Tuesday, November 19, 2013

News for The Sundering, Chapter 2

While it's just hitting actual role-playing circles today Wizards of the Coast released a video exclusive for the next part of the Sundering Encounters scenario, Legacy of the Crystal Shard, to Complex on Wednesday, November 13 - and then didn't tell anyone about it until today, Tuesday, November 19.

While the above video is well done its exclusive release to Complex was an odd move in a lot of ways.

Complex Media hosts 20 websites and boasts that it receives over 60 million views per month worldwide across all its websites with its primary demographic being that all important "20 something" males grouping. Which is all well and good but there are other outlets that are more likely to garner the attention of people likely to play role-playing games which have a larger influence and are already hospitable to our hobby, such as the Gawker group. The Gawker group includes three of the most influential websites in the hobby, io9, Gizmodo, and Kotaku which are linked to at a phenomenal rate both in the blog-o-sphere and in traditional media outlets such as ABC news. If we compare the social media penetration and retention rate for both the Gawker group and Complex Media then we find that again Gawker group has a far greater following. Across all websites Gawker group has 3,300,000 twitter followers with Kotaku (288,657), io9 (98,610), and Gizmodo (734,283) alone generating more twitter followers then Complex's (314,000). The numbers are similarly skewed in other social media avenues such as Facebook and Google+.

The reasoning gets stranger as you consider that the video is now available on Youtube directly from Wizards of the Coast so a lot of the benefit of having exclusive content for Complex was taken away when Wizards failed to announce the exclusive on their website until they had released the video to the world themselves.

Now the actual video is just as good as the launch video for Murder at Baldur's Gate with the animation being well done and the voice acting continuing to be exceptional. I am disappointed that the individual groups actions have not created a greater impact in the storyline than the choosing of a single individual, Duke Torlin Silvershield, as the Chosen of Bhaal. It would have been nice to see some greater impact on the city of Baldur's Gate or some other significant, long term changes to the setting being created by the groups who reported in to Wizards.

What are your thoughts?


  1. If I had to guess, I would say that Complex paid to have some kind of exclusivity, and that Hasbro was happy to take their money with a video that's ultimately neither particularly important to the overall story nor expensive to put out-once the initial animated figures were built. Alternatively... does Hasbro own Complex by chance?

    1. An interesting thought on the first part of your comment there, +Dan Head, but I don't agree. It just seems like an odd choice for Complex media as they're attempting to appeal to a more hip audience than your general Dungeons and Dragons crowd is thought to be. So I cannot figure why they would want to pay for the exclusive rights. No, I think that it was a poor marketing decision on Wizards part as they went for the website that appeared to contact the largest part of their target audience.

      Oh, and I looked into it and Complex Media is independently owned and not a subsidiary of Hasbro.


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