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Hasbro shelving D&D, would it change anything?


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

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Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber

Wasn't that the brand manager who got fired shortly afterwards?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Scott Betts wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Where is that stat from?

It's one of the results of some of the professional marketing done a few years ago, if I recall correctly. Unless I'm very much mistaken, it's a figure that I've seen even the Paizo staff throw around once or twice. It only applies to the United States, if memory serves.

EDIT: Found it. This link is from a liveblog of a seminar given by then-D&D Senior Brand Manager Scott Rouse, noting an 89% brand-awareness, higher even than World of Warcraft. It covered the US, Canada, and part of Europe.

Just because the brand name is well known doesn't mean much in and of itself when it comes to selling product. People buy "Kleenex" all the time without worrying about the precise brand name, and people inside the gamer community are already doing that with DnD. Not having the actual brand not being actively marketed would definitely have an effect, but the industry and other current major players would recover just fine. The most likely effect would be an acceleration of the process of the name becoming a generic description rather than a specific brand that has been going for some time now already.


Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
The very reasons (perceived) why Hasbro purchased WoTC and D&D in the first place argue against them being willing to sell either IP for any amount any other RPG company is going to consider paying. As an overall toy industry leader Hasbro can afford to just shelve D&D rather than sell it for anything less than they bought it, and they bought it for a hell of a lot more than any actual RPG company could have payed.

I thought that they bought WotC for MtG, not D&D. But that's a good point, that D&D now belongs to a company large enough to never need to sell it, and too big for anyone else to buy the whole company. On further consideration, I think that D&D has finally found a "forever home", and that being shelved is about as unlikely as being sold.

One thing that corporations do with a subsidiary is something that I've heard called a "work out" (IIRC), where they wring every last penny out of it that they can without investing any more into it. Warren Buffett has become one of the richest people in the world, partly by buying companies just for their future income stream -- when it's sufficiently discounted -- only so that he can re-invest it elsewhere in Berkshire Hathaway's stable.

Rather than being abruptly spun off or closed, I think that a more likely endgame for D&D is that someday Hasbro will end up min/maxing the content production/subscriber retention, and just let it gradually wind down while collecting as much free money as they can.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
sunshadow21 wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Where is that stat from?

It's one of the results of some of the professional marketing done a few years ago, if I recall correctly. Unless I'm very much mistaken, it's a figure that I've seen even the Paizo staff throw around once or twice. It only applies to the United States, if memory serves.

EDIT: Found it. This link is from a liveblog of a seminar given by then-D&D Senior Brand Manager Scott Rouse, noting an 89% brand-awareness, higher even than World of Warcraft. It covered the US, Canada, and part of Europe.

Just because the brand name is well known doesn't mean much in and of itself when it comes to selling product. People buy "Kleenex" all the time without worrying about the precise brand name, and people inside the gamer community are already doing that with DnD. Not having the actual brand not being actively marketed would definitely have an effect, but the industry and other current major players would recover just fine. The most likely effect would be an acceleration of the process of the name becoming a generic description rather than a specific brand that has been going for some time now already.

That would decelerate, not accelerate.

Just as, if Kleenex stopped being produced, the identification of brand name with category would be reduced, not enhanced.

Paizo Employee CEO

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
I wonder if Paizo is beginning to get the over-reach/complacency bug.

If you spent just one day inside the Paizo offices, you would know that there is no way in heck we would ever contract the complacency bug. It just isn't in our DNA. I always run the company like we are the underdog and that everything could be taken away from us at a moment's notice. When you are always aware of how fragile your success is, you never get complacent. Ever. So you needn't worry about that.

Now over-reaching? You may have a point. Maybe. The future will tell us if you are right. With the success that Paizo is having comes opportunities that wouldn't have been there if we were just struggling along. Deciding which opportunities to pursue and which to decline is probably one of the hardest jobs of a CEO in a company like Paizo. Thankfully, I have a lot of really smart people who constantly question things I want to do, so I am pretty confident that we are doing the right things. But, it is possible that we will over-reach someday. The good news is that we never do anything outside of our core business that puts the company in jeopardy. Any over-reach failure would sting but not be fatal.

So complacency. No. Over-reach, I hope not, but only time will tell.

-Lisa


Steve Geddes wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Where is that stat from?

