D&D maker Wizards of the Coast has reportedly canceled at least 5 gamesThank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Dungeons & Dragons publisher Wizards of the Coast has canceled at least five unannounced video game projects, according to a new Bloomberg report.
The publishing house that also does Magic: The Gathering and part of the Hasbro toy conglomerate, has made no secret of its ambition to become a major player in video games in recent years, creating and buying development studios, hiring creators and signing deals. It now appears to be scaling back those plans somewhat.
In a statement to Bloomberg, a Wizards of the Coast spokesperson said it is still “committed to leveraging digital games” and has “made some changes to our long-term portfolio to focus on games that are strategically aligned with the development of our existing brands and those that show promise for expanding or engaging our audience in new ways.” In other words, only those projects with the best chance of success survived the cull.
Fewer than 15 people will lose their jobs at Wizards of the Coast, the company said, but Bloomberg said the cancellations could have a bigger impact on outside studios working on games for the company.
It is not clear exactly which projects have been canceled. Bloomberg mentions outside studios Otherside Entertainment and Hidden Path Entertainment, both working on games for Wizards of the Coast, plus two additional outside projects and one in-house game that were in early development. However, Hidden Path story directed by Whitney ‘Strix’ Beltrán said in a tweet that The studio’s D&D game is still under development and that it is actively recruiting for the project.
Polygon has reached out to Wizards of the Coast, Otherside and Hidden Path for comment.
Given the small scale of the layoffs, the cancellation won’t have much of an effect on the in-house studios Wizards of the Coast is building to realize its video game ambitions, some of them with top talent. In October 2022, the company announced that Tuque Games, the developer of its 2021 release Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Allianceit was rebranding Invoke Studios and working on a “AAA” D&D game.
Over the past two years, Wizards of the Coast has also announced the founding of two studios in Austin, Texas, both led by former BioWare talent: Skeleton Key and Archetype Entertainment.
Despite the scale of its video game investments, Wizards of the Coast has made few releases and announcements. Aside from The dark alliancewhich met with an average reception, and also Magic: The Gathering online and Magic: Gathering Arenathe only other game on the company’s public list is Baldur’s Gate 3 by Larian Studios, developer of the Divinity games. A sequel to a pair of D&D classics from the late 1990s and early 2000s, Baldur’s Gate 3 it was well received in early access and should reach its full version in August this year.
Update: This story now makes it clear that both Magic: The Gathering online and Arena are currently active.
Update (January 6): The status of Hidden Path’s Dungeons & Dragons game remains unclear. In Thursday, the developer tweeted from its official account that “our epic D&D project with Wizards is still happening!” However, the Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier repliedinsisting that his report is accurate and that a Wizards of the Coast spokesperson has confirmed that the project has been canceled as before and then the statement from Hidden Path.
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