miniatures game with a bit too much focus on hack and slash (and other dice rolling) that can hurt roleplaying games, since it can turn away people who would like roleplaying.

Yet it is a long term.

Yet, people recognize Diablo series as Roleplaying Games. And if we can point to Blizzard we see that this problem is independent from Wizards, and they might be affected by this problem. If they aren't the source, but Blizzard is closer to the source of problems, then I think time is here to reword the question.

And even if we would blame Wizards, when we got tactical character building that wasn't strongly justified story wise, with a lot of tactical combat AND XP getting awarded for such tactical situations and not for goals (and roleplaying) then the change began.

People who loved these changes and the shift to a more tactical game, people who made D&D miniatures products sell well (by buying them) and accelerating the change are part of the process and shouldn't blame WOTC for it.

When you check the math they have done when building up the system and you see they made significant mistakes, and reach to the conclusion you can't trust them to do the math and build the system... Can such problems that make people stop buying D&D products hurt the game? Yes they can.

But as long as people celebrate such mistakes and brilliant and excellent rules and it is what the markets demand can you blame WOTC for seeing this trend continue?

If most players would demand fairness, quality, good business practices, support for a hobby for their money or they wouldn't make purchases from that company but would switch to something else, then Hasbro would adjust and we would see a different markets.

Can players destroy the hobby and industry? Yes. If they are helped by Blizzard? Yes. If WOTC also helps them after time? Yes.

But it depends on Players and DMs.
 

DracoSuave

First Post
Given that the company that used to hold D&D before WoTC did far worse with it than the current holders of the property are, ever have, or ever could, and the industry not only survived but actually -thrived- in that era, I think this is just a bunch of baseless fear-and-loathing.

There -was- a time when D&D wasn't the new hotness, when people went on to other RPGs. Other companies started to get more and more popular, and more mature games appeared on the landscape. The hobby started to broaden its horizons, and more people were attracted as a result.

So, even if the impossible happened and WoTC (A profitable division in a profitable company) tanked, the hobby itself would adjust, because it has before. D&D is the number one, but in the grand scheme of things, it's not -that- important.
 

Hairfoot

First Post
Given that the company that used to hold D&D before WoTC did far worse with it than the current holders of the property are, ever have, or ever could, and the industry not only survived but actually -thrived- in that era, I think this is just a bunch of baseless fear-and-loathing.
As Leslie Poles Hartley said, "the past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."

I think that during the TSR era the people who chucked in D&D went to another RPG, like GURPS. But these days they go to a MMORPG. If WotC screws it up, the industry itself may go into a terminal decline as potential and current players leech out to computer games and don't come back.
 

carmachu

Explorer
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.)

The "industry" has adopted and moved on, quite frankly. Some of the bigger ones have moved on and developed their own version(piazo) or adopted copyright variants(Kenzo and Goodman) or waited it out for a better GSL(necromancer).

Hasbro circled the wagons and pulled it in. The first GSL shows their inent. But the industry has adopted and overcome.

The only way Wotc or Hasbro could break the industry is to get lawsuit happy and sue the copyright folks. And Paizo for developement. And actively try and revoke the OGL.
 

El Mahdi

Muad'Dib of the Anauroch
Nature (and business;)) abhors a vacuum. If WotC collapsed, a company or companies would fill the void.

However, they wouldn't necessarily be D&D. In fact I'd quite doubt we'd see the D&D brand again.

If WotC collapsed I think it's anybodies guess whether they would sell the D&D brand, or if Hasbro would just retain it and put it on a shelf.
 
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Truth Seeker

Adventurer
No...

No...

No...

If Wotc goes, the industry will bounce back...literally.

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?
 


DracoSuave

First Post
As Leslie Poles Hartley said, "the past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."

I think that during the TSR era the people who chucked in D&D went to another RPG, like GURPS. But these days they go to a MMORPG. If WotC screws it up, the industry itself may go into a terminal decline as potential and current players leech out to computer games and don't come back.

