WotC WotC in a small decline as revenue drops by 16% as Hasbro shares hit a new 52-week low

Warpiglet-7

Cry havoc! And let slip the pigs of war!
Tasha’s finally grew on me but it has been a long while since I have felt compelled to buy many books.

I am a little surprised that in our how ever many year run we only got yawning portal and saltmarsh in terms of shorter adventures but acting like they are making lots of financial mistakes is kind of silly.

On cue, a new edition is coming out. We have had year on year growth for a good while: I don’t think This is a shock.

Right when they have a dip, the movie and toys come out. Younger kids wonder about the game.

I may not like all facets of where the game is going (I don’t) but the game is going. haters are in for some disappointment.

All of that said…me and my pals are family career guys. We play as much as we can (not like college days!). Perhaps as a result we have not even plumbed the depths or heights of 5e. It’s a weird position to be in again.

And of course D&D is but a portion of this big whole.
 

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On cue, a new edition is coming out. We have had year on year growth for a good while: I don’t think This is a shock.

Right when they have a dip, the movie and toys come out. Younger kids wonder about the game.
Except D&D'a dip was because they didn't release a video game.

The books are still selling.

Don't let the commentariat confuse you. The game of D&D isn't in distress
 



Warpiglet-7

Cry havoc! And let slip the pigs of war!
Except D&D'a dip was because they didn't release a video game.

The books are still selling.

Don't let the commentariat confuse you. The game of D&D isn't in distress
All well taken but it’s not a huge deal for some of us who are reasonably content anyway. Just interesting.

I played 1e off and on until 2000. I can see me running with 5e for years to come. I can’t really lose.

If the art is cool in the next phb, I may buy it. Time will tell. And if not, no big loss to WOTC. They will continue to sell to all new fans as all of this hype producing stuff comes out.
 

So if Hasbro goes under, who buys them? Mattel? Nintendo? Walmart?
Embracer Group, or maybe Amazon. If 2023 is going to be a bad economic year, Hasbro is getting ready better than Mattel.

If feel as if I was watching a TV-show and in the first episodes I find some clues about what is going to happen in the end of the season. My theory is we are going to see a lot of changes among the chairs by the CEOs from the main companies in the entertaiment industry.
 

So basically you are against buying adventures period not even to mine ideas.
Yes.

Certainly WotC ones.

The whole "mining ideas" thing for D&D is usually pretty silly, in my opinion, like, unless you just aren't a person who thinks of adventure ideas, or are pretty new to RPGs/D&D. I can "mine" more ideas by watching a single episode of a SF/fantasy show on TV (especially some anime, interestingly) than I can by reading an adventure, and they're usually better ideas too. Frankly WotC has zero top-flight adventure designers right now.

I used to buy WotC adventures but WotC stopped making "finished" adventures in 5E. In 3E and 4E, WotC adventures were just mostly crap (with some notable exceptions), but they tended to be complete. In order to run them, you needed to read them through once, and make some light notes, maybe a few small tweaks. With 5E, virtually all WotC adventures, certainly the "adventure path"-style ones are just incomplete, and they're very poorly written too, with terrible organisation. The key audience seems to be people who don't seriously intend to run the adventure, rather reading it for pleasure almost like an incredibly bad fantasy novel. Not all of them are worthless - Strahd is pretty okay - but the vast majority require so much effort to make them actually run that it's barely less effort than working from scratch (for me at least), and if there's one thing I have absolutely zero problem with, it's coming up with adventure ideas for broad fantasy or SF stuff. I mean, I came up with an entire sci-fi campaign with two dozen major NPCs, loads of plot points, alternate ways things to go, over a weekend a few months ago - I just kept typing and coming up with ideas.

I still buy adventures from non-WotC sources sometimes, if I know they're going to be well-made, double-especially if it's for an RPG I don't naturally think in the style of (like complicated intrigue/wheels-within-wheels stuff, that doesn't come naturally to me), but D&D I got covered, thinking-wise.

Re: Radiant Citadel, yeah, maybe I am missing out, that could be. Those designers are newer and might have fresher ideas, and short adventures like that usually are complete, unlike WotC's longer ones. But Radiant Citadel is extremely heavily themed to a pretty wild theme. Usually with short adventures, I want them because I can drop them in for a session I didn't have a chance to prep for, or because I don't want to do the work for a week, or just for something different. With Radiant Citadel my impression was that's not really what those are for.
 

