Wizards of the Coast, publishers of Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, has discontinued at least five of its video games in development. Bloomberg (opens in new tab) reports. The publisher declined to comment on individual games when PC Gamer reached out, responding, “We remain committed to using digital gaming as a cornerstone of our strategy to bring our games to gamers around the world -runtime.” portfolio to focus on games that are strategically aligned to develop our existing brands and those that show promise to expand or engage our audiences in new ways.”
In 2019, Wizards of the Coast announced that “seven or eight” Dungeons & Dragons video games were in the works. These included Baldur’s Gate 3, which is currently in Early Access, and co-op brawler Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance, which released in 2021 to mixed reception, but the other games are yet to come out or be officially announced. However, they may not all be in danger. The part of Wizards’ statement about focusing on “existing brands” suggests that D&D-related projects may be safer than others.
We know that Hidden Path Entertainment, creators of the Defense Grid series, have been working on a big-budget open-world D&D game. It still has five vacancies related to the project featured on its list website (opens in new tab). Meanwhile, Otherside Entertainment, the developer that counts immersive sim legends Paul Neurath and Warren Spector among its key collaborators, was working on a game set in the Forgotten Realms that Spector said “did well” last year . Although the job postings were removed, they mentioned “multiplayer gameplay systems” and were accompanied by an image of a halfling stealing a crime boss’s goldfish, which could be interpreted as a reference to a heist game? That might have been wishful thinking on my part.
Wizards of the Coast also has in-house video game studios. Tuque Games, developer of D&D: Dark Alliance, was acquired by Wizards and renamed Invoke Studios. A press release (opens in new tab) stated it was working on “an AAA game derived from the Dungeons & Dragons universe and developed on the Unreal 5 engine”. There’s also Skeleton Key Studio, which had yet to announce the project it’s working on, and Archetype Entertainment, which is led by ex-BioWare developers like James Ohlen and is working on a narrative RPG set “in a new sci-fi universe takes place”. It would certainly be a shame to lose a sci-fi RPG in which the main designer of Knights of the Old Republic runs his studio.
Bloomberg reports that fewer than 15 Wizards of the Coast employees will lose their jobs as a result of these layoffs, and all will have the opportunity to apply for new positions within the publisher.
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