According to Wizards of the Coast, reports that Hasbro is considering selling DnD to Chinese conglomerate Tencent are false. The company’s official statement is quite definitive: “we are not looking to sell our D&D IP”.
On January 31, tech website Pandaily broke a story suggesting that Hasbro was in talks with tech and gaming giant Tencent to sell DnD, and that the company was “in negotiations with the aim of acquiring a series of rights including the adaptation rights for electronic games”.
The story originally came from Chinese website Speed Daily, whose source was apparently a Tencent IEG insider. It claimed that Larian, the hero of DnD games after the triumph of Baldur’s Gate 3, was initially seen as a target buyer, but that, lacking the funds, this developer then introduced the deal to Tencent.
As you’d expect from a bombshell of this magnitude, DnD communities exploded with excited or anxious chatter. But Wizards of the Coast has now given a statement which dismisses the whole thing as “internet rumors”.
“We regularly talk to Tencent and enjoy multiple partnerships with them across a number of our IPs. We don’t make a habit of commenting on internet rumors, but to be clear: we are not looking to sell our D&D IP,” the company says.
“We will keep talking to partners about how we bring the best digital experiences to our fans. We won’t comment any further on speculation or rumors about potential M&A or licensing deals.”
Wizards’ comment doesn’t explicitly state this, but it seems to imply that any talks with Tencent were about existing partnerships, and not DnD at all. Wizards of the Coast has worked with Tencent in the past, partnering in 2018 to bring MTG Arena to China. According to an old Wizards press release, that deal “also includes publishing of future games based on the strategy card game on mobile, PC, and console platforms”.
We were keen to know where the details from this story had come from. Was the information about Hasbro selling Dungeons and Dragons entirely false or had Tencent been involved in some discussion regarding DnD that had perhaps been exaggerated or misrepresented? Could Wizards be partnering with Tencent for another big DnD game after Larian’s BG3?
Unfortunately, just as its statement suggests, Wizards of the Coast has declined requests to provide any further comment.