Home Is Hasbro offloading D&D to China’s Tencent?

Is Hasbro offloading D&D to China’s Tencent?

Hasbro’s fantasy gaming division Wizards of the Coast (WotC) has moved to quash rumors they are looking to sell Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) to Chinese tech giant Tencent.

A translation of China’s financial news site Speed Daily reported on Wednesday (Jan 31) that preliminary contact has been made about the potential sale involving both parties.

Hasbro’s fantasy division of the company, Wizards of the Coast is responsible for the D&D license. The hit video game, Baldur’s Gate 3, set in the D&D fantasy world is one of the gaming success stories of 2023.

WotC rebuff the rumors

A Tencent IEG (Interactive Entertainment Group) insider is reported to have highlighted that IPs such as D&D  are being acquired through the company’s global business IEG Global.

Larian Studios, the makers of Baldur’s is privately owned, with 30% of shares in Tencent’s pockets already, but the Chinese multimedia firm does not own the IP to Baldur’s Gate or the studio outright.

WotC has previously collaborated with Tencent to bring MTG: Arena to China, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Brunei.

But the company is adamant they are not looking to sell. They told Dicebreaker on Thursday (1 Feb) “We regularly talk to Tencent and enjoy multiple partnerships with them across a number of our IPs. We don’t make a habit of commenting on internet rumors, but to be clear: we are not looking to sell our D&D IP.

“We will keep talking to partners about how we bring the best digital experiences to our fans. We won’t comment any further on speculation or rumors about potential M&A or licensing deals.””

Wizards across 2023

Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast announced record growth of 20% across the year and titles like the Video Game Awards winning Baldur’s Gate 3 were at the heart of it.

Not all would be rosy for Hasbro in 2023 and the success of Baldur’s Gate 3 would only plaster over the cracks at the toy-maker’s core.

What fans of the series could never anticipate was the shock mass lay-offs from the toy giant, with a huge portion of the 2,000 jobs slashed over the year coming at Wizards of the Coast. The only part of the company that would turn record profit.

In this same financial window, those at the top of Hasbro would rake in executive compensation, with Chris Cocks, CEO of Harbro and former WotC head taking home nearly 10 million dollars alone.

Featured Image: Baldurs Gate 3

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Brian-Damien Morgan
Features Writer

Brian-Damien Morgan is an award-winning journalist and features writer. He was lucky enough to work in the print sector for many UK newspapers before embarking on a successful career as a digital broadcaster and specialist. His work has spanned the public and private media sectors of the United Kingdom for almost two decades. Since 2007, Brian has continued to add to a long list of publications and institutions, most notably as Editor of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, winning multiple awards for his writing and digital broadcasting efforts. Brian would then go on to be integral to the Legacy 2014,…

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