That Metal Thread Hasbro issues & the future of DnD

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Acmegamer

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Just caught Professor Dungeon Master's video and found it it interesting. Hasbro is making errors for sure, not sure what this bodes for the future for DnD. Even if I don't really want to run DnD these days or play it much I do want to see it do well. A healthy DnD tends to make for a healthy overall gaming population in my opinion. It just feels like they're making some serious missteps in recent recent years. Anyhow, here's the video.

 

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Most of the financial press is irritated with how Magic is selling and listening to some of the fanboys complaints. To me the bigger issue is someone asked WotC if they would continue with an SRD and the OGL. They acknowledged the OGL is out and not going away. They were not at all as clear that they will continue with an SRD to base products off of.
It seems like 4E was not that long ago and they should have institutional memory of how that went.
 

robertsconley

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It seems like 4E was not that long ago and they should have institutional memory of how that went.
You would think but then D&D 5e became the all time best seller and it couldn't have been a result of the team that was responsible for respecting the older editions, coming out with a new SRD and a dozen other small and big things to let folks now that Wizards appreciated them as customers. My best the dickwads who said "NO PDFS" finally won out and took all the credit for its success.
 

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You would think but then D&D 5e became the all time best seller and it couldn't have been a result of the team that was responsible for respecting the older editions, coming out with a new SRD and a dozen other small and big things to let folks now that Wizards appreciated them as customers. My best the dickwads who said "NO PDFS" finally won out and took all the credit for its success.
Well I think the old school group had representatives that didn't do the style any favors as far as personalities. So there's multiple reasons why WotC might have wanted strictly for financial reasons to distance themselves from OSR as they experienced it's involvement. They originally only had a small group working on D&D and by necessity had to outsource a lot of work if it was to be done. I'm torn on the financial logic regarding PDFs. They have been able to resell to people physical and digital copies enough that I can see them thinking it's a financially good idea. D&D Online has worked for WotC as far as I can see.
 

TristramEvans

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D&D has been exploding in popularity. The bubble is going to burst, as it has before.


Yep. Normies don't hold onto fads the way geeks do, and WoTC just was really bad at capitalizing on it, TBH.

I expect D&D One to fall flat on it's face. Same with the D&D movie it sounds like.
 

Necrozius

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Yep. Normies don't hold onto fads the way geeks do, and WoTC just was really bad at capitalizing on it, TBH.

I expect D&D One to fall flat on it's face. Same with the D&D movie it sounds like.
Once the Stranger Things fad dies down (and it WILL eventually be replaced by the next shiny thing) so will D&D. It will become less cool to be into that thing. Less pop culture cred to pretend that you always listened to pre-Black Album Metallica and always liked “nerdy” games. Cycles etc
 

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Well I think the old school group had representatives that didn't do the style any favors as far as personalities. So there's multiple reasons why WotC might have wanted strictly for financial reasons to distance themselves from OSR as they experienced it's involvement. They originally only had a small group working on D&D and by necessity had to outsource a lot of work if it was to be done. I'm torn on the financial logic regarding PDFs. They have been able to resell to people physical and digital copies enough that I can see them thinking it's a financially good idea. D&D Online has worked for WotC as far as I can see.
Also I feel like they misinterpreted the outsourcing early on as something done only as a need vs something with community value.
 

Shipyard Locked

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A healthy DnD tends to make for a healthy overall gaming population in my opinion.

Like I care.

I've run RPGs through multiple "dork ages" at this point, I've always found enough people willing to take the games seriously. I haven't really felt the presence of all these supposed Johnny-come-latelys in my circles. In social media sure, but on the ground where it counts? I doubt I'll notice their absence when they peel away to the next thing.

I'm much more concerned about artificial intelligence providing infinite adventures than WotC fumbling D&D again.
 

robertsconley

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Well I think the old school group had representatives that didn't do the style any favors as far as personalities. So there's multiple reasons why WotC might have wanted strictly for financial reasons to distance themselves from OSR as they experienced it's involvement.
It is on them for hiring the specific consultants they did especially when there were several prominent individuals at the time who had a far more solid reputation of professionalism in the OSR.

They originally only had a small group working on D&D and by necessity had to outsource a lot of work if it was to be done.
I don't see the point of bringing this up. Inhouse or outsourced the buck stops at Wizards on the quality of the release.

I'm torn on the financial logic regarding PDFs. They have been able to resell to people physical and digital copies enough that I can see them thinking it's a financially good idea. D&D Online has worked for WotC as far as I can see.
It took years of dicking around before the music industry finally figured out that they were better off providing their product in the form their customer wanted at a fair price rather than shoving what they thought the customer ought to have.

