The Roleplaying Game Industry’s Salvation may come from its history

8 Jun

Wizards of the Coast, the world renowned father of the modern roleplaying game, has recently announced open beta testing for the edition it plans to release in the near future. The move is unprecedented in the industry, as the leading game creators of the legendary Dungeons and Dragons have been notorious with their secrecy towards upcoming editions.

Unfortunately, that business plan miserably backfired with their most recent fourth edition. Due to a record low amount of player feedback, many veteran players of Wizards’ games did not buy in to the new edition, and instead continued playing the older version of the game. This kind of lack of support could easily mean disaster for a tabletop gaming company.

Because roleplaying games have one major upfront expense that continues to provide enjoyment for upwards of two decades, whenever a company releases a new game, player buy-in is a must. If players decide the older version is superior, the company does not make any new money. Add to this the fact that more and more of the younger generation is drifting to trading card games, computer games, and fast paced technology lifestyle, the industry that revolves around this older concept is slowly failing.

It’s a good move for Wizards of the Coast to involve their customers more thoroughly in their product development. The roleplaying game industry was built on the reputation of Dungeons and Dragons, and without this powerful name in tabletop gaming, the industry could easily be relegated to the dust bin of history.

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