Brand New D&D Video Game from WotC's New Acquisition Tuque Games

Tuque Games has announced it's working on a brand new D&/D video game. "We're developing a brand-new game based in the widely celebrated, enduring, and immensely popular Dungeons & Dragons universe. This yet to be announced title is steepled in classic D&D lore. We aspire to push this game to new heights for the genre. It’s an honour and a privilege to begin a new chapter for Dungeons & Dragons video games."

Logo_Tuque_Color_invert.png

Not only that, but the company has been purchased by WotC! The press release went out earlier today:



RENTON, Wash., Oct. 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS), today announced that it has acquired Tuque Games, a digital game development studio based in Montreal. Tuque is led by veterans of the game industry with experience working for leading publishers. Tuque will continue the development of games for Wizards of the Coast's best-known brands, beginning with Dungeons & Dragons.

"At Wizards, we're continuing our commitment to creating new ways to bring our fan favorite brands to life," said Chris Cocks, President, Wizards of the Coast. "Our unique approach of connecting fans around the tabletop as well as through our expanding portfolio of digital games is redefining what it means to be a games company."

Founded in 2012 by Jeff Hattem, Tuque Games released their first title, Livelock, to critical acclaim in 2016. Now with over 55 full-time employees, Tuque will focus on the development of digital games based on the popular Dungeons & Dragons franchise.

"Tuque is thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of the Wizards of the Coast team," said Jeff Hattem, Founder, Tuque Games. "By working more closely together, we can accelerate our joint vision and bring to life new games, characters and worlds in Wizards of the Coast's roster of franchises."

"In Tuque, we believe we have found a unique partner that pairs the nimbleness of an indie studio with the veteran leadership and scale required to deliver complex AAA games for our largest franchises," said David Schwartz, VP of Digital Publishing, Wizards of the Coast. "We are excited to bring Jeff and the Tuque team to the Wizards of the Coast family, which we believe will allow us to continue to meet the needs of our fans while enabling us to scale our digital games development capabilities even faster."



It seems there's a bit of a D&D video game renaissance going on. Baldur's Gate 3 is coming, as is Solasta: Crown of the Magister.
 
Last edited:
Russ Morrissey

Comments

Stilvan

Explorer
Like a lot of you I'm a bit skeptical but I think we should give these guys a fair shake. IMO the CRPG genre (assuming that is what they are making) is in desperate need of new ideas. I'd expect them to play it safe on their first release but with some success who knows. I'll be following this from here in any case
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
They laid the marketing spin on real think in this story.

At the core this will only succeed if the folks at Tuque are passionate about making high quality D&D games, not trying to push out a AAA game.

Which in all fairness could be the case, but I've no way of knowing for sure.

After all CDProjektred didn't start out making AAA games, but goddamn did they pull it off after a couple of tries. And they did it in no small part because they understood that nobody remembers if a game shipped on time, only if it was good or not.

Bean counters that want to see profits in a certain quarter will always be at odds with such a philosophy.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Bean counters that want to see profits in a certain quarter will always be at odds with such a philosophy.
In fairness, sometimes the bean counters come to you and say "We are going to run out of money unless we ship this thing." And then you damn well ship, reap what profit you can, and hope it's enough to pay for fixing the game post-launch.

As long as the studio is not facing an imminent cash crunch, good studios are willing to let the schedule slip in order to deliver a quality product. Of course, the trick is figuring out whether the delay will in fact result in a quality product. A good game that ships late is better than a bad game that ships on time... but a bad game that ships late is worse than either.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
In fairness, sometimes the bean counters come to you and say "We are going to run out of money unless we ship this thing." And then you damn well ship, reap what profit you can, and hope it's enough to pay for fixing the game post-launch.

As long as the studio is not facing an imminent cash crunch, good studios are willing to let the schedule slip in order to deliver a quality product. Of course, the trick is figuring out whether the delay will in fact result in a quality product. A good game that ships late is better than a bad game that ships on time... but a bad game that ships late is worse than either.
True, true.

What irks me is when the development studio with a record of making great games is now owned by a parent company with deep pockets that's running things by artificial deadlines. But I admit that is far from every situation.

