Wizards of the Coast, the firm best known for Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, has decided to reduce the scope of its following video game projects. According to a report from Bloomberg, at least five games have been removed from the lineup due to the decision. The following statement was made in response to the report by a spokesman for Wizards of the Coast:
We made some adjustments to our long-term portfolio to concentrate on video games strategically congruent with the development of our existing brands and those that show promise in expanding or engaging our audience in new ways. These changes were made to give priority to those games.
Chris Cocks, president of Wizards of the Coast, made a significant announcement a little over three years ago on the company’s plans to produce at least seven or eight Dungeons & Dragons video games. This statistic considers both the recently launched Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance and the impending Baldur’s Gate 3, which is currently slated to emerge from early access in August.
When determining which initiatives have been scrapped altogether, things get a little more confusing. Some of them hadn’t even been made public at this point. On the other hand, the Bloomberg article mentions Hidden Path Entertainment and OtherSide Entertainment as companies that are impacted.
A triple-A open-world role-playing game (RPG) set in the D&D universe was one of the projects that the previous firm was working on. According to information provided by Warren Spector in March of last year, the latter was also working on a D&D game at its New England location (which is otherwise busy).
In addition, we are aware that less than fifteen of the developers working for Wizards of the Coast lost their employment due to the internal move and will be offered other responsibilities inside the firm.
Indeed, seasoned industry professional Jeremy Gaffney, formerly the president of Carbine Studios and currently the Executive Producer of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game Wildstar, confirmed on LinkedIn that the new intellectual property (IP) he was working on as an Executive Producer had been scrapped.
The early-stage game development project I worked on at Wizards of the Coast was terminated shortly before the holiday break, meaning several fantastic people are now accessible. If you are interested in hiring capable individuals, especially in the Seattle region, please do not hesitate to contact me. I would be pleased to put you in touch with those individuals whose credibility I can vouch for and who would be a good fit for the position.
On my end, I’m discussing various opportunities with Wizards and am open to searching elsewhere as well, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. It surprised me (I moved to Seattle at the end of November, and the project was cancelled a few weeks later), but unfortunately, surprises like this are common in the video game industry.
Wizards of the Coast also owns at least three internal game studios, including Invoke Studios (formerly known as Tuque, the makers of Dungeons and Dragons: Dark Alliance), which was working on another Dungeons and Dragons title powered by Unreal Engine 5, Archetype Entertainment, founded by ex-BioWare veteran James Ohlen, which is developing a narrative driven Sci-Fi RPG, and Skeleton Key Studio, which opened just a few months ago in Austin. Skeleton Key (also the home of Archetype Entertainment). There is currently no information available on the progress of their initiatives.