Dungeons & Dragons has a bigger role at Hasbro


Hasbro toy maker Inc.

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It’s reorganizing to capitalize on a pandemic-fueled boom in old-school board games, creating a separate divide around the publisher of Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering.

Dungeons & Dragons, the fantasy role-playing game, and Magic, a collectible card game, have been bright spots for the maker of Monopoly and Transformers action figures. Its publisher, Wizards of the Coast LLC, posted revenue of $ 816 million last year, up 24% from 2019, fueled by what Hasbro says were record years for the two brands.

Overall, Hasbro’s net revenue fell 8% last year to $ 5.47 billion, due in part to retail closings related to Covid-19.

Retail in the era of Covid-19

Under the new structure, which the company plans to present at an investor event on Thursday, Hasbro will be divided into three units. Consumer products will include toys like Transformers action figures and classic board games like Monopoly. The entertainment will be dedicated to the licensing, distribution and production of film and television content. Wizards & Digital will house the assets of Wizards of the Coast and will focus on expanding existing games, creating new games, and overseeing digital licenses for the entire business.

Hasbro hopes the reorganization will allow it to replicate Wizards of the Coast’s success in digital games and licensing elsewhere in the company and power other properties such as GI Joe, Ouija and Transformers, according to a person familiar with the matter. According to Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner, the Wizards unit is on track to double revenue from 2018 to 2023.

Hasbro acquired Renton, Washington-based Wizards of the Coast in 1999 in a stock deal valued at about $ 325 million. Its flagship games were designed to be played around a table and tend to reward real-world social interaction. Last year, when coronavirus lockdowns made in-person game nights impossible, fans turned to digital solutions like Zoom teleconferencing for virtual meetings.

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“It’s the perfect time right now for role-playing games, people have more free time and if you want to relax and see your friends, the best way is through virtual games,” said Satine Phoenix, former manager of the Wizards of the Coast community, now working as an author, D&D live streamer, and “dungeon master” trainer.

Wizards of the Coast says it has attracted new players by joining other fantasy and sci-fi franchises. In 2020, the company released new magic cards featuring characters from AMC’s television show “The Walking Dead” and giant monsters, including Godzilla from Japanese film company Toho. Co.

Another limited card game featured licensed paintings owned by television host Bob Ross.

Hasbro will announce new partnerships during its Thursday event, including a deal with the UK-based Games Workshop Group to bring its war game “Warhammer 40,000″ to Magic, and a deal with Middle Earth Enterprises for a theme of ” The Lord of the rings”. expansion. New video game projects include games developed by Bellevue, Washington-based Hidden Path Entertainment and Boston-based OtherSide Entertainment.

Write to David M. Ewalt at [email protected]

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