Dungeon Craft has posted a video on this intriguing possible development in the continuing saga of Hasbro and D&D. In what would be an eye-opening turn of events, Hasbro might be on the verge of parting ways with its Dungeons & Dragons IP. They are apparently in talks with Tencent, a colossal Chinese multinational conglomerate. This revelation, first reported by Pandaily, instantly sent ripples through the tabletop and digital gaming communities.
Hasbro’s financial turmoil is no secret. The company, once riding high with iconic IPs like Transformers, Monopoly, and Magic: The Gathering, has seen its fortunes dwindle, with stock prices halving since 2019. The crux of the downturn lies in the under performance of its core toy business, leading to a staggering $500 million loss and a dire cash flow crisis. Exacerbating things even more were strategic missteps made in its management of key franchises, notably the overproduction of Magic: The Gathering products during the pandemic and the controversy surrounding proposed changes to the Open Gaming License (OGL) for Dungeons & Dragons. In a bid to steady the ship, Hasbro laid off more than 1,900 employees, a move that underscores the severity of the situation.
In the video, Professor Dungeon Master looks at the implications of a such a sale and the interesting connection between Tencent and Larian Studios, who are apparently acting as intermediaries in the deal. Tencent has a 30% interest in Larian, creators of the award-winning video game Baldur’s Gate 3. Based in Belgium, Larian Studio’s founder and CEO, Swen Vincke, is a huge D&D fan. The Professor wonders, if the deal goes through, whether Larian will become publishers of D&D. And asks: who will take over development of the D&D Virtual Tabletop?