Hasbro Opens A New Division To Develop AAA Game Titles

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Husk

New member
Citizen
Hasbro‘s Wizards Of The Coast division (previously a subsidiary) has opened up a new digital games division called New Raleigh-Durham Studio to develop AAA titles (for PC and Consoles) based on Hasbro properties.

This new division is lead by game industry veterans from big companies such as WB Games (Hitman series, Batman: Arkham series, etc.).
 

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Dake

Member
Citizen
I mean, it worked so well for the "Hub" TV channel...

I look forward to being able to wait years for the final, buggy release just like my favorite titles from other studios. "We're taking First Day Patches to a whole new level!" :D
 

UndeadScottsman

Member
Citizen
From what I understand, a lot of the issue with Google and Amazon is that they're coming at things from the perspective of non-entertainment software engineers, and it's skewing their conceptions of how "big" a major game studio should be. Large game studios typically employs hundreds of people and Google/Amazon were trying to build teams of far, far less size yet expected them to be competitive with their output.

If Hasbro can avoid that problem, then they could do better. Though the issue then becomes finding an available ~200+ game developers per game you want developed. Even Microsoft hasn't been able to pull that one off with their new Initiative studio despite having several years, leading them to partner with Crystal Dynamics on the new Perfect Dark.
 

MrBlud

Member
Citizen
Much like the Hub, this is also a great idea but the execution might very well end up so flawed they kill it.

They’re going to have to spend money though and considering they won’t even shell out for Union VAs for their animated series I’m doubtful they will.
 

DefaultOption

Sourball
Citizen
Could they just acquire High Moon Studios and slap this fancy new label on them?

With the was things are going for Activision Blizzard these days, they could probably use the cash.
 

UndeadScottsman

Member
Citizen
High Moon is busy working on Call of Duty, which has basically become Activision's primary sources of income outside of Blizzard, so I doubt they'd want to take any staff away from them. They've basically consolidated all of their non-Blizzard stuff under Call of Duty at this point.

Raven Software used to be one of the best B-tier developers in the industry and Activision turned them into a Call of Duty map factory.
 

Confuzor

Koopaling Aficionado
Citizen
Yeah but wasn't most of the folks behind the High Moon we give a damn about not even with the company anymore? Forget the name and hire the people!
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
No matter how it goes, this is going to be interesting to watch. Maybe we'll even get a game out of it.
 

mx-01 archon

Member
Citizen
You have to appreciate Hasbro's "Fine, I'll do it myself" attitude sometimes. They can't get a AAA studio to make a Transformers game so their plan is to make their own AAA studio.

The realities of the gaming marketplace nowadays have essentially pushed AAA-level licensed games out of contention. It's no longer a feasible business model. Only the largest of the largest brands (Marvel and Star Wars, in this case) can still manage to pull enough profit to make the venture worthwhile, and even then, it's still a bit of a gamble.

AAA game development is no longer a 1-2 year cycle. It's more frequently 5-10. Hundreds of staff and countless man-hours are needed to pull together the art assets and robust code-base needed for the near photo-realistic and interactive worlds that are expected for AAA games nowadays. That's a whole lot of time and effort and money that goes into the project, and nobody wants all those assets to get locked behind a license agreement where they not only have to share a measure of their profits from their work, but could also be barred from using them if the license relationship goes south or even just expires.

All the licensed content has fled to the mobile ghettos, where they get magnitudes greater profit for significantly less work, and where familiar names just become an extra level of enticement into the money pit.
 

MrBlud

Member
Citizen
They just have to be good. It’s doesn’t need be GTA with Transformers.

You could literally do a plain reskin of “Hades” as Optimus fighting off of J'nwan and I’d buy it.
 

Tripredacus

K-Mart-ian Legend
Citizen
I really wanted there to be an official G.I. Joe version of Call of Duty Black Ops 4 especailly after I made the Cobra logo and put it on all of my guns. Hopefully a real AAA G.I. Joe game will be good, I haven't liked any of the recent ones that were based on the movies.
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
It's surprising they haven't done that already. Maybe it's just not what they want G.I Joe to be, but it's time to read the room and go for the easy money.
 

MrBlud

Member
Citizen
A CoD game is like what archon was describing though. Half a decade and 200 million dollars.

That is a HUGE ask. Especially for a brand new team. It would also be half of Hasbro’s entire operating profit for 2020.

If the game isn’t successful, that money is essentially wasted and it’s not like Hasbro could shrug off even one of those blows.
 

The Predaking

Administrator
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
I would love to get a new TF or GI JOE game that was great as the High Moon games were.

GI JOE screams for a RTS game.
 

lastmaximal

Administrator
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
At this stage I'd take a lazy Overwatch clone for GI Joe. Roll a bunch of wild different designs in there -- obligatory Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, Zarana, Road Pig, Robo JOE, cyberghost Wild Bill, Ninja Force Scarlett, PDD Destro, a BAT with different version skins, Bombstrike, Renegades Tunnel Rat, 86 Sci Fi, Venomous Maximus, etc. Just make it fun and colorful, and lean into the Obvious Ripoff-ness. I don't even care. Just show off how silly and diverse and fun the brand can be.

And a Fall Guys style Botbots game maybe. Make challenge levels out of areas of the mall!

But this should be interesting overall. The Hub was a bold experiment: ultimately unsustainable, but it did give us some nice fiction that they did invest in. Of course, since then their investment in cartoons (sorry, "anime series") has kind of gone off a cliff, so idk what energy they're bringing to this.
 

mx-01 archon

Member
Citizen
A CoD game is like what archon was describing though. Half a decade and 200 million dollars.

That is a HUGE ask. Especially for a brand new team. It would also be half of Hasbro’s entire operating profit for 2020.

If the game isn’t successful, that money is essentially wasted and it’s not like Hasbro could shrug off even one of those blows.

Just furthering the point, this is why we see game studios invest more on repetitive franchises now, rather than constantly innovating. Franchise games can reuse many of their previous assets, shortcutting development cycles by a significant margin, whereas something new will require most of the work to be done from scratch once again.
 
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