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D&D maker continues to lean on MTG and Baldur’s Gate 3 during 2024's “turnaround” phase

Monopoly Go! surpassing $2 billion in revenue doesn’t hurt, either.

An image of Minthara from Baldur's Gate 3.
Image credit: Larian Studios

Hasbro checked in with its investors on April 24th, advising them on how the US-based company and steward of both Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons has positioned itself in the first quarter of a year marked by “turnaround efforts.”

Hasbro’s toy division limped through most of 2023, while MTG topped every financial chart thanks to the release of the Lord of the Rings-themed Tales of Middle-earth set and D&D posted wins only thanks to the explosive popularity of Baldur’s Gate 3. Despite all this, the company has moved past the layoff of 1,100 staff last December and into a rebuilding period marked by cautious optimism.

Hasbro’s total revenue declined 24% in the first quarter thanks in large part to its divestment from its eOne film studio. Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming’s segment increased its revenue by 7%, a win attributed to MTG (once again) and continued licensed digital gaming revenue derived from both Baldur’s Gate 3 and Monopoly GO! Hasbro managed to increase the operating profit of its Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming segment by 60% and achieved an operating profit margin of 38.8% by the same dint.

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Revenue within the tabletop segment specifically grew by 5% - Hasbro’s CEO Chris Cocks tipped his hat to the timing of MTG’s latest set, Outlaws of Thunder Junction and a “strong start” to sales of the recent Fallout Universes Beyond preconstructed Commander decks. Interestingly, neither Murders at Karlov Manor nor Ravnica Remastered, the first two major releases of 2024, passed his lips.

Looking forward to the rest of the year, Hasbro expects Wizards of the Coast’s revenue to be down 7-12% compared to 2023, which makes sense given the lack of an MTG release on par with Tales of Middle-earth and the gradually declining tail of revenue from Baldur’s Gate 3. Hasbro will ride that wave until the bitter end, which is not long in coming and why it is already searching for the studio who will attempt to bottle that lightning a second time.

Neither the CEO nor investors asked about how the release of Dungeons & Dragons 2024 rulebooks, revamped for the tabletop RPG’s next decade of active development, might affect the company’s financial outlook. The three new books will mark a fundamental shift in how players approach the game, but it certainly seems like it will barely move the needle in terms of revenue and stock price.

Cocks did not mention any major changes or innovations for Hasbro’s more conventional tabletop product line, which includes Monopoly, Scrabble and Cluedo, but that doesn’t mean the brands are stagnant. Instead, they’ve been thrown headlong into the CEO’s broad digital strategy: Margot Robbie’s LuckyChap Entertainment is actively working on a Monopoly film adaptation to follow on the success of Barbie, both Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble will be transformed into game shows, and Sony recently purchased TV and film rights to Cluedo (Clue in the US) - though no solid plans exist on how it might top the 1985 classic starring Tim Curry

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