Wizards clearly haven't learned that lesson yet. Their books are pirated within a week of their release, and the various digital sites are scrapped within days of being released for sale.

Over the past 12 years I knew when each and every one of my products appeared on one of the major pirate sites and it has zero impact on my sales. After the initial sales burst and the long tail begins I can generally figure out why I sold more copies because of somebody talking about it on social media. And then when it went back down it reverted back to its long term trends despite the present of all my works being released as either open content or appearing on a pirate site.

Many people who download pirated PDF are not Wizard's Customers to begin with. And for now the rest are those who just want a PDF to accompany their book because that is the standard format everybody used to work with and works on dozens of unrelated devices.
 

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It is on them for hiring the specific consultants they did especially when there were several prominent individuals at the time who had a far more solid reputation of professionalism in the OSR.
Well I think they were trying to reach out to a wide audience primarily of existing RPG folks. No one knew when 5e was released it would find such success with a younger market. So I don't see it as such a bad strategy at the time to try to reach all the existing players.
I don't see the point of bringing this up. Inhouse or outsourced the buck stops at Wizards on the quality of the release.
It wasn't in relation to a quality argument. 5e was a response to lessons learned from 4e and the loss of confidence in D&D as a marque line. 4e was an attempt to prove to Hasbro it could be a significant named revenue stream. It failed from a C level perspective and resource allocated to it were aligned with new lower revenue targets. So outsourcing and licensing were revenue streams it could achieve. Massive in house production was not.
Looking back now I think C level folks only see lost revenue from internal production and control and lose sight of the community building value it had. That's what my comment was in regard to.


It took years of dicking around before the music industry finally figured out that they were better off providing their product in the form their customer wanted at a fair price rather than shoving what they thought the customer ought to have.

Wizards clearly haven't learned that lesson yet. Their books are pirated within a week of their release, and the various digital sites are scrapped within days of being released for sale.

Over the past 12 years I knew when each and every one of my products appeared on one of the major pirate sites and it has zero impact on my sales. After the initial sales burst and the long tail begins I can generally figure out why I sold more copies because of somebody talking about it on social media. And then when it went back down it reverted back to its long term trends despite the present of all my works being released as either open content or appearing on a pirate site.

Many people who download pirated PDF are not Wizard's Customers to begin with. And for now the rest are those who just want a PDF to accompany their book because that is the standard format everybody used to work with and works on dozens of unrelated devices.
 

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I agree they should have offered PDF. However they did offer multiple electronic formats for users. D&D Beyond isn't my thing but many seem to think it's we done. I don't think anyone can say which way would have generated maximum revenue.
I think it would be hard to make the claim that failure to offer PDF stunted 5e's success as a product.
 

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Well I think the old school group had representatives that didn't do the style any favors as far as personalities. So there's multiple reasons why WotC might have wanted strictly for financial reasons to distance themselves from OSR as they experienced it's involvement. They originally only had a small group working on D&D and by necessity had to outsource a lot of work if it was to be done. I'm torn on the financial logic regarding PDFs. They have been able to resell to people physical and digital copies enough that I can see them thinking it's a financially good idea. D&D Online has worked for WotC as far as I can see.
PDFs of D&D books are increasingly redundant.

PDF sales are really for companies that don't have the resources to make their products available digitally in a much better form.
 

TJS

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I have to say...this far into a new D&D boom I'm still waiting for that rising tide to life all boats.

Maybe some major misteps on the part of D&D would just be a benefit to the rest of the rpg industry at this point.
 

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PDFs of D&D books are increasingly redundant.

PDF sales are really for companies that don't have the resources to make their products available digitally in a much better form.
I don't agree with that. Looking back 4e D&D subscription provided a handy way to build and manage characters. When it died I was kinda screwed. PDF is a long term storage format. Apps are the flavor of the year.
 

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I don't agree with that. Looking back 4e D&D subscription provided a handy way to build and manage characters. When it died I was kinda screwed. PDF is a long term storage format. Apps are the flavor of the year.
Maybe, but 4e was basically screwed generally without the digital tools due to the way it was designed - I think that's a big reason why it gets so little play these days.

I certainly wouldn't run it from PDFs.

The success of D&D Beyond, a tool no one really needs, even before there was much in the way of additional material that required more than one book to look up, shows the public want software tools not PDFs.
 
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Maybe, but 4e was basically screwed generaslly without the digital tools due to the way it was designed - I think that's a big reason why it gets so little play these days.

I certainly wouldn't run it from PDFs.

The success of D&D Beyond, a tool no one really needs, even before there was much in the way of additional material that required more than one book to look up, shows the public want software tools not PDFs.
It shows in the absence of PDFs they pick an alternate digital format. Until PDFs and D&D Beyond are available I feel like that's all that can be said.
 