It's one of the results of some of the professional marketing done a few years ago, if I recall correctly. Unless I'm very much mistaken, it's a figure that I've seen even the Paizo staff throw around once or twice. It only applies to the United States, if memory serves.

EDIT: Found it. This link is from a liveblog of a seminar given by then-D&D Senior Brand Manager Scott Rouse, noting an 89% brand-awareness, higher even than World of Warcraft. It covered the US, Canada, and part of Europe.

Just because the brand name is well known doesn't mean much in and of itself when it comes to selling product. People buy "Kleenex" all the time without worrying about the precise brand name, and people inside the gamer community are already doing that with DnD. Not having the actual brand not being actively marketed would definitely have an effect, but the industry and other current major players would recover just fine. The most likely effect would be an acceleration of the process of the name becoming a generic description rather than a specific brand that has been going for some time now already.

That would decelerate, not accelerate.

Just as, if Kleenex stopped being produced, the identification of brand name with category would be reduced, not enhanced.

Except that both names are pretty well entrenched, so the current trend would take some time to reverse, and could very easily be strengthened in the short term as current gamers feel more comfortable using it as a generic term because it's no longer associated with any specific set of rules. If they kept it shelved for a long time, it would eventually hurt the process, but short term, it would most likely accelerate the process, or at worst, have no visible impact on the process.

Paizo Employee CEO

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Bill Dunn wrote:
I think the world outside the hobby tends to view RPGs as "that D&D stuff". If D&D dominates public perceptions of the RPG hobby and it can't really be found as an active product, you'll see a lot of potential recruits needlessly confused, confounded, and otherwise hampered in taking up the hobby.

Interestingly enough, a year ago, I would have agreed with you. But in the last year, I have seen quite a large increase in the awareness of Pathfinder. A year ago, when I met new people and they ask me what I did, I would mention Pathfinder and they would look at me weird until I said, "it is like D&D" and then they would nod their head.

Nowadays, that still happens, but much less often. Now I get people saying things like "Pathfinder, my best friend is really into that." I've even met people who play and are thrilled that they got to meet me. D&D still has the lion's share of recognition amongst the general population, but Pathfinder is gaining rapidly. Interestingly enough, I think some of the "over-reach" projects might be the ones gaining us the recognition. Pathfinder Online, Pathfinder Comics, Pathfinder Novels, Pathfinder Battles Minis. Things that step outside the normal tabletop experience are usually the things folks in the general public hear about that gets them to know what Pathfinder is.

-Lisa


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
sunshadow21 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Where is that stat from?

It's one of the results of some of the professional marketing done a few years ago, if I recall correctly. Unless I'm very much mistaken, it's a figure that I've seen even the Paizo staff throw around once or twice. It only applies to the United States, if memory serves.

EDIT: Found it. This link is from a liveblog of a seminar given by then-D&D Senior Brand Manager Scott Rouse, noting an 89% brand-awareness, higher even than World of Warcraft. It covered the US, Canada, and part of Europe.

Just because the brand name is well known doesn't mean much in and of itself when it comes to selling product. People buy "Kleenex" all the time without worrying about the precise brand name, and people inside the gamer community are already doing that with DnD. Not having the actual brand not being actively marketed would definitely have an effect, but the industry and other current major players would recover just fine. The most likely effect would be an acceleration of the process of the name becoming a generic description rather than a specific brand that has been going for some time now already.

That would decelerate, not accelerate.

Just as, if Kleenex stopped being produced, the identification of brand name with category would be reduced, not enhanced.

Except that both names are pretty well entrenched, so the current trend would take some time to reverse, and could very easily be strengthened in the short term as current gamers feel more comfortable using it as a generic term because it's no longer associated with any specific set of rules. If they kept it shelved for a long time, it would eventually hurt the process, but short term, it would most likely accelerate the process, or at worst, have no visible impact on the process.

That's not how brands work.

People in general aren't avoiding using D&D as a generic term out of discomfort due to close association with one set of rules.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Lisa Stevens wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
I think the world outside the hobby tends to view RPGs as "that D&D stuff". If D&D dominates public perceptions of the RPG hobby and it can't really be found as an active product, you'll see a lot of potential recruits needlessly confused, confounded, and otherwise hampered in taking up the hobby.

