Welcome to the Cannibal Halfling Weekend Update! Start your weekend with a chunk of RPG news from the past week. We have the week’s top sellers, industry news stories, and discussions from elsewhere online.
DriveThruRPG Top Sellers for 4/16/2022
- Call of Cthulhu: The Cat’s Story (Korean)
- WFRP: Up in Arms
- The Witcher: A Tome of Chaos
- BLASTER: Volume 4
- Hunter: The Vigil Second Edition
Top News Stories
Hasbro to Acquire D&D Beyond from Fandom: Some have been joking that they didn’t know D&D Beyond wasn’t already owned by Hasbro Inc., but it’s true that up until this point Fandom, Inc. (who themselves acquired the platform from Curse LLC/Twitch/Amazon) were the owners of the official digital toolset and game companion for 5th Edition D&D, paying a royalty fee to Hasbro for the rights. Hasbro has announced that they’re bringing Beyond in-house, cutting out the middleman between them and Beyond’s roughly 10 million users, in a deal that is supposed to close in the second or third quarter of 2022.
Aside from sheer dollarbucks, it’s possible the move is influenced by the fact that Fandom has an RPG of its own now, and Hasbro didn’t want to risk having to share a platform if the Cortex team got any ideas. More likely is that it’s an effort to consolidate 5e’s ecosystem ahead of the 50th anniversary ‘expansion’ planned for 2024, which can’t have venues like Fantasy Grounds or roll20 feeling any better about things.
In case you needed a reminder of the difference that being backed by a megacorporation can make, note the deal is for $146.3 million in cash, and even the press release says it will be “immaterial to revenue and earnings per share in 2022”. There’s potential for cross capability and integration with Hasbro and WotC having direct control… but it doesn’t seem like the kind of move that encourages healthy competition. A big question: will someone who wants to own a physical version of a book and the Beyond version still have to pay twice now that they’ll be bought from the same company?
Discussions of the Week
Anybody else struggle with that urge to simply keep buying books? You can get a chuckle out of all the “I can stop anytime I want” and “going to need a bigger house” humor in this one, but much of the discussion plugs in nicely to Aaron’s article earlier this week about the hobby of collecting RPGs. One highly upvoted comment even notes that playing, collecting, and reading games are different hobbies, which lines up with our own thoughts around here. Since we always talk about playing and have now addressed collecting, we suppose we’d better get started on an article about reading…
Zine Month 2022 Post-Mortem: Ian Yusem, one of the creators who also helped put together the data we looked at a few times during our own Zine Month coverage, has put it all together in one single look back at the first flight of the zine moth. Aside from statistical analysis, there is a lot of interesting examination of the event, from the effect of the ZiMo site to actionable findings for future RPG zine creators, to philosophical musings on the future of the industry and self-publishing and the paper supply chain issue.
Have any RPG news leads or scoops? Get in touch! You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through Twitter via @HungryHalfling.