Could Dungeons & Dragons become the future of esports? Hasbro's CEO seems to think so.
Speaking to Jim Cramer of Mad Money yesterday, Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner mentioned that Dungeons & Dragons was "ripe for esports competition," citing the game's strong online presence and immersive gameplay.
Goldner was speaking to Cramer after Hasbro's stock jumped by over 12% on Monday, a result of strong quarterly profits and revenue that exceeded Wall Street estimates. Cramer mentioned that Goldner had singled out Dungeons & Dragons as a strong performer for Hasbro, leading to Cramer noting that he had considered the game to be a bit of a "dead brand."
"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 also mentioned that D&D had just announced a crossover with Magic: The Gathering and that Magic was also enjoying some success with their upcoming Magic: Arena mobile game, which has over 1 million players for the beta. Goldner said there were more plans for a "suite" of digital games based on Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, and he believed that there was still more room for the games to move into some sort of competitive esports landscape.
Based on the context of Goldner's comments, it seems that he thinks that one of the D&D mobile/digital games could become a platform for esports competition, but it's possible that he also meant a more traditional version of the game.While Dungeons & Dragons fans might scoff at the idea of the game being used for competitive esports, the game does have a strong online presence thanks to its Twitch channel. Also, there's a history of competitive D&D gameplay - albeit not in a PvP landscape. For instance, Gary Gygax designed the original Tomb of Horrors for D&D tournament play - an extra hard dungeon to challenge supposedly invincible PCs. I have to admit, it might be fun to see teams like Vox Machina or the Wafflecrew take on a ridiculous dungeon, just to see who would survive.
In addition, D&D's Adventurer's League already provides standardized rules for organized play. The purpose of Adventurer's League gameplay is for players to be able to level up a character and bring it to any Adventurer's League table without issue. Hypothetically, it wouldn't be too hard to introduce a competitive aspect to Adventurer's League gameplay - assigning characters individual sub-missions to compete for points that could lead to a bigger competition down the line.
Do you think there's a future for Dungeons & Dragons in eSports? Let us know in the comment section or let me know on Twitter at @CHofferCbus!