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D&D makers are spending $1 billion on their own video games, promising they’ll be ‘quality and authentic’ like Baldur’s Gate 3

Video games will apparently be a big part of Hasbro for the next century

Baldur's Gate 3 Lae'zel, a Githyanke warrior companion and potential romance partner in the game.
Image credit: Larian Studios

While they ponder which developers should face the difficult task of following up one of the most acclaimed games in a long time by making a sequel by Baldur's Gate 3, the makers of Dungeons & Dragons are also putting their own money into making video games themselves. Over a billion dollars of their own money, in fact.

Now that Baldur's Gate 3 has left early access, vid bud Liam reckons it was worth the wait.Watch on YouTube

That’s what Dan Ayoub, head of digital product development for Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering publishers Wizards of the Coast, recently told, claiming that more than $1 billion is invested in the four video game studios owned by Wizards’ corporate parent and literal Monopoly-maker Hasbro.

Hasbro’s various video game projects currently include an original sci-fi universe called Exodus from former Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic lead designer James Ohlen and ex-BioWare devs, as well as some kind of horror game from studio Skeleton Key and a GI Joe game over at Atomic Arcade. (With Hasbro also being the toy giant that makes GI Joe, along with Transformers and My Little Pony.)

The unsurprising news is that Hasbro reckons there’s still something in this whole Dungeons & Dragons thing - something for which the rapturous success of Baldur’s Gate 3, both critical and commercial, provides solid evidence.

A robot character aiming a big blue energy gun in sci-fi shooter Exodus
Image credit: Archetype Entertainment

Ayoub optimistically suggested that a new Dungeons & Dragons video game in the works over at Invoke Studios would be “something like” Baldur’s Gate 3 - specifically in terms of the way that Larian made a really, really good game that was also deeply rooted in the world and lore of D&D.

"One of the great things we took from the success of Baldur's Gate 3 is that people really, really like a great, well-executed D&D game, so we've got something like that,” Ayoub said.

"For the company and for myself, that was a fantastic example of execution of the brand in an authentic way. And the players came. They loved it and are asking for more. And I think you can see that with other brands as well.

"I'm old enough to remember a plethora of Star Wars games that maybe weren't what we hoped they would be as a gamer, but when those high-quality titles came, the audience came with them… The appetite is there if we're authentic, and we're focused on quality. And that is absolutely the priority, and in many ways, the reason for the genesis behind these internal studios."

An intense turn-based fight in Baldur's Gate 3. A tavern has been attacked by demonic monsters.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Larian Studios

Ayoub also pointed at Exodus as an example of Hasbro’s studios doing more than just cashing in on the likes of D&D, Monopoly and GI Joe, suggesting the megacorp would be looking to “create a new IP through video games and then take advantage of the size and scale of Hasbro to do other things with it as well”.

Hasbro’s senior VP for digital strategy and licensing Eugene Evans recently expressed that a Baldur’s Gate 4 - or whatever’s next for the series - might take some time (although hopefully not 25 years’ worth of time) to get things right. Ayoub echoed the sentiment in this latest interview, insisting “we're not going to rush anything out” and “everything's going to stay in the oven as long as it needs to”.

In fact, Hasbro’s plans include looking ahead at the century-old toy giant’s next 100 years, which video games will apparently be an “integral part” of - and actually good video games at that.

“We have to make sure that everything that comes out is top quality, is authentic, and is something we can build upon, because we're talking about a couple studios and a couple games right now, but we have much larger ambitions for that,” Ayoub said. The full GI interview is well worth a read.

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