WotC plans for D&D 30th anniversary

Wizards of the Coast has revealed more details about their celebratory events around the thirtieth anniversary of D&D. The coffeetable book, with as-yet-unnamed celebrities appearing in its pages, gets mentioned again, as does a new Basic Set and a huge party at Gen Con 2004. A worldwide D&D Game Day in early October is also in the works, and a plug for the D&D Miniatures works its way into the press release, though I didn’t see a 30th anniversary tie-in per se.

Wizards of the Coast press release follows:


February 10, 2004 (Renton, Wash.) – Celebrate as a pop culture icon turns 30! Since it first released in 1974, the fantasy roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons® has taken millions of players on imaginary adventures of epic scale. Today, Dungeons & Dragons is universally regarded as the original game that created the roleplaying game category, and the inspiration for generations of game designers. Now in its third edition, Dungeons & Dragons is enjoyed by millions of players worldwide, while countless more remember it with fond nostalgia. This year, Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS), will mark three decades of this unique pop culture phenomenon with a variety of new Dungeons & Dragons products and exciting public events.

“We’re very proud of the long history and profound effect that Dungeons & Dragons has had on the gaming industry,” said Liz Schuh, Marketing Director for Wizards of the Coast. “The 30th anniversary campaign is our way of thanking the players for everything they’ve done to enrich Dungeons & Dragons and also to introduce one of the most creative, imaginative games ever made to a whole new generation of players.”

A (Very) Brief History of Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons was conceived in the early 1970s, when Dave Arneson and E. Gary Gygax turned their passion for staging historical battles with miniature figures into a new game by focusing on individual characters and roleplaying their personalities. By 1974, the two men were selling a rudimentary pen-and-paper game they called Dungeons & Dragons, in which players assumed the role of characters journeying through a magic-filled, medieval-style fantasy environment.

In the late 1970s and early 80s, Dungeons & Dragons experienced a huge boom in popularity, expanding into board games, video games, die-cast figures, comics, novels and other products. Revised editions of Dungeons & Dragons reflected the game’s growing sophistication and refinement.

In 2003, Wizards of the Coast, Inc. released the most recent version of the Dungeons & Dragons core rulebooks and they were an instant hit. The same year, several major books and articles credited Dungeons & Dragons with being the inspiration for the modern gaming industry, and the precursor of today’s most popular roleplaying games, both offline and online.

30th Anniversary Celebration – New Games and Events Ahead!

Wizards of the Coast, Inc. is planning a year-long campaign, filled with exciting new products and events. Here are just some of the highlights:

Dungeons and Dragons® Basic Set

Modeled after a classic boxed set from the game’s early history, the new Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set is the perfect introduction to the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying experience. The set includes streamlined rulebooks, map boards, roleplaying dice, and 16 miniatures from the new Dungeons & Dragons miniatures line. Release date scheduled for September 2004.

30 Years of Adventure: A celebration of Dungeons & Dragons®

This richly illustrated, oversized book will feature essays by notable people from the gaming and entertainment industries who were inspired by Dungeons & Dragons. Release date scheduled for October 2004.

Dungeons and Dragons® Miniatures Expansions

Since the debut of the initial 80-figure Harbinger™ set in the form of Entry and Expansion Packs in September 2003, Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures have proved highly successful with players,selling well over 4 million individual figures. In December, the 60-figure Dragoneye™ expansion introduced multiple dragon figures of varying sizes. This March, players can look forward to Archfiends™, 60 new monsters, villains and fiends from Dungeons & Dragons titles, followed in June by Giants of Legend™, a 72-figure set based on popular characters drawn directly from Dungeons & Dragons lore, including 12 huge creatures.

GEN CON 2004

Get ready for the gamer gala of the decade! At the nation’s biggest annual gaming convention, Wizards of the Coast will recognize Dungeons & Dragons’ 30th anniversary with a timeline of major milestones in Dungeons & Dragons’ history, appearances by celebrated artists, authors and game designers, and finally, a huge party in honor of Dungeons & Dragons players everywhere. GEN CON will be held August 19-22, 2004 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Worldwide D&D® Game Day

Let the gaming begin! This October, Wizards of the Coast will sponsor a single day devoted to introducing newcomers to Dungeons & Dragons gameplay, with D&D games taking place in hundreds of select hobby and toy stores around the globe. Date to be announced.

Dungeons & Dragons products have been the benchmark for adventure roleplaying game excellence since the game’s introduction in 1974. Over the years, the Dungeons & Dragons experience has steadily evolved. The miniatures, along with the new Dungeons & Dragons v.3.5 core rulebooks, are designed to take players through this year’s 30th anniversary and beyond.

Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS), is a worldwide leader in the trading card game and tabletop roleplaying game categories, and a leading developer and publisher of game-based entertainment products. The company holds an exclusive patent on trading card games (TCGs) and their method of play and produces the premier trading card game, Magic: The Gathering®, among many other trading card games and family card and board games. Wizards is also a leading publisher of roleplaying games, such as Dungeons & Dragons®, and publisher of fantasy series fiction with numerous New York Times best-sellers. For more information, visit the Wizards of the Coast website at wizards.com

Dungeons & Dragons, D&D, Harbinger, Dragoneye, Archfiends, Giants of Legend and Magic: The Gathering are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast in the USA and other countries. © 2004 Wizards.