1. We heard absolutely nothing about it beforehand. No drawn-out weeks of hinting and clue dropping. Remember previous digital projects WotC announced early? How long did we wait? How well did they come out? How many turned out anything like what they started as? Its a nice change to see something announced that actually surprises me.
2. Trapdoor has clearly already done enough work to get something into early beta testing and they’re playtesting it right now at Origins! Why does this matter? See above. Shit got done here, clearly. They might be a small company I’ve never heard of, but so far it seems like they have their head on right for developing stuff. Yeah, its not finished, but already they’re one-up on previous failed projects.
3. WotC has fine-tuned their alpha playtesters into a well-oiled machine (more or less) and its all already in place ready to playtest digital tools. Why am I bringing this up? WotC shouldn’t (and probably won’t) reinvent the wheel. They already have this carefully built network of playtesters. They already know the ins and outs of 5e. They’ve already signed NDAs and will happily sign them again. These are the people that are going to get invites to playtest new digital tools besides the individuals that make it to conventions.
Then there’s the news that on launch it will support browser, Android, and iOS? Very encouraging.