Hasbro, the parent company behind Wizards of the Coast, which itself is responsible for both Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, is laying off 1100 employees, as reported by Dicebreaker and The Wall Street Journal. The company, which is also behind the Transformers franchise (toys and other media), announced this decision yesterday, on December 11.
Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks called the need for layoffs in an email sent to staff a “lever we must pull to keep Hasbro healthy” and “a last resort.” As noted by Dicebreaker, Cocks became CEO of Hasbro in February of last year and earns roughly $1.5 million in salary in the position – his total earnings for 2022 amounted to $9.4 million, however.
“While we’re confident in the future of Hasbro, the current environment demands that we do more, even if these choices are some of the hardest we have to make,” Cocks writes in the email, which The Wall Street Journal published. “I know this news is especially difficult during the holiday season. There is no sugar-coating how hard this is, particularly for the employees directly affected.”
Dicebreaker reports that laid-off employees will be notified sometime over the next six weeks and that Hasbro will vacate a Rhode Island office as a result of cost-cutting measures next month. While Hasbro is laying off 1,100 employees out of its 6,400 employees – it laid off 800 people earlier this year – it’s unclear which of the company’s teams, including Wizards of the Coast, are affected. Last week, Payday 3 developer Starbreeze announced a partnership with Wizards of the Coast to develop a multiplayer co-op title set in the D&D universe.
These Hasbro layoffs join an unfortunately ever-growing list of layoffs affecting workers in 2023 in the games industry and games-adjacent industries. Just yesterday, Embracer Group officially shuttered its reformed TimeSplitters team, Free Radical Design. A few weeks ago, 505 Games parent company Digital Bros laid off 30 percent of its staff.
Last month, Amazon Games laid off 180 staff members. In early November, we learned that Ubisoft laid off more than 100 employees. The week before that, roughly 100 employees were laid off at Destiny 2 developer Bungie.
In January, Microsoft laid off 10,000 employees amidst its ongoing $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which it completed last month.
In August, Striking Distance Studios, the team behind last year’s The Callisto Protocol, laid off more than 30 employees, and that same month, Mass Effect and Dragon Age developer BioWare laid off 50 employees, including long-time studio veterans. The following month, in September, Immortals of Aveum developer Ascendant Studios laid off roughly 45% of its staff.
Just last month, The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog laid off at least 25 employees, and Telltale Games underwent layoffs as well, although an actual number of laid-off employees has not yet been revealed. And in late October, Dreams developer Media Molecule laid off 20 employees.
The hearts of Game Informer‘s staff are with the people laid off from Hasbro, along with everyone else who has lost a job this year.
Source: Game Informer Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering Owner Hasbro Is Laying Off 1100 Employees