Interestingly enough, a year ago, I would have agreed with you. But in the last year, I have seen quite a large increase in the awareness of Pathfinder. A year ago, when I met new people and they ask me what I did, I would mention Pathfinder and they would look at me weird until I said, "it is like D&D" and then they would nod their head.

Nowadays, that still happens, but much less often. Now I get people saying things like "Pathfinder, my best friend is really into that." I've even met people who play and are thrilled that they got to meet me. D&D still has the lion's share of recognition amongst the general population, but Pathfinder is gaining rapidly. Interestingly enough, I think some of the "over-reach" projects might be the ones gaining us the recognition. Pathfinder Online, Pathfinder Comics, Pathfinder Novels, Pathfinder Battles Minis. Things that step outside the normal tabletop experience are usually the things folks in the general public hear about that gets them to know what Pathfinder is.

-Lisa

Hopefully this trend will continue. That's encouraging, anyhow.


BryonD wrote:

The fact that you point out that it is higher than WoW shows how pointless to the conversation this trivia happens to be.

Yes, it is true. It seems quite obvious to me.
I'd also readily wager that is was no less true 5 years before WotC purchased TSR.
That recognition is based on what TSR did decades ago.
And it has no meaning whatsoever with regard to 21st century success or popularity. So it is meaningless to this conversation.

Seriously? Brand awareness means nothing as far as present-day success if it was predicated on popularity built 20 years prior?

Quote:

Purely for the sake of argument lets presume your 1% awareness for Pathfinder is true. (I think you are way low, but I agree that D&D as a brand is far far ahead, so whatever)

Now, lets say WotC shelved D&D. Who would know that? The same 1% that know Pathfinder.

Are you making the assumption that all current D&D players are aware of what Pathfinder is?

Quote:
The other 98% don't know and DON'T CARE.

That's not anything like the point.

Quote:
They would still be minimally aware of the concept of RPGs and would know that "D&D" was the brand associated with that activity.

That's not how this works. We're not talking about a population group where 1% is so hardcore that they know what Pathfinder is in addition to knowing what D&D is, and 99% are so uninvolved that they don't care at all. The reality is far more of a gradient. You have hardcore Pathfinder players who would weep or rejoice, based on their individual tastes for WotC/D&D. You have hardcore D&D players who would panic. You have less-invested D&D players who would be somewhat affected. You have non-players who enjoy branded products like D&D video games, books, comics, or miniatures. You have parents and relatives of players who now have to find a different set of gifts to buy their hobby-enthusiast cousin/son/daughter/nephew/niece/husband/wife/sister/brother. You have people who have heard of D&D and want to play but for whatever reason have never gotten the chance. You have the mildly curious. An entire gamut of people with weak-to-strong relationships with D&D the game and D&D the brand.

Quote:

They would be just as oblivious to the fact that it had been shelved as they are oblivious to the fact that Pathfinder is the new big kid on the block.

It is the industry fan base that matters.

That's what the industry fan base likes to believe. And to a certain extent it's even true!

Quote:
And just as you said that the car industry still exists because the need still exists, the DESIRE for RPGs would still exist. Need and desire are not the same thing, but as far as comparing these two highly different industries is concerned, they play the same role.

Not even close. The desire for tabletop RPGs is, I believe, not presently strong enough to launch another industry giant to the heights of popularity and brand knowledge that D&D enjoys. I'm not sure it will ever be that strong again, unless D&D or tabletop roleplaying experiences a resurgence in relevance - relevance lost over the last couple of decades to more accessible entertainment.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Lisa Stevens wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
I think the world outside the hobby tends to view RPGs as "that D&D stuff". If D&D dominates public perceptions of the RPG hobby and it can't really be found as an active product, you'll see a lot of potential recruits needlessly confused, confounded, and otherwise hampered in taking up the hobby.

Interestingly enough, a year ago, I would have agreed with you. But in the last year, I have seen quite a large increase in the awareness of Pathfinder. A year ago, when I met new people and they ask me what I did, I would mention Pathfinder and they would look at me weird until I said, "it is like D&D" and then they would nod their head.

Nowadays, that still happens, but much less often. Now I get people saying things like "Pathfinder, my best friend is really into that." I've even met people who play and are thrilled that they got to meet me. D&D still has the lion's share of recognition amongst the general population, but Pathfinder is gaining rapidly. Interestingly enough, I think some of the "over-reach" projects might be the ones gaining us the recognition. Pathfinder Online, Pathfinder Comics, Pathfinder Novels, Pathfinder Battles Minis. Things that step outside the normal tabletop experience are usually the things folks in the general public hear about that gets them to know what Pathfinder is.

