Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Release date for DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS 5th Edition

Information acquired by The Escapist indicates that the 5th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons will launch this summer, as indicated a few months ago by Wizards of the Coast.



The 5e starter set, which will likely include a simplified version of the rules, will be released on 15 July for $19.99. The Player's Handbook will follow on 19 August for $49.95. This price has been controversial, matching the Pathfinder core rulebook's price but not likely being anywhere near as big. The Dungeon Master Guide and Monster Manual will likely follow in September and October.

The 5th Edition of D&D has been in development for between three and four years, with the rules being publicly tested for the past two. Wizards of the Coast and their parent company Hasbro are betting a lot on the release of 5th Edition; after an initially strong start in 2008, the 4th Edition of the game soon slumped amidst controversy and Wizards lost market share first to Paizo's rival Pathfinder fantasy rules system and, more recently, Fantasy Flight's new Star Wars roleplaying game. Hasbro's attempts to launch a D&D movie to help boost the franchise ran afoul of legal action from the creators of the previous D&D live-action films, with a hearing to be held later this month.

If the new edition of D&D fails (and early responses by beta players have been mixed), it is possible that WotC will shelve the pen-and-paper RPG altogether and focus on developing the franchise in other media.

34 comments:

Paul Weimer said...

...it is possible that WotC will shelve the pen-and-paper RPG altogether and focus on developing the franchise in other media.

Not sure about that. And even if they did, I think "F20" games, especially small press ones, are here to stay.

Ghost said...

Considering the crap that was 4th Ed, I hope this edition of D&D will be much much better. It needs to be or D&D may never take back its throne from Pathfinder.

Anonymous said...

$50 for the PHB implies that they're expecting people to play $150 for the privilege of playing their game. That's pretty steep, especially for those of us with plenty of books from previous versions lying around.

Adam Whitehead said...

Hasbro actually has a 'rulebook' for how franchises are handled. Franchises that make over $50 million a year are exploited, expanded, marketed and have films developed of them. Franchises that make under $50 million a year are benched until such time (nostalgia whatever) that Hasbro can relaunch them with a film, TV series or other boosting feature.

D&D falls firmly into the latter category. If 5E doesn't succeed, Hasbro will certainly 'rest' it until such time that they can believe they can relaunch it successfully. It won't be gone forever, but for the first time since 1974, we will have years going by with no D&D products being released at all.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like selling the game to Hasbro was a mistake. As much as I don't like 4e, and as unlikely as I am to spend $150 for an edition that I won't play, I'll still be sad to not have D&D in print.

Mark Andrew Edwards said...

Used to work at WOTC, the lower level folks are pretty dedicated to the D&D franchise but it's definitely not the flagship product. Politics with Hasbro and upper management have managed to chase off most of the talent that made and managed the game.

I personally feel Hasbro buying the company pretty much killed most of the innovation at WOTC.

The conference rooms are cool, though.

Daath said...

I had high hopes for 4th Edition. Initially I liked the idea of having minions where you could have your PC's just slashing through tons of monsters. What killed it was the cookie cutter characters and everyone having pretty much identical everything. Where is the diversity? I really hope 5th edition will be much better and more like the earlier editions. Until then 3.5 has my heart and I enjoy running that edition.

CG Knox said...

4e, the only balanced version of DnD ever made, ever.

CG Knox said...

You play a niche game. No one is getting rich writing pen and paper RPGs.

Spike said...

The only concern for "balance" should be if you run your "role" playing game as a tactical simulation or a have a group of munchkin min/maxers. As a role playing game, balance isn't needed. There are plenty of games that don't make huge efforts to "balance" everything and they are a blast to play.

Instead of making 5th Ed basically a slightly mod'ed version of 4th as they have done, they could have just taken a new direction and really stuck their necks out. But a slight change of rules and more books filled with "powers" and crap will just kill the line. It's dumb and they have no one to blame but themselves.

Anonymous said...

I think that if WOTC would just make revision with compatibility to our existing huge collection of books might solve the issue without the need of new edition every no. of years. Yes it is not making enough money, but it will not make their product look like windows OS, where windows has a lot more use than the D&D.

Take a look at pathfinder, they just revise the unbalanced rules in the next printing while offering updates to all early printings to the current for free.

I am not teaching WOTC what to do, but somehow let them understand that consumers, specially in today's economy, think before they buy.

Anonymous said...

I think they should just go back to old school AD&D. It's what i prefer to play anyway.

Anonymous said...

I've played 3rd and 3.5e and they are the most fun because they are so unbalanced. I have high hopes for 5e but I will probably always go back to basics......just wish they would rerelease those with updates. I would also like to see WotC work with someone (ie: UniSoft and do an awesome 3.5e 4 player co-op RPG that we as fans can choose our character male or female and some major classes and epic classes.

The Grognard Gm said...

I think Dungeons and Dragons as a brand is now too diluted to be successful. Thankfully there are some really good clones covering every edition through 3.5.

I talked about this on my site earlier this evening...

http://www.thegrognard.com/my-thoughts-on-dungeons-and-dragons-next-5th-edition/

Anonymous said...

Niche? These core rule books sell hundreds of thousands of copies in the first year of release, in the millions over their publication life. The price of D&D books has always been premium, reflecting the brand's premium status and demand. $50 isn't out of line with previous editions in constant dollars. The problem is that 4th Edition cost the brand so much market share that it may be hard for D&D to continue to demand this premium. In my amazon.com review of the 3rd Edition PHB in 2000, I praised WOTC for saving D&D. But if they don't make 5th Edition feel more like D&D than the knock-off 4th feels like, the brand will become a has-been.

Kasey Cunningham said...

I don't know what beta testers he was talking to, because 5e has basically been loved by everyone I've talked to about it.

