WotC President: D&D Up 30% in 2018; More MtG Crossovers Coming

Chris Cocks spoke to GeekWire. He had some interesting things to say, but my main takeaways were that D&D is up at least 30% in 2018 over 2017, and Magic/D&D crossovers are likely to continue: "Growth in hobby game stores, a core driver of Wizards’ business, is also a leading factor in the company’s success. And the huge audiences attracted to the streaming of games online, on platforms such as YouTube and the Amazon-owned Twitch, has helped “D&D” in particular see record sales. Cocks said they’re in their fourth year of in excess of 30 percent growth per year on “D&D.”


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MtG crossovers -- "The company is set to release a major crossover between “Magic: The Gathering” and “Dungeons & Dragons” with “Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica,” a new sourcebook that will get players of the two games in the same multiverse. Cocks said to expect more of that, with classic worlds from the past and new worlds that are still to be created."

Digital future -- "The tabletop side is obviously where the majority of our businesses is today and we still see a big robust future for that,” Cocks said. “The digital side is kind of where the disconnect comes between the straight-line growth curve and the hockey stick. So a fair amount of my time is spent on new initiatives and helping to build those teams and groom our plans for that.”

See the full interview for more.
 

Comments

thundershot

Explorer
What an unfortunate last name. Worse than mine..:

I don’t care about MTG but I AM interested in revisiting classic worlds with books like this...
 

Parmandur

Legend
What an unfortunate last name. Worse than mine..:

I don’t care about MTG but I AM interested in revisiting classic worlds with books like this...
Yeah, I'm not really into Magic but this has possibilities. We have a Magic world ported into D&D now, but we can have a D&D world ported into Magic in the future (which would mean it gets attention including a D&D revival). One intriguing possibility that this interview suggests is that they might make a new fantasy world, outside of either game, and then have both games design trams make use of it. If they go through all the trouble to have James Wyatt build a new fantasy world, why not use it for multiple games?
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
30+% growth for 4 straight years, on a product 40 years old is unheard of
True, but it was a product that had a rather severe slump when the fan base fragmented with 4e and Pathfinder. I see this more as a recovery with a newly introduced product - not just a new version, but a new business model (slow and steady) which reduces barrier to entry. My *guess* is that AL is also doing a better job of introducing new players + welcoming returning ones then the 4e in-store initiatives, but I don't have numbers for that.
 

TerraDave

5ever
True, but it was a product that had a rather severe slump when the fan base fragmented with 4e and Pathfinder. I see this more as a recovery with a newly introduced product - not just a new version, but a new business model (slow and steady) which reduces barrier to entry. ....
Its a good summary. The first year or two probably did take them out of the hole, the next couple represent substantial growth thanks to the slow role-out, the quality of the game, and the whole spectator sport thing.

He noted strong hobby store sales, which I thought was interesting. My guess is that core rules sales have remained strong, but I not sure they have gone up in the last two years, or at least not 30%. Some of the growth must then be coming from the two monstery books, XGtE, and building up a wider set of perennial sellers.
 

Badvoc

Explorer
The company is set to release a major crossover between “Magic: The Gathering” and “Dungeons & Dragons” with “Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica,” a new sourcebook that will get players of the two games in the same multiverse. Cocks said to expect more of that, with classic worlds from the past and new worlds that are still to be created.
I'm not sure how to read that. In context, it seems he's talking about releasing sourcebooks for classic and new MTG worlds, rather than say Greyhawk or Dark Sun.

Personally, I'm not particularly interested in any MTG sourcebooks as the lore doesn't appeal (and I say that as a long time on-off Magic player), so hope we see SCAG equivalents for some of the classic D&D worlds. It's a shame the Wayfarer's Guide to Eberron didn't get the full dead-tree treatment as it would be a useful measure of demand for some of the existing non-FR settings.

Minor grumblings aside, this is very positive news for the hobby. I still can't believe the swell in popularity D&D has experienced under 5th Edition. Long may it continue!
 

