Hasbro has bought back the electronic game rights to its properties from Infogrames for $65 million; Infogrames acquired them in late 2000. As part of the deal, Infogrames was granted an exclusive license to produce games based on Wizards of the Coast's Dungeons and Dragons on all platforms for the next ten years. Infogrames has produced a number of games based on D&D over the last few years, including Dungeons and Dragons Heroes and Eye of the Beholder (see 'Infogrames Announces Dungeons and Dragons Videogames'), Neverwinter Nights, and Baldur's Gate. Coming up in the coming months are Dungeons and Dragons Online, NeverWinter Nights 2, and Dragonshard.
Although the exposure offered by the use of the D&D brand on a platform more popular than paper can be positive, the launch of D&D Online may cause some problems for retailers. We've been hearing from some retailers that the drop in RPG sales in their stores over the last six months may be due, at least in part, to the release of World of Warcraft late last year and the time it's taking from their key customers. D&D Online will be an even closer match for the D&D RPG customers, and could mean competition for consumers' time and money that hurts the paper game.
Infogrames also received a 7-year license to produce electronic games based on some of Hasbro's most popular board games, including Monopoly, Scrabble, and Risk.
Digital gaming rights for Magic: The Gathering, Transformers, and hundreds of other Hasbro brands will now be held by Hasbro itself, for development on its own or by licensing to other companies.