The Future of D&D

At GAMA this year, Wizards of the Coast had a D&D Breakfast where they outlined their strategy for the future of D&D and the D&D Miniatures line. posted the slides they displayed, and later I transcribed them for ENworld readers. I’m now going to copy them to here so that I’ve got a record somewhere on my site of what they said.

I found looking at the entire presentation to be very interesting – I hope you will find it so as well.

Stage I Goal: Acquire New Players

Acquisition Marketing: Try!

* Purchase Basic Game or Starter Set

Stage I Consumer:

* Profile

– Interested in D&D (6.1 million “potential” players)

* Migration Goals:

– introduce the basic concepts of the D&D brand

– teach roleplaying concepts

– enter D&D with a playable character

* Products

– D&D Basic game

– D&D Miniatures Starter Set

– Young Reader Novels

Roleplaying: the D&D Basic Game

* The ideal product to introduce new players to roleplaying

* Gently guides new players from their expectations of a “normal” board game into D&D’s more unusual concepts

* Product content, component quality, and price point comparable to mainstream board games

* A no-compromises acquisition product

D&D Basic Game – $24.95

September 2004

10-1/2″ x 11-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ boxed set


– two 8 page full color starter rulebooks

– 4 double-sided boardlike map tiles

– 16 miniatures

– character cards

– advanced rulebook

– dice

D&D Miniatures

* Miniatures are a brand-extension

– Provide a new way to play

– Provide RPG accessories

* D&D Miniatures will always be

– playable out of the box

– iconic D&D characters and monsters

– linked with other D&D products

* D&D Miniatures will always provide

– fast, competitive play with miniatures

– ready to use D&D monsters and characters

D&D Miniatures Starter Set

* Provides everything needed to get started

– 40-page rule book

– 16 figures

– battlegrid map

– d20

– damage counters

* Entry point for potential players

– competitive play

– familiar-looking experience

– introduces d20 rules system

Young Reader Novels

* Draw tweens into fantasy

* Readers energised by Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings films

* Mirrorstone Books – new imprint

* Knights of the Silver Dragon

– entry level, ages 8-12

– Hardy Boys meets LotR in the dungeon

* Dragonlance: the New Adventures

– ages 10-12

– recurring teenage cast of adventurers

* Knights of the Silver Dragon

– Secrets of the Spiritkeeper (August)

– Riddle in Stone (August)

– $5.99, digest size, 192 pages

– readers can become Knights themselves

* Dragonlance: the New Adventures

– Temple of the Dragonslayer (July)

– The Dying Kingdom (July)

– $5.99, digest size, 256 pages

Acquisition Marketing: Capture Tweens and Teens

* Large-scale mainstream marketing push

* Year-long PR campaign to build awareness and modify negative brand perceptions

* Turn potential players into active customers

– game demos at Worldwide D&D Game Day

– interactive web demo supported by 3 waves of print and online advertising

– over 47 million impressions

Stage II Goals: Retain and Migrate Players

In-Product Cross-Promo: Buy!

* Purchase core rules, accessories and mini boosters

Stage II Consumer

* Profile

– comfortable with roleplaying concepts

* Migration Goals

– play and purchase regularly

* Products

– RPG Core rulebooks

– roleplaying accessories

– D&D Miniatures booster packs

– novels

Roleplaying: Core Rulebooks

* The heart of D&D

– Player’s Handbook

– Dungeon Master’s Guide

– Monster Manual

* Compatible with all Third Edition supplements

Roleplaying: Accessories

* Accessories are items that aid play without increasing sophistication

* Encourage active players to make incremental purchases

– Deluxe Character Sheets and Deluxe DM Screen

– D&D Dice

– Map Folio I and Map Folio II

– Miniatures

Map Folio I

* April 2004

* $9.95

* 64 page folio with folder

* beautiful maps allow DMs to quickly illustrate movement and clarify gameplay

* Map Folio II and Map Folio 3-D to follow in 2004

Miniatures: Booster Packs

* Aimed at all D&D fans

* Provide additional game-play utility

– new creatures for competitive warbands

– RPG adventures feature creatures from sets

– battle mats and maps

– playsets and scenarios

* Collectible D&D

– exclusive iconic characters drawn from 30 years of D&D

D&D Miniatures: Giants of Legend

* July 2004

* Huge Pack ($19.99)

