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WotC WotC Cancels 5 Video Games

While D&D itself seems to be still growing rapidly nearly 10 years after the launch of 5th Edition, WotC has recently scaled back its video game plans, costing up to 15 people their jobs, although they may be able to relocate within the company. WotC spoke to Bloomberg and told the site that they were "still committed to using digital games" and that the change in plans was designed to focus...

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While D&D itself seems to be still growing rapidly nearly 10 years after the launch of 5th Edition, WotC has recently scaled back its video game plans, costing up to 15 people their jobs, although they may be able to relocate within the company. WotC spoke to Bloomberg and told the site that they were "still committed to using digital games" and that the change in plans was designed to focus on "games which are strategically aligned with developing our existing brands and those which show promise in expanding or engaging our audience in new ways."

Studios working on games for WotC include Otherside Entertainment and Hidden Path Entertainment. WotC owns 6 video game studios in various cities according to CEO Cynthia Williams in an interview with GeekWire.


We’ve announced six different studios that are first-party and owned. There’s Archetype in Austin that’s working on a sci-fi game that we’re really excited about. It’s a new IP.

You’ve got Atomic Arcade in Raleigh-Durham, that’s working on a very mature G.I. Joe game, and then, Invoke is working on a D&D game. The key piece I’d tell you is that we have been really fortunate to hire some amazing industry veterans, who have a passion for the brands and games that they’re building.


The Bloomberg article also mentions an internal cancelled project code-named 'Jabberwocky', but does not say what that was.
 

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The narrative director for the game just posted a link to the hiring page today which suggests it's still being worked on
Aha thank you! That is interesting. Usually Jason Schrier doesn't get stuff wrong, so I wonder what's happening here.

I think it's particularly unlike Strix would post anything that wasn't valid, though, so I think we have to consider Hidden Path as still working on a D&D game unless bloody WotC just haven't told people!
 

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It never went away! The will just wasnt there.

These types of games, are fantastic, and this space just isnt explored nearly enough.
What I think hasn't helped is that several games which were otherwise pretty good kind of distracted from their "core competencies" with subgames/minigames which were theoretically cool but not actually that interesting. Kingmaker had the abysmal kingdom-management stuff which was largely a matter of either RNG or min-maxing, Wrath of the Righteous has the world's worst-designed and most annoying Might & Magic rip-off, and Deadfire had a lot of stuff with your ship which honestly, I get the concept, but never amounted to much and most ended up feeling like a waste of time, and like the game could have worked better without it - I know JE Sawyer who designed it kind of felt similarly in his post-mortem.

I think the same games but focused more on encounters and isometric exploration would have all done a bit better. Well, Kingmaker would also need to have not been the second-buggiest game ever released (after The Temple of Elemental Evil), too, but Wrath showed they could learn from that.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I mean, no? It's a word defined as "games produced and distributed by major publishers which typically have higher development and marketing budgets than other tiers of games."

Hasbro isn't a major video games publisher though.

They're not even on the level Paradox Interactive which tends to release quality games that are reasonably cheap.
 

Jimmy Dick

Adventurer
Can you explain that?
How will the movie connect to D&D? What recognizable elements of the fantasy TTRPG are going to be in the movie? The first D&D movie was a flop for multiple reasons. It had next to no connections to D&D. Any one of numerous fantasy movies in the 70s, 80, or 90s could have been labelled a D&D movie just as easily.

What setting does the movie use? To me, that's the first issue. If the story has no connection to anything in any D&D setting, then WotC needs to put out product to support this new setting or run the risk that there will be a very large disassociation between the viewers and the story. If that happens, I expect the movie to have limited success or possibly even fail at the box office.
 


SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
How will the movie connect to D&D? What recognizable elements of the fantasy TTRPG are going to be in the movie? The first D&D movie was a flop for multiple reasons. It had next to no connections to D&D. Any one of numerous fantasy movies in the 70s, 80, or 90s could have been labelled a D&D movie just as easily.
It looks like the movie is set in the Forgotten Realms and they are using a lot of recognizable D&Disms. We don't know in that much detail, but it looks like they are trying to make something of a tie-in there.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
How will the movie connect to D&D? What recognizable elements of the fantasy TTRPG are going to be in the movie? The first D&D movie was a flop for multiple reasons. It had next to no connections to D&D. Any one of numerous fantasy movies in the 70s, 80, or 90s could have been labelled a D&D movie just as easily.

What setting does the movie use? To me, that's the first issue. If the story has no connection to anything in any D&D setting, then WotC needs to put out product to support this new setting or run the risk that there will be a very large disassociation between the viewers and the story. If that happens, I expect the movie to have limited success or possibly even fail at the box office.
It has an owlbear in it.
 

Hasbro isn't a major video games publisher though.

They're not even on the level Paradox Interactive which tends to release quality games that are reasonably cheap.
You're fundamentally misunderstanding why things are called AAA.

It's not about how good they are, in real terms. It's about the budget (which reflects the team size) and they level of quality they're aiming at (which is not always achieved in terms of gameplay and sometimes not even technical aspects, though that is rarer).

A company can come out of nowhere and just make an AAA game, if they're just given enough budget, and can hire the right people. It doesn't matter at all if the developer or publisher has a "track record" of making "major video games". That's just a common association, that's all he's saying.

Take God of War, for example, just off the top of my head. The rather generically-named "Santa Monica Studio" released one game before, which was a moderate success. Then they just came flying out of the gate with God of War back in 2005, which absolutely an AAA game for the era, hugely polished and impressive, almost no-one saw it coming.

None of that prevents it being AAA. Do we need to go through hundreds of boring examples? I feel like we don't.

Paradox releases primarily AA games, which is to say games with decent budgets and team sizes, but which aren't even intended to be AAA, though I would personally say CK3 is definitely pushing the edge there.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
You're fundamentally misunderstanding why things are called AAA.

It's not about how good they are, in real terms. It's about the budget (which reflects the team size) and they level of quality they're aiming at (which is not always achieved in terms of gameplay and sometimes not even technical aspects, though that is rarer).

A company can come out of nowhere and just make an AAA game, if they're just given enough budget, and can hire the right people. It doesn't matter at all if the developer or publisher has a "track record" of making "major video games". That's just a common association, that's all he's saying.

Take God of War, for example, just off the top of my head. The rather generically-named "Santa Monica Studio" released one game before, which was a moderate success. Then they just came flying out of the gate with God of War back in 2005, which absolutely an AAA game for the era, hugely polished and impressive, almost no-one saw it coming.

None of that prevents it being AAA. Do we need to go through hundreds of boring examples? I feel like we don't.

Paradox releases primarily AA games, which is to say games with decent budgets and team sizes, but which aren't even intended to be AAA, though I would personally say CK3 is definitely pushing the edge there.

God of War blew up and would have to look into things in more detail.

WotC has only done one D&D game and it was a turkey.

Budget doesn't matter to much Anthem anyone?

What actually counts is a games reception.

And yeah PI is a AA publisher I've been a fan since EUIII and HoI2. They're a problem me example of building on quality and word if mouth. They were an indie game.

CK2 was their breakthrough title IMHO.

50 million is about the bare minimum imho for a AAA titles and that's if you're based in Eastern Europe eg Witcher3 which is a "cheap" AAA title.

If your games a turkey it's not AAA regardless of it's budget. Until they produce something's it's premature to call any of their games AAA as even EA/Bioware are producing Turkeys with AAA budgets.
 

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
Aha thank you! That is interesting. Usually Jason Schrier doesn't get stuff wrong, so I wonder what's happening here.

I think it's particularly unlike Strix would post anything that wasn't valid, though, so I think we have to consider Hidden Path as still working on a D&D game unless bloody WotC just haven't told people!
Or they had a second game in dev and it was cancelled
 

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