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

30+% growth for 4 straight years, on a product 40 years old is unheard of
 

Comments

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Or could it be that they are calling for DMs because of the level of demand? Spoiler: it is.
As I said in my original quote, I am not involved with AL anymore, but what I am hearing from friends is that the changes to season 8 rules are less fun than previous rules. Is it an self-selecting sample and an anecdote? Sure.

So your statement could very well be true. I'd like to make sure that your comment also isn't just an anecdote and that they are actually increasing the number of DMs/tables. (Remember, even if they are looking for more DMs, there's also a factor if it's replacements for ones who have left or growth). Can you share how you made such a broad statement? Are there by-season numbers of players or tables available that we can confirm this? Something more inclusive than just a specific locale.

Thanks.
 

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The Big BZ

Explorer
As I said in my original quote, I am not involved with AL anymore, but what I am hearing from friends is that the changes to season 8 rules are less fun than previous rules. Is it an self-selecting sample and an anecdote? Sure.

So your statement could very well be true. I'd like to make sure that your comment also isn't just an anecdote and that they are actually increasing the number of DMs/tables. (Remember, even if they are looking for more DMs, there's also a factor if it's replacements for ones who have left or growth). Can you share how you made such a broad statement? Are there by-season numbers of players or tables available that we can confirm this? Something more inclusive than just a specific locale.

Thanks.
Nah not really, partly because no one outside of Wizards has the specifics but mainly because I'm not bothered. All I wanted to do was point out the stupidity of the narrative that in the face of positive news says 'aw man, they're messing up and killing x or y or z'. They're not, they are absolutely smashing it out of the park. Are there people who have stopped playing AL because of the Season 8 rules? Yes. Does it make the smallest bit of difference when compared to the upsurge in new players? I doubt it.
 

Mistwell

Legend
Nah not really, partly because no one outside of Wizards has the specifics but mainly because I'm not bothered. All I wanted to do was point out the stupidity of the narrative that in the face of positive news says 'aw man, they're messing up and killing x or y or z'. They're not, they are absolutely smashing it out of the park. Are there people who have stopped playing AL because of the Season 8 rules? Yes. Does it make the smallest bit of difference when compared to the upsurge in new players? I doubt it.
Are the new rules attracting new players, or would the same number of new players have played regardless of those new rules? If it's the later, then it seems the new rules might be a mistake if it is losing older players and DMs with no net gain in new players to compensate.
 

Fandabidozi

Explorer
Great news all round. It’d be awesome if we got a new D&D supplement to coincide with each new MTG set. Really hyped for Ravnica. WotC are knocking it out of the park!
 

ad_hoc

Hero
Could be, but I think the number of players at conventions is a smaller part of the number that want to go. So large player numbers swells the ranks of convention goers, AL included.

I also think that it’s significant that the other big conventions D&D “goes to” have a large AL turnout, like winter fantasy and origins.

But I do suspect AL is a fraction of the larger player base. I wish I knew how much. Maybe WoTC does?
Yeah, it's hard to talk about without numbers.

We know about conventions. Gen Con is 60 000. Most of those aren't playing D&D there.

The active 5e player count in NA is 12-15 million.

If I had to make a guess it would be that AL includes 3-5% of the 5e player base. But then, I don't have the numbers.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Yeah, it's hard to talk about without numbers.

We know about conventions. Gen Con is 60 000. Most of those aren't playing D&D there.

The active 5e player count in NA is 12-15 million.

If I had to make a guess it would be that AL includes 3-5% of the 5e player base. But then, I don't have the numbers.
I doubt the percentage is anywhere near that high.
 

gyor

Legend
Great news all round. It’d be awesome if we got a new D&D supplement to coincide with each new MTG set. Really hyped for Ravnica. WotC are knocking it out of the park!
Well the next setting in MtG won't appear till Summer or Fall 2019. The next set is in January and it's the other 5 guilds of Ravnica, and set in spring 2019, code name MILK, is a Gatewatch vs. Nicol Bolas show down set on Ravnica, so no new settings for MtG until after that.

I'm okay with that however as fans of many D&D older settings have been waiting along time for a 5e update, so they should get done first, then once that is done we can do a new MtG D&D crossover setting.