Staffan

Legend
It's essential wildly overpriced proxy cards. But with WotC's stubborn adherence to the Reserve List, I guess saying "we're going to make cards you can't use in official gaming and at a price point that is unfeasible for most players" was the only way they were ever going to get Black Lotus on a piece of rectangular cardboard again...
I think the reserve list is not exactly something Wizards adheres to by choice. Back when I was following Magic closer, I recall MaRo saying things like "I know there are many people who think we should do away with the reserve list, but that is not going to happen, and I can't tell you why." The latter bit very much screams "because it's part of a legal settlement whose exact terms are confidential."
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I think the reserve list is not exactly something Wizards adheres to by choice. Back when I was following Magic closer, I recall MaRo saying things like "I know there are many people who think we should do away with the reserve list, but that is not going to happen, and I can't tell you why." The latter bit very much screams "because it's part of a legal settlement whose exact terms are confidential."

He also said several times that the non-playable ones (regulation size but with gold borders or different backs) were covered by the reserve list too...

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It seems odd to me to think that some sort of settlement already happened. I can imagine a threat of a legal action. WotC might be big enough now that lawyering up and fighting it if it comes up would be a thing they could do.
 

If you aren't buying campaign books and you aren't buying either adventure collections or campaigns then to be blunt what are you buying? Setting books? (Of those I have five - and regret only one).
My expectation, in early 2021 and onwards, was that I would probably be buying:

Strixhaven - For sure - I was under the impression this was a setting book, and also that it was the cool MtG take on the setting. Neither turned out to be the case.
Wild Beyond the Witchlight - Possibly was going to break tradition if it was good enough, because of the theme. It wasn't.
Radiant Citadel - I didn't get how extremely heavily-themed this apparently is until I read reviews. I am open to short adventure collections if they're very easy to drop into a campaign, but that requires them to be pretty generic. I still use some 1E & 2E adventure collections in 5E (and Dungeon World!) I note.
Fizban's Dragon Book - Yeah I don't like dragons much, but as a sourcebook, I expected it to be compelling enough that I'd get it anyway. It was not.
Spelljammer - I thought I'd be "UGH I GUESS!" and getting it because it would be cool. Unfortunately it was an overpriced car crash.

Even if we exclude Wild and Radiant as lower-chance, the other three are significant from my perspective.

This hasn't been true pretty much from the start of 5e IME. The release schedule's been pretty empty.
That's totally fair but not really how I've felt - rather, it's been slow, but almost all of the non-adventures I've wanted to get - I think the only one I didn't is what, Ravnica (which I have access to via Beyond sharing anyway).

I'm therefore going to suggest the only reason you didn't spend as much as you normally do is that the Spelljammer release is actively a poor product.
I mean attempting to mind-read others is fun at parties, but at the absolute minimum Strixhaven is in there too, because everything about in the pre-release said "This is a setting with a campaign suggestion", and indeed only when the contents became clear, was it revealed as actually an adventure/campaign with a tiny bit of setting weirdly changed from the cool MtG setting attached. The MtG take is like "darker Harry Potter", and I don't mean to sound like an edgelord but I'm way more interested in that than "comfier Harry Potter" which is what we got here. And Fizban's was so sparse on the mechanically-cool stuff that It was the first sourcebook I skipped. It is true at least that Spelljammer being actively bad caused me to avoid it.

(Astonished that "comfier" is a word but apparently it is!)

Looking forwards to the rest of this year and 2023:

Dragonlance - I don't what's wrong with me, but I kind of really like the idea of running a Dragonlance campaign set in an overlooked bit of Anaslon (I'm a Taladas guy, there are like two of us on the entire planet!) with a lot of Solamnic Knight stuff going on (god I totally irrationally love the Solamnic Knights), so if they can please avoid screwing this up, I will get this. I'm even willing to accept the usual WotC "Chapter 5: Write your own whole-ass adventure to fit here!" stuff. Likely ways it will be screwed up are:

A) It's just beyond generic and totally unrecognisable, out of fear it might accidentally exclude some option. Unlikely but not impossible given how weirdly lore-averse the lead designer is.

B) It's just badly written (I'm praying not).

C) It's utterly reliant on the board game to make the battle/campaign stuff pay off.

