Hasbro Bought D&D Beyond – Thoughts

I saw this video in my feed and if you’re into D&D and especially DDB, you should check this out.

And here are my thoughts, archived for my convenience.

1. Right now, Foundry is the benchmark, king-of-the-hill of VTTs. Nothing comes close. Not Roll20, not FG, and not what DDB has to offer. And at current rate of development, with both Roll20 and DDB working with small teams and Foundry having a small base team but a ton of community developers, I don’t see anyone able to catch up to that. I’m currently at a point that I truly treat DDB as a convenient, digital, online source… to get my D&D material and that’s it. Pretty much everything else I do on Foundry, and with no added subscriptions. I buy the software, I buy the materials, my players just log in. It’s, as if we have one set of books that everyone share at a single table. The D&D 5E version on Foundry even recently added a better level-up mechanism so I only need to download the content (possible through an amazing community developer) to Foundry and that’s it. Unless WotC decide no one is allowed to use D&D in online tools (which will probably be against their SRD and start a huge outcry) it’s not gonna change.

2. With Demiplane on the field, soon Pathfinder, Vampire, even Marvel’s new game will have the same capabilities as D&D in the online space.

3. In the video game space, a lot of companies get bought because the buyer see the value in them. They see that if they give them more resource and more runway, they can do many great things (that will net more profit in the long run). Those almost never see significant changes in how they run.

4. I see where you’re coming from with the VTT concentration and while other VTTs will doubtless always exist, the monolith is scary. The solace is that while a lot of players just play one system, there’s a significant minority who play many games. So, when one player complains that D&D doesn’t allow X or isn’t clear on Y, someone will surely pop up with “Well, system Z does that” and then the discovery begins. And like you say, the fact that third party products will always exist, if DDB won’t allow them “because they’re only core”, people will shift over.

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