Although I could see adding some MtG stuff to regular D&D supplements, like maybe add Eldrazi Titans to a D&D MM or VGTM style book or sneak Azra into Planescape as the demonic equavilant to Infernal Tieflings.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Well the next setting in MtG won't appear till Summer or Fall 2019. The next set is in January and it's the other 5 guilds of Ravnica, and set in spring 2019, code name MILK, is a Gatewatch vs. Nicol Bolas show down set on Ravnica, so no new settings for MtG until after that.

I'm okay with that however as fans of many D&D older settings have been waiting along time for a 5e update, so they should get done first, then once that is done we can do a new MtG D&D crossover setting.

Although I could see adding some MtG stuff to regular D&D supplements, like maybe add Eldrazi Titans to a D&D MM or VGTM style book or sneak Azra into Planescape as the demonic equavilant to Infernal Tieflings.
I'm really beginning to suspect that we will see D&D get into Magic, which would mean classic D&D settings in D&D as part of the cross-pollination strategy.
 

ad_hoc

Hero
I doubt the percentage is anywhere near that high.
Yeah you're probably right about that.

I was thinking about adding in that I was being generous for the sake of argument.

Do you think 1-3%?

Regardless, what I'm trying to get at is that all this talk of 'mismanagement of AL hurting D&D' is not true. AL could crash and D&D would still be growing at an astounding rate.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Yeah you're probably right about that.

I was thinking about adding in that I was being generous for the sake of argument.

Do you think 1-3%?

Regardless, what I'm trying to get at is that all this talk of 'mismanagement of AL hurting D&D' is not true. AL could crash and D&D would still be growing at an astounding rate.
If I had to guess, less than 1%. I think you are basically right.
 

Parmandur

Legend
They did a follow-up panel interview, nothing revelatory, but it made really identify with and like the guy, he seems to really get the games:

"When I discovered D&D, it really just lit a creative flame inside of me. And I started reading. I read the Lord of the Rings series. I read the Shannara series. I started writing for the first time. I start making my own games. It pointed me into a new direction that I think has made me a much more successful and complete person as a result of that. And when I told people about that at work, I can’t tell you how many people said: “That happened to me at the exact same age, at the exact same time.” And it’s just such an honor to be able to share something that had such a positive impact on you and not just bringing smiles to your face but helping you complete yourself as a person. And that’s what really gets me going, when I wake up in the morning and get to go to work."

https://www.geekwire.com/2018/just-brings-fantasy-life-wizards-coast-president-dd-magic-whats-next/
 



MechaPilot

Explorer
I think Bedir Than mean D&D in general by 40 years, not 5e spefically.
If so, then that's not a product selling for over 40 years. D&D hasn't been a single cohesive product. Even ignoring edition changes, video games, films, comics, novels, and toys, D&D has been a line of individual but interrelated products, not a single product.
 

If so, then that's not a product selling for over 40 years. D&D hasn't been a single cohesive product. Even ignoring edition changes, video games, films, comics, novels, and toys, D&D has been a line of individual but interrelated products, not a single product.
if you want to delve into the depths of product line differentiation we could definitely do that.

You would be stuck trying to prove that to someone unfamiliar with the product that there is a great set of differences between all versions of D&D, again, to the outsider. This is like when Starbucks claims that every ground coffee is a different product. A vast majority of consumers don't actually think that. They see it as minor variations on a theme, rather than a separate line of products.

D&D, the RPG, is like Starbucks whole bean coffee. It's 40+ years old, and the vast majority of consumers don't see any variation between then and now.
 

eayres33

Explorer
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.
This actually was a big moment for my wife and I a few weeks ago when right next too, well 3 ft away, from Cards against Humanity was the D&D starter set.

On a side note we hurried to wrap up a 5E game I was playing to free up the next group at a coffee shop. From the group I play in the complaint is everyone wants to play 5E.

Not a bad position for Wizards to be in.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
if you want to delve into the depths of product line differentiation we could definitely do that.

You would be stuck trying to prove that to someone unfamiliar with the product that there is a great set of differences between all versions of D&D, again, to the outsider. This is like when Starbucks claims that every ground coffee is a different product. A vast majority of consumers don't actually think that. They see it as minor variations on a theme, rather than a separate line of products.

