WotC Hasbro Has Invested $1B In Video Games, Including A New D&D Game

There's "something like" Baldur's Gate 3 coming.

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Wizards of the Coast's head of digital production, Dan Ayoub, spoke to GamesIndustry.biz about Hasbro's future video game plans, with over a billion dollars currently invested in internally developed games.

With Baldur's Gate 3 doing so well, and developer Larion confirming that it would not be working on a sequel, the future of that franchise is still in question, with Hasbro currently looking for partners for the project. Ayoub commented that "something like" BG3 was in the works.

"One of the great things we took from the success of Baldur's Gate 3 is that people really, really like a great, well-executed D&D game, so we've got something like that."
-Dan Ayoub​

Hasbro's four video game studios are Atomic Arcade, Invoke Studios, Archetype, and Skeleton Key. While those studios are working with various Hasbro properties, such as GI Joe, Invoke is currently working on a Dungeons & Dragons game. Of course, the company also seeks to create new IP via video games, and Archetype's James Ohlen (Knights of the Old Republic) is involved with a new franchise called Exodus.

""Over $1 billion is in video game development right now. And that is just these studios. That's to say nothing of the other game investments that are happening. Definitely I've seen the company put its actions around its words in terms of building these studios around strong leaders, thinking about the long game as well. We've got a portfolio that goes much, much larger than anything we're talking about right now."

In Summer 2023, WotC cancelled 5 video games. At the time it owned 6 video game studios, according to then-president Cynthia Williams.
 

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Dire Bare

Legend
BG3 is the best selling CRPG of all time, ladt I checked, and by quite a bit, so it seems quite fair of them to day "there's gold in them thar hills" in the wake of that success.
Wanting to repeat that success is very reasonable!

It's the quote that comes across as tone deaf to me. Who'd a thunk? Put in the effort and resources to make a good game, like Larian did, and create a winner!

Cut corners, cut resources, make your developers go into crunch time, end up with a crappy game nobody wants. Rocket Science!!

To be fair to WotC, it does appear that they have learned this lesson to some degree and are putting serious resources into these studios. We'll see how things play out over the next few years.
 

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Stormonu

Legend
Baldur's Gate III took a long time to get into the shape it is now. Dungeons and Dragons On-line seems to have lingered for ages with little recognition. Before that, Neverwinter Nights (20+ years old now) was the last D&D computer game I can remember being interested in to any degree.

They have an uphill battle for sure, and I think they're really going to be disappointed when they don't get lightning in a bottle in the near future with their next attempt.

I would sure love to see more D&D games along the semi-turned based aspect of BG3. Doubly so if it could be something outside the Forgotten Realms and triply so if it had a "DM tool" that doubled as a 3D VTT.

I kinda wish they'd invest in using Solasta's engine and giving it a buff up, rather than try and develop something entirely from scratch, to be honest.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Wanting to repeat that success is very reasonable!

It's the quote that comes across as tone deaf to me. Who'd a thunk? Put in the effort and resources to make a good game, like Larian did, and create a winner!

Cut corners, cut resources, make your developers go into crunch time, end up with a crappy game nobody wants. Rocket Science!!

To be fair to WotC, it does appear that they have learned this lesson to some degree and are putting serious resources into these studios. We'll see how things play out over the next few years.
Well, Dark Alliance wasn't good by most any account (haven't bothered trying, though I think I got it free from Amazon or Epic or something), but it was also profitable for WotC at the same time IIRC. Passion projects that go in and bold don't always pay off like BG3, either, so it is somewhat surprising: everyone thought BG3 was going to be a footnote to the Sunmer game scene last year, not Game of the Year...even Larian thought that!
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I kinda wish they'd invest in using Solasta's engine and giving it a buff up, rather than try and develop something entirely from scratch, to be honest.
Their decision to not just buy their way into the VTT market and now the games market, is interesting, to put it mildly. The longer it takes for them to get to market, the better the product is going to have to be.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Wanting to repeat that success is very reasonable!

It's the quote that comes across as tone deaf to me. Who'd a thunk? Put in the effort and resources to make a good game, like Larian did, and create a winner!

Cut corners, cut resources, make your developers go into crunch time, end up with a crappy game nobody wants. Rocket Science!!

To be fair to WotC, it does appear that they have learned this lesson to some degree and are putting serious resources into these studios. We'll see how things play out over the next few years.

Of course Larian managed a singularly good product even starting with high quality creators who knew what they were doing. Even if WOTC manages to start with just as good a staff (and that's one big if) they're probably over optimistic thinking they can catch that lightning in a bottle again.
 


Oofta

Legend
Baldur's Gate III took a long time to get into the shape it is now. Dungeons and Dragons On-line seems to have lingered for ages with little recognition. Before that, Neverwinter Nights (20+ years old now) was the last D&D computer game I can remember being interested in to any degree.

They have an uphill battle for sure, and I think they're really going to be disappointed when they don't get lightning in a bottle in the near future with their next attempt.

I would sure love to see more D&D games along the semi-turned based aspect of BG3. Doubly so if it could be something outside the Forgotten Realms and triply so if it had a "DM tool" that doubled as a 3D VTT.

I kinda wish they'd invest in using Solasta's engine and giving it a buff up, rather than try and develop something entirely from scratch, to be honest.

I was going to say something along the same lines concerning Solasta. Improve the graphics a bit, hire real voice actors, better writers, and I think there's a potential for a good game for a relatively modest investment. Maybe not BG III levels of sales, but it's unlikely they'll capture lightning in a bottle twice. I still go back to the game now and then to play a fan created module.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
I was going to say something along the same lines concerning Solasta. Improve the graphics a bit, hire real voice actors, better writers, and I think there's a potential for a good game for a relatively modest investment. Maybe not BG III levels of sales, but it's unlikely they'll capture lightning in a bottle twice. I still go back to the game now and then to play a fan created module.
agreed and you could knock out 4 or 5 fairly short and quite interesting games in the Solasta engine in the time it would take to develop one AAA game.
 

Let's remember d20 is not necessary to create a CRPG, and lots of videogame studios have created from zero their own fantasy IPs.

D&D is the supreme master, the number one among the TTRPGs but in the videogame industry it is only a little fish in the middle of the ocean.

Please, even the biggest companies, with years of experience, are suffering some failures in the last years. The videogame market is a very risky bet.

BG3 is the start now but if other videogame studio wanted to follow the same path, or they will call to Hasbro for a licence, or they will start to work now.

* I don't like those CRPGs where the combats are "one-dimension". The PC is in front of the enemies and who is in the right or the left, in the front row or in the back, or melee vs ranged weapons don't matter at all.
 

Oofta

Legend
agreed and you could knock out 4 or 5 fairly short and quite interesting games in the Solasta engine in the time it would take to develop one AAA game.
Sometimes it's better to aim to get on base than it is to knock it out of the park. It would take some work to get all the official content in, I still think it would be worth it.

Of course another possibility is that they are making a core development engine that can be used for both the VTT and CRPGs. Kind of like how so many companies use the Unreal Engine to write their games. Develop all the core assets once, make it easy to add new. One D&D engine to rule them all and in the dorkness bind them? Or not. :)
 

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