Just days after news broke that Hasbro planned to lay off 1,100 employees (almost 20% of the toymaker’s workforce) over the next six months, a growing number of Wizards of the Coast staff working on Dungeons & Dragons, D&D Beyond, and Magic: The Gathering have come forward to confirm they’ve been let go.
Despite Wizards of the Coast being somewhat of a golden child for Hasbro thanks to the popularity of D&D and MtG, it looks like the Hasbro subsidiary has been hit hard already as layoffs begin. The list of employees now out of a job grows as more staff take to social media to announce their departure, with EnWorld and tabletop journalist Christian Coffer both sharing updates as more news of layoffs come to light. It’s worth noting not all of the impacted staff have been verified just yet, with news that at least one employee listed as laid off took a voluntary retirement, but many Wizards of the Coast workers have confirmed they’ve been impacted via Twitter, LinkedIn, or BlueSky.
Mike Mearls, co-designer of D&D 5th edition, appears to have potentially been impacted as per a screenshot of a BlueSky post shared to X (formerly Twitter). The unverified post says, “yes, I was laid off by WotC. Yes, I am doing fine and excited by what’s to come. And yes, I have a pretty amazing circle of friends. I’m going to take a nap then get back to the work of forging the future.”
Other confirmed Wizards of the Coast layoffs at Hasbro include Paul Cheon, Magic: The Gathering talent manager and producer, MtG game designer David McDarby, art director Breeanna Heiss, art manager Robert Sather, D&D Beyond producer and host Amy Dallen, product manager Natalie Egan, and MtG community manager Jessie Hill. One unsubstantiated report (with no confirmed statement online) is Liz Schuh, head of publishing and licensing.
It’s likely we’ll see the full impact start to come to light as other impacted Hasbro employees step forward to share their news. In a statement shared to PC Gamer, Wizards of the Coast said they were “not sharing/commenting on breakdowns on geography or teams out of respect for employees.”
Hasbro’s layoffs of Wizards of the Coast staff (and staff from the wider company) comes after CEO Chris Cocks announced in an internal memo that the reduction of the workforce by almost one fifth was a “last resort” and “lever we must pull to keep Hasbro healthy.” This is the second wave of layoffs at the toymaker this year, with roughly 800 employees laid off in January. Cocks also described the layoffs as a means of “modernising” Hasbro by becoming “even leaner.”
The news of impacted Wizards of the Coast staff comes only two months after an October investor meeting (covered by Dicebreaker) saw Cocks describe Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons as having “record years.” “Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming revenue increased 40% behind strong contributions from Baldur’s Gate 3, Monopoly Go! And Magic: The Gathering.”
While it’s certainly always a rough day when layoffs are announced (which seems to be almost daily at this point in what’s been described as a horror year for the games industry workforce, the Wizards of the Coast workforce reduction is shocking given the success of D&D and MtG, even if the wider performance of Hasbro itself isn’t taken into account. Given there’s now less than a fortnight until Christmas, with many offices about to go into holiday hibernation, these job losses also come at a particularly difficult time for those impacted and needing to look for new work.
We’ll be keeping our eye on further confirmations from impacted Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro employees as they come through.
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