Hasbro buys D&D Beyond, role-playing game’s flagship digital toolkit

The parent company of Dungeons & Dragons Wizards of the Coast developer, Hasbro, announced Wednesday it is acquiring D&D Beyond, one of its officially licensed digital toolkits and online storefronts. most popular of franchises. Wizards says on its official website that it has “there are no plans to stop supporting D&D BeyondAnd all purchases made by consumers will be treasured in the future.

D&D Beyond is Curse’s creation, and launched in 2017. At its core, the platform is a web and mobile app that gives players and Heroes (DMs) the tools they need to play live or online D&D. Features include a character generator, character palette, and digital dice roll functionality. As for the DM, it allows users to digitally purchase official campaign books and other materials for use inside the app. Traditional D&D bookshelf more or less the same on D&D Beyond as they are on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at your local game store.

D&D Beyond was purchased by Fandom in 2018, and according to Hasbro, the relationship has been fascinating since then.

“Over the past three years, royalties paid to Hasbro by D&D Beyond have contributed significantly to the fastest-growing revenue stream for Dungeons & Dragons,” Hasbro said. That is certainly true, like financial disclosure shows that Wizards – and its attached digital properties, including Magic: Collecting Arena – made over $1 billion in 2021 for the first time.

Wizards have been a large part of Hasbro’s total earnings since launching D&D 5th edition in 2014. With an operating profit of $547 million in 2021, The Wizards business division accounted for 72% of Hasbro’s operating profit for the year. In that respect, buying D&D Beyond from Fandom for $146.3 million in cash seems like a small price to pay to lock down a platform with nearly 10 million reported users — many in that number jumped in in the last two years of the ongoing global pandemic.

But it’s clear that the new president of the Wizards, Cynthia Williams, has bigger goals in mind.

“D&D Beyond’s strategic acquisition will deliver direct fan relationships, providing valuable, data-driven insights to unlock growth opportunities in development,” Williams said. new products, services and tools directly as well as regional expansion”. “As part of Wizards, the leadership of the franchise will soon be able to advance a unified, player-centric vision of the world’s best role-playing game across all platforms.”

Does that mean players will one day be able to buy a book with a digital code inside, unlocking that content inside D&D Beyond? It’s not obvious, but a similar strategy was used not too long ago to Magic: Gatheringsold for a while command deck with the digital code inside the online unlocked card.

Meanwhile, Wizards does not sell D&D 5th edition documents in PDF format. Books like Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft and coming Journey through the Citadel exists only as a physical product or as in-app content for D&D Beyond and other licensors such as Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds. Wizards sells its backend catalog, including first edition and third edition content, as PDF files. through a partnership with OneBookShelf.

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