D&D and Magic: The Gathering publisher Wizards of the Coast announced a new AAA videogame studio on July 26 – and it looks like a horror game could be next on the cards. Skeleton Key Studios says in its new Twitter bio its games will aim to create “thought-provoking moments of suspense and horror guiding players to have fun and face their fears”. If that doesn’t sound like spooky Ravenloft-style shenanigans, we don’t know what does.
We don’t know for sure what kind of game Skeleton Key Studios will debut with (or whether it will tie into any existing Wizards IPs), but we do know who’s spearheading the mission. A Wizards press release on Tuesday revealed former Dragon Age executive producer Christian Dailey joined Skeleton Key as Vice President and Head of Studio.
As well as working on the popular BioWare fantasy RPG, Dailey’s 20 years of videogame experience include working with Electronic Arts and Blizzard. “I am excited to be starting this new adventure with the company that has created so many of my favourite toys and games growing up,” Dailey says in the Wizards press release. “Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast have been a huge influence on me, their brands have inspired my pursuit of a lifelong career in video games.”
“We are thrilled to continue to build our roster of exceptionally talented digital gaming leaders and welcome Christian to the team,” says Wizards of the Coast president Cynthia Williams. “We will greatly benefit from the experience that this team and new video game studio bring to Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro.”
This is the sixth North American videogame studio added to the Wizards portfolio. Tuque Games released Dungeons and Dragons: Dark Alliance in 2021, but it turned out to be a frustratingly repetitive co-op fighter. This is the only one of Wizards’ digital studios so far to have borne fruit.
Archetype Entertainment (also staffed by former BioWare developers) is currently working on a science fiction roleplaying game, while Atomic Arcade is hiring developers to work on a “GI Joe Snake Eyes game”. Wizards also has two unnamed studios in Washington state, but it’s not clear what their plans are yet.