-Lisa

Hopefully this trend will continue. That's encouraging, anyhow.

Agreed. If Pathfinder manages to reach that level of brand recognition, it will be a mammoth accomplishment and a huge boon for the tabletop gaming community, since it would be brand recognition gained in present-day, which is a very encouraging sign of relevance.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Digitalelf wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
To somebody who believed there already shelfed D&D when 4th ed came along...we already faced this.

Problem is gamers already, well... game (and thus already have a finger or two on the pulse of the gaming industry)...

To a non-gamer looking to get into gaming however, D&D is a recognizable brand...

The other table-top RPGs out there? Not so much outside of most gaming circles...

I was answearing from a personal perspective...what it means for the indusrty...who knows. I don't think it will kill RPGs industry though.

1) Alot of the RPGs out there do have a loyal fan base that can keep them afloat. For instance Pathfinder I think would be fine. Hero system, L5R, Palladium, the Warhammer 40K line and others. All would proably survive.

2) Those who survive will look for ways to get non-gamers involved. Heck they probably do this already...except now it will be more important.

It could actualy be something good for the indusrty overall if D&D goes away. Instead of having one option out there for non-gamers to try...they would have many. That has to be better.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The fact is if Hasbro were to shelve D%D tomorrow it would cause a major news spot on the 11:00 news and there would be a bit of a nerclasm in the gaming industry.

However as time goes on, and D%D continues to be displaced from the center of the gaming universe, as was happening before Pathfinder came on the scene, the impact of such potential shelving would decrease.

It's not the center of the gaming universe any more.


GM Elton wrote:

Will you stop playing D&D if Hasbro shelved it?

Would you introduce your children and grandchildren (geese, I'm almost 40!) to D&D after it has been shelved through one of the Clones or Pathfinder?

I know I would. Hasbro shelving D&D isn't a bad thing. It's a good thing. It would mean the genie is really out of the bottle! People will continue to play. You can't stop people playing D&D or any other roleplaying game. It's just pure nonsense.

D&D 5th should succeed. However, if it doesn't, the D&D brand could be shelved. But it's not necessarily a bad thing for all of gaming. In the past 4 years, Wizards of the Coast has moved from prominence in the gaming world, and people showed them that they will play what they liked.

I have a copy of the Wilderlands of High Fantasy (new version for 3.5) and a host of other gaming settings. I'm even developing my own setting. Would Hasbro shelving D&D really stop me from playing? Really?

Question is, do you really need Hasbro to keep D&D going?

Well, technically, yes we do need Hasbro to keep Dungeons & Dragons going since they own it. However, do we need Hasbro to keep fantasy tabletop RPGs going? Probably not, but, if "Dungeons & Dragons" ceased to exist as a published product I think it might cause articles to be written with headlines like: "Role playing games, fad of the '80s, finally die off." True or not I think this kind of story may inadvertently drive new and occasional players away from the hobby in general. This could be a significant problem for the publishers that remain. So I think when other RPG publishers say that "D&D" is important to the hobby this is probably more of what they mean. It's important that a game called “Dungeons & Dragons” does not die a public death, but it doesn’t have to sell well or even be a top seller to keep the tabletop RPG industry viable.

This is not unusual in any industry though. It’s why Sirius and XM merged; if one of them died it would have been a black eye for the whole satellite radio industry and eventually would have killed it. Companies acquire, or prop up, their dying competitors all the time to keep their respective industries looking viable. In the early 90s Microsoft did a similiar thing for a dying Apple, gave them some cash to keep them going, so that MS would appear to have some “competition” in the PC market and would not look like a monopoly.

Shadow Lodge

LazarX wrote:
The fact is if Hasbro were to shelve D%D tomorrow it would cause a major news spot on the 11:00 news...

I actually really doubt that. Then again, I wouldn't have figured that the death of Captain America or Ultimate Spider-Man would have any kind of "legitimate" news coverage either, so maybe I'm wrong.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Wouldn't be a blip on the news, because they'd never shelve the brand. The RPG, yes. The brand? No.

