Sunday, March 26, 2023
March 26, 2023

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Hasbro, owner of Wizards of the Coast, to lay off 15% of workforce


SEATTLE — Hasbro, the parent company of Renton-based Wizards of the Coast, announced Thursday its plans to lay off 15% of its global workforce, a total of 1,000 employees. Hasbro declined to specify if the layoffs would hit Wizards of the Coast employees.

“The elimination of these positions will impact many loyal Hasbro employees,” said Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks in a news release. “However, the changes are necessary to return our business to a competitive, industry-leading position.”

Wizards of the Coast is the publisher of popular games Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. Despite Hasbro’s companywide cuts, Wizards performed well financially last year. In the last quarter of 2022, its revenue increased 22% compared to the same period last year. Wizards of the Coast’s sales grew 3% in fiscal year 2022 compared to 2021.

Hasbro’s main losses occurred in its consumer products segment. Sales in that unit were down 26% in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the same period the previous year because of “the backdrop of a challenging holiday consumer environment,” Cocks said.

The layoffs are part of broader leadership and organizational changes, according to the company. Hasbro’s overall revenue decreased 17% in the fourth quarter and 9% throughout fiscal year 2022 compared to the same periods the previous year.

Wizards of the Coast came under fire in the first days of 2023 as customers revolted against the company for tightening Dungeons & Dragons’ open game license agreement. Under the new agreement, Wizards would have the ability “to make money off these products without paying the person who made it.” The new agreement would also require companies that create D&D content and make over $750,000 in sales to pay Hasbro a 25% share of earnings. In response, Hasbro canceled the new OGL plans this month.