Baldur's Gate 3 Is the Beginning of Big Plans for Dungeons & Dragons Video Games

Hasbro's CEO has more "digital initiatives" planned for Dungeons & Dragons.

Baldur's Gate 3 seems to be the beginning of a new era of Dungeons & Dragons video games. Last week, Hasbro held its quarterly investors call, which featured a question and answer section. During the interview, Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks was asked if a recent writedown of the Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves movie had caused a setback to the company's plans to greatly expand Wizards of the Coast's business and profitability, as it seemed that Dungeons & Dragons was a big part of Hasbro's plans to double Wizards' business. Cocks surprisingly responded that the focus on Dungeons & Dragons was digital. "I would say that the underlying thesis of our D&D business is all about digital," Cocks said. "To us, entertainment was just the kicker." 

Cocks went on to explain that "digital" allows them to expand the reach of the Dungeons & Dragons brand from beyond tabletop gaming to a wider segment of players. "I think that Baldur's Gate 3 is just the first of several new digital initiatives you're going to see from us that span how we try to transform tabletop roleplaying gaming to an even richer kind of theater-of-the-mind experience to more traditional video games from partners from us and partners like Larian."

There's two big takeaways from Cocks' statement. The first is that Cocks's plan to "transform tabletop roleplaying gaming" is an obvious reference to the D&D Digital virtual tabletop, which uses a high-end video game engine as a stand-in for a traditional tabletop. That product has been in development for several years and has no release date, but still seems to be a priority for the company. The other is that Hasbro seems to be focusing on Dungeons & Dragons video games moving forward. Earlier in the call, Cocks mentioned that Hasbro will likely make more money from Baldur's Gate 3 than it did on all of its film licensing from the last 5-10 years combined.

It's unclear when any of these products will release though. Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that five Dungeons & Dragons video games were cancelled by Hasbro while they were still in development. At least one studio disputed the report that their game had been cancelled, despite it being mentioned in the report. However, with the release of Baldur's Gate 3, Hasbro has no formally announced D&D games scheduled for release.