Saturday, April 5, 2008

Wizards Marketing of D&D

The marketing department at Wizards of the Coast needs to be beaten with a stick. Why do we have to learn about new role-playing releases from Amazon? Doesn't Wizards of the Coast have a group of people whose job it is to promote their products? Ummm, marketing? Do they not have a website and a goofy new web forum? I understand that Amazon adds every new ISBN number of every book ever to be issued said number, but for the love of god, Amazon has the artwork. Where do you think they got that before the rest of the world? Does Wizards of the Coast ever announce anything on their own?

Pet peeve number two is their new 4th edition focus on making too many game master books available to players. Magic items are now in the Player's Handbook, rather than the Dungeon Master's Guide, a problem in my mind. Players are also encouraged to buy adventures and the new magic item books are being marketed to players as well. Enworld reports:

The identity-confused Magic Compendium I first changed its name to Tome of Treasures. Now, according to Amazon, is now called Adventurer's Vault: A Guide to Weapons, Equipment, and Treasure for Your Character.

The best selling books are "core" books; you need them to play. Second best are "accessory" books, because they can be used by DM and player alike. "Supplement" books sell the worst, because they're DM specific. Wizards is clearly trying to turn their supplements into accessories to increase sales, regardless of their appropriateness. This is just wrong. Part of the excitement of this game is the mystery. Encouraging players to ruin the secrets might sell more books, but in the long run it will take away the fun from the game and sales will suffer.


  1. Sounds like they are continuing to follow the CRPG model, and hoping that it will lead to increased sales for the supplements. Serious players of CRPGs, whether MMOGs or not, learn all they can about the different items available to best equip their characters.

    I've said it before, but Wizard's needs to be careful about going too far down that path. Eventually you get to the point where you say "why am I playing this RPG when a CRPG would do the same thing, but better?"

  2. I think they're betraying their roots. Then again, the new system is supposed to be easier to DM. If that's the case, truly, then we should see more players putting on the DM's cap and start running games of their own. Nevertheless, aiming these things at players just seems against the spirit of the game.

  3. WotC Fall 2008 Product Guide Book
    It's sitting on the D&D Rack. In addition in has the three adventures released, The Forgotten Realms players guide, Martial Power, Draconomicon I.

  4. Busted.

    Now you're gonna have to smack him in the head when you get back to the store.

    Run, Spaz, run.

  5. Hmm, I guess I was assuming it really was a scoop. That will teach me to ignore those little booklets.

  6. "Now you're gonna have to smack him in the head when you get back to the store."

    That's why I promoted him to manager this week.