WotC WotC - why are we still shocked with layoffs?


The people that were interviewed were dissapointed, but still positive about the company and would happily work there again.

Considering the size of the RPG 'industry' how wise do you believe it would be, in a field where your name means far far more than any kind of technical 'knowledge' to go scorched earth?

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Considering the size of the RPG 'industry' how wise do you believe it would be, in a field where your name means far far more than any kind of technical 'knowledge' to go scorched earth?
So they were lying? They weren't just avoiding negative comments, they were making very positive statements.

Corporate thinking is the weirdest thing sometimes - why would you lay folks off across the board, including from the one division that's doing really well?
Can we get away with x person doing 1 job instead of 3. Clearly they can until next year when they hire a new person back

See I work in the corporate world and in a capitalist world so I can relate more to this than

A union construction workers kills someone on the job because they were intoxicated. However due to the union they can’t be fired (true story )

College professor with tenure does or says something racist or touches inappropriately. Tenure can’t be fired

Where are these countries that don’t have layoffs like capitalist countries. From what I’ve done in a quick search
France, Canada, Nigeria, England, Singapore, Australia other parts of Africa, mexico, Denmark all had layoffs reported in October . Denmark banks gave out blankets to employees because they turned down hear to cut expenses
Would love to hear where these countries exist

Would also love to hear why word of mouth hasn’t convinced us to switch to this great new rpg that nobody has heard of. Literally it’s wotc, paizo and chaosium
I see all this negative press ever day about warhammer and what a true ripoff it is and yet it dominates ?

I'm A Banana

So if we can't change the world all at once, then it's not worth taking any action, or even criticizing those in power when they act in unethical ways?

Moreover, Hasbro has a dedicated and passionate fanbase for its products; this makes it particularly amenable to consumer activism, more so than, say, a company that sells cheap electronics via amazon (even if the supply chains of the latter are objectively worse for labor and for the environment).
It's better if you don't put words in my mouth that I never said. What I said was what are you going to do about it?

Do you think angry fans are going to stop this round of layoffs? Or the next? How, exactly, does that work? Because the most likely scenario I see is if people buy fewer WotC products, that there will be MORE layoffs at WotC.

Yes, that sounds good. But it's easier said than done. What are your ideas?

Short-term, my idea is to support those who lost their jobs by following their public accounts and listening to what they say they need and whatever project they get involved with next. So far, it sounds like many of them are reasonably OK with the severance, so it's mostly about ensuring that they can do what they're good at in their next role, too.

Medium-term, the idea is to unionize D&D. Paizo already has a union, so there's easy precedent.

Long-term, the goal is clearly fully automated luxury space communism.

I'm of the opinion that, even in a well-run industry where people get paid a living wage to work making a great game, layoffs are going to happen for the forseeable future, and sometimes happen in big ways. The world's a messy place. Investments don't always pan out. I'd like to live in a world where losing your job doesn't mean losing your health or your house, though. And the most direct way that I know of to help that along involves direct action (materially supporting people and supporting their next projects), organization (unions), and political action (like voting for candidates that support universal public healthcare in the US, and encouraging others to do the same).

In that strategy, "voting with my dollar" means supporting unionized workforces like Paizo's. They got a merch shop, so that's a direct start.

But people who say "oh it's just what corps do. "Corps will be corps after all" sound like they are saying it's no big deal if you read between the lines.
Know your enemy.

We made a world where corps do this, and we can make our world differently. But complaining about a corp doing corp stuff on a semi-obscure D&D message board isn't how you move the needle. Not that it's not fun and fine in it's own way, it's just not going to change anything.

Define your goal. Spell out the steps required to reach it. Don't believe the easy fantasy that Hasbro is exceptionally evil or incompetent. They're a product of their environment, and we can (and should!) change that environment.
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No, I'm not saying they are lying, instead perhaps answer the question instead of deflecting.
Who's deflecting? They praised WOTC, were excited about the work they had done for the 2024 edition and indicated they were happy with their severance package.

If they were upset and unhappy they could have just said "no comment".


Who's deflecting? They praised WOTC, were excited about the work they had done for the 2024 edition and indicated they were happy with their severance package.

If they were upset and unhappy they could have just said "no comment".

Thats still not answering the question. :)


Thats still not answering the question. :)

I stated "The people that were interviewed were dissapointed, but still positive about the company and would happily work there again."

Your question was
Considering the size of the RPG 'industry' how wise do you believe it would be, in a field where your name means far far more than any kind of technical 'knowledge' to go scorched earth?

