Friday, December 24, 2010

A New Year's Prediction for WOTC and all D&D Editions

Seeing WOTC's Legal Dept. up to their old tricks again with Crystal Keep, and noting that they are deleting older edition articles off of their website, I think there may be a method to their madness. My prediction:

Why aren't they doing this? That's the real question. Here's my theory and prediction:

Mearls isn't as stupid as his predecessors from a business sense, he likes older editions, and he is aware of the PR blunders of the past. The only reason to repeat one, even to a lesser degree, would be to have a positive side to it---or at least something WOTC can spin as a positive to the fans, while at the same time making money off of it.

Which leads me to think that there will be a re-release of older material, like as in ALL of it, going back to the OD&D books, in a way that WOTC can make money from it.

The real money-maker for the company now is DDI subscriptions, as opposed to book sales, because everyone knows the books will be outdated due to errata in a matter of months. What better way to get people who want nothing to do with paying a subscription to DDI because they don't play 4,e than to release all material for all older versions of the game? How many people would pay 10 or 20 bucks a month for access to everything?

Short of that, if the technology isn't there, they will release everything in pdf format, rather than DDI, thus making up for their massive blunder of a couple years ago.

They've blown their load on Essentials, they've scaled back book releases, there is no new revenue stream on the horizon with the current system, or at least nothing that's going to significantly jack up profits using the IP they are currently in bed with. What they are doing now is a preemptive strike to protect their future plans and revenue streams, as much as it is a way to preserve, even if temporarily, the current hegemony (wished for in their own minds) of 4e.

Making older versions available electronically is a win win for everyone, from their perspective.

My only question now is whether they will go after the clones.

Anyhow, you heard it here first if it comes true. If not, eh...who reads these silly blogs anyhow. :)