Monday, April 03, 2006

D&D Fails Its Saving Throw?

I work in a newsroom, so I read a lot of RSS and bobbo...

--April 1, 2006

Following slow first quarter sales and four consecutive down quarters, Hasbro, has decided to cancel production of the world’s oldest role playing game, Dungeons and Dragons.

“We knew the brand’s profitability was marginal when we acquired Wizards of the Coast,” said Jane Ritson-Parsons, president of the Hasbro Properties Group (HPG). "For the past four years, its primary income has been through its licensing arrangements with companies wanting to cash in on the game’s nostalgia value. Atari’s Temple of Elemental Evil, for example, is based on a product dated from 1985, and Sci-Fi Channel’s Wrath of the Dragon God is laced with dialogue references to 1980s products. We need a self-sustaining product, not the glory of 20 years ago.”

“We’re obviously disappointed with the decision, and we appreciate the opportunities that Hasbro has given us to help restore D&D’s profitability," said Charles Ryan, Brand Manager for Dungeons and Dragons Role Playing. "We’re going to continue with the current release schedule through GenCon, and then no further releases are planned. We intend to keep the core books in print indefinitely to maintain the licenses we have in place now and to allow the opportunity for new license revenue.”

Hasbro (NYSE: HAS) is a worldwide leader in children's and family leisure time entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.

Wizards of the Coast, Inc., is a worldwide leader in the trading card game and tabletop roleplaying game categories, and a leading developer and publisher of game-based entertainment products. The company holds an exclusive patent on Trading Card Games (TCGs) and their method of play and produces the premier trading card game, Magic: The Gathering, among many other Trading Card Games and family card and board games. Wizards is also a leading publisher of roleplaying games, such as Dungeons & Dragons®, and publisher of fantasy series fiction with numerous New York Times best-sellers. For more information, visit the Wizards of the Coast website at

Wizards of the Coast, Magic: The Gathering, and Dungeons & Dragons are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All rights reserved. © 2006 Wizards.

Now, that said, this came 'over the wire' at the weekend, specifically on the 1st of April (so ya gotta wait for some kinda legitimate confirmation) preferably on another day, yeah? On the Wizards of the Coast site, in the press releases, it just mentioned the New My Little Pony RPG (which is an April Fool wind-up for sure).

My opinion? I thought I'd care but I don't. D&D is the grandaddy of RPGs but, frankly, something like this was/is bound to happen eventually. The world has changed, players are different, the art of conversation is dead.

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