4, Jan, 23

Wizards of the Coast Reportedly Cancels MTG & D&D Games

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Article at a Glance

Despite 2022 being filled with controversy, it’s safe to say that the Magic: the Gathering brand is undeniably successful. Having recently achieved a staggering billion-dollar valuation, MTG is the golden goose for Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast. Despite this, however, the brand isn’t immune to failure. Not only can the brand be plagued by the controversy above, but supplemental products aren’t always a success. Despite their promise and potential, video games are one such point of failure for the MTG brand. Magic: Legends, for instance, was abruptly canceled on October 31st, 2021. The game never made it out of beta. 

Similarly, Wizards of the Coast’s other major property, Dungeons & Dragons, struggles to entice console and PC gaming audiences. While the tabletop game may be a cultural juggernaut, the digital offshoots are anything but. 2021’s Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance, for instance, reportedly received dismal sales, with an all-time peak player count on Steam of 9,821. Subsequently, due to their poor performance, Wizards of the Coast has allegedly pulled the plug on several video game projects. 

Wizards of the Cancellations

Wizards of the ________
Wizards of the ________ | Unfinity

In a report by BNN Bloomberg, it has been stated that WotC has canceled “at least five video game projects.” This dramatic move reportedly comes as Wizards “scales back its ambitions in the industry.” From the report, it’s unclear what caused this dramatic shift in product strategy from Wizards. The poor performance of previous gaming titles is an obvious explanation. However, MTG’s billion-dollar valuation should easily facilitate continued growth. 

In a statement provided to Bloomberg, a Wizards of the Coast spokesperson claimed they’re still “committed to using digital games” despite the cancellations. Explaining the decision, the spokesperson went on to state that WotC has “made some changes to our long-term portfolio to focus on games which are strategically aligned with developing our existing brands and those which show promise in expanding or engaging our audience in new ways.”

In the report, a complete list of canceled games was not provided. However, it was revealed that projects from Otherside Entertainment and Hidden Path Entertainment were both scrapped. With both games being early in development, concrete details about either title are few and far between. What we do know is that Hidden Path Entertainment’s game was supposedly a “AAA, third-person, open-world fantasy RPG that will be taking place inside the Dungeons & Dragons franchise.” 

The game from Otherside Entertainment is more mysterious, with job listings only stating that the game has “multiplayer gameplay systems.” Set in the Forbidden Realms, it was believed that the development of this unnamed title was progressing well. Speaking to GamesBeat in a March 2022 interview, CCO of Otherside Entertainment, Warren Spector, stated, “The D&D game is going well. You’d have to ask them to know for sure, but I think Wizards is happy with what we’re doing.”

The Damage Done

Collateral Damage
Collateral Damage | Fate Reforged

Due to Wizards of the Coast being typically coy, it’s unclear which other in-development titles may have been canceled. In the BNN Bloomberg report, it is only stated that the other canceled projects are “an internal project code-named Jabberwocky and two other external games that were early in development.” As a result of the cancellations, supposedly “fewer than 15 people at Wizards of the Coast will lose their jobs.” Thankfully, the WotC spokesperson has stated that these employees will be able to apply for new jobs at the company. 

For better or worse, there’s no telling what the game codenamed “Jabberwocky” could have been. There is a slight chance, however, that this canceled project could have been the upcoming game from Invoke Studios. Previously known as Tuque Games (who developed Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance) this studio was acquired in October 2022, before being renamed Invoke Studios. According to a press release, Invoke Studios was working on a “AAA game derived from the Dungeons & Dragons universe and developed on the Unreal 5 engine.” 

Dungeons & Dragons fans, Wizards hasn’t canceled all of their ongoing video game projects. The full release of Baldur’s Gate 3, for instance, has reportedly not been affected by this delay. Subsequently, the game should still be on track for its full release in October 2023. Having received favorable reviews throughout its early access development, Baldur’s Gate 3 could well prove the desire for D&D games. 

No News Is Good News

Confront the Unknown
Confront the Unknown | Shadows over Innistrad

While three of the canceled game projects are shrouded in mystery, it’s believed this wave of cancellations is primarily focused on Dungeons & Dragons games. It’s entirely possible that an MTG video game was in the mix, however, for now, that is unknown. Due to Dungeons & Dragons being the focus, users on the MagicTCG Subreddit were rather apathetic to the news. Reddit user u/Aerim, for instance, highlighted how “this is likely to affect D&D much more than Magic. Agreeing with this statement, u/SirJamesM commented “You’re not wrong for sure. Their Magic focus has been almost entirely on Arena, which unfortunately means that any other ideas don’t get much love.” 

Meanwhile, other users suggested that the cancellations were nothing out of the ordinary. Reddit user u/boringdude00, for instance, suggested this was merely a result of Wizards and Hasbro’s management changes. “Nothing to see here. This happens all the time in the corporate world. The last management team went all in on the diversification of their brands, the new management team wants to refocus on core brands. No one can ever figure out if they want to spend money to make more money in the future or retrace to show higher margins and boost stock prices now.” 

For some, the wave of cancellations was actually something worth looking forward to. Reddit user u/_Hinnyuu_, for instance, commented, “we should only be so lucky. WotC has an abysmal track record when it comes to digital games. Heck, they can’t even get their flagship card game client to have elementary features like spectator mode for their showcase tournaments. I don’t know if it’s poor management decisions or penny-pinching or both, but they have just not gotten ANYTHING off the ground.”

Read More: Flavorful MTG D&D Mechanic May Not Return!

*MTG Rocks is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more