Rolling for Initiative is a weekly column by Scott Thorne, PhD, owner of Castle Perilous Games & Books in Carbondale, Illinois and instructor in marketing at Southeast Missouri State University. This week, Thorne looks back at his predictions for 2023.

Well, as I said in the column back in January of 2023, it is time to look at my predictions for the year and see how well I did. Surprisingly, not that bad (see “My Predictions for 2023”).

  1. OGL 1.1 will get reworked and reissued.  Well, I was kind of right on this one.  Instead of getting reworked and reissued, Wizards of the Coast just blinked really big and kept the original OGL 1.0 in place (see “Four Picks for RPG Week”).  After all the hue and cry about the end of the Dungeons & Dragons 5E and the opportunity for other RPGs to move into the space vacated by D&D 5E, the year ended with sales of D&D (and Magic: The Gathering) the few bright spots in the Hasbro Universe.  We are still selling as many copies of each new release as we did before the blowup and, from what I hear from other retailers, they are seeing the same.  Even with the threat/promise of a new edition looming on the horizon, D&D sales remain steady.
  2. RPG companies will capitalize on WotC OGL pain. Yes they did, though it petered out in the second half of the eyar.  Paizo released an enhanced version of its flagship Pathfinder RPG, with all the OGL-derived content stripped out, and has Starfinder Enhanced scheduled for release as well. Troll Lord Games decided to focus solely on its Castles and Crusades RPG, opting to exit publishing 5E-compatible products completely (see “Troll Lord Games Exits 5E”), while Goodman Games and Kenzer & Company saw double to triple the downloads of their respective core RPG rule books (Dungeon Crawl Classics and Hackmaster) over the following couple of weeks.  Chaosium released an updated version of Basic Role Playing last March (see “The Universal Game Engine”) while Kobold Press still has Tales of the Valient scheduled for release next May (see “Kobold Press”). Other RPG companies are certainly taking advantage of WotC’s mis-step.
  3. The Dungeons & Dragons movie will be lackluster.  Reviews for the film were actually pretty good, scoring about 90% on the Rotten Tomatoes website.  Unfortunately, that did not translate into strong ticket sales. The film did about $37 million the first weekend but attendance figures dropped about 60% the second weekend and another 40% the third weekend.  Overall, the film grossed about $208 million, losing roughly $100 million.  There is nebulous talk of a sequel featuring some of the same characters, but with a far smaller budget.  An eight-episode series is in development for Paramount+, and has a straight to series deal with no release date.
  4. Inflation will get near 3%.  The U.S. inflation rate dropped to 3.1% by the end of November, which is about as near to 3% as one can get without actually dropping to 3%.  Much of this decline was due to the drop in gas prices, down some 32% from their peak of just over $5 per gallon back in June of 2022.
  5. WotC will release more player-targeted D&D books.  Well, that one was a big fat "nope."  Of the five releases scheduled for 2023 (I'm counting the Deck of Many Things since it was scheduled for a November release), only the Deck of Many Things, Glory of the Giants and Planescape had any player-focused materials included, and not enough of those to justify a player purchase.  All of them sold well, but with four to six players for each DM, imagine how well books with player-focused contents would sell.

Well, four out of five isn’t bad.  Come back next week for my fearless predictions for 2024.

Do you have predictions for this year?  Send them to

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of