Hasbro Cutting Workforce By 15% Despite Gaming Profit Increases

The company is looking to shift its focus to gaming.

Hasbro has announced that it will furlough 15% of its global workforce, totaling more than 1,000 people. The company, published in Investor News on Jan. 26, cited poor performance in consumer products in the fourth quarter. Hasbro’s gaming division, by comparison, has seen growth, and these layoffs have led to a directional decision.

Hasbro is a global entertainment company primarily known for owning toy franchises such as Transformers, GI Joe and My Little Pony. The company also operates gaming divisions such as Wizards of the Coast, which manages properties such as Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons.

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According to Hasbro’s Jan. 26 report, the gaming division was the company’s only division to merit mention of “strong growth” in the quarter, up 22% year-over-year. But all the other components of the company dragged down earnings, and overall he lost 17%.

With the success of its gaming division in mind, Hasbro has announced a new plan that CEO Chris Cocks has dubbed “Blueprint 2.0.” These his 15% headcount cuts are the first element of the plan, which aims to narrow Hasbro’s focus on a handful of brands, including more emphasis on gaming and digital elements. In addition, President and Chief Operating Officer Eric Nyman is also leaving Hasbro.

A group of adventurers face off against the fearsome Red Dragon in Dungeons and Dragons.

Hasbro’s pivot to more fluffiness in gaming makes sense in the wake of its posted growth, but that area hasn’t been without its stumbling blocks. & Dragons’ plans for a new Open Gaming License (OGL) sparked controversy. That decision on the popular tabletop role-playing game system was met with outcry from the entire community and canceled paid online D&D accounts. In response to that outcry, Wizards of the Coast very recently reversed course by informing the community that they were leaving the previous version of OGL alone.

Given the growth of the games division, and the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons feature film that Hasbro is counting on, it makes sense that the company would want to move forward with its fan base. A new game based on the Transformers property titled Transformers will also be released in the future. However, a pivot into potentially profitable areas for these companies cannot help short-term cost-cutting measures from the end of this last quarter. Caught in the failure of aspirations for overall short-term gain.

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