GTS 2009 Dungeons and Dragons Seminar

Scott Rouse D&D Sr. Brand Manager put on a one hour seminar regarding 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons. I am liveblogging, so forgive spelling errors.2008 Global Brand Study US and Canada and part of Europe.

Aided Awareness 89% (brand recognition)

80% WOW

89% D&D

54% have played D&D

94% think D&D is the same or better than other games (WOW, etc)

56% of respondents have high interest in buying D&D products in the next six months

For 2009 will continue to market to existing players and hope to have a halo effect on other new gamers.

Three new titles for this year, MM2, PHB2, DMG2. There will be a greater focus on creating new game groups, either through creating new DMs or aid in organizing game groups.

Focus on marketing to support the “2” books. Game days, targeted advertising (primarily online), new D&D website, web strategy and community building are all part of the plan. The Penny-Arcade podcast drove 700k to the D&D website. Marketing will focus on bloggers and podcasters.

PHB2 sold out in one week. More in stock on 4-30-09. D&D game day took took long to run encounters and paragon level PCs were a bad idea.

Monster Manual 2 comes out May 19, 2009. Rust Monster and Frost Giant will be back. Divine Power’s PCs will be available for the next game day.

DMG2 contains, traps, hazards and new locations. Robin Laws will have a chapter on storytelling in 4E. They have received feedback that the 4e game is a tactical wargame with limited role-playing.

DMG2 game day will have players creating encounters and then playing them the same day in the store.

More organized play, Delve Night, Game Days and Living ForgottenRealms. Delve Night numbers are fading, WOTC wants more stickiness to make players come back.

Plans web-based DM/player game “meet-up” page. “Organized Play” rewards for new and veteran DMs. Training videos for new DMs, such as table management tips.

“Dungeons and Dragons Insider” has doubled subscribers base since January.

Overview of existing D&D Insider features. future applications include “Campaign Tools” for monsters, enounters, maps and adventures for DMs.

“Eberron Player’s Guide” comes out 6-16-09. “Eberron Campaign Guide” coues out 7-21-09.

August “D&D Minis:Dungeon Lords” with huge minis comes out.

“E3:Prince of Undeath” module comes out 10-20-09. The final battle with Orcus!

There were a few questions for retailers, but nothing notable. Will post more later tonight. I will also try to get the entire release schedule for this year and post it.


Scott Rouse responded to this post over at Enworld. I am re-posting his response here.

I will correct, expand, or further some of the notes taken in the live blog as I presented a ton of info in a short amount of time.

Overall our strategy for 2009 will be to continue to market to the existing D&D fans. Lapsed players, current players of other editions, and fans of the brand who participate in other ways like novels and video games. Our hope is that as D&D becomes a multi-generational brand with players now becoming moms & dads, the next generation starts being recruited with in existing playing families. we also will get some halo effect acquistion through our efforts focused on core fans. In 2010 we’ll start to focus more on pure acquisition on non-players.

We are continuing to invest in expanding our Organized Play efforts including re-tool Delve night, 3 game days this year, and a new DM rewards program.

Our marketing efforts will focus mostly on core hobby media and less on mass type media. This will include a focus on bloggers, podcasts, core RPG sites, and more “viral” web based media. Print will be minimal with some trade adversting and a few core magazines like KQ and Level Up.

We really want top counter the perception that D&D is a tactical, combat focused war game. We want to show off the roleplaying potential with the system. I have been told Robin has written an excelennt chapter on storytelling inthe DMG 2 and we hope to demonstrate the RP potential of the system in other ways including a 4e version of Village of Homlet.

To clear up something on the PHB2 game day. We received feedback that the Paragon level play was a little too much for a game day event. This is not a concern that Paragon play has issues but in a limited time event with players (possibly newer players) using pre-gens of new classes this type of event maybe better using mid-tier heroic PCs.

Also, the MM2 game day will feature a pre-gen Paladin with preview content from Divine Power.

I’ll add more later. I am going to watch Lost with my wife __________________
Scott Rouse

SR. Brand Manager – Dungeons & Dragons
Wizards of the Coas

Trask, The Last Tyromancer



Trask is a long-time gamer, world traveler and history buff. He hopes that his scribblings will both inform and advance gaming as a hobby.

11 thoughts on “GTS 2009 Dungeons and Dragons Seminar

  • April 16, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Because of the comments made about the RPGA and Game Days (organized play), I’ll be further linking this in the RPGA forums as well.

    Thanks for the liveblog!

  • April 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. Good to see them acknowledge that podcasts and bloggers are a good place to focus their marketing energies.

    Not sure about that “tactical wargame with limited role-playing” bit… it certainly doesn’t come across like that in the Podcast. I guess I’ll find out next weekend. 🙂

  • April 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    I was surprised he said that 4e paragon level PCs were a mistake for the Game Day, that combat took too long. This is something I’ve seen in our paragon game now and I’d like to find some solutions for it. It’s going to be hard to defeat, though, but more low hp high damage monsters would be a good idea and some erratas to the existing books would help too.

  • April 16, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Yeah, a lot of the elites and solos need to be beefed up in my opinion.

  • April 16, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    4E module designs are skewed toward combat. While this doesn’t eliminate the ability to roleplay, I’d imagine that in a lot of one-shot sessions (e.g., Game Days or Dungeon Delves), play easily falls into tactical wargames. A chapter on storytelling in the DMG2 will be a nice step toward a balance between roleplaying and wargaming, but I think there needs to be some shifts in adventure design philosophy before we see a real change.

  • April 16, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Thanks for posting! All very encouraging, methinks.

    Interesting that they acknowledge “They have received feedback that the 4e game is a tactical wargame with limited role-playing.” It’s not an opinion I share (I think 4e D&D is a very role-playing friendly game) but the perception is certainly there. Be interesting to see how they approach that in the DMG2.

  • April 19, 2009 at 8:54 am

    “We really want top counter the perception that D&D is a tactical, combat focused war game. ”

    It took them a year to figure this out?

    The game as designed is about the mini fights. The onus is on the DM to make it a role-playing game and I think that is where a lot of new DMs will struggle and their players will lose interest.

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