Games Industry News Roundup- December 12th, 2023

The English language is full of four letter words that hold wild importance in modern culture. As an example, “four”. That’s a four letter word, how else would we even understand the concept of four without it? A word with a number of letters between three and five? Horrible, vague, desperately lacking for a simple word like four.

Love, that’s a big concept with small letter count. Love is the most incredible thing a human can feel, it feels your heart with hope (a runner-up four letter word for sure) and your soul with song (two more four letter bangers there.) The love I receive and give to my friends and family keeps me going on even the toughest days. But one time Metallica made a really bad song called “The Day that Never Comes” which features the lyric “Love is a Four Letter Word”, so unfortunately love is out of the running for the greatest of all time.

No, the greatest of all time for four letter words is news. Where would society be without the news? Happier, healthier, less anxious about current events? Absolutely not, we’d be miserable and uninformed, wondering aloud all the time what’s happening in the world around us and wishing someone would deliver that information in a way that’s palatable and engaging. News is the glue keeping the human experiment together. If I had to pick between the word “four” and the word “news”, I’d just start saying the number between three and five.

Dan “Swiftblade” Richardson joins us again this week for another edition of the Goonhammer industry news roundup, ensuring that this tiny slice of the news world doesn’t go unnoticed.   

Black Library Online Preview Showcases Upcoming New Novels and Special Model

Credit: Games Workshop

As we mentioned in last week’s roundup, the annual Black Library Preview Online returned this past Saturday to show off the publishing arm of Games Workshop’s planned new novel releases in the next calendar year, as well as a special character model for one of the protagonists from a Black Library novel.

Let’s start with the highlight of the preview, which is the special model and accompanying novel. The chosen character for the special model is a surprise pull to be sure, but a very welcome one. This year’s model is Ufthak Blackhawk, the main character in the novel Brutal Kunnin’ about the Bad Moons Orks. A xenos model is a big departure from the surefire sales and attention bet that is Space Marine characters, especially a xenos model from a fairly recent release, but the model itself is just so outstanding that I imagine many Ork players will pick the model up on its own merit. 

In the entire separate reveal article dedicated to Ufthak and his next adventure, Da Big Dakka, Black Library author Mike Brooks gets some time to shine in a brief interview that’s worth a watch if only to see just how excited he is to write about Orks. Brooks shares that Ufthak has been his own headcanon character long before he came to the page, so being able to write his special guy into the canon and even get an entire model is a dream come true. Touching on the plot of The Big Dakka, it sounds like it’s a novel about Orks vs Drukhari in Commoragh, which sounds like a sentence someone would string together to make me happily clap like a seal.

Some other very neat books were revealed in the showcase as well, such as sequel novels for the two Age of Sigmar characters who got models last year, Cado Ezechiar and Drekki Flynt. Existing characters in the Warhammer 40,000 get plenty of attention here too: new debut novels about Adepta Sororitas High Lord Morvhen Vahl and Dark Angels Captain Lazarus and a fifth installment in the Ahriman series about the Thousand Sons exiled sorcerer. 

As the Horus Heresy wraps up, it appears the focus is to look at characters for the setting with more from the Horus Heresy Character series, the next novel about Emperor’s Children weirdo Eidolon, and tie-ins for the novel series like an art print book and fancy bookmark.

Interesting for my heretical heart is the next book in the Renegades anthology series about Chaos Space Marines, taking a very interesting turn to center around Emperor’s Children in 40k. Penned by Black Library newcomer Rich McCormick, it’s the second Emperor’s Children book to be featured at this preview, and it leads me to speculate that an increased focus on this legion could mean Games Workshop is gearing up for news about the Slaaneshi Chaos Marines getting their own faction release on the tabletop.

Overall, it looks like a fun year for Black Library. The special editions of these books look stunning, and I hope they don’t sell out immediately from scalpers. Also, its refreshing to see Black Library employ more women prominently, author Jude Reid gets an entire interview to herself to speak on her upcoming novel  Morvhen Vahl: Spear of Faith. An exciting preview overall, Warhammer fiction fans stay winning. 

