Why do WotC stop making certain board games and miniatures?

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I was just wondering as I have this set: 

I don't like the fact that to find this kind of set, or the miniatures it contains or that are similar to it, has to be dug for and payed a lot for because of its rarety now. Why create new editions and scrap the old ones so people are left without a source to buy the old editions from?

I personally play d&d for the miniature side of things along with the roleplay, not going to explain but its just how I am. So when they bring out dungeon command which granted looks good but doesn't have rules like anything in the previous edition, I get pissed. Mainly because I can't find the old editons anywhere and therefore, am stuck with dungeon command which I don't like as there's no dice and it's just completely different to the previous editions.

I love d&d, but really don't like getting into and putting my faith into a product that just immediately stops making  its predecessor due to a new product that may as well be a different thing alltogether.

Sorry for the rant but, it's really a bummer to get back into d&d which was something I was so enthusiastic about to see that the only miniature/boardgame products I can buy are the new ones, which I hate.

Also can I buy D&D products from the WotC site, it doesn't look like I can?
WotC also never comes out and explains why something is cancelled or even if it is. It's all corporate, protect our share holders crap. Share Holders and Hasbro corp first- fans second.

Dungeon Command- gone
Adventure System Board Game- gone.
D&D Next- gone two years after release.
I get the impression that Dungeon Command is just taking time between releases... not necessarily gone, yet.

The Adventure System board game series has probably run its course:  there's only so much they could have done with the big boxes.  The Dungeon Command series acts as both a stand-alone game, and as expansions to the Adventure System board game, so even the Adventure System board games haven't been abandoned yet.

I don't know much about D&D Next, I haven't been following it (I've actually been more interested in the premium reprints of first and second edition D&D, which I've never owned or read the core rulebooks for.)  But, I get the impression that D&D Next was a low-spoiler preview and beta test for the next edition of D&D, containing a mix of ideas that were planned all along to be in the new edition, alongside ideas that were there just as filler.



Those Basic Game boxed sets, with the miniatures and tiles and simplified 3.5 Edition rules sets, were some pretty cool products!

After getting hooked on the fantastic and very inexpensive 3rd Edition "Adventure Game" (which is similar to the Basic Games, but with paper tokens instead of miniatures), I bought a copy of both versions of the Basic Game when they were still new on the shelves, and never regretted it.  3rd Edition for WotC is a thing of the past and along with it the need as a publicity/marketing strategy for 3.5E starter sets, but the spirit of those Basic Games has been living on in the 4th Edition "Red Box" (which, sadly, uses cardboard tokens instead of miniatures, but does provide a little more "bang" for your dollar in terms of replayability with the contents provided), and even in the "Adventure System" board games (which use a VERY watered-down version of 4th Edition rules, but throws more miniatures, tiles, and other goodies at you than any of their predecessors!)

You might be interested in Paizo Publishing's Pathfinder/3.5E "Beginner Box", which is essentially the same idea as the Basic Games (nearly the same rules, too, as Pathfinder uses a licensed variation on the D20 rules set used in 3.XEdition D&D) - the major differences that would affect you are 1) that it uses stand-up cardboard pawns rather than miniatures, but you can always buy miniatures seperately (there's even a line of new Pathfinder miniatures, and Reaper Miniatures "Bones" line of unpainted plastic miniatures looks like it will inexpensively cover about 90% of the ground any gaming group would need, while D&D Miniatures and Dungeon Command are, of course, both excellent sources of miniatures), and 2) it's actually in print!
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
Short answer to why WotC does lets older products slide while introducing new editions:  WotC makes their money by selling rule books; as an edition matures, it gets more and more difficult to sell ice to Eskimos, without a major upgrade to the rules and a resulting new edition.  It's just the way their business works.  If you'd like to catch the latest product, you might be better off buying new, and selling old (especially with the prices that out-of-print products seem to command!)




And no, I don't think you can buy D&D products directly from this site.

Your Friendly Local Gaming Store should have most of the stuff that's in print, though (plus, typically, used stuff that's out of print), and online book stores would have pretty much anything else.  Amazon.com seems to be a popular source of stuff (relatively inexpensive, but takes a while to ship, I hear), and I've always been partial to trollandtoad.com - slow site, but great selection (and you can periodically find some great deals on bulk miniatures, too.)
[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri
I think that the reason WotC no longer supports certain boardgame product lines is basically that boardgames are intended to be somewhat stand-alone so there aren't many other things that could be sold to the consumer.

Looking at the recent "Adventure System Board Game" series, they have done a vampire scenario and a dragon scenario and a drow scenario. My guess is that many folks bought only one of the games but fewer bought two and fewer still bought all three. I'll bet that many players simply picked the one they liked best and played it, much the same way that a consumer wouldn't need several versions of Monopoly. The Adventure System product line is also limited because it was a streamlined version of 4E (which is no longer supported) and has a high cost for probably limited sales.

The Dungeon game has been a stand-alone for almost 40 years. While it would be possible to support it with additional classes, minis, dice, or whatever, the game probably sold well enough to justify itself.

I am a little frustrated that games like Gamma World got a flurry of support and then nothing, but my understanding is that this was the plan all along. Probably developing new materials for a game with limited consumer appeal doesn't make good sense from a marketing standpoint.

Basically, I'm assuming that WotC has done their homework and knows what products are of interest to the masses. The fact that a few of us want more of a particular line may not earn them enough money compared to a new release of a different product.

Just my two coppers.

Marv (Finarvyn) Master of Mutants (MA and GW) Playing 5E D&D and liking it! OD&D player since 1975