Dungeons & Dragons Wizards of the Coast publisher’s parent company will buy D&D Beyond, the popular digital toolkit of role-playing games. The company announced the news this week in a press release, revealing that it will buy D&D Beyond from current owner Fandom in a $146.3 million cash deal. Wizards of the Coast is a subsidiary of toy manufacturer Hasbro, which acquired the company in 1999.
Fandom, which hosts fan sites for popular titles in movies, games, and television, acquired D&D Beyond and the rest of the company’s media assets in 2017 from Game mod and community tool Curse, is in the process of making a deal with Convulsion.
“D&D Beyond has been one of our most valuable partners in the digital space for the past six years, and we are thrilled to bring their finest talent to our team.” Wizards of the Coast and President of Digital Cynthia Williams said. “The team at D&D Beyond have built an incredible digital platform, and together we will deliver the best Dungeons & Dragons experience possible for players around the world.”
D&D Beyond is a digital gaming companion popular enough in the landscape that you can’t be blamed for thinking Wizards already own it. The company’s website and app serve as a digital Swiss Army knife for D&D players, offering everything from character creation and encounter construction to digital dice (using the use of digital dice). Use these at your own risk). The app, which offers paid subscription tiers along with basic free access, already has over 10 million users.
Prior to the deal, Wizards and D&D Beyond worked closely, with the latter providing exclusive digital access to all of D&D’s official source books. This arrangement has long been a source of disincentive for players from repurchasing a digital copy of a physical book they already own, and some hope that pairing digital access with paper source books can be in the card with the acquisition.
Wizards is hosting a special live stream on YouTube and Twitch on April 21 at 9 a.m. PT, so maybe we’ll learn more about its plans. The trailer showing off the game map, minis, and Xbox controller is a bit out of place, so it’s possible we’ll also hear about new titles or a proper launch date for Baldur’s Gate 3, Upcoming role-playing adventure developed by Divinity: Original Sin Maker Larian.
Business is booming for Wizards of the Coast, which also publishes the strategy card game Magic: The Gathering. In the midst of a pandemic forcing people to get creative about how to socialize over long distances, and the widespread exposure from hit live games like Critical Role – Twitch’s biggest earner – Wizards seems to is expanding the audience of role-playing games to a great extent. The company has brought more $1.3 billion in revenue in 2021and with movie and TV spin-offs about the fantasy multiverse on the table spanning the works, that can only grow.