That's like saying if they stop making Ford cars that people will ride jetskis. Or that if Blizzard goes under, people will play Counterstrike. I'm sorry, but people don't always get the same experience from a MMO as they do from a table top RPG. The two aren't even comparable. They provide different 'feel good' moments, and have different styles of socialization. They hit different buttons, and are -different products entirely.- They are in a measure of competition for time and money, but they aren't replacements for each other.

The more likely substitute for D&D will be a product that offers the same sensations and socialization. And given that the places that sell D&D will be financially invested in selling a replacement product, the chances of that replacement being marketted by those whose lives will depend on it are pretty good.

They've been saying video games will replace D&D for decades, and that's never happened. Video games -based on- D&D haven't even replaced D&D.

It's just not the same animal.
 

Hairfoot

First Post
Dracosuave, the analogies are inaccurate. If someone invented teleportation technology, some people would still drive cars because they enjoy the experience. Let's say that the overwhelming majority of those are Ford enthusiasts. If Ford then packed up, a lot of those people wouldn't bother to adjust to a vintage Honda, they'd just use the teleporter.

And if Blizzard went under, a lot of people would start playing Counterstrike instead!

My argument is that D&D has always been the flagship of RPGs, and that 4E has been designed and marketed to appeal specifically to a new generation of players, which lives and breathes MMORPGs and anime, and for which the fantasy tropes of previous D&D editions are no more relevant or appealing than The Monkees.

Hopefully Hasbro has the brand power and marketing budget to bring in new customers from that demographic. But if 4E dies, those potential players will never know that "people don't always get the same experience from a MMO as they do from a table top RPG", and they certainly won't be tracking Paizo down to see if Pathfinder can do it.

I don't like 4E. I cannot consider it a genuine edition of D&D. But I have a strong interest in seeing it succeed, because for all of the customers it wins, some will drift into other P&P games, which keeps the hobby vibrant and alive.
 

Derren

Hero
Could WotC ruin the RPG business? Yes, but imo not by failing but by succeeding and driving more people away from role playing towards miniature wargaming.
 

Grazzt

Demon Lord
Given that the company that used to hold D&D before WoTC did far worse with it than the current holders of the property are, ever have, or ever could, and the industry not only survived but actually -thrived- in that era, I think this is just a bunch of baseless fear-and-loathing.

There -was- a time when D&D wasn't the new hotness, when people went on to other RPGs. Other companies started to get more and more popular, and more mature games appeared on the landscape. The hobby started to broaden its horizons, and more people were attracted as a result.

So, even if the impossible happened and WoTC (A profitable division in a profitable company) tanked, the hobby itself would adjust, because it has before. D&D is the number one, but in the grand scheme of things, it's not -that- important.

Yep. Agreed. If WotC collapsed and D&D went away or even faltered like it did near the TSR end times, the industry may take a brief hit, but it will adjust and bounce back. So, D&D #1, even if it vanishes will not signal the end of the industry by any means.
 

Jack Colby

First Post
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.

I agree with this. Even if we somehow lost the D&D brand due to WotC's actions, a lot of D&D players would find something else to buy. There's never been an RPG industry without someone publishing D&D though, so nobody could really say what would happen.
 

Festivus

First Post
There is no way that if WoTC/Hasbro were to disappear/stop publishing D&D tomorrow that the hobby would stop functioning. Some other publisher would step in to fill the void... and short of something along the lines of Orwell's "1984", or Farenheit 451, they will not be taking my printed books away from me.

My opinion (just for Mistwell here), is that WoTC is doing a dandy job with the new edition of the game, and that it's a great base upon which to build a new series of adventures from that is cleaner and easier to learn and play... this will make it ultimately a larger seller than any prior edition, regardless of fanbase splintering.
 

Xath

Moder-gator
Dude, I fully admit it is opinion. I also think, reading the threads in this new subforum, that it is not a unique one.

Disagree if you like, but I hardly think I deserve chastisement for "promoting it as fact."


I'm sorry you misread it that way.

Well that is a backhanded apology if I ever read one!

I'm sorry you improperly posted it that way dude :)

Passive agression is still agression, no matter how many smilies you attach to it. Keep it civil folks.

- Xath
 


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