Hasbro has bought D&D Beyond, a digital resource aiming to help players augment their Dungeons & Dragons 5e experience. All of the digital assets and tools offered by D&D Beyond will now be integrated into the Wizards of the Coast brand, but D&D Beyond is assuring fans that nothing will change.
What do we know about the Hasbro purchase of D&D Beyond?
According to a press release, the transaction is worth around $146.3 million, which will be paid entirely in cash. Hasbro says this will help Wizards of the Coast provide a "unified, player-centric vision" of Dungeons & Dragons across all platforms. The company is expecting the transaction to close somewhere around the second or third quarter in 2022. In terms of actual moment-to-moment operations, not much is expected to change, at least not immediately, but hey; maybe this injection of cash will help make that long-awaited official D&D virtual tabletop a reality.
In an official post on its website, D&D Beyond staffers say they've been walking around with "big stupid grins" on their faces because of the deal. According to D&D Beyond, Wizards of the Coast has "no plans to stop supporting" it, now or ever. As such, your characters, campaigns, and anything else you've created won't go anywhere. Both teams, D&D Beyond says, want the same thing: to augment your Dungeons & Dragons experience as best they can. Both companies, Wizards and D&D Beyond, say they'll have more to share later in the year about the partnership, so we'll presumably learn more about the direction in which things are going then.
What exactly is D&D Beyond?
D&D Beyond is a digital resource and companion for Dungeons & Dragons 5e. It's an exhaustive treasure trove of everything from rulebooks to character sheets and homebrew tools to encounter creators. There's a Discord bot, a campaign creator, and even a series of images you can use to augment your campaigns. Suffice it to say that if you've played Dungeons & Dragons, you've either used D&D Beyond or you've wished something like it existed. Although it's a beloved resource, the creators have occasionally fallen foul of the community, like the controversial art competition derided for its ethics by many professional artists. Still, D&D Beyond has 10 million users, and it's definitely a popular and well-regarded service for the most part.
Over at Wizards of the Coast, things are firing on all cylinders, too. A new Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Book, Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel, has just been announced, and it's one of the company's most ambitious books yet. The game also continues to be popular throughout the community; it's popped up as a therapeutic tool or a partner for several charities recently, including veteran outfit Hope For The Warriors and UK children's charity Comic Relief.
It remains to be seen exactly what the purchase of D&D Beyond will yield for Hasbro. On the one hand, integrating its tools into the official Wizards of the Coast brand could significantly enhance the way in which Dungeons & Dragons is designed for digital environments. On the other, an organization like Hasbro could potentially introduce bureaucratic bloat and indecision to the business, grinding the gears and slowing things down. We'll have to wait and see what happens, but as ever, we'll bring you more on this as we get it.