WizKids has entered into a license agreement with Wizards of the Coast to publish a new Dungeons & Dragons Adventure System board game, with the first, currently untitled game planned for March release.
WizKids posted a preorder sell sheet last month (which has since been removed) announcing details of D&D Adventure System Game #4. The game was touted as "(c)ontinuing the grand adventures of Wrath of Ashardalon, Castle Ravenloft, and The Legend of Drizzt," which were all hot sellers in their day (Wrath of Ashardalon even made our Top 10, see "Top 10 Board Games--Summer 2011").
The game will include multiple scenarios, quests and cooperative game play, and can also be combined with the contents of previous D&D Adventure System games. WotC Senior Manager of Dungeons & Dragons R&D Mike Mearls explained in an August interview with Clever Move that the rule set for future D&D board games will remain very similar. "That game system is very adaptable with different storylines," Mearls said in the interview.
WizKids is not designing the game; the sales sheet states that "Wizards of the Coast... is designing and developing the game."
The box will include 40 figures, 8 Hero cards, 4 Villain cards, 200 cards, 55 interlocking tiles, 4 double-sized interlocking tiles, 168 tokens, a 20-sided die, an adventure book and a rulebook. The game is for 1-5 players, ages 14 and up and plays in an hour. MSRP is $64.99. Release is planned for March 16th.
Wizards of the Coast declined comment on the game or the license; the sales sheet disappeared shortly after our inquiry.
A license to WizKids fits with WotC’s overall strategy of concentrating on its core brands and product lines: Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons (and, formerly, Kaijudo). It has licensed D&D miniature and dice games to WizKids and miniatures and other products to Gale Force Nine, and even when it has done board games tied to D&D, or from its old Avalon Hill line, in the past, it has treated them like a distraction.
But just because some tie-in game products are licensed to another company doesn’t mean that the storylines aren’t carefully planned and coordinated. Given the secrecy surrounding the subject matter, it would not be surprising if the new board game were tied more closely to current D&D story lines than past games have been. WotC is currently pursuing a cross-platform integrated experience with D&D 5th Edition content (see "Exclusive Interview: 'D&D's' Liz Schuh on the New Edition Launch") and the new board game could be part of that strategy.
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