Parmandur

Legend
I'm not sure how to read that. In context, it seems he's talking about releasing sourcebooks for classic and new MTG worlds, rather than say Greyhawk or Dark Sun.

Personally, I'm not particularly interested in any MTG sourcebooks as the lore doesn't appeal (and I say that as a long time on-off Magic player), so hope we see SCAG equivalents for some of the classic D&D worlds. It's a shame the Wayfarer's Guide to Eberron didn't get the full dead-tree treatment as it would be a useful measure of demand for some of the existing non-FR settings.

Minor grumblings aside, this is very positive news for the hobby. I still can't believe the swell in popularity D&D has experienced under 5th Edition. Long may it continue!
The most natural way to read it is that it means old Magic settings AND old D&D settings, and new to both settings. At the very least, this means they are thinking and talking about these options extensively if it spills over from the Prez in a fluff piece.
 

tigycho

Villager
Wayfarer's Guide to Eberron will get the dead tree treatment... when they're done. They released it digitally in Beta form as an experiment, and will continue to tweak that until they're happy, at which time content will be locked and go to presses
 

Badvoc

Explorer
The most natural way to read it is that it means old Magic settings AND old D&D settings, and new to both settings. At the very least, this means they are thinking and talking about these options extensively if it spills over from the Prez in a fluff piece.
This would truly be the best of both worlds (pun unashamedly intended).

Wayfarer's Guide to Eberron will get the dead tree treatment... when they're done. They released it digitally in Beta form as an experiment, and will continue to tweak that until they're happy, at which time content will be locked and go to presses
Ah - thanks for that. I thought it was going to be PDF only for some reason. That's an insta-buy then.
 

tigycho

Villager
It's a shame the Wayfarer's Guide to Eberron didn't get the full dead-tree treatment as it would be a useful measure of demand for some of the existing non-FR settings.
Wayfarer's Guide to Eberron will get the dead tree treatment... when they're done. They released it digitally in Beta form as an experiment, and will continue to tweak that until they're happy, at which time content will be locked and go to presses
 

Parmandur

Legend
This would truly be the best of both worlds (pun unashamedly intended).



Ah - thanks for that. I thought it was going to be PDF only for some reason. That's an insta-buy then.
The book is in PDF as a playtest. They have said the plan is to enable Print on Demand as an option when the crunch rules are finalized, and have talked about doing a full Hardcover book repeating the UA crunch, but with other fluff.
 

TerraDave

5ever
It’s also core book sales. The PHB is STILL in the top 100 of ALL books sold on Amazon.
You know I know that! They have held high, but is that growth? I guess there could be overall sales growth on Amazon...

But since you brought it up

MM 173
DMG 193
XGtE 411
MToF 788
DM Screen 706
VGtM 1052

AND

Art & Arcana 85
Art & Arcana D’lx 164
Dragon Heist 619

Its core books, but not just core books.
 

Parmandur

Legend
You know I know that! They have held high, but is that growth? I guess there could be overall sales growth on Amazon...

But since you brought it up

MM 173
DMG 193
XGtE 411
MToF 788
DM Screen 706
VGtM 1052

AND

Art & Arcana 85
Art & Arcana D’lx 164
Dragon Heist 619

Its core books, but not just core books.
If the core book sales remain steady and high, that suggests the overall number of people playing is increasing. Which means other things sell more over time.

For instance, the Starter Set is currently 761 in Books on Amazon, and I doubt veteran 5E players are buying many of those copies.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Another thing to consider, in addition to continued strong sales on Amazon and in local stores: D&D Beyond got up and running in the past year, and they seems to be doing brisk business, as well, without slowing down the print game. Also, DMsGuild, Fantasy Ground, Roll20 and other chain stores like Barnes & Noble or Target (the Starter Set is well placed in the toys section) carry the game.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Anybody remember Spellfire?
Assuming you mean the card game, then I do. But it's not coming back; it was a CCG version of D&D, and didn't have very much that was unique to it (save for a few characters like Gib Htimsen), so it won't get singled out for any sort of special treatment as a book (and it'd never come back as a card game; they don't want to siphon players away from M:tG).
 

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