Wizards of the Coast president Chris Cocks revealed some surprising plans about Dungeons & Dragons' video game future. In an interview with GameIndustry.biz, Cocks revealed that fans can expect a total of six Dungeons & Dragons-themed video games over the next five years. That list includes the soon to be released Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance and the still in early access Baldur's Gate 3. ""Beyond that, expect us to continue to push the envelope on AAA role-playing, exciting co-op themes and even role-play/strategy hybrids," Cocks said of the other four unannounced games.
One of those games is likely the one in development by Hidden Path Entertainment, the developer of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Age of Empires II. That game was described as an "AAA open-world game" set in a D&D setting.
Cocks explained that Dungeons & Dragons' continued expansion into video games is largely due to its large potential audience, which is much larger than tabletop games. "As big and robust as tabletop gaming is, video games are bigger still," Cocks said in the same interview. "Around 60 million people shop in hobby stores around the world primarily purchasing strategy, role playing and collectible games like Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. 600 million people globally play those same genres on consoles, PCs and phones, so the potential is enormous."
While Cocks largely played coy about what the unannounced games would entail, he did hint that future games could exist outside of the Forgotten Realms, the most recognizable of D&D's many campaign settings. "Each game we will bring to market will explore a different, exciting adventure and set of gameplay themes in this diverse universe," Cocks said. "In one game you might run a thieves guild and traverse the Thieves Highway of Waterdeep, in another you might marshal dragon hosts in the war-torn world of Krynn. In still another, you might explore the very origins of the D&D universe in real-time combat. The brand's richness is an enabler of tons of amazing game experiences so rather than a challenge, we see it as an amazing opportunity." Krynn is the world explored in the Dragonlance novels, a long-running series of D&D books.
Additionally, Cocks said that future games will attempt to explore different facets of the D&D experience instead of attempting to re-create the entire game digitally. "We don't feel like we need to boil that ocean with every single game experience," Cocks said of Wizards of the Coast's approach to future games. "Instead, the depth and breadth of D&D allows us to explore a wide variety of play experiences backed by awesome lore, amazing monsters and characters, iconic stories and a gameplay system that invented the genre and still maintains the gold standard for it today."
You can read the full interview with Cocks here.