Adam Whitehead said...

D&D has shifted 20 million copies of its rulebooks (all of them, not just core) since 1974, so not quite millions for each edition, and certainly not 4E.

"I don't know what beta testers he was talking to, because 5e has basically been loved by everyone I've talked to about it."

I've seen people happy with it, but I've also seen criticisms from some that it's too much of a step back to 3E (and thus pointless, because of PATHFINDER) and from others that it still retains some of the problems of 4E.

I haven't taken part in the beta test myself, so can only sift through what people have been saying online.

Anonymous said...

Same price as Pathfinder eh, for less content. That will be GREAT!!! not sarcastic the pathfinder books I have started falling apart after first use and are horribly designed as well. I'm the DM of my group and told my players we will try pathfinder. I've regretted it since, horrible layout.

Anonymous said...

I hate to say this but you guys have no idea what you are talking about. The D&D 4th edition is by far the best set of rules that have come out for the D&D rpg. It has so many more options for gameplay that none of the previous editions that have come out can even compare to. I for one have already got all the rulebooks for the 4th edition that have come out so far and I have no intention of spending another 150$ for a whole new set of rulebooks for a 5th edition that I doubt would be any better than the 4th edition.

Anonymous said...

I can't say for sure whether or not selling the game to Hasbro was a mistake or not but I do no that shelving the pen and paper rpg genre would be even a bigger mistake because part of the fun of playing rpgs is the ability to create your own world and character to your liking and not having to play ba a fixed set of rules that a video would have. Maybe I am wrong but I started out playing the pen and pencil versiosn and I have no desire to quit because when playing an online version of the game there is no "feel" to the game. Everything is done with just mouseclicks and pressing keys on the keyboard. To me that is very boring and tiresome. Part of the fun of the pen and pencil game is being able to write things down, pick up the dice and roll them and being able to use your mind to figure out the best strategy instesd of just clicking a mouse and staring at a computer screen which to me is very mindnumbing and there is no oppurtunity to use your imagination and creativity.

Anonymous said...

Playing rpgs is not about getting rich and making alot of money it is supposed to be about having fun getting together with friends to hang out have a good time that is all there is to it.

Anonymous said...

I can not believe that Hasbro woutld chare $50 D&D PHB. To me that sounds like nothing more than just a marketing scheme to make money and from what I've read if the 5th edition is too much like the 3rd edition than I definately would not be getting the 3rd edition ruelebooks.

Anonymous said...

What the heck is Pathfinder. Sorry to say but it sounds pretty lame compared to D&D.

Adam Whitehead said...

PATHFINDER basically is D&D. It's the 3rd Edition of the game but taken a step further with some of the more common problems of 3E reduced. If 4E was a massive paradigm shift of how the game worked, PATHFINDER is more of an evolution of the 1-2-3E progression.

"It has so many more options for gameplay that none of the previous editions that have come out can even compare to."

Given that 4E had far fewer products published for it compared to the previous editions, that's clearly not true. 1E, 2E and 3E had hundreds (maybe a thousand, if you count 3E's third-party rulebooks) of books, campaign settings and expansions each. 4E had a couple of dozen and then a few rules-agnostic books. This is a benefit in some ways - 2E and 3E in particular had some very broken prestige classes, kits and spells - but the lack of choice was also a problem.

If you enjoyed 4E more than the most, cool, but it was neither the most popular nor the most productive edition of the game (the two going together, of course).

Shade said...

If D&D 5ED was just a modified version of 3.5 I would have no problems with playing it.

the neked truth said...

4th edition reduced a roleplaying game to a bland, flavorless, tactical minis game.

Gene said...

I play in a homegame using the 5th edition playtest rules. We switched to it immediately when it launched, converting through the playtest changes.

I find it superior to both 4e and 3.x/PF. It has the proper D&D "feel" (unlike 4e) and is a lot more playable "out of the box" than 3.x/PF. I can teach this game to a 7 year old. That is a good thing, believe it or not.

5th edition gives me hope, because I frankly hated 4e. It has cribbed some key elements of OSR games -- relying heavily on ability checks and skills as an extension thereof -- and has a 3.x feel in the classes. Some of the (few) good bits of 4e filtered in too.

I'll pay my $150, happily.

I think the bigger question is what business Hasbro wants to be in? The rules publishing business? Content? Accessories? I agree with the prior posters that with 40 years of content -- and 5th edition's backwards compatibility (I'm serious here) -- there's a real question in my mind regarding what products exactly they are hoping to sell. Because a lot of us have more content than we can possibly use as it is, other than as reading material.

Michael Cesena said...

4th edition was the worst hing they have made thus far. I disagree the game needs balance that is done by the DM. It plays like W.O.W. the board game. I have been involved in the play testing of 5th edition but stopped when it was looking like 4th revised. They need to go back to 2nd edition era where the game was fun to play and not about putting out tons of crap but less and more quality stuff.

Anonymous said...

I tried a pre-release set of 5e. It was a combo of 2nd and 3rd ed, with a dash of 4th according to our GM who actually read 4th ed. It was fun and well made, so I think we'll get the books and try it as a campaign. Also, they offer these D&D Encounters two hour adventures as a campaign that stores can run week to week. They work well. I suggest giving 5e a try.

Anonymous said...

Wizards bought TSR then Hasbro bought Wizards. It wasn't a decision anyone made. TSR was failing and Wizards needed Hasbro to grow the Magic brand.

Anonymous said...

Truth.

Anonymous said...

I started D&D with 4th edition. What makes it so bad?

Anonymous said...

skill challenges is what makes 4e so bad for example, it's just a crutch for those who can't or don't want to role play

Anonymous said...

1st Ed. A.DnD is by far the best.