D&D General No, Hasbro Is Not Selling D&D

Might be negotiating video gaming licenses, but is not selling D&D to Chinese company Tencent.

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I wasn't going to comment on this rumour in article form--despite a 20-page-and-counting thread about it--but it seems some clarification is needed as it's all over social media and the usual click-bait YouTube channels.

First off, Dungeons & Dragons is not being sold. That's the short version.

WotC, including D&D, is Hasbro's most profitable division and, as many put it, it's 'golden goose'. Despite an article on Pandaily being entitled "Hasbro Seeks to Sell IP “DND” and Has Had Preliminary Contact with Tencent"--and much of which is a close copy of a recent YouTube video rumour--buried halfway down the article is the important paragraph:

A Tencent IEG (Interactive Entertainment Group) insider revealed that Tencent, represented by its overseas business department IEG Global, is in negotiations with the aim of acquiring a series of rights including the adaptation rights for electronic games such as DND.

That means they wish to license the D&D IP to make video games. WotC licenses the D&D IP all the time--that's why you see all those D&D lunchboxes and plushies and t-shirts and miniatures and foam dragon heads and, indeed, movies and video games. Licensing an IP is not buying an IP. Modiphius is licensing the Star Trek IP for their TTRPG; Modiphius hasn't bought Star Trek. I published the Judge Dredd TTRPG for a couple of years, but I didn't own the Judge Dredd IP.

Tencent, incidentally, owns 30% of Larian Studios, who made the recent Baldur's Gate 3 video game--under license, of course (Larian didn't buy D&D either). Tencent is a massive Chinese company known for venture capital, social media, mobile games, internet services, and more, and is one of the world's largest companies. Tencent Games is a division of the company. It has stakes in a lot of companies.

So what does WotC have to say? "We are not looking to sell our D&D IP". The following statement was sent to outlets who reached out for clarification:

We regularly talk to Tencent and enjoy multiple partnerships with them across a number of our IPs. We don't make a habit of commenting on internet rumors, but to be clear: we are not looking to sell our D&D IP. We will keep talking to partners about how we bring the best digital experiences to our fans. We won't comment any further on speculation or rumors about potential M&A or licensing deals."

So, to be clear, Hasbro is not selling D&D to a Chinese company. They are in--as always--talks to license their IP to various companies for various purposes, including electronic games, movies, and lunchboxes.
 

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Abstruse

Legend
YouTube channel Dungeon Masterpiece also claims that the entire story was faked. Ignoring the clickbait video title, the explanation is that the site Pandaily generated the article using algorithmic generation aka "AI" based off of the Roll for Combat video earlier this week speculating on what a sale of the D&D IP by Hasbro would look like and reports from Chinese business news outlets reporting on the discussions between Tencent and Hasbro licensing D&D.

 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
Thank you, Morrus!

Also... I wouldn't mind seeing some more D&D games out of Larian and possibly Tencent if they treat it as well as Larian did, for sure.

And considering it performed so well, we -might-, actually.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I couldn't find the WotC quote rebutting this rumor in the Pandaily article. Where does that come from?
 




Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast

I wasn't going to comment on this rumour in article form--despite a 20-page-and-counting thread about it--but it seems some clarification is needed as it's all over social media and the usual click-bait YouTube channels.

First off, Dungeons & Dragons is not being sold. That's the short version.

WotC, including D&D, is Hasbro's most profitable division and, as many put it, it's 'golden goose'. Despite an article on Pandaily being entitled "Hasbro Seeks to Sell IP “DND” and Has Had Preliminary Contact with Tencent"--and much of which is a close copy of a recent YouTube video rumour--buried halfway down the article is the important paragraph:

A Tencent IEG (Interactive Entertainment Group) insider revealed that Tencent, represented by its overseas business department IEG Global, is in negotiations with the aim of acquiring a series of rights including the adaptation rights for electronic games such as DND.

That means they wish to license the D&D IP to make video games. WotC licenses the D&D IP all the time--that's why you see all those D&D lunchboxes and plushies and t-shirts and miniatures and foam dragon heads. Licensing an IP is not buying an IP. Modiphius is licensing the Star Trek IP for their TTRPG; Modiphius hasn't bought Star Trek. I published the Judge Dredd TTRPG for a couple of years, but I didn't own the Judge Dredd IP.

Tencent, incidentally, owns 30% of Larian Studios, who made the recent Baldur's Gate 3 video game--under license. Tencent is a massive Chinese company known for venture capital, social media, mobile games, internet services, and more, and is one of the world's largest companies. Tencent Games is a division of the company. It has stakes in a lot of companies.

So what does WotC have to say? "We are not looking to sell our D&D IP". The following statement was sent to outlets who reached out for clarification:

We regularly talk to Tencent and enjoy multiple partnerships with them across a number of our IPs. We don't make a habit of commenting on internet rumors, but to be clear: we are not looking to sell our D&D IP. We will keep talking to partners about how we bring the best digital experiences to our fans. We won't comment any further on speculation or rumors about potential M&A or licensing deals."

So, to be clear, Hasbro is not selling D&D to a Chinese company. They are in--as always--talks to license their IP for various purposes, including electronic games.
Too bad. I'm one of those who think D&D would be better off with another publisher, at least as far as the quality of the game is concerned.
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I really wish the YouTube community would calm down a bit and not be so trigger happy. I get everyone wants to be "first" but it has already bitten some youtuber on the behind.
It's getting ridiculous. There's so much good D&D stuff on YouTube but it's starting to get buried under this extreme negative clickbait. At this rate, eventually, it's just going to be useless.
 

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