We’re back for another edition of StartPlaying tabletop RPG news! These four stories represent some of the biggest happenings in the business and hobby. On the business side, corporations took some big hits that are bringing them back to their favored franchises. On the hobby side, Discord/Roll20 users got a nice surprise and a mental health study had pleasant results. Let’s get into it with the good news first! 

Roll20 Discord App Coming Next Week 

via: Roll20

Roll20 dropped a big surprise this week: the whole dang VTT will be a Discord Activity! That means you’ll soon be able to play Roll20 games in Discord. The full Roll20 virtual tabletop along with your maps, tokens, modules, and more will show up as a shared screen within your Discord call. Roll20 Pro Subscribers get access to this feature as a beta starting April 30. They can invite those with free accounts to play, but at least one user must be a Pro subscriber to access the beta. Roll20 aims to have the feature fully available to all users later this year. 

Asmodee Split Off From Parent Company, Inherits Debt

Swedish gaming conglomerate Embracer Group split itself into three after recent financial woes. The new companies resulting from the split are Coffee Stain & Friends (focused on smaller and free-to-play video games), Middle-earth Enterprises & Friends (dedicated to big-budget video games and Dark Horse Comics), and the tabletop-centric Asmodee. In its current form, Asmodee is in charge of many well-known board games like Days of Wonder and Ticket to Ride as well as TTRPGs like Legend of the Five Rings and Star Wars FFG. Asmodee got a large amount of financing in the split, though EN World reports that many in the know see it as a way for Embracer to unload its over $700M debt. 


The Big 4 Star Wars TTRPGS, Explained


Hasbro Revenue Buoyed By Baldur's Gate 3, Magic, And Monopoly Once Again

via: Wizards of the Coast

After struggling toy sales resulted in layoffs last year, Hasbro called the first quarter of 2024 “transformation work” during an investor’s call (info courtesy of Dicebreaker). The reality of this transformation is that much depended on Wizards of the Coast and video games. Magic: The Gathering continued to drive growth and revenue thanks largely to the well-timed Fallout crossover set. The Digital sector still owes much to steady Baldur's Gate 3 sales and the billions brought in by Monopoly GO! Looking to the future, Hasbro still projects decreased revenue as it invests more in core IPs and pays off debts. 

Another Study Claims Dungeons & Dragons Beneficial For Mental Health

A recent peer-reviewed study published in Games for Health Journal Vol 13 found that playing TTRPGs has positive effects on mental health. To be specific, “participants demonstrated significant decreases in depression, stress, and anxiety and significant increases in self-esteem and self-efficacy over the study period.” The study saw 25 participants play D&D for one hour per week for eight weeks, reports EN World. Surveys were taken before, during, and after sessions. The full paper can be found here, and goes on to say that RPGs “may have potential utility as a wellbeing intervention or prevention program.”


Thanks for joining us for this week’s TTRPG news! If you play this weekend, may your dice be kind. 

Apr 25, 2024
Tabletop Gaming News