Since our post on Wednesday (see D&D Miniatures becoming less random in 2009), word has come down from Dungeons & Dragons Senior Brand Manager Scott Rouse at Wizards of the Coast clarifying the company’s plans for D&D Miniatures. Citing “sharp increases […] in manufacturing costs over the last 12 months” and a steady decline in skirmish players, Rouse confirmed that “Novemberâ€™s release of Demonweb will be the last new set that includes skirmish statistics. […] At this point, we can no longer justify the design, development, and production resources required to support the skirmish game.” This move will make WotC’s D&D Miniatures releases purely accessories for the roleplaying game – which is apparently what most D&D gamers were using them for anyway.
According to Rouse, the official sanctioning of D&D Miniatures skirmish events will cease right after D&D Experience in February ’09.
In defense of the planned price increase for the new sets ($14.99) and simultaneous figures-per-box reduction (from 8 down to 5 for the D&D Monsters sets), Rouse promised “a 50% increase in paint steps per figure, which makes even the common and uncommon figures in the set look better, adding more vibrancy and detail.” He also promised Huge figures in a set scheduled for Summer 2009, “including a Hive Mother Beholder and some Dragons.” The Huge figures will be visible in the boxes.
Players concerned that the D&D Heroes miniatures sets – the ones with the character figures – would randomize the class power cards were assured the cards would match the figures in each box.
Rouse ended his quick FAQ by acknowledging the frustration D&D Miniatures skirmish gamers might feel: “We know that this is a bittersweet announcement and for many of you it downright stinks. All of us at Wizards are thankful for the great years of D&D Miniatures play that weâ€™ve had and we are excited about the possibility the future offers.”