WotC/Hasbro going all-in on the idea that they never meant One D&D was anything more than a name for the community testing process.
“[The design] team never called it that. […] They’ve got codenames,” said Nathan Stewart, vice president of marketing, said in a group interview. “And so from our standpoint [One D&D represented] what they were doing, plus it was the things we were seeing the D&D Beyond team do for access and accessibility related to the digital and physical being more integrated [as well as the in-development virtual tabletop].”
On the new core rule books:
“One of the reasons why this word ‘edition’ is loaded is currently it has two different meanings,” said Wizards’ game design architect Jeremy Crawford at the event. “In broader publishing, edition is a pretty neutral term that simply means ‘a new version of the book.’ Now, in D&D the term has over the years gained much greater weight, because the term also came to mean a new version of the game.”
“We are releasing new editions of the books ,” Crawford emphasized. “We are not releasing a new edition of the game . And so that, I think, is a really important distinction — that it is still 5th edition, but yes, we are releasing revised versions of the books, which anywhere else in the publishing world would be called new editions.”
The proposed solution, then, for differentiating between 5th edition and what comes next? To append the year of publication to the end of the core rulebooks’ names. That way, Wizards said, going forward there will have been a Player’s Handbook (2014) and there will also be a Player’s Handbook (2024). While they are fundamentally different books, Crawford said, they can both be used to play the same game. And, most importantly, they will both be compatible with every other 5th edition book that has come before.
Some stuff about the VTT:
“We should not be going public with this at all when the basic features that we have is roll some dice, have initiative, and have some pieces [move] around,” said D&D Digital vice president Chris Cao. “Because it doesn’t say, Here’s the grand picture . And we actually are purposely trading that off — and this isn’t through nobility, this is actually through what’s best — is that we don’t know the ideal way people want to use this.”
So how will the VTT eventually be monetized? Turns out that’s still on the drawing board as well.
“We know for sure that we want there to be a free part to this, because people have to be able to try it out,” Cao said. “That free [part] can’t be a free-to-play game [though]. It can’t be like, Hey, go play some number of hours and earn some points, because that’s not how D&D works.”
“I know those sound like soft answers,” Cao continued, “but if we can watch how people can play, then I can align the business with what they’re valuing instead of creating a value structure that you have to play in. Because if we do that, on D&D — that actually is toxic to what D&D is. Because D&D is about that shared play and that permission to pretend. That doesn’t mean it’s free. That doesn’t mean we don’t monetize it. But if we don’t see how people use it, and then align with that — if we try to predict it, or engineer it — we’re going against our own brand. We’re going against the thing that people create and make their own businesses off of, and their own dreams off of. I think there have been mistakes in the recent past where we’re like, ‘We’re not gonna do that .’ And we’re very sensitive to that.”