Games Workshop Hands Out Bonus to Employees as Profits Rise and Share Prices Fall 

Credit: Games Workshop

Games Workshop released a half year trading update last Thursday estimating its revenue it expects to see since its last trading update, and it is mostly another tale of success for the company. 

The trading update says that Games Workshop “is pleased to confirm that trading since the last update in September 2023 is in line with expectations.”. Looking at the numbers posted, Games Workshop will be seeing modest profit increases from the last fiscal year of about 12%. 

This success translates into more than just shareholder dividends. Games Workshop also announced in this article a £2,500 holiday bonus for employees of the company, including shop owners, rules writers, model designers, and everyone in between. This number is up £1,000 from last years employee bonus. 

Games Workshop stated more details about it’s financials will be announced in the half yearly report on January 9th, 2024 once the final numbers for the year are in.

Despite this very strong trading update, stocks for Games Workshop dropped 10% following the news. This is very likely a minor setback for the model company on the stock market, but it is interesting to look at what may have caused this dip. While it could just be from disappointed investors seeing that Games Workshop only performed “at expectations” and not above expectations, or upset that a larger bonus pool could take away from shareholder dividends, the real point of note is the drop in licensing revenue from last year.

According to the trade update, licensing revenue cropped this year from £14.3 million to an estimated £12 million. While £12 million is still nothing to sneeze at, the drop in this revenue could be from a combination of Realms of Ruin underperforming and Space Marine 2 being delayed into next year. Both titles were heavily pushed by Games Workshop, and their underperformance and delay respectively could’ve caused the shrinking in revenue seen here. 

Aside from that, it’s a very strong report, and it’s great to see the company share that success with its team at all levels.

Hasbro Lays Off 1100 Employees from Toys Division

Credit: Hasbro

It’s been an excellent financial year for Wizards of the Coast, who saw increased revenue from Magic: the Gathering and the massive success of Baldur’s Gate 3 this year. The same cannot be said about Wizards of the Coast’s parent company, Hasbro.

In a company memo obtained by CNBC, Hasbro will be laying 1,100 members of its workforce of 6,300 people due to weak toy sales this holiday season. Hasbro does not expect these weak sales to be a fluke either, but as a continuation of a weak financial year for the company and a prediction of poor toy sales into 2024. Chris Cocks, the CEO of Hasbro, states in the memo that the company will be also ending the lease on the Rhode Island office by January 2025. 

In the meantime, Chris Cock’s states the strategy for Hasbro’s future will be to “…tap into unlocked potential across our business, like our new supply chain efficiency, our direct-to-consumer capabilities, and key partnerships to maximize licensing opportunities, scale entertainment, and free up our own content dollars to drive new brand development.” 

Judging from this statement, the success of Wizards of the Coast and Baldur’s Gate 3 hasn’t gone unnoticed by Hasbro, who look to be pinning the company hopes on developing these “key partnerships” using the M:TG and D&D brand.

As for the layoffs, they are immensely frustrating to read about. As of the publishing of this article, many of those affected will have been already told the news, with the rest of these planned layoffs happening over the next six months. These layoffs are a continuation of the 800 layoffs that Hasbro had earlier this year as a way to cut costs. The memo from Chris Cocks states that there will be compensation packages including job placement assistance, but no compensation package that Hasbro can offer can offer a silver lining for mass layoffs in the middle of the holiday season.

Chris Cocks states in the memo “As Gina (Goetter, CFO of Hasbro) often says, cost-cutting is not a strategy.”  He also states that reducing workforce is a last resort lever to be pulled in order to keep Hasbro healthy. If cost cutting by employing mass layoffs isn’t a strategy, then there must be something in the water, because it’s been very popular in 2023 even in companies posting solid profits. Our hearts go out to those affected by these layoffs at Hasbro.

Shin Megami Tensei TTRPG Quietly Gets English Translation and Western Release

Credit: Atlus/Lionwing Publishing

Fans of the Shin Megami Tensei video games and tabletop roleplaying games are in for a real treat in February of 2024. 

According to a listing on Amazon earlier this December, Shin Megami Tensei- The Roleplaying Game: Tokyo Conception will be getting an official English release outside of Japan on Feburary 20th, 2024. To give further credence to the validity of this listing, the publisher behind this is Lionwing Publishing. Lionwing is responsible for other