So I have no idea what you're asking that I have not answered. If they were dissatisfied but wanted to avoid "scorched earth" all they would have needed to say was "No comment" and changing the topic. They didn't do that, they went to the opposite extreme. Maybe they're lying spinning the truth, I just see no reason to believe that.

Anyone that's made a career out of supporting TTRPGs has to know that it's not the best career choice in the world for monetary remuneration or job stability. I assume they do it because they love it and accept the risks involved.

Yet we're still shocked when WotC\Hasbro has layoffs and bad press. Why?
I think this premise needs reconsideration. I'm not seeing a lot of people truly surprised by either the layoffs or bad press. Instead I see a lot of people venting frustration over it, which is another beast entirely. To not realize that a large corporation will act as large corporations do* would be naïve and deserving of some critique, to not be happy with the situation is a reasonable response to a personal-feeling example of the ways of modern life not working out how one would like.
*although Malmuria and Hex08 raise good points. The current status quo regarding corporate actions are not inevitable and inviolable.

There are certainly some blog and Youtube articles going around which do act like what has transpired is utterly shocking and unprecedented. However, not predicting that bloggers and Youtubers court create nonexistent controversies to fuel negativity-seeking viewers would be equally foolish of us.
Why are we clutching our pearls when corporate sh!t heads act like corporate sh!t heads? Shame on us. We need to be better than this.
We need to be better?
Ok.....some, not Morrus, others, whom may or may not include people reading this currently, in the future, or have read this, and those making articles in any number of media platforms, up to and including the author of the original post, and only if said feel like they would react differently in any said situation, those not wishing to be included are immediately released from any non-contractual or contractual commitments regarding the perusing of original or subsequent posts.
Clutching pearls? Shame on us? Uh huh. Look, declaring the existence of as-of-yet un-pointed-out people truly shocked by what has transpired is a not altogether unheard of practice (after all, there must be someone out there that is like this), but then layering on a superiority judgement towards these undisclosed foolish people seems entirely too similar to wanting to feel superior to someone and not really caring if they exist or not. The peudolegal mumbo jumbo doesn't help that.
Nor does this.
Do we walk away from D&D? Maybe. Maybe that's what it takes. Find an alternate D&D style game, there a ton out there. (Tales of the Valiant, Level Up Advanced 5e, Basic Fantasy, Pathfinder, Castles & Crusades, DCC, etc).

Also, there a ton of good people living their dream of designing rpgs and getting paid a decent salary.

We have a situation then. We want to support the creatives, the good people who just want to write, draw, design, and make good D&D products, and be able to make a decent living doing it. (Hopefully they understand that it's not a forever job.)
Also the third party people who supplement or depend on that product for their income, as they make products to support the 5e ecosystem.

We, however, don't want to support the big corporation. So how do we navigate this? I don't know. I wish I did. I don't need anymore 5e based D&D stuff, I have a bunch, more than I can possibly use. So I'm not a target demographic for anymore products.

I'd like to see a dent in the D&D monolith. That game has had a stranglehold on the industry forever, from a design standpoint, popularity, game play, expectations, etc.

Take WotC out of the mix, and then it's Paizo and it shrinks quickly from there. TTRPGs are a cottage industry type of product. Most game companies being extremely small, two dozen to a half dozen people, down to a single person with or without freelancers.

So, how do we support the creatives, even the ones at WotC, but not the corporations? Is it even possible?

Thank you for coming to my rant. :)
Now, after all of that, ^^^this is a genuinely interesting question. Actively boycotting WotC certainly seems like shouting into the wind. Doubly so for something their parent company did that the rest of modern publicly traded companies also would likely do*. Triply because competing TTRPG companies are likely benefiting from a massive halo effect resultant from D&D 5e and WotC's recent success.
*the company would never map your behavior to theirs in a way that would prevent them from repeating the same in the future.

My general thoughts are thus: find some creative doing something you approve of (either you consider it great or just a step in the right direction) and then support it -- financially first (since a creative can't write a rent check on your passion for their work), but then verbally(/in print), publicly, in feedback to the creators, whatever you can do. In cottage industries, the perception that something is a big/up-and-coming thing often creates ongoing demand, expectation, and incentive for the creatives to keep going. 90s White Wolf WoD and 00s Pathfinder became as big as they did because random fans made enough of a big deal out of them for them to become (relative) big deals (and counter to that, other games big in those eras petered out because people decided no one was really still into them). Larry Elmore is still dragging his wrinkled butt to Cons across the country because at each one someone is there telling him about how such and such a rulebook illustration drew them into gaming. Some lessor known fantasy artist or developer for a tiny RPG company is not packing in the towel because they're still seeing passionate discussions on their Facebook/Discord.

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