Edit: and I sincerely hope not this situation. Hasbro seems to be letting the geeks passionately run the show at WotC and it seems to be continually improving to me.
 

Bohandas

Explorer
You mean Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, right? Because that's verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry different Baldur's Gate, and Dark Alliance is the one that's a Diablo-style game (and I had great fun with friends and my wife on).
No I mean Baldur's Gate. Specifically the combat encounters in Baldur's Gate. The combat in Baldur's Gate is basically just Diablo reworked in such a way that most of the damage suffered by the player comes from friendly fire.

And they did it in no small part because they understood that nobody remembers if a game shipped on time, only if it was good or not.
Nobody remembers that it didn't ship on time if its good. If people don't like it they'll remember not liking it and they'll still also remember that it was late. Like when Duke Nukem Forever bombed
 
Last edited:
No I mean Baldur's Gate. Specifically the combat encounters in Baldur's Gate. The combat in Baldur's Gate is basically just Diablo reworked in such a way that most of the damage suffered by the player comes from friendly fire.
Hahaha no, no it isn't. The mechanics are totally unlike Diablo in virtually every single possible way. I say that as someone who a great deal of knowledge of the mechanics of both games. I can go on about this at some length if you like, and really totally debunk what you're saying. I guess you're going on the fact that both have to-hit rolls or something? Totally bizarre.

That's like saying ME1 is "basically the same as Call of Duty" or something.
 

Bohandas

Explorer
Despite the underlaying mechanics being based on 2e AD&D in terms of specific spells, hit points thac0 rolls, etc, it nevertheless plays more similarly to Diablo than to something like Dark Queen of Krynn or Temple of Elemental Evil in terms of combat.

It's a realtime fighting game, like Diablo. Although you can pause the action, like Diablo.

Again this is just in regard to the combat. BG definitely differs strongly from Diablo in that Baldur's Gate has an actual plot and character interactions and choices and a pretty open world whereas Diablo is on rails the whole time
 
Last edited:

Dausuul

Legend
Nobody remembers that it didn't ship on time if its good. If people don't like it they'll remember not liking it and they'll still also remember that it was late. Like when Duke Nukem Forever bombed
Duke Nukem Forever is a special case. That game was epically, fantastically, apocalyptically late. The schedule for DNF did not slip; it fell down a flight of stairs and off a mountaintop into the deepest pits of hell. At that point, it doesn't matter how good the game is. Its lateness will be remembered when the game itself is but a decaying pattern of electrons on a hard disk buried in the ruins of civilization.
 

gyor

Hero
I wouldn't be surprised if they just had this studio pump out mobile microtransaction games for the next while. Those have a tendency to make a ton of money relative to their budget. Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms seems to be pretty successful so maybe Wizards wants to start collecting more than just the licensing fees for such a venture. The press release mentions AAA but it's just a buzz word. With only around 50 employees they would have to radically grow which anyone should be able to understand is incredibly risky.
If they wanted to do that, it would make more sense to buy the company that made idle Champions instead of Tuque Studios
 

Aebir-Toril

std::cout << "Hi" << '\n';
Hahaha no, no it isn't. The mechanics are totally unlike Diablo in virtually every single possible way. I say that as someone who a great deal of knowledge of the mechanics of both games. I can go on about this at some length if you like, and really totally debunk what you're saying. I guess you're going on the fact that both have to-hit rolls or something? Totally bizarre.

That's like saying ME1 is "basically the same as Call of Duty" or something.
Wait. You're saying that ME1 isn't part of the Call of Duty franchise?

My world has been shattered.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
CD Projekt Red is a good example about how a videogame studio has to work. But you know there weres years since the announced the videogame Cyberpunk 2077. If some studio tries to start a new AAA based in D&D they will need at least a year, or maybe more.

* Have you imagined anytime anything like the D&D version of sims (medieval) where the PC only want to grow vegetables, fish, hunt, collecting and improving skills, and the dungeon-crawling would be totally optional. Some youtubers could use it to publish their own machinima stories, better if it has a creator of stories/quest/adventures.

* Do you remember when Bloodbowl, by Game Workshop, come back after the videogame adaptation? They is a relation, isn't it?

