More On Hasbro's Acquisition of WOTC, Tom Dusenberry
Speaks with GameDAILY [9-9-99 6:30pm ET]
As reported earlier on GameDAILY, Hasbro Inc. has acquired Wizards of the Coast, Inc. for $325 million. Wizards of the Coast is most noted for it's Magic: The Gathering card game, the Pokemon trading card game and the Dungeons and Dragons role playing games.
The acquisition of WOTC caught many industry analysts off-guard as there have been rumors of Hasbro possibly picking up one of a small handful of publishers. In an exclusive interview with GameDAILY Tom Dusenberry, President of Hasbro Interactive, said in response to this, "This is an example of how Hasbro Interactive thinks outside of the box... and well beyond the industry."
Hasbro Interactive has been looking to become an elite player in the industry and has been on a buying tear over the past year, picking up such companies as EuroPress, MicroProse Inc., and now Wizards of the Coast. With this in mind, the question stirring in most people's minds is if Hasbro was going to continue to look to acquire other companies. Dusenberry seemed very animated about the topic stating that " the pieces are falling into place." Which basically means that Hasbro may not be done in looking to acquire other companies to add to their already massive list of titles.
Hasbro has been among the top publishers over the past year according to NPD's TRST reports. The only companies who have been beating them in units sold are considered the elite of the interactive entertainment industry, including Electronic Arts, Sony and Nintendo. This move, according to Dusenberry, will put them in the elite as opposed to being on the fringe of the gaming industry's brass.
Role playing games are a sizable and growing segment of the industry which Hasbro has been trying to get into. Dusenberry said that "we couldn't compete efficiently without a strong license." Now Hasbro has their license in Dungeons and Dragons and another possibility with the Magic: The Gathering. It should be some time before games will be announced which will carry the newly acquired licenses and probably won't start rolling onto retail shelves until the year 2001 according to Laura Tomasetti, Hasbro Interactive's Director of Public Relations.
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