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

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
I'm thinking they night not be selling this as "do a D&D for your IP!" so much as a package deal: " do Magic cards, and an RPG, and [fill in the blank] for your IP!".

Seems unlikely to me... the cross-overs announced so far seem pretty limited to MTG (Warhammer, LotR), and due to existing licenses I don't think that will change for those in a while. And I feel like both the licenser and licensee probably prefer to start small to gauge reception. Going big and hard all at once is often a recipe for disaster.

It would obviously depend on the IP too. Pretty much any nerdy IP can apply to MTG (Godzilla, Street Fighter), but I can't say the same for D&D. I think you could launch both with an IP like Zelda, but not with an IP like The Predator.
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Seems unlikely to me... the cross-overs announced so far seem pretty limited to MTG (Warhammer, LotR), and due to existing licenses I don't think that will change for those in a while. And I feel like both the licenser and licensee probably prefer to start small to gauge reception. Going big and hard all at once is often a recipe for disaster.

It would obviously depend on the IP too. Pretty much any nerdy IP can apply to MTG (Godzilla, Street Fighter), but I can't say the same for D&D. I think you could launch both with an IP like Zelda, but not with an IP like The Predator.
All the examples...so far. The way that Williams talks about "Universes Beyond" is as a seperate sort of branding from either Magic or D&D, that would just make use of the gameplay mechanics of each. When/if we start seeing some D&D "Universes Beyond," I wouldn't be surprised if it was alongside Magic products at the same time, and maybe other Hasbro products.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
All the examples...so far. The way that Williams talks about "Universes Beyond" is as a seperate sort of branding from either Magic or D&D, that would just make use of the gameplay mechanics of each. When/if we start seeing some D&D "Universes Beyond," I wouldn't be surprised if it was alongside Magic products at the same time, and maybe other Hasbro products.

I dunno, the quote doesn't make it seem like a package at all.

“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."

The description here sounds pretty segmented. That Universes Beyond is definitely moving forward with MTG, and that there is potentially some opportunity for outside brands in D&D. That makes it sounds pretty uncoordinated to me.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
By the way, I remember in the last D&D survey there was actually a list of different IP, with the question being essentially "What do you like?"

That would probably be a good thing to reference if trying guess what IP that D&D could cross with.
 

Undrave

Hero
Wizards actually made a Pokemon RPG for kids back when they had the CCG license. I have a copy and played it with my kid and their cousins when they were all younger. It's super simple and fun for 6 year olds, but it's not something to build a game for older players off of.

For Pokemon RPG mechanics I've always liked the mechanics in the S John Ross game "Pokethulhu", which was a parody game mixing Pokemon and Cthulhu but mechanically I liked it and always thought with some tweaks it could make a good "straight" Pokemon game. (And it uses d12s which I appreciate.)
Yeah I mentionne the Pokémon game in my post.

What kind of mechanics did Pokethulhu have? I think that simplifying each Pokémon to as little numbers as possible is the best way to go. I wouldn't even bother stating up EVERY Pokémon, I'd just create broad stroke categories with different sizes and each combination would wield a basic stat spread with XP boosting them as the story goes on. And I would use those categories alongside the type of the Pokémon to decide what move it can learn and not try so damn hard to copy the games.

I've also considered finding a way to use TCG cards as character sheet and learning moves by stacking different versions of the same Pokémon together. You'd need a lot of common tho :p

Well, on Star Wars... it's like printing money, who wouldn't want the license? I get their strategy is all over the place, but it's hard to imagine anyone saying "no" to it.
Does it though? I feel like the licensing fees would far outweigh the amount of money you could bring in, and all this company hopping doesn't make for a loyal audience. My friends would rather play more Star Wars SAGA than a new system, for exemple.
That won't be an issue, the Power Rangers one in particular was incredibly rough and didn't read well.
Aww that's sad to hear. Only reason I didn't buy it is I know I wouldn't have anyone to play with (same with the Heroes of the Grid game... SIGH)
 

darjr

I crit!
Wizards actually made a Pokemon RPG for kids back when they had the CCG license. I have a copy and played it with my kid and their cousins when they were all younger. It's super simple and fun for 6 year olds, but it's not something to build a game for older players off of.

