Hasbro, which owns the iconic game Dungeons & Dragons, signed a deal Wednesday to acquire online gaming tool D&D Beyond from current owner and creator Fandom for $146.3 million.
Pending regulatory approval, this would put Hasbro’s Wizards of the Coast team in charge of D&D Beyond, leaving many fans curious and possibly concerned about the future of this popular tool.
For the uninitiated, D&D Beyond powers a significant amount of online Dungeons & Dragons gameplay. From small weekly Zoom games between friends using the free character sheet builder to massive, streamed productions like Critical Role, D&D Beyond has been pivotal in making Dungeons & Dragons easier and more fun to play online. And with the ability to sell in-game rule books and campaigns through D&D Beyond, the tool has brought in a lot of revenue especially over the last couple of years. When COVID-19 lockdowns stopped people from getting together in person to play, D&D Beyond helped bridge the divide.
This acquisition will give the D&D Beyond team more resources from the Wizards of the Coast team and potentially decrease delays between the release of new content and its availability in D&D Beyond. It could also mean D&D Beyond will become more cinematic and animated, as resources from other Wizards of the Coast games become available to the D&D Beyond.
The biggest immediate concern from fans is potential cost increases. Creating a basic character through D&D Beyond is free right now. You only need to pay if you’re using features or classes not included in the core book. Additionally, many popular tabletop gaming platforms like Foundry Virtual Tabletop include plugins to import D&D Beyond sheets and campaigns to those platforms. Fans have concerns that Hasbro could decide to limit this functionality in order to discourage the use of systems outside of D&D Beyond.
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