* The success of sleeping-hits by idie studios teaches us it hasn't to be the best graphics (someones have got a retro/vintage look intentionality) but total lack of annoying bugs and fun gameplay. And even big studios sometime have failed with some AAA project ( and I don't want to say names).

* Why not a sequel of Tower of Doom and Shadow over Mystara? A beat'em as Dragon's Crown.

* A good story/plot/script is important but not enough. We also need fun gameplay or it will happen as with Telltale games.
 

MonkeezOnFire

Adventurer
If they wanted to do that, it would make more sense to buy the company that made idle Champions instead of Tuque Studios
Sometimes things just aren't for sale. A deal to license an IP for use and a deal to buy a company are completely different prospects.
 
Have you imagined anytime anything like the D&D version of sims (medieval) where the PC only want to grow vegetables, fish, hunt, collecting and improving skills, and the dungeon-crawling would be totally optional.
Buddy I hate to break it to you but there are dozens of games like this. They may not have the D&D logo on them but that market is largely catered for. It's a genre.
 

gyor

Hero
If those concerned about the Studios size, a simple solution for Tuque Studios for this first D&D game would be to out source some of the work until they build themselves to a big enough size. For example even Larian Studios which now has over 200 devs working on BG3, turned to over 100 external developers to work on BG3 as well. Tuque could externalize some of the work as well.

Alternately WotC could buy more small video game companies and merge them with Tuque Studios. Tuque Studios might be just a first purchase because WotC already had a deal with them and a game in development. This would help WotC expand the merged company rapidly to AAA size.

Also concider the timeline of events. Tuque Studio makes a pitch for a Classic D&D game to WotC which impresses WotC enough so it grants Tuque Studios a licience to make a classic D&D game. Months later WotC desides to up their investment in this game and game developer so much that they buy them outright. What happened in the intervening months that got WotC see so excited by what they saw that they wanted all in, not just on the game, but the folks making the game as well.

Just speculation, but I think WotC saw a prototype for the game that made them interested enough to give this group of scrappy Canadians a shot, but then months later with a more advanced prototype of the D&D game, WotC was so excited by what they saw they bought the game studio itself!

That should tell you something about what Tuque Studios has already achieved, because WotC has alot of options to choose from when it comes to possible game studios to purchase and we don't even know if such a D&D game studio was even in the cards until whatever Tuque Studios showed WotC happened.

Also to convider that while speculation is that it's a Diablo style game because the last Tuque Studio game was, but Tuque Studios only made one game, so that is not enough to establish a pattern or a preference. If they made a series of games like that and only that, then it would seem very like to be a Diablo Clone, but over one game, their first, no. Plus statements like Classical D&D and consulting with the core D&D design team suggest a TB CRPG or maybe a RtWP game, not a Diablo Clone with D&D lore.
 
If those concerned about the Studios size, a simple solution for Tuque Studios for this first D&D game would be to out source some of the work until they build themselves to a big enough size. For example even Larian Studios which now has over 200 devs working on BG3, turned to over 100 external developers to work on BG3 as well. Tuque could externalize some of the work as well.

Alternately WotC could buy more small video game companies and merge them with Tuque Studios. Tuque Studios might be just a first purchase because WotC already had a deal with them and a game in development. This would help WotC expand the merged company rapidly to AAA size.

Also concider the timeline of events. Tuque Studio makes a pitch for a Classic D&D game to WotC which impresses WotC enough so it grants Tuque Studios a licience to make a classic D&D game. Months later WotC desides to up their investment in this game and game developer so much that they buy them outright. What happened in the intervening months that got WotC see so excited by what they saw that they wanted all in, not just on the game, but the folks making the game as well.

Just speculation, but I think WotC saw a prototype for the game that made them interested enough to give this group of scrappy Canadians a shot, but then months later with a more advanced prototype of the D&D game, WotC was so excited by what they saw they bought the game studio itself!

That should tell you something about what Tuque Studios has already achieved, because WotC has alot of options to choose from when it comes to possible game studios to purchase and we don't even know if such a D&D game studio was even in the cards until whatever Tuque Studios showed WotC happened.

