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WotC and Hasbro to Invest $1 Billion in “Gaming Ecosystem”

3 Minute Read
Mar 29 2024
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After Baldur’s Gate 3 and Monopoly Go were standout successes, Hasbro and WotC plan to invest a billion dollars into a “gaming ecosystem.”

Larian Studios really knocked it out of the park with Baldur’s Gate 3, to the point where it’s hard to even pinpoint the lasting effects it’ll have on the industry. Not the least of which comes out of GDC. In a recent interview with Gamespot, Dan Ayoub, WotC’s Head of Digital Product Development, revealed that both Hasbro and WotC are investing “nearly one billion dollars” into a gaming ecosystem that includes a half dozen different studios working on a variety of projects.

Of course, it isn’t just Baldur’s Gate 3 that has helped convince Hasbro/WotC of the digital future. Both companies have been saying for a while they’re moving on that. But Monopoly Go is also a big player in the arena. So you’d better believe mobile games are a part of the digital future.

Hasbro and WotC to Invest $1B Dollars in “Gaming Ecosystem”

In the interview, Ayoub revealed that WotC and Hasbro’s plans are trying to focus on an ecosystem focused on studios. Talking about the announcement of Exodus at the most recent The Game Awards, headed up by Archetype Studio, Ayoub spoke about the people:

“A common thing you’re going to see as I talk about the studios is we’ve built these studios around people and teams with DNA behind the types of things that we’re trying to make. So that’s been a really exciting project to work with the team on, and we were thrilled to finally be able to announce that to the world [at] The Game Awards. And frankly, the reaction blew us away; [we’re] just blown out the water.”

Ayoub called this Hasbro/WotC’s coming out moment, revealing their video game plans. He went on to name some of the other studios, including Atomic Arcade (currently working on Snake Eyes) and Skeleton Key in Austin (working on “something spooky”). But for Ayoub, the importance was giving the studios an interesting approach with each game instead of just saying, “take a license and run.” That’s what led to the success of Baldur’s Gate 3.

Regardless, the company is working on studio infrastructures, building a whole gaming wing “under the Hasbro umbrella.” Hasbro, reportedly, has 40 games in development as we speak. And while some are ambitious titles like Exodus, others are undoubtedly less so. After all, for every Baldur’s Gate 3, there’s bound to be a Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance; when was the last time you even thought about that game?

I wrote about that game and barely remember it. But the point is, not every release can be a bar-raising masterpiece. If Hasbro could just crank out Baldur’s Gate 3 after Baldur’s Gate 3, even that would lose its appeal. But not every hit can be a grand slam—or even a home run.

And with investors hungrier and hungrier for profits and short-term gains, will the ecosystem plan bear enough fruit to keep Hasbro’s plans afloat? Or will even one lackluster release bring about the layoffs that have been so prevalent in the industry these days?

Still with a billion dollars and room to play, Hasbro will help shape the video game industry in the coming years.


Author: J.R. Zambrano
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