Starting January 1, 2024, Penguin Random House will no longer be distributing Wizards of the Coast’s seminal TTRPG product, Dungeons & Dragons. The announcement was made via email to various retailers. io9 obtained a copy of this email for confirmation. There is currently a distributor portal live on Wizards’ site.
With no explanation whatsoever, the email reads. “Effective December 31, 2023, Penguin Random House LLC will cease distributing titles for Wizards of the Coast LLC.” It also includes a couple support lines and a link to the distributor portal on the Wizards of the Coast site. There will now be six companies handling distribution; Alliance, Diamond, GTS, Magazine Exchange, PHS, and Southern Hobby.
Wizards of the Coast maintains a quarterly publishing schedule, often publishing anywhere between two to six different books (if we count variant covers as new books) every three to four months. PRH is a massive publishing and distribution company and it’s unclear how changing this structure will benefit the booksellers and gamestores who stock its products, especially as it intends to publish a new edition next year.
“As the owner of a hybrid book and game store, it’s frustrating, since the book publishers’ terms, incentives, and requirements are generally a lot better than the big game distributors,” Ross E. Lockhart of Petaluma, CA’s Word Horde Emporium of the Weird & Fantastic told io9. “Penguin is very easy to deal with as a bookseller, particularly when it comes to things like replacing damaged product or returning outdated items. Less so with games distributors who have higher minimums and less favorable margins.
io9 reached out to Wizards of the Coast for a comment and will update should we hear back.
Update, October 4, 6:18 p.m.: This post was updated to include Lockhart’s quote.
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