WotC WotC to power other IPs with D&D and M:TG

In Hasbro’s recent conference call, a few things were mentioned.
  • Using D&D and Magic ‘play systems’ to power other IPs via their ‘Universes Beyond’ initiatives
  • Using D&D Beyond as a hub
  • Other physical and digital tie-ins
The Universes Beyond initiative has been running since early 2021 for Magic: The Gathering, and initially featured a The Walking Dead expansion (grandfathered in from 2020), and a Stranger Things set (2020). 2022 will see Warhammer 40K, Fortnite, and Street Fighter; and a Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth set is going out in 2023.

In addition, properties like Godzilla and Dracula have featured as MtG sets, but not as part of the Universes Beyond initiative; and in 2019 there was a My Little Pony crossover. There have also, of course, been D&D/MtG crossovers in both directions.

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Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming segment President Cynthia Williams said:“You'll see us continue to expand the number of formats and reach new customer segments by expanding our Universes Beyond initiatives, which brings IP from outside of Magic into the Magic play system, We've talked a lot about universes beyond in Magic, which is this concept of thinking about Magic as a play system and bringing in outside brands or outside IP into that play system. We see potential for that with D&D as well."

She also talked about other tie-ins: "And then we see a lot of e-commerce and direct opportunities working in partnership with our Hasbro Pulse team to have physical digital tie-ins that are unique to the platform".

Hasbro’s Chris Cocks mentioned the recent D&D Beyond acquisition: “And then we’ll add on top of that the 50th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons in 2024, where that entertainment, consumer products, and gaming momentum will continue. So, we see a lot of growth vectors and a lot of lifts for D&D with the D&D Beyond platform being central to that.”

IcV2 has a good summary.

 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


That GI Joe, Transformers, Power Rangers rpg license might be short
Yeah. My expectation is, if the games prove popular, they will either not renew and publish their own version, or like DnDBeyond, buy it outright. However, as all three feel like niche products, I can't really predict what will happen. That said, how many books would you want of any of these properties?
 


Jer

Legend
Supporter
Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming segment President Cynthia Williams said:“You'll see us continue to expand the number of formats and reach new customer segments by expanding our Universes Beyond initiatives, which brings IP from outside of Magic into the Magic play system, We've talked a lot about universes beyond in Magic, which is this concept of thinking about Magic as a play system and bringing in outside brands or outside IP into that play system. We see potential for that with D&D as well."
Ah finally - the Clue-themed Magic the Gathering expansion I always wanted is just on the horizon!

Edit: @Paul Farquhar ninja'd me, but great minds think alike!
 



Jer

Legend
Supporter
That GI Joe, Transformers, Power Rangers rpg license might be short
I'm wondering exactly what universes for MtG she's talking about. Of these, Power Rangers seems like a lock for being a setting that could get a game with the Magic rules to some degree. Five different colors, summoning giant monsters and giant robots. Seems like it could be a natural fit. The other two feel more like a reach.

Unless by "outside brands" she's talking outside licenses. Like how Hasbro licenses out Monopoly to every licensed property under the sun for collectors. Even then, it feels like the development that would need to go into a Magic set is far and above what it takes to slap together yet another Monopoly variant.
 

darjr

I crit!
I'm wondering exactly what universes for MtG she's talking about. Of these, Power Rangers seems like a lock for being a setting that could get a game with the Magic rules to some degree. Five different colors, summoning giant monsters and giant robots. Seems like it could be a natural fit. The other two feel more like a reach.

Unless by "outside brands" she's talking outside licenses. Like how Hasbro licenses out Monopoly to every licensed property under the sun for collectors. Even then, it feels like the development that would need to go into a Magic set is far and above what it takes to slap together yet another Monopoly variant.
Oh the magic part. More like Magic:WH40k

or Magic:Lord of the Rings

 

I'm wondering exactly what universes for MtG she's talking about. Of these, Power Rangers seems like a lock for being a setting that could get a game with the Magic rules to some degree. Five different colors, summoning giant monsters and giant robots. Seems like it could be a natural fit. The other two feel more like a reach.

Unless by "outside brands" she's talking outside licenses. Like how Hasbro licenses out Monopoly to every licensed property under the sun for collectors. Even then, it feels like the development that would need to go into a Magic set is far and above what it takes to slap together yet another Monopoly variant.
Universes Beyond is things like Walking Dead, LotR, Warhammer 40k, but could easily include internal brands. They don't have to fit the MtG or D&D vibe at all.

They just need great art and a passionate audience.
 

Cluedo would seem like an obvious IP to turn into an RPG.
It is curious and funny because once a blogger told he used a Cluedo game to play an improvised RPG with his little daughter.

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D&D is not enough really ready yet to be universal genre, because we need the way to find the right power balance with the firearms and high-tech. Characters from "Street Fighters" can't defeat "Overwatch", or fighters from "Mortal Kombat" can't face monsters from "Doom". Of course a new Star Wars d20 is possible, or a Starcraft d20, but your classic barbarian, monk or paladin PC couldn't survive an encounter with one of the characters from "Apex Legends" or Vanguard.

Renegade Studio Games shouldn't worry for a time about losing the licence. Or Hasbro buys them, or WotC will awaits until to design the ultimate system. And we should see a seriou playtesting the modern elements.

I would love a d20 CRPG of Fortnite: Save the World (but the list of monsters would be too short, even with the recent wild animals). I would bet Hasbro's dream is to create the ultimate CRPG multiverse. I like this idea because here failed online multiplayer videogames could find a second opportunity. Why other videogames studios would accept that colab? To increase the value of those failed IPs.
 
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My opinion is Gamma World is closer to be adapted. This has got firearms and high-tech, but the PCs should worry about to save the ammo for the worst enemies. Of course the high-tech should be updated because the sci-fi as genre gets old too fast. I don't talk about players asking mind-upload and digital inmortality for their PCs (because they watched Altered Carbone or bought Eclipse Phase RPG) but the new materials as graphene, or machines as the 3D-Printers, flying skycars, or the exosuits now are starting to be used in our real life.

The title "Star*Drive" or "Star Frontiers" doesn't matter too much, they keep the lore, factions, PC races, creatures and those things. Maybe we could see a future videogame with a 80's cartoon retro look.

Hasbro has got lots of forgotten internal brands, and thanks D&D could find a new opportunity, recovering value for merchandising. Here in the forum we talked about Hero-Quest as the best dungeon-crawler board game. Now Hasbro should be proud with the success of the revival. Maybe we could see packs of heroes and monsters based in famous licences, for example Legend of Zelda or Final Fantasy.

We shouldn't be surprised by an official d20 version of Warcraft, Legend of Zelda and other titles, published by WotC. No-fantasy franchises will need more time. Maybe Flash Gordon could be adapted to d20 because the famous ray guns would work as magical sticks, the power balance would be easier to be found.

* My first contact with "Game of Thrones" was Dragon Magazine years before the TV show, when it was totally unknown.
 


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