As promised last week (see "My Score for 2023"), here are my predictions for 2024. Be sure to take them with numerous grains, nay even a shaker of salt:
- D&D at 50 Licensing. Dungeons & Dragons will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, and I expect to see a lot of branded merchandise come out, beyond the game supplies, t-shirts and Monopoly, Clue, Yahtzee and Trivial Pursuit games already available (I've stocked all of these more or less successfully). Recently, we've found a candy company offering D&D tin candies and cherry limeade, both of which sold briskly. I expect to see D&D-themed products, other than games, on the shelves at Walmart and Target by Q4.
- D&D One. Most people that I've spoken with expect Wizards of the Coast to announce the release of D&D One or D&D 6E this year, most likely at Gen Con. However, I'd like to see the company wait a year or two to come out with another edition to allow retailers to maximize their sales of 5E products. The company has made enough references to the new edition that it has customers put off buying recently released books, such as Phandelver and the Deck of Many Things, because a new edition would decrease the utility of 5E books. I've also heard rumors D&D One will release as a slip cased set, containing the three core rulebooks. I certainly hope this is not the case, unless they intend to release the books separately as well.
- Magic and Pokemon TCG Will Remain in the Top Three. In recent years, the top three TCGs have remained steady as in Magic, Pokemon TCG, and Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG in the hobby channel (see "The Big Three Rule Again"). Currently, we have One Piece and Disney Lorcana racking up impressive sales with Star Wars Unlimited waiting in the wings. I expect one of the three, most likely Disney Lorcana, to supplant Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG the rankings by the end of the year, with Magic and Pokemon remaining atop the overall rankings for the year as well.
- AI or Large Language Models Backlash. These will continue to see pushback from creators even as it gets embraced more widely by creators. I recently read a post by one creator discussing the problems with LLMs, and how they could harm the industry while also noting that he also used it to write mundane posts such as updates to Kickstarter backers. Some game companies are already changing their AI policies in the new year to address these issues (see " AI Artwork Policy for 'Magic: The Gathering'").
I was saddened to hear of the recent passing of Jennell Jaquays (see "Dark Tower Designer Passes Away"). I used to see her regularly in the artist alley section at Gen Con and have always regretted not buying her cover art for the first Central Casting book. Although she is better known for her work writing for Judges Guild in the 1980s, I was always a fan of her art and offer my condolences to her friends and family.
Comments? Predictions for 2024? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.