If it's C, it's effectively a $150+ campaign that can't be played online (unless there's a secret digital version of the boardgame), in which case no, because it would mean I couldn't include my brother in Australia and he's the other DL-liker in my main group.

Keys from the Golden Vault - A collection of generic heist-oriented adventures you say? Whilst I'd like to know the writers (please say one is Logan Bonner, writer of the best D&D heist I've ever seen, 4E's Blood Money in Dungeon #200), this is a strong contender for me to pick up.

Glory of the Giants - Sod off! I really REALLY hate D&D's take on pretty much all giants except Hill & Stone, and god to I hate "elemental bollocks". So this is a very unlikely buy for me I will admit now. Especially as the Feats from the UA were deeply "meh".

Phandelver Campaign - Unlikely for me to buy, but I do respect it, and I just hope they do a good job, as Phandelver is one of the few good WotC 5E adventures.

Book of Many Things - If I don't buy this, something weird has happened, or I've decided to wait entirely until 1D&D comes out.

Planescape - THE ULTIMATE TEST (for me). Will they fail or will they renew my faith in WotC?

For me this is "high stakes". Planescape was an absolute miracle of a campaign setting as originally conceived. No-one but Zeb Cook could even possibly have come up with it. It's genuinely unique in the elements that came together, and more than that, it prefigured a lot of later fantasy literature, which is almost unheard-of in D&D supplements, which are normally deeply derivative of fantasy literature. It was a setting that was if anything, a few years ahead of the curve of fantasy literature - let alone fantasy settings. I think it's still ahead of the curve on RPG fantasy settings.

And it's incredibly easy to screw up. We've seen that. Monte Cook isn't an idiot or talentless*, and he'd written some truly great PS adventures, but in Faction War, he created and implemented a scenario which left Sigil in an incredibly boring state, that made it feel utterly generic and plain - Planescape should not be Plainscape!!! (sorry not sorry!).

And 4E, in the mostly-brilliant DMG2 just built on Cook's scenario and made it even more boring. They managed to make Sigil, the incredibly diverse heart of the planes, with thousands or millions of strange beings from strange worlds passing through every day sound like a dull Midwestern American city with insular and deeply bureaucratic politics. Beyond words. Actual negative sense-of-wonder - I didn't know it was even possible. WoD Changelings who read that part of the DMG2 probably shrivelled up and died on the spot from the sheer Banality.

So how will the WotC of 2022/23 do? What will we see? It's entirely up in the air. The UA didn't bode great, but it did seem like maybe the Factions still existed at least. If they take the Spelljammer 1/3 setting & rules (so more like 1/6th setting) 1/3 bestiary 1/3 adventure approach we can pretty much write it off as soon as they do that. But hopefully they don't.

Anyway, sorry, going on.


* = He does have a weird issue with coming up with wonderful ideas then making them absolutely pedestrian in implementation, as we can see with Numenera's default setting, which is some generic post-apocalypse turned into medieval fantasy bollocks very at odds with the wild ideas the setting is based on. What happened man, is all I can say there.

(And yes you can all mock me in 2023 when Glory of the Giants turns out to be awesome and somehow WotC makes Planescape brilliant but Golden Keys sucks.)
 
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DarkCrisis

Legend
Planescape doesn’t have a chance. I honestly cant wait to see how they strip out layers and layers of it and change all the little unique things to make it as generic as possible.

I mean, it will be bare minimum lore as usual and most of the book is a heist adventure as you try to steal Lady of Pains headdress or something.
 

Staffan

Legend
He also said several times that the non-playable ones (regulation size but with gold borders or different backs) were covered by the reserve list too...

View attachment 265178
I think Mark is actually a little confused here. The current version of the reprint policy says:

Tournament Legality
All policies described in this document apply only to tournament-legal Magic cards.

I think what Mark is thinking about here was the loophole that cards could be reprinted in premium versions (e.g. foil). They released a couple of premium versions as judge promos, and in a Duel Decks and a From the Vaults product. Apparently that caused some protests, so they decided to amend the reprint policy to close that loophole.

It seems odd to me to think that some sort of settlement already happened. I can imagine a threat of a legal action. WotC might be big enough now that lawyering up and fighting it if it comes up would be a thing they could do.
The Reserve List was created as a response to complaints about, I believe, Chronicles, which reprinted a large number of cards from earlier sets (with white borders instead of black to denote their non-original status). This caused a lot of collectors to complain, because it caused the values of their collections to plummet.

