Dungeons & Dragons Halts Portuguese Translations

Dungeons & Dragons, the renowned role-playing game, has made a surprising announcement: it will no longer publish Portuguese versions of its game books. This abrupt decision from the Wizards of the Coast, the house that controls Dungeons & Dragons production came less than 2 years after launching its Portuguese language line, and less than a year after announcing it was adding Portuguese-language D&D books to its foreign language lines. The move has sparked criticism from the Brazilian RPG community and from fans who embraced the Portuguese versions. Here are some highlights following this latest development.

Wizards of the Coast Ends Portuguese Translations

The decision was announced by Wizards of the Coast late last night, citing “rising costs and shifts in global demand” as the reason for their decision. They plan to discontinue Portuguese translations of the popular Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) rulebooks after 2022’s English releases. However, D&D books will still be published in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.

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The termination of Portuguese translations comes after a brief lawsuit and eventual settlement with former license holder Gale Force Nine, leading Wizards of the Coast to take control of its foreign language publications. This was initially touted as an effort to extend D&D’s reach and build a “global community” of fans. Despite the setback, Wizards still intend to produce D&D books, though not every book would be released in every language.

Impact on the Brazilian D&D Community

The discontinuation of Portuguese translations is a blow for the Brazilian D&D community who have been following Dungeons & Dragons for decades. When Brazilian translations were announced, Reynaldo Barbella, then head of LATAM for Wizards of the Coast, said this was “extremely important for the Brazilian D&D community” and assured fans that new localized content would be provided, including core rulebooks and new products. The possibility of this has now been left in the air.

The Brazilian Portuguese RPG community, despite its growth, has always faced delays in obtaining official material. For instance, the official Portuguese version of the D&D Player’s Handbook for Fifth Edition was only released in 2019, a full five years after the release of the 5th edition in English. Unfortunately, fans have often resorted to unofficial fan translations or piracy to get ahold of official releases.

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Response from the RPG Community

The unexpected decision has been met with widespread disappointment among the Portuguese-speaking players. They feel Wizards, and in extension, Hasbro, which oversees Wizards of the Coast, have abandoned the Brazilian and larger Latin American community with this move. Twitter user Guga stated: “This date will be marked as the day WotC turned its back on one of the largest and most passionate D&D communities. It’s a shame that the grandeur of this game that inspires so many Portuguese speakers doesn’t fit into the small minds of Wizards of the Coast’s current board.”

Nevertheless, some players have expressed mixed views, pointing out that the Portuguese tabletop RPG community is niche and most players can use English language books and content reasonably well.

Wrapping Up

The end of Portuguese translations will undoubtedly affect the global reach of Dungeons & Dragons, particularly within the Latin American community. However, it’s yet to be seen if the decision will significantly impact the game’s overall growth or if anticipated new localized content will ever see the light of day. For the latest on Dungeons & Dragons and other RPG games, you can stay updated at HitPlay.

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