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Friday, June 7, 2024

Wizards of the Coast is making a big-budget G.I. Joe game

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Mega-toy brand Hasbro has, through its games division Wizards of the Coast, opened a videogame studio that is “led by industry veterans from WB Games and other AAA studios”. That’s according to the job description attached to several listings for new roles. The studio, just referred to as “New Raleigh-Durham Studio”, will be making a G.I. Joe game as its first project.

The job ads call it a “AAA 3rd Person Action/Adventure game”, as well as confirming it will be multi-platform. Qualifications mentioned in the listings for four roles (technical director, art director, lead game designer, and lead animator) ask for experience with the Unreal engine, as well as knowledge of broad videogame elements like “progression” and “exploration mechanics”.

A third-person action game seems like a decent fit for G.I. Joe, though I think it would be perfect for a turn-based tactics game where you take over Cobra Island with a squad of specialists who, unlike XCOM grunts, all have established skills and personalities—wait, I think I just invented Jagged Alliance.

During a Hasbro investor event earlier this year, Wizards of the Coast president Chris Cocks talked about “leveraging some perennial Hasbro favorites with an eye towards developing them digitally”, saying, “We will bring these brands to digital life and develop experiences that resonate with the lifestyle gamer in ways that are new, fresh and provocative.” The Hasbro brands he mentioned were G.I. Joe, Transformers, Micronauts, and Ouija—as in Ouija board, which, yes, is a brand and Hasbro has owned the trademark to it since 1948

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