Wednesday, June 16, 2021

WotC is Planning for a VTT - What Does that Mean for the 5e Fan Base?

So, the super-secret part of the new WotC D&D Survey (which may have ended) showed a handful of survey takers video of a planned new by subscription Virtual Table Top (VTT) service that will incorporate much of what is currently available in D&D Beyond. Techraptor has the details.

In short, the video appears to be a virtual tabletop program with integrated rules for Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons. The video included digital toolsets and 3D graphics, including isometric maps and customizable miniature figures. It was compared to the grid system used in Roll20 combined with the convenience of D&D Beyond. Finally, it seemed that character sheets will be handled on players' smart phones and tablet devices and would be connected to the program somehow. 

If this is true, it would give more players variety for how they choose to play Dungeons and Dragons. The only concern however is how it will be made available. There is speculation that this will be a subscription-based service, much like D&D Beyond

According to a prior WotC D&D Survey, there are 40 million D&D 5e players/fans in the world. D&D Beyond subscriptions are $5.99 for a DM, $2.99 for a player. Assume 1% of D&D players subscribe to D&D Beyond, and we'll assume an average rate of $4 per sub. 400k paid subs at 4 bucks a month is $1.6M a month. Nearly $20M a year, the bulk of which is not paid to WotC. WotC wants all of that and more (again, we don't have precise numbers)

WotC had $816M in sales in 2020. The bulk of that is Magic: The Gathering. D&D makes money, but much of it is via licensing - including to the various VTT publishers.

We recently have seen WotC take translations back in house. I suspect that D&D Beyond will also be brought in house (its founder left earlier this year), and by having their own VTT they bring much of the VTT income in house.

WotC just needs to invest real money into this project.

Interesting times ahead...

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  1. If they'd support the legacy editions too, I'd be tempted. Even though I'd have to go elsewhere for non-D&D gaming.

  2. This was the plan for 4th edition but the VT part never materialized. WOTC doesn't have a great track record.

    That said I would love to see VT built with big money behind it even if it is tied to a single game system.

  3. They tried this once with that Gleemax thing, and then pulled out when it got messy and expensive. Here's hoping they actually pursue it to its conclusion this time.

  4. Looks like they are going to go out for this in full force! Will they somehow cut out the other VTTs? The only way is to have something far beyond all the other VTTs out there.

  5. My friends who use D&D Beyond seem to be very on board with VTT integration.

  6. Considering that one of the big selling points of 4e (at least to me having just moved away from my gaming group) was the VTT that was announced/promised would be ready upon launch, I am not surprised that they want to take another shot at it.


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