Black Leaf

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I think there's an element where WOTC are going to be victims of their own success here. The standard way of making money from RPGs (splatbooks) isn't ever going to make enough to keep up with shareholder expectations. So they really have no option put to put out a new edition. The increasing focus on digital may or may not stave off the issue, but I think it's the only feasible option. (The other thing they're focusing heavily on is organised play which I think is a sensible move and one no other publisher has the resources to really do properly).

Whether any of this will be enough to stave off the inevitable end of the fad remains to be seen. Also, we don't know if the decline of D&D is going to open up more space for other RPGs like in the 90s. I certainly hope so.
Soon it'll just be us weirdos again.
Yes and no. The whole streaming fuelled boom is going to come to a natural end because these things always do.

But we're still going to get a new generation of geeks who play along with an increased willingness to try RPGs. The 70s/80s stigma round being a geek is largely gone for good. Which is entirely positive. Aging geeks who whine about how we had it hard so new generations should suffer are pathetic. Although I'm happy to throw their bag onto the roof if they want, just for old time's sake.
 

Black Leaf

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You can

I never understood this. They should be happy. Or at least envious. I know that I am envious of young people (not of their maturity, but of their privileges that I didn’t have).
Yeah, I've had young 'uns in my games before and they're generally great. (Although notable the crowd that came via Yogscast were way more willing to try different RPGs then the Critical Role kids).
 

TristramEvans

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But we're still going to get a new generation of geeks who play along with an increased willingness to try RPGs. The 70s/80s stigma round being a geek is largely gone for good. Which is entirely positive. Aging geeks who whine about how we had it hard so new generations should suffer are pathetic. Although I'm happy to throw their bag onto the roof if they want, just for old time's sake.


I dunno. For a long time I've been ruminating on a quote from Kyle Barker in his early graphic novel "Why I hate Saturn"

damnd-final-fight.jpg
 

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I think there's an element where WOTC are going to be victims of their own success here. The standard way of making money from RPGs (splatbooks) isn't ever going to make enough to keep up with shareholder expectations. So they really have no option put to put out a new edition. The increasing focus on digital may or may not stave off the issue, but I think it's the only feasible option. (The other thing they're focusing heavily on is organised play which I think is a sensible move and one no other publisher has the resources to really do properly).

Whether any of this will be enough to stave off the inevitable end of the fad remains to be seen. Also, we don't know if the decline of D&D is going to open up more space for other RPGs like in the 90s. I certainly hope so.
I dunno. They have found interesting ways to offer segmented product that allow people to spend more without detracting from the overall playability. Variant covers are a way to get the whales to spend more for minimal effort on WotCs part. Standard books capture the average buyer and D&D Beyond/other VTTs have various minimal packages to sell to price conscious buyers. So that alters the splatbook only revenue equation a bit. They're also coming out with more high end products to capture whale money in the miniatures arena. Doesn't really alter D&D as a game. It just gives people a way to display their love/wealth.
 

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I dunno. For a long time I've been ruminating on a quote from Kyle Barker in his early graphic novel "Why I hate Saturn"

View attachment 52045
At that point we get into "how do you define geek culture" which gets complicated. (Unlike being black, it's always been largely defined by what products you consume anyway).

Also, let's be honest. Most of us don't actually want to hang round with the least socially adept geeks either. I think we've talked before on here that one byproduct of Vampire the Masquerade is that it left behind the people unable or unwilling to jump to a more social version of geekdom. It's not *nice*, but I think it's the case for a lot of us if we're honest. People with odd social skills? Fine with them. People who are actively obnoxious to be around because of their ability to do basic social norms? Not so much. And we all know geekdom includes both types.
 

TristramEvans

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At that point we get into "how do you define geek culture" which gets complicated. (Unlike being black, it's always been largely defined by what products you consume anyway).

I wouldn't care to try and define that (I almost instinctively want to reject the notion that "Geek" even is a culture) but 'feel like "the folks that are still hanging around after the fad is over" would be a part of that somehow...


Also, let's be honest. Most of us don't actually want to hang round with the least socially adept geeks either. I think we've talked before on here that one byproduct of Vampire the Masquerade is that it left behind the people unable or unwilling to jump to a more social version of geekdom. It's not *nice*, but I think it's the case for a lot of us if we're honest. People with odd social skills? Fine with them. People who are actively obnoxious to be around because of their ability to do basic social norms? Not so much. And we all know geekdom includes both types.

Yeah, I dunno, I certainly don't feel any special kinship to anyone simply because we like the same thing, hell I avoid most fandoms of the things I'm into like the plague...
 
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