D&D, the RPG, is like Starbucks whole bean coffee. It's 40+ years old, and the vast majority of consumers don't see any variation between then and now.
The IP and the brand is 40+ years old. Certainly. That the brand is still yielding appreciable profits is impressive, and does seem to be in no small part tied to the renaissance of nerd culture that's seen more "ordinary" people developing or admitting to "nerdy" interests. Hopefully, the movie (assuming that's still coming) won't suck.

While some may look at D&D and mistakenly see as a single product that's existed 40 years, public misperception doesn't make all of D&D a single product. Products have a generally defined life-cycle, with stages differentiated by the features, pricing and distribution of the product.

The argument that each edition is it's own product is easily made, with each edition having fit with the profits curve generally observable during a product lifecycle. And it's certainly not the only product that works this way. Coming up with add-ons that expand the usefulness or increase the customization of a product (in D&D's case, the various splat and setting books) is a storied strategy for enhancing profits at the maturity stage, or staving off the decline phase of a product's lifecycle.
 

The IP and the brand is 40+ years old. Certainly. That the brand is still yielding appreciable profits is impressive, and does seem to be in no small part tied to the renaissance of nerd culture that's seen more "ordinary" people developing or admitting to "nerdy" interests. Hopefully, the movie (assuming that's still coming) won't suck.

While some may look at D&D and mistakenly see as a single product that's existed 40 years, public misperception doesn't make all of D&D a single product. Products have a generally defined life-cycle, with stages differentiated by the features, pricing and distribution of the product.

The argument that each edition is it's own product is easily made, with each edition having fit with the profits curve generally observable during a product lifecycle. And it's certainly not the only product that works this way. Coming up with add-ons that expand the usefulness or increase the customization of a product (in D&D's case, the various splat and setting books) is a storied strategy for enhancing profits at the maturity stage, or staving off the decline phase of a product's lifecycle.
Even the vernacular of "edition" denies that it is a different product, as the companies themselves just refer to it as simple advancement of the same concept rather than a new product. Your argument would be the idea that the 2018 Tesla is a new product as opposed to the 2017 Tesla. They aren't.

The changes are minimal, and the 30% y2y increase is incredible.
 

Parmandur

Legend
The IP and the brand is 40+ years old. Certainly. That the brand is still yielding appreciable profits is impressive, and does seem to be in no small part tied to the renaissance of nerd culture that's seen more "ordinary" people developing or admitting to "nerdy" interests. Hopefully, the movie (assuming that's still coming) won't suck.

While some may look at D&D and mistakenly see as a single product that's existed 40 years, public misperception doesn't make all of D&D a single product. Products have a generally defined life-cycle, with stages differentiated by the features, pricing and distribution of the product.

The argument that each edition is it's own product is easily made, with each edition having fit with the profits curve generally observable during a product lifecycle. And it's certainly not the only product that works this way. Coming up with add-ons that expand the usefulness or increase the customization of a product (in D&D's case, the various splat and setting books) is a storied strategy for enhancing profits at the maturity stage, or staving off the decline phase of a product's lifecycle.
Granted that each edition is a separate product line, it is unheard of in D&D for year four to be the biggest year of an edition. 3.0 and 4E were already gone by the same point, and 5E is on Pace to surpass 3.5 timr in print in a matter of months.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
Even the vernacular of "edition" denies that it is a different product, as the companies themselves just refer to it as simple advancement of the same concept rather than a new product.
Don't fall into the trap of letting a marketing-based naming convention determine facts for you. Calling an electric drill a "2nd edition screwdriver" doesn't make it a screwdriver (even if you can use an add-on to make the product drive screws).


Your argument would be the idea that the 2018 Tesla is a new product as opposed to the 2017 Tesla. They aren't.
No. The 2018 and 2017 Tesla can be the same product, the same product with different add-ons, the same product with improved (or worsened) components, or an entirely different product. It all depends on what exactly has changed between the two vehicles.

My argument is that products have observable life-cycles, that the introduction, growth and decline of each edition can easily be mapped to their own separate life-cycles, and that each edition is its own separate product with add-ons (splats and settings) being used to enhance the profitability of the maturity phase and to stave off the decline phase.
 

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