WotC WotC Has A New President

With outgoing president Chris Cocks being promoted to the top job at Hasbro, WotC has a chief -- Microsoft's Cynthia Williams! Williams is joined by Tim Fields as Senior Vice President.

Over at Microsoft, Williams was General Manager and Vice President, Gaming Ecosystem Commercial Team and was heavily involved in Xbox growth. Fields was CEO of mobile gaming studio Kabam Games.

Cynthia_Williams_Photo.jpg


Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) today announced that Cynthia W. Williams has been appointed President of its Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming division and that Tim Fields has been appointed Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital Gaming, both effective February 21, 2022.

Ms. Williams joins Hasbro from Microsoft, where she most recently served as General Manager and Vice President, Gaming Ecosystem Commercial Team, and most notably drove the expansion of Xbox Gaming and the acceleration of game-creator growth. Prior to joining Microsoft, Ms. Williams spent more than a decade at Amazon, where she led the global growth of their e-commerce direct-to-consumer business Fulfillment by Amazon.

Mr. Fields joins Hasbro from Kabam Games, one of the most successful mobile gaming studios in North America, where he served as CEO for the past five years. Under his leadership, Kabam developed and operated numerous AAA games, including Marvel Contest of Champions, Disney Mirrorverse, Fast and Furious and Transformers: Forged to Fight. A 26-year veteran of the video game industry, Tim has held a range of leadership positions at major publishers, including Capcom, Microsoft and Electronic Arts.

Chris Cocks, current President and Chief Operating Officer of Hasbro’s Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming division, said: “We are extremely pleased to welcome Cynthia and Tim to the Hasbro family. They join at an exciting and dynamic time, and Wizards of the Coast – as well as all of Hasbro – will greatly benefit from their skills and experiences. Cynthia brings a deep understanding of technology and e-commerce, along with cloud and console-based gaming. She has a proven track record, across both Microsoft and Amazon, of scaling businesses to drive profitable growth. Her experience is highly complementary to Tim’s, who brings to Wizards unmatched production experience and a demonstrated ability to accelerate the growth of brands in mobile gaming.”

“I am extremely proud of our team and the great successes we’ve had across our Wizards of the Coast and digital gaming business over the last five years, and also of the IP we’ve created to attract top talent in our space,” Mr. Cocks continued. “As I transition into my new role as CEO of Hasbro later this month, I am excited to partner with Cynthia and Tim, working together to expand our fan base, deliver across the Brand Blueprint and activate our significant investments in the business to become the world’s leading fantasy-inspired gaming publisher on all platforms.”

Ms. Williams said: “Joining the team whose passion and imagination created such iconic games as MAGIC: THE GATHERING and DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is a dream come true. With best-in-class developers, designers and producers, the opportunities at Wizards of the Coast for creative storytelling and innovative game play are limitless. I look forward to working with Chris, Tim, Hasbro and the entire Wizards of the Coast team to build on their incredible momentum and deliver exciting new experiences for our fans globally."

Ms. Williams will succeed Mr. Cocks, who will assume the role of CEO of Hasbro on February 25, 2022. As the head of Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming, Ms. Williams will lead the strategy for two of the biggest names in gaming, MAGIC: THE GATHERING and DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, while driving continued global growth for the division and leading new fan and story-led tabletop and digital experiences. She will build and expand on the outstanding foundation laid by Mr. Cocks, under whose leadership Wizards of the Coast doubled its revenue from 2018 to 2021.

Mr. Fields said: “As a lifelong gamer who has been playing DUNGEONS & DRAGONS and MAGIC: THE GATHERING since I was a child, I am thrilled to be joining the Wizards and Hasbro family to develop the next generation of AAA digital games. Working alongside such a talented team and under Cynthia’s leadership, I look forward to bringing the love of these brands to millions more players around the world.”

Mr. Fields will report to Ms. Williams. As Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital Gaming, he will be responsible for all digital gaming, including internal and external development of Wizards’ growing portfolio of story-led projects.
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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I rembember when that character a planewalker from Forgotten Realms told about visiting our (real) world, and a "wink" about the X-Box. If the relation between Hasbro and Microsoft is good, we can see some partnership deal. Theorically Hasbro would rather to keep its independence but we can't know the future.

Hasbro is evolutionating, and they don't want to sell only toys but their economic strategy will be more focused into the "multimedia franchises", theses are when an IP is used to sell different types of products: animation, toys, videogames, comics, books, shirts and rest of merchandising.
 


I rembember when that character a planewalker from Forgotten Realms told about visiting our (real) world, and a "wink" about the X-Box. If the relation between Hasbro and Microsoft is good, we can see some partnership deal. Theorically Hasbro would rather to keep its independence but we can't know the future.

Hasbro is evolutionating, and they don't want to sell only toys but their economic strategy will be more focused into the "multimedia franchises", theses are when an IP is used to sell different types of products: animation, toys, videogames, comics, books, shirts and rest of merchandising.

Very much so!

Older than you think--remember the TSR needlepoint and woodburning kits? (Which would actually be salable products now...)

They released a video game, adventure, and novel in synergy with each other--Curse of the Azure Bonds, in 1989. ;)
 

hoshisabi

Explorer
Actually they recovered pretty well from that and the 2D VTT they put out at the end of 4e was very good. I played a few sessions of LFR on it.

Unfortunately it never got out of BETA and was axed when together with 4e
I don't think it was a technology problem, they had an unexpected issue with the lead developer/owner of Gleemax to say the least.

D&D Insider was amazing, the character builder was solid (even though it was online only) and it was ahead of its time, it actually was a little smoother than the D&D Beyond Character builder in some fashions (which is STILL an amazing thing), although it required the use of Silverlight.

Definitely was never a technical issue, just a human one. Really sad story.
 

Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
I don't think it was a technology problem, they had an unexpected issue with the lead developer/owner of Gleemax to say the least.

D&D Insider was amazing, the character builder was solid (even though it was online only) and it was ahead of its time, it actually was a little smoother than the D&D Beyond Character builder in some fashions (which is STILL an amazing thing), although it required the use of Silverlight.

Definitely was never a technical issue, just a human one. Really sad story.
The tragedy that you are alluding to happened when Gleemax was under development. The 4e VTT was a much later tool.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Yeah, I remember the tragedy with the lead developer, but the failure of Gleemax and the intended 3D VTT can't realistically be laid on one person like that. It was more of a failure on WotC's part to give adequate development time and resources for the scale of the projects. Historically they have not done well with most of their electronic projects/adjuncts (nor did TSR), though there have been one or two exceptions.

That being said, the character builder was indeed great, the monster tool good, and Insider in general pretty solid.
 


Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday (set in the 25th century), which was made in 1990, has a throwaway line of text where an old SSI game is seen in an antiques museum. Ironically the game would now be an antique in the real world as well.
 

Mirtek

Hero
I don't think it was a technology problem, they had an unexpected issue with the lead developer/owner of Gleemax to say the least.

D&D Insider was amazing, the character builder was solid (even though it was online only) and it was ahead of its time, it actually was a little smoother than the D&D Beyond Character builder in some fashions (which is STILL an amazing thing), although it required the use of Silverlight.

Definitely was never a technical issue, just a human one. Really sad story.
That very tragic incident killed their first vision of the 3D tabletop that was announced initially with DDI. By the end of 4e's lifetime they had developed a second VTT that was 2D and looked very much like fantasy grounds or roll20.

It was released as beta for anyone with a DDI subscription and it worked very well. Even had the online character builder already fully integrated.
 

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