They'll keep churning stuff out with the D&D brand plastered to it.

Shelving the RPG will hurt the RPG industry more than it'll hurt the brand.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I removed some sniping.

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Brian E. Harris wrote:

Wouldn't be a blip on the news, because they'd never shelve the brand. The RPG, yes. The brand? No.

They'll keep churning stuff out with the D&D brand plastered to it.

Shelving the RPG will hurt the RPG industry more than it'll hurt the brand.

I agree completely with Brian. D&D as a brand will live forever, D&D as an RPG may not.

I personally think that WotC needs to look at a 'non-Pathfinder' niche rather than shelving the product. They need to (here's role reversal) emulate Paizo and have the right person, at the right time, and that was/is Lisa in Piazo's case (or John Sheridan...). Start-up companies succeed or fail based on the CEO's drive and vision. Lisa was able to surround herself with the people who believed in the product - brand came second. WotC over the years as had believers running the show BUT someone looking over their shoulders and have relied on brand over product.

Piazo seems to still understand they are only as good as their LAST product. WotC at times has come across as 'suck it up' its D&D and therefore good, only you may be too silly a customer to realise this.

S.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I read someplace that the reason Hasbro picked up WOTC was not because of DnD, or MtG. but because WOTC had another license. Pokemon.

Andoran

Yep. Hasbro couldn't care less about D&D. Heck, after 2003, I'm not sure WotC really does, either. Magic is their cash cow, after all, D&D isn't anything close to that as a revenue stream.


Still they could have taken careto maintain some quality... but why? It paid... till it really didn't.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
CapeCodRPGer wrote:
I read someplace that the reason Hasbro picked up WOTC was not because of DnD, or MtG. but because WOTC had another license. Pokemon.

I know many are surprised by this, but Hasbro was *mostly* interested in Magic; they didn't think that Pokémon had as much value or staying power as we at Wizards thought it did. That was actually the primary sticking point in our negotiations. We eventually came up with a clever solution that made everyone happy: if sales from the next few years proved them right, no harm no foul; if sales proved us right, they'd pay us more money. They ended up paying us more money. A *lot* more money.

Andoran

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

I won't try to comment on what would happen with the RPG industry if WotC shelved D&D though it will continue on.

For me personally, if WotC decided not to go ahead with D&D Next and instead shelved D&D, I wouldn't be too cut up at all. I have a stack of 3.5 and 4e books on my shelf that I haven't read yet and I still hope to get a lot of play out of those editions.

Also, I have loads of other games that I want to read and play, including a renewed enthusiasm for RuneQuest (just pre-ordered RQ6) and Glorantha (looking forward to Guide to Glorantha in November) thanks to Continuum last weekend.

The fact that for the first 15 years of my roleplaying experience I never owned a D&D book or played more than maybe 3 sessions of D&D probably helps me realised D&D isn't the be all and end all and that the hobby can trundle on just nicely without it (especially with things like Kickstarter and PDFs and Print on Demand).


If it came down to it, even if the entire tabletop gaming industry collapsed, it wouldn't change what happens at my table. With the OGL/SRD available, I can create whatever RPG I want. I already have. Working on my fourth iteration.

The only thing I'd really miss is the fun of going to my FLGS and perusing the new inventory. And it would be great if that included looking at D&D stuff, even if it was something I wasn't going to buy.

Andoran

Other than a few video games and a really bad movie no one talks about, D&D isn't even on the general public's radar any more. The '80s are over, we're a niche hobby now, not a huge fad and cultural phenomenon.

The sad truth is were D&D (the TTRPG) to disappear, the only people who would notice is us. The rest of the world wouldn't even register the happening. I think it would have little impact on Paizo, Green Ronin, Frog God Games, Open Design, Catalyst, etc, other than a pang of sadness and nostalgia with a bunch of people who worked on the game at various times during its existence, whether with TSR or WotC.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

There have been two movies so far (and there's a third in production, I believe), although the second and third had nowhere near the budget of the first. (They're also supposed to be closer to the actual game than the first was).

Andoran

Steve Geddes wrote:
There have been two movies so far (and there's a third in production, I believe), although the second and third had nowhere near the budget of the first. (They're also supposed to be closer to the actual game than the first was).

And...awareness of the general public? That would be close to, um, zero. I was just talking about the one that actually made it to theaters, and not a direct to DVD/SyFy release.

