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 makes his games industry predictions for 2023.

As promised last week, here are my predictions for 2023 (See “Reflecting On My 2022  Predictions”).

1. OGL 1.1 will get reworked and reissued.  Wizards of the Coast will modify its proposed changes to the Open Gaming License (see "Dungeons & Dragons OGL 1.1 Furor”).  It is always nice to have one’s predictions confirmed at the same time that you make them.  Wizards of the Coast’s pull-back on its proposed changes to the OGL took less time than I expected as the proposed changes to the OGL leaked about January 5, 2023 and WotC issued a "mea culpa" regarding the revised OGL on the 13th, the date by which, under the leaked document, publishers would have had to sign the new license (see "Wizards of the Coast Backs Down on OGL (In Part)").  I did find it interesting that WotC chose to announce the withdrawal of the OGL1.1 through D&D Beyond rather than through the official WotC website, perhaps because the company thought that those most impacted by the changes would see it on the D&D Beyond site more readily than through the main Wizards site.  I also think that, rather than a leak, this was likely a trial balloon floated by WotC to see the reaction of the tabletop RPG industry.  For several years, despite WotC’s protestation, new Magic: The Gathering cards have regularly leaked and WotC has winked at the practice.  I expect we will see a new OGL but one with far less impact on the game industry than the leaked document.

2. RPG companies will capitalize on WotC OGL pain.  Other companies, wanting to take advantage of WotC’s misstep on the OGL, have announced OGLs and an ORC (Open RPG Creative License) of their own (see "Paizo Leads Game Company Revolt Against OGL Changes").  While there has been a lot of interest in alternative systems this week (Paizo’s website was overloaded with demand for downloads of Pathfinder 2E materials and Kenzer & Co. saw downloads of Hackmaster Basic triple from the previous week), I do not expect demand for ORC licensed products to account for single digit sales by the end of the year simply because players, for the most part, do not care who produces their game products.  They want to play D&D and the first products they will buy are those with the D&D logo on them.  Other OGL 1.0 products sell but not with the frequency of a D&D-branded product.  While the publishers making materials either under the ORC or another open license do have a fan base, they do not necessarily command customer loyalty or demand at the same level that D&D does.

3. Dungeons & Dragons movie will be lackluster.  As long as I am still talking about WotC and D&D, the movie Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, will underperform.  As I have noted before, my expectations for it are not great (see "Dungeons and Dragons:  Honor Among Thieves"), but this prediction is based on reading The Hollywood Reporter for several years.  The Hollywood Reporter has pointed out for several years that there are two types of movies currently successful at the box office: tentpole movies and small budget independent films.

4. Inflation will get near 3%.  Inflation will keep dropping through the year and will get close to 3% by the end of 2023.  Inflation is down to 6.5% now, the sixth month in a row it has declined.  Barring some major economic disruption, it should continue to fall, though likely will not reach the 2% mark the Fed wants until 2024.

5. WotC will release more player-targeted D&D books.  Back to WotC based on what the company said during their fireside chat, feeling that D&D is under-monetized and that most products target DMs while ignoring the much larger player market (see "D&D Fireside Chat and RIP Kim Mohan"), I expect to see more products targeted at players this year, especially given the rumor that WotC will pull the D&D license from Gale Force 9.  We did see quite a few player books for 3E and aids for 4E from WotC but nothing from the company so far.  I expect that to change in 2023.

Check back in January 2024 to see how well I did.

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