Dungeons & Dragons set for E-Sports?
The CEO of Hasbro (owner of Wizards of the Coast (publisher of Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering)) Brian Goldner recently appeared on CNBC’s Mad Money and spoke about the success of both Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. As well as defending Dungeons & Dragons against claims that it was a “so-so brand” by host Jim Cramer he also said that games like “Dungeons & Dragons” could one day be “ripe for esports competition,”
Now this hit the press and lit the online community on fire, but what could it mean? Is he talking about taking D&D online further than just D&D Beyond? Was he just talking about the WotC Twitch channel? He's the CEO of a Multi-Billion Dollar company, and can't be expected to know everything about the online ambitions of one segment of his corporation any more than he could name every Barbie outfit his company makes.
But is this a sign that Hasbro and WotC are planning further integration of online technologies into the game? We all sit at the game table with smartphones capable of far more than just showing a PDF character sheet. And the top problem of most gamers remains getting a chance for the entire group to get together to play (not only a problem my group of 40 and 50 year old friends suffer from, but also my eldest sons group of 20 year olds with work and university commitments). So perhaps some kind of virtual gaming environment?
It remains to be seen whether there's something in the works, or just a corporate drone spouting buzzwords. But there's a market there to exploit, and I fully expect the biggest name in the market to exploit the heck out of it.