The CEO of Hasbro thinks that Dungeons & Dragons has a future in eSports. For some reason.
It’s no secret that Dungeons & Dragons is in the midst of a renaissance. Thanks to the internet, and more specifically streaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch, players can broadcast the hilarious way their fictional halfling bard just took the head off a gnoll while singing the lyrics of the 2003 hit classic, “Stacy’s Mom”.
Maybe that’s just The Gamer’s office sessions. Nevermind.
In an interview with CNBC, Hasbro CEO and all-around clueless gamer Brian Goldner confirmed that D&D is now one of Hasbro’s hottest brands. "People are more into 'Dungeons & Dragons' today than ever before," Goldner said. "People are re-engaged with that brand because it’s a face-to-face game, it’s immersive and it’s a game that people really enjoy playing with one another."
Goldner went on to say that D&D has enjoyed 12% player growth from last year and that later this August there would be a crossover between the Magic: The Gathering universe and Dungeons & Dragons.
Then he said something weird. Later in the interview, Goldner revealed Hasbro’s plans to build D&D into an eSport game that was "ripe for esports competition."
Those familiar with D&D already know that the game is strictly a co-operative PvE tabletop game, and if things turn into competitive PvP then the game has completely gone off the rails since everyone is murdering each other for money. One can imagine such a scenario happening, sure, but it would surely shorten the length of the campaign precipitously.
However, a competitive D&D game isn’t entirely without precedent. The famous Gary Gygax expansion, Tomb of Horrors, was designed to test the mettle of high-level players in an ultra-hard dungeon. You could just make it so the deepest team into the dungeon wins whatever weird D&D tournament Hasbro has cookin’.
More likely Goldner meant that whatever digital games that Hasbro creates could have some form of competitive edge to them that could eventually turn them into eSports. We might be in store for yet another MOBA, but with dragons. Or, rather, more dragons than current MOBAs already have.