Also to convider that while speculation is that it's a Diablo style game because the last Tuque Studio game was, but Tuque Studios only made one game, so that is not enough to establish a pattern or a preference. If they made a series of games like that and only that, then it would seem very like to be a Diablo Clone, but over one game, their first, no. Plus statements like Classical D&D and consulting with the core D&D design team suggest a TB CRPG or maybe a RtWP game, not a Diablo Clone with D&D lore.
It will be a diablo style game. Easiest way to reach the console markets imo
 
Just speculation, but I think WotC saw a prototype for the game that made them interested enough to give this group of scrappy Canadians a shot, but then months later with a more advanced prototype of the D&D game, WotC was so excited by what they saw they bought the game studio itself!
That is an interesting possibility. They did say that they were deep in pre-production for their next game a year ago, so it might well have been that they were in early production of the game when WotC started talking to them, and thus might have had a sufficiently interesting prototype. It's certainly happened with a number of studios before.
 

Parmandur

Legend
If those concerned about the Studios size, a simple solution for Tuque Studios for this first D&D game would be to out source some of the work until they build themselves to a big enough size. For example even Larian Studios which now has over 200 devs working on BG3, turned to over 100 external developers to work on BG3 as well. Tuque could externalize some of the work as well.

Alternately WotC could buy more small video game companies and merge them with Tuque Studios. Tuque Studios might be just a first purchase because WotC already had a deal with them and a game in development. This would help WotC expand the merged company rapidly to AAA size.

Also concider the timeline of events. Tuque Studio makes a pitch for a Classic D&D game to WotC which impresses WotC enough so it grants Tuque Studios a licience to make a classic D&D game. Months later WotC desides to up their investment in this game and game developer so much that they buy them outright. What happened in the intervening months that got WotC see so excited by what they saw that they wanted all in, not just on the game, but the folks making the game as well.

Just speculation, but I think WotC saw a prototype for the game that made them interested enough to give this group of scrappy Canadians a shot, but then months later with a more advanced prototype of the D&D game, WotC was so excited by what they saw they bought the game studio itself!

That should tell you something about what Tuque Studios has already achieved, because WotC has alot of options to choose from when it comes to possible game studios to purchase and we don't even know if such a D&D game studio was even in the cards until whatever Tuque Studios showed WotC happened.

Also to convider that while speculation is that it's a Diablo style game because the last Tuque Studio game was, but Tuque Studios only made one game, so that is not enough to establish a pattern or a preference. If they made a series of games like that and only that, then it would seem very like to be a Diablo Clone, but over one game, their first, no. Plus statements like Classical D&D and consulting with the core D&D design team suggest a TB CRPG or maybe a RtWP game, not a Diablo Clone with D&D lore.
Still a big cipher, particularly in terms of how the final product shapes up, but I think you are dead right about what happened with these guys and WotC. What they had to show must have been something impressive.
 

Parmandur

Legend
That is an interesting possibility. They did say that they were deep in pre-production for their next game a year ago, so it might well have been that they were in early production of the game when WotC started talking to them, and thus might have had a sufficiently interesting prototype. It's certainly happened with a number of studios before.
It could be the game was already D&D related in early stages, and they got on very well. We'll find out more in time, I'm sure.
 

Mercador

Explorer
Fair point, until we get more information it's hard to judge anyway.
But we can, that's the issue I think. Here's my armchair expert analysis :)p), I follow the game industry for about two decades now, twelve as a game "journalist".

The acquired company only released a so-so game when it was a 12 people team. They are now recruiting people, 50+ people, freelancers or not, no way to know. I don't how it is in other countries but in the Quebec province (Montréal) right now it's reallllly difficult to recruit, but IT is even worse. The owner of the studio is claiming is doing AAA games but only released one real game. It's difficult to think they are serious.

I would be genuinely curious on how/why WotC decided to purchase that company. It feels like they 5M to purchase one game developer and they learned quickly that they cannot purchase Larian with some pennies (!!). Why that one? Maybe the Tuque founder is an accointance of some people at WotC or there's something amiss here.

I would rather be totally offside and that Tuque offering being a new DnD landmark but considering the DnD track record on videogame endeavors, it's easy to be skeptic.
 

In Our Store!

Advertisement

Latest threads

Advertisement

Top