Personally, I believe its creation was a mistake, because people who treat toys as speculative investments deserve to have their misconceptions corrected. But apparently Wizards at the time disagreed, and given that they have made actual promises not to reprint these cards they have to live with those promises.
 

My expectation, in early 2021 and onwards, was that I would probably be buying:

Strixhaven - For sure - I was under the impression this was a setting book, and also that it was the cool MtG take on the setting. Neither turned out to be the case.
Wild Beyond the Witchlight - Possibly was going to break tradition if it was good enough, because of the theme. It wasn't.
Radiant Citadel - I didn't get how extremely heavily-themed this apparently is until I read reviews. I am open to short adventure collections if they're very easy to drop into a campaign, but that requires them to be pretty generic. I still use some 1E & 2E adventure collections in 5E (and Dungeon World!) I note.
Fizban's Dragon Book - Yeah I don't like dragons much, but as a sourcebook, I expected it to be compelling enough that I'd get it anyway. It was not.
Spelljammer - I thought I'd be "UGH I GUESS!" and getting it because it would be cool. Unfortunately it was an overpriced car crash.
I don't know how you know these things suck, when you have not read them.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I think Mark is actually a little confused here. The current version of the reprint policy says:

Tournament Legality
All policies described in this document apply only to tournament-legal Magic cards.

That's what I thought too, but I think Maro restated it a few times.

I think what Mark is thinking about here was the loophole that cards could be reprinted in premium versions (e.g. foil). They released a couple of premium versions as judge promos, and in a Duel Decks and a From the Vaults product. Apparently that caused some protests, so they decided to amend the reprint policy to close that loophole.


The Reserve List was created as a response to complaints about, I believe, Chronicles, which reprinted a large number of cards from earlier sets (with white borders instead of black to denote their non-original status). This caused a lot of collectors to complain, because it caused the values of their collections to plummet.

Personally, I believe its creation was a mistake, because people who treat toys as speculative investments deserve to have their misconceptions corrected. But apparently Wizards at the time disagreed, and given that they have made actual promises not to reprint these cards they have to live with those promises.
I was in grad school helping a friend who sold cards at the time. Between Fallen Empires massive over printing and then Chronicles, if they hadn't done anything then I'm not that sure that magic would have made it without doing something.

If you went back and told WotC that MtG would still be around 30 years later I bet they would have thought of something better :). (Limiting the reprints, spacing the out over time, etc... but not banning it forever).
 


Stormonu

Legend
The rotation is Gamer owned, Business owned, Gamer Owned, Business owned..

Next up is Gamer owned. So some rich gamer will buy it. Run it for a bit and then sale it to a corp.
I can just see Justin put in a bid to buy Hasbro because "it's going bankrupt".

"It's a fair price!!!"
 

hedgeknight

Explorer
No more 5E products for me.
I'm going backwards ;)
Love the POD modules and sourcebooks from DriveThru RPG and some of the newer retro adventures are pretty cool too. Like I said earlier, if there were never any more products, we'd be fine for ages.
 

Are you even serious here? That is a beneath-contempt level of bad take.

It's also extremely hypocritical, given we can 100% guarantee that you have made assertions regarding products/media you don't own.
No it’s not, why do you hate say Wild Beyond the Witchlight given you apparently know nothing about it.

Do you just go off reviews or something.

Cause all I have seen of you is you saying that everything sucks.
 

Planescape doesn’t have a chance. I honestly cant wait to see how they strip out layers and layers of it and change all the little unique things to make it as generic as possible.

I mean, it will be bare minimum lore as usual and most of the book is a heist adventure as you try to steal Lady of Pains headdress or something.
I don’t know you have been wrong about every other prediction you have made in my opinion.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but my impression was that the videogame did very poorly and thus didn't make expected profits (if it even made a profit at all).
Dark Alliance didn't do well in reviews, but it seems to have made rhem money, based on these charts.

A video game doesn't have to be good to turn a healthy profit, that's why the video game industry is the way that it is. Being great can lead to a lot of money, but even mediocrity can cover payroll and keep the lights on.

Also, it was on Gamepass, IIRC, so Microsoft probably helped them cover costs.
 

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