Wizards of the Coast’s parent company Hasbro Inc has announced that they have purchased the online platform D&D Beyond from its owner Fandom (yes, the wiki people). This would make Hasbro/WotC the third owner of the platform, which originally was owned by Curse, the company behind the streaming platform Twitch. This deal, reportedly worth $146 million, is to be made in cash and Hasbro reassured shareholders that the impact to the year’s revenue and earnings per share would be ‘immaterial’ and that the purchase would add to revenue in 2023.
What does this mean for players?
First, let’s put your minds at ease, WotC has reassured fans that their characters, campaigns, and other content on D&D Beyond aren’t going anywhere so you’ve nothing to fear! Otherwise, we can speculate on three potentials changes as a result of this corporate acquisition:
Improved integration of official content – Some current D&D Beyond users may have noticed various bugs in the platform that hinder using official rules, such as being unable to change a Clockwork Soul Sorcerer’s subclass spells and generally slow development of some features. Depending on contracts currently in place, WotC may be able to give the developers at D&D Beyond more advanced notice of new mechanics than they currently receive as a third party. In addition, with D&D Beyond becoming an official in-house brand for Dungeons and Dragons, WotC is likely to want to improve the overall accuracy and quality of the system.
Combining physical books with digital assets – Since D&D Beyond’s release in 2017 fans have been asking time and again why they can’t just get a code included in their paper copy, preventing them from having to buy the same content twice. Up until this acquisition that was not really feasible, if at all possible, as WotC and D&D Beyond were entirely separate entities with the latter just licensing rights from the former. It would have been the same as asking why you didn’t get a code for Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds, but D&D Beyond’s name proved confusing. Now both companies are under the same corporate umbrella it’s possible that in the future we could see codes included in hardcover books for the digital version, or at least a discount to purchase it on the D&D Beyond marketplace.
Paving the way towards an official D&D Virtual Tabletop (VTT) – Many have speculated about if and/or when WotC might launch their own VTT to compete with the likes of Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, and Foundry. Screenshots circulated last year from a player engagement survey stoked these whispers as they appeared to show concept art for such a system. D&D Beyond paves the way for them to create their own VTT, integrating it with the features the platform already has in use or active development, such as their character builder, character sheets, and encounter builder.
Whilst our heads are swimming with the possibilities of this momentous news, we can’t expect any real changes for a while. The deal isn’t expected to officially close until later in 2022, whilst both company’s boards of directors have agreed to the sale, the transaction is still subject to regulatory review and approval.
How do you feel about this news? Let us know in the comments below, and if you’ll be building a new character on D&D Beyond soon, check out our class guides. Good luck out there adventurers and remember, to stay up to date with the game we all love, keep coming back to the cove.