Update January 6th 7:55AM: Hidden Path Entertainment says its "epic D&D project" with Wizards of the Coast hasn't been canceled after all. The studio says it's currently hiring people to work on the game, so it looks like that's not one of the games Wizards has canceled, despite assurances to the contrary by Jason Schreier and Bloomberg.
For his part, Schreier says he and Bloomberg "stand by our reporting", despite calling this development a "very unusual and very unfortunate situation". According to Schreier, both one of his sources "and a Wizards of the Coast spokesperson" told Bloomberg that Hidden Path's D&D game had been canceled. We'll have to wait and see what happens next. Original story follows below.
Original story: Wizards of the Coast, the studio responsible for Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, has reportedly canceled multiple video game projects. The cancelations are apparently part of a general scaling back of the studio's video game ambitions, so it looks like you can expect to see fewer Wizards video games in future as well.
This news comes via Bloomberg's Jason Schreier (note: article behind paywall). In a statement given to Schreier and Bloomberg, Wizards says it has "made some changes to [its] long-term portfolio", with future efforts focusing on projects that "show promise in expanding or engaging our audience in new ways".
The Wizards spokesperson also told Bloomberg that fewer than 15 employees will lose their positions due to this realignment, and they will all be given the chance to reapply to different roles within Wizards of the Coast. That news isn't likely to come as much comfort for the studios who were working on unannounced projects for Wizards, though.
The upcoming Baldur's Gate 3, which is in development over at Divinity studio Larian, is seemingly safe, so you don't need to worry about that being canceled. Since the canned projects were apparently unannounced, it's difficult to know exactly where the axe has fallen, but Bloomberg names both Otherside and Hidden Path, who were supposedly working on games for Wizards. Looks like that open-world triple-A RPG might not come to fruition after all.
Wizards of the Coast's gaming experiments have had uneven results
Wizards of the Coast has had a funny time when it comes to video games. Baldur's Gate 3, which is set in the Dungeons and Dragons continent of Faerûn, is one of the most highly-anticipated gaming releases of 2023, but last year's Dungeons and Dragons: Dark Alliance was met with a mixed reception, not least by us.
Last year also saw Wizards of the Coast expand its gaming studio umbrella, buying up developers like Tuque Games and forming entirely new studios like Skeleton Key. If Wizards' new downscaling of its gaming operations is anything to go by, though, it looks like the tabletop legend might have been a touch overambitious.
Of course, Wizards of the Coast remains dominant in the tabletop space. Card battler Magic: The Gathering became Wizards of the Coast owner Hasbro's first billion-dollar brand in October, although a Q3 2022 Hasbro financial report showed that revenues for both Magic and Dungeons and Dragons were down compared to 2021's third quarter.
Part of that might be because Dungeons and Dragons execs believe that the brand is "really under-monetized" and that D&D Beyond's status as a digital platform could be the key to addressing this problem. Hasbro bought D&D Beyond in September, so don't be surprised if you start seeing more monetization in the legendary tabletop RPG soon.
We'll have to wait and see what remains in Wizards of the Coast's future. The studio hasn't clarified which of its upcoming projects have been canceled - probably because they weren't announced in the first place - but we may well hear more in the coming weeks. Stay tuned to TechRaptor for the latest on this.