– 9 random, pre-painted miniatures

+ regular assortment, plus 1 Huge

* 72 Figures in set

– Huge-sized creatures

– Giants, older dragons

– Legendary characters

Novels: Forgotten Realms

* The Two Swords by R.A. Salvatore (October)

– $25.95, hardcover

– Completes the Hunter’s Blades Trilogy (The Thousand Orcs; The Lone Drow)

– The Lone Drow spent ten weeks on the NYT best-seller list

* R.A. Salvatore’s War of the Spider Queen series

– $24.95; hardcover

– Extinction by Lisa Smedman (January)

– Annihiliation by Phil Athans (July)

– Cover Art by Brom

Stage II: Retention Marketing: Driving Player Purchases

* Increase player participation in RPGA events

– miniatures retail OP program launched in January

– full summer convention season of events

– RPGA Player Rewards program

* Encourage players to become DMs

– RPGA GM-University program

– revamped Dragon and Dungeon magazines

* Turn players into brand evangelists

– worldwide “Learn to play D&D” Game Day

– bring-a-friend program

* Nine month integrated PR and ad campaign

– 3 waves of print and online advertising

– over 10 million impressions

Stage III Goal: Retain and Migrate Players

Repeat purchase behaviour: supplements and settings

Retention Marketing: Invest

Stage III Consumer:

* Profile

– plays regularly

– involved in D&D as a hobby (“lifestyle”)

* Migration Goals

– retain player

– increase purchase behaviour

* Products

– rules supplement

– campaign settings

Roleplaying: Supplements and Campaign Settings

* Supplements increase the sophistication and scope of the game

* Campaign settings and products provide a game world in which to set play

* Both promote repeat-purchase model – they encourage players to buy more stuff!

Roleplaying: Supplements

* All Supplement are now organized into series

* Series structure helps players decide “what to buy next”

* Each series has a unique (but distinctly D&D) trade dress

* Existing backlist will be made compatible with series structure in reprint

2004 Releases

– Rulesbuilder series

* Unearthed Arcana (February)

* Expanded Psionics (April)

* Planar Handbook (July)

– Hero series: Complete Divine (May)

– Race series: Races of Stone (August)

– Environment series: Frostburn (September)

– Creature series: Libris Mortis (October)

– Genre series and others

Roleplaying: Campaign Settings

* Comprehensive sourcebooks of unique worlds aimed at dedicated players

* Eberron:

– Eberron Campaign Setting (June)

– Shadows of the Last War adventure (July)

– Heavy cross-category support continues through 2004, 2005 and beyond

* Forgotten Realms

– Player’s Guide to Faerun (March)

– Serpent Kingdoms (July)

Expanded Psionics Handbook

* March 2004

* $34.95

* 224-page hardcover

* New rules for psionics and psionic characters

* Expands the usefulness of psionics and makes it easier for DMs

Monster Manual III

* September 2004

* $34.95

* 224-page hardcover

* Nearly 200 new monsters

* New easier-to-access format makes this the most useful monster supplement yet!

Eberron Campaign Setting

* June 2004

* $39.95

* 288-page hardcover

* D&D’s exciting new campaign setting, the first in more than five years

* Fully supported: three supplements to follow in 2004 alone

Retention Marketing: Celebration Events

* Origins

– D&D Timeline Exhibition debut

* Gen Con

– “Epic Level” party

– D&D-sponsored “True Dungeon”

* Worldwide “Learn to play D&D” Game Day

– POP materials and demo kits available

– Advertising and PR will draw new customers

Retention Marketing: Promote Eberron

* Sneak Peaks

– First exclusive preview at Winter Fantasy

– “Countdown to Eberron” preview articles in Dragon

– Web previews

* Pre-order promotion

– Free warforged minis for your customers

– Drives Eberron Campaign Setting sales

* Print and online advertising

– 2 waves, over summer and fall

– over 6 million impressions

Thirty Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons & Dragons

* Coffee table book releases in October 2004

– 320 pages

– will include text and short sidebars from celebrities from the gaming world and beyond

– extensive photographs and artwork throughout

* Great tool for spreading the word about D&D

For those waiting on the rest of my D&D Miniatures lists, I’ll get to them tomorrow!

One comment

  1. Pingback: D&D 4E is coming! | Merric's Musings

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