Baldur's Gate 3 PS5 PlayStation

Revolutionary RPG Baldur's Gate 3 was the surpise hit of 2023; a confluence of contributing factors that led to Larian's creating a once-in-a-generation level experience. But Larian has left the building, moving onwards and upwards, and ultimate IP holder Hasbro has already made a $1 billion bet on internal game development.

Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, is already openly courting studios to make the next Baldur's Gate. Still, this massive investment from Hasbro is just the start of much larger ambitions. In an interview with during March's Game Developer's Conference (GDC), Dan Ayouob, Wizard's of the Coast head of digital product development, explained the rationale: "Hasbro's a 100-year-old company, and it's built on the play. It's always been about play; it's always been about entertaining people. Gaming is the predominant form of entertainment for a lot of people, and it's something that just continues to grow. So, in many ways, it makes sense for Hasbro to be in this space."

Ayoub says the company has four AAA studios: "We have a considerable investment in our studio structure; we've got over $1 billion in games right now being developed." These developers include Montreal-based Invoke Studios, tasked with crafting a Dungeon and Dragons game. Texas-based Skeleton Key is "doing something spooky”, North Carolina's Atomic Arcade is working on a Snake Eyes GI Joe game. Finally, also in Texas, Archetype, headed by Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic lead designer James Ohlen, is working on a new franchise called Exodus, which involves always-likeable sci-fi star Matthew McConaughey.

We were reassured by the lessons the firm took from the success of BG3, as Ayoub explains: "One of the great things we took from the success of Baldur's Gate 3 is that people really, really like a great, well-executed D&D game, so we've got something like that. And with Snake Eyes, while it's not a new IP, it's hopefully going to be a shot in the arm to the G.I. Joe franchise, and we can do some new things and express it in different ways in video games than we have traditionally." He concludes that Hasbro has a "very, very deliberate plan" for these internal studios, and promises: "Everything's going to stay in the oven as long as it needs to, were not going to rush anything out."

What do you think of Hasbro's big bet? Let us know in the comments section below.