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Thread: Interview with WoTC CEO

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weldon Chen View Post
    Well, it's not about WotC being responsible for the store. It's about access to D&D. You might observe that Mike's focus is specific: pump cool into the local gaming stores. This is different than: pump D&D in your local Starbucks, or in your local McDonalds, or your local Television, or your local bookstores, or your computer. In a sense, this relies of the local stores to teach how to use and sell the product to those who come, so that those people can take what they've learned and play the game themselves when they don't go to the store.

    He describes their goal, an awesome store where you go play D&D, and the store sells you drinks, and food. Thus, Magic and D&D are saved because game stores sell the product, people want to play the product, and Wizards makes money.

    I'm going to be the pessimist here and wish them good luck, but I don't think D&D will work well this way and it's a desperate move to preserve a dying market. The key flaw in the "plan" is the order in which you run a business. Instead of: sell product, make want, get money, it should be: see want, sell product, make money. WotC needs to generate desire for people to go to the gaming store. They need to overcome "Why should I go to the store, when gaming stores can be really far away, and I have books, games, TV, cel phones, sports, school, jobs and sex? " And that's going to be tough to overcome.
    Mmmm...I suspect their strategy's a little different than what you're expecting Wheldon.

    I believe WOTC is moving in the direction of shifting D&D away from paper and to digital. Paper D&D has a major barrier to entry, availability of players, large amount of material to absorb, people's access to different source books varies, expense. The buisness model D&D was conceived upon isn't as viable as it once was.

    But WOTC can, and I suspect is, shifting gears to make it a digital product. Tools for DM's to build campaigns, abstracting players away from micro-management and needing to know large amounts of data to participate, micro-payment systems by selling mini-modules ala Dugeon, and larger ones as were sold in stores, and the ability to monitor and react to imbalances in real time. Likely with a monthly subscription fee.

    It's the ideal evolution of D&D as a buisness model, people who play offline can buy E-books, people who otherwise would be lapsed due to lack of players or pushed away by the barrier to entry can be embraced.

    I suspect that's why he kind of dodges the question, along with 5 edition's development. They're not ready to drop the bomb that Magic Online's about to get a bouncing baby brother. WOTC knows that gameshops aren't viable, they didn't work with 3.x, they didn't work with the WOTC stores, they know it won't work now.

    D&D's far from dead IMO, just like IMO Dragonlance is far from dead. I just suspect they're not ready to drop a major bomb on the 4e crowd, because they still want to move the remaining product.

    To show why I'm convinced of this (Other than our Queen's hints!)

    -The article even references the "Hiccup" in releases recently. We've seen this before ourselves, Dragonlance "Hiccuped" when WOTC was reviewing their future plans for the series, and then just picked back up with a slower pace of releases. I'm pretty confident the D&D hiccup was identical to the Dragonlance one.

    -More importantly, a few months ago, around June IIRC, a thread popped up on the 4e General Boards. A UK retailer was complaining that he wasn't able to get any D&D material since December and he didn't know why. WOTC's response was that a distributer in Denmark was out of supply and "Slow to process the reorder to WOTC". WOTC neglected to explain why a distributer would take 6 months to reorder for what is apparently a fair portion of Europe, they also claimed they hadn't heard about it before. How many people really believe that a good portion of Europe was out of product and WOTC was unaware? But it makes 1000x more sense that WOTC hadn't commited to a reprint because they weren't certain they could clear stock prior to moving to 5e, and had put the reorder on the back burner till they got sufficient numbers to warrant a print run.

    Then there's the fact that WOTC is sitting on the Dragonlance domain apparently, for what reason? Seems like they have plans to me.

    -Gatt (Otherwise known as "He who loses passwords after changing email addresses")
    Last edited by Seeker; 09-27-2011 at 10:40 PM.

  2. #22
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    Welcome back, Gatt...err, I mean "Seeker". Hope your hunch on digital is correct.....
    reading DL since 1987 - all hail the caffeine molecule!
    currently reading: Brothers Majere (Preludes Volume Three)

  3. #23
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    I don't see what makes it official that he is working on 5e. It only says he is in R&D working with that team.
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  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raistlinrox View Post
    I don't see what makes it official that he is working on 5e. It only says he is in R&D working with that team.
    I've talked to friends of Monte's who are friends of mine and they all say, Yes, he's working on 5e!

    Margaret

  5. #25
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    4th edition had what a 2 year development time before it came out ? they have been giving hints to 5th edition for about 8 months so they sill got a year and 4 months before it comes out. so by 2013 will be the new edition. that will give 4th edition a 5 year run. that sounds like a good business timeline to me.
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Queen of Darkness View Post
    I've talked to friends of Monte's who are friends of mine and they all say, Yes, he's working on 5e!

    Margaret
    Well, then I stand corrected again it seems! Thank you, your dark majesty!
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  7. #27
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Queen of Darkness View Post
    I've talked to friends of Monte's who are friends of mine and they all say, Yes, he's working on 5e!

    Margaret
    This news travels fast. People are quoting you on various RPG forums out there.
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  9. #29
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    i'm not sure how to feel about 5E. having 3 very different editions of D&D in less than 2decades smacks of desperation but it can be seen as progress too. maybe WotC should've let the editions air out a little more. i don't know. nonetheless, if they work out a great way to unite the different camps and bring in new players, i'd be willing to look at it.

    guess we'll have to wait and see. in the meantime and for the forseeable future, i'm Pathfinding!
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonhelm View Post
    This news travels fast. People are quoting you on various RPG forums out there.
    Bwahahaha! Dragonlanceforums.com! Scooped them other forums!
    Fanwank
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    A fanwank is [...] an attempt by fans of a work of fiction to explain or justify plot holes or continuity errors, often through convoluted contrivances...

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