If you want to get that technical, there's a Dragonlance movie floating around that pretty much no one but the gamer community knows about.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
houstonderek wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
There have been two movies so far (and there's a third in production, I believe), although the second and third had nowhere near the budget of the first. (They're also supposed to be closer to the actual game than the first was).

And...awareness of the general public? That would be close to, um, zero. I was just talking about the one that actually made it to theaters, and not a direct to DVD/SyFy release.

If you want to get that technical, there's a Dragonlance movie floating around that pretty much no one but the gamer community knows about.

I wasnt arguing. I agree with you (broadly).

I just didnt know if you knew about the upcoming movie, that was all. I didnt know about any Dragonlance movie.

Andoran

Sorry if I was a little abrupt, then. But it kind of goes to my point. I'm a gamer and I had no idea they were making a third movie, you're a gamer and didn't know about the Dragonlance movie.

If a couple of guys in the community can't even be bothered to keep up with goings on in D&D land, imagine how little the gen pop cares?

So, again, were D&D to disappear as a TTRPG (Hasbro, as others have pointed out, wouldn't shelve the whole brand, the novel and video game tie in make more money than the ttrpg, I'm sure), we'd notice, but it probably wouldn't even be a small blip on the radar of the population at large.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:
I didnt know about any Dragonlance movie.

You did not miss much. It was an animated movie with some "animated/live-action" sequences that while similar to the old "Lord of the Rings" live-action/animated movie, was a little (and I do mean a little) better done...

The movie on the whole was pretty bad IMHO...

Oh, it was based off of "Dragons of Autumn Twilight" (the other books were never made into movies)...

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
houstonderek wrote:


If you want to get that technical, there's a Dragonlance movie floating around that pretty much no one but the gamer community knows about.

Never, ever, ever, ever, ever (that enough) watch this is you (a) like movies or (b) like Dragonlance. Even worse, if you like movies AND like Dragonlance. The people who put this 'movie' together should be the first people on Mars - no environment suits will be provided...

Houston they had a SERIOUS problem.

Thanks man, I had almost managed to forgot the 'movie' and the insult of postage cost that added to the injury of actually watching the thing!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
houstonderek wrote:

Other than a few video games and a really bad movie no one talks about, D&D isn't even on the general public's radar any more. The '80s are over, we're a niche hobby now, not a huge fad and cultural phenomenon.

I disagree about D&D not being on the general public's radar. It may not be on their radar as far as an active passtime/hobby goes, but I think it still looms reasonably large as a sub-cultural marker. Mention D&D, Star Wars or Star Trek, and comic books and you've got a pretty good shorthand description of a lot of nerd stereotypes that people will recognize. And I think the fact that D&D still exists after all this time contributes to that sub-cultural marker's recognizability.


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Bill Dunn wrote:
houstonderek wrote:

Other than a few video games and a really bad movie no one talks about, D&D isn't even on the general public's radar any more. The '80s are over, we're a niche hobby now, not a huge fad and cultural phenomenon.

I disagree about D&D not being on the general public's radar. It may not be on their radar as far as an active passtime/hobby goes, but I think it still looms reasonably large as a sub-cultural marker. Mention D&D, Star Wars or Star Trek, and comic books and you've got a pretty good shorthand description of a lot of nerd stereotypes that people will recognize. And I think the fact that D&D still exists after all this time contributes to that sub-cultural marker's recognizability.

D&D has been played on screen in two major prime-time broadcast network comedies in the past few years, one of which made it the focus of an entire episode. It is most definitely still on the radar. The general public might not be aware of its modern particulars, but I doubt the 80's public was either. They're just - as they were in the 80's - vaguely aware of what it's like and its impact on pop culture, and they probably know one or two people who play it.


That's true Scott, but the comedy that made it a focus of the entire episode didn't use any of the current edition rulebooks, and felt like a real missed opportunity to increase brand recognition. I loved the episode, but it was much more a depiction of the in and outs of role playing than anything particularly D&D specific. The only prop I recognized was a map of the demonweb pits, and thing's from 81-82.

I think D&D will always be the genre name for RPGs, but we still talk about dial-up internet access, and I haven't seen a phone with a dial in about 30 years. That is, among the uninitiated D&D is more genre name than brand name already. I don't think shelving the brand would change that.

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