For Pokemon RPG mechanics I've always liked the mechanics in the S John Ross game "Pokethulhu", which was a parody game mixing Pokemon and Cthulhu but mechanically I liked it and always thought with some tweaks it could make a good "straight" Pokemon game. (And it uses d12s which I appreciate.)
The Pokémon RPGs was one of the bestselling RPGs. FYI.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
Does it though? I feel like the licensing fees would far outweigh the amount of money you could bring in, and all this company hopping doesn't make for a loyal audience. My friends would rather play more Star Wars SAGA than a new system, for exemple.

Depends on the size of the fees I suppose. But yes, I think there are many TTRPG companies that would absolutely leap at the chance to publish a Star Wards TTRPG. If Free League is doing ALIEN and The One Ring, it's hard to imagine them saying no to Star Wars.

And right now the license does belong to Edge Studio, which said as recently as last October they're doing something with it. They also have the license for Legend of the Five Rings and Twilight of the Imperium TTRPGs.
 


teitan

Legend
If they buy Regenade studios, the studio making Power Rangers 5e, Transformers 5e, and G.I Joe 5e, that also nets them the Vampire the Mascarade 5e, and Wildlings Campaign Setting. Renegade also has Altered Carbon, but I don't think it uses 5e.

What do they do with all the board game Renegades makes, shift them to Avalon Hill?

Still the none Hasbro IP I think us most likely to get done is Warhammer, Warhammer 40k is already getting the 4 Universes Beyond: Commander Decks treatment, D&D could get its own Universe Beyond Setting Books, what if the two new D&D settings next year are Warhammer 40,000 and War Hammer Age of Sigmar?

Walking Dead RPG book makes alot less sense then Warhammer as as D&D Setting.
I doubt they are Warhammer unless Cubicle 7 has bungled their licensing.
 

teitan

Legend
It was not that long ago when there was a DC RPG, when Green Ronin had the license and Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Ed started as the DC Heroes RPG. It lasted a few years at the beginning of the 3rd Ed life cycle and then it expired or Green Ronin lost it and they had to pull all the non-DC stuff out of the books to make the new 3rd Ed Heroes Handbook.
GR had a limited license for the 6 books they produced and a time frame to be able to sell those books in. The license expired and returned to DC with the line completed for a handful of years already.
 

teitan

Legend
Well, on Star Wars... it's like printing money, who wouldn't want the license? I get their strategy is all over the place, but it's hard to imagine anyone saying "no" to it.

I very much agree on Harry Potter, it's in rough straits. But again, the business folks may think it means money. I still don't think this is a great match for D&D anyway though.

I think Pokemon is a tough sell for many dimensions, mechanically and from a business perspective.
Star Wars isn’t the property it once was, the sequels kind of tanked a lot of its inherent value. The TV shows keep it going and are restoring some faith in it but they have a big hole to dig out of after Last Jedi, Solo and Rise of Skywalker, as decent as they were and as much money as the two sequels made, didn’t hold up and Solo never gained post Theatrical legs. Too bad as it was probably second only to Rogue One as the next Star Wars movie since Sith came out.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
The thing I love about this news is that it is one of the best way for us to gain access to 5e-compatible-ish content to insert into our regular fantasy D&D.

They could go class-less for a Walking Dead game or give us the some variation of regular D&D classes, such as a scholar or a spell-less ranger that I could add to a Faerun game if I dont care much for spellcasting rangers, for example.

Also, count me in for the hype on an hypothetical 5e Legend of Zelda or Worlds of Final Fantasy.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
Star Wars isn’t the property it once was, the sequels kind of tanked a lot of its inherent value. The TV shows keep it going and are restoring some faith in it but they have a big hole to dig out of after Last Jedi, Solo and Rise of Skywalker, as decent as they were and as much money as the two sequels made, didn’t hold up and Solo never gained post Theatrical legs. Too bad as it was probably second only to Rogue One as the next Star Wars movie since Sith came out.

The last Star Wars movie made a billion dollars.
 






vecna00

Speculation Specialist Wizard
The new (TM) Spelljammer could be something closer to Star Frontiers, even if only in minor ways. And I only even have this thought process because of the Nautiloid ship In Rime of the Frostmaiden.

I mean, the Illithid gnomes had laser pistols. Not a huge amount of evidence, but it could be a small hint.

As for a D&D version of Universes Beyond, I'm here for it if it's for stuff I like! And I'd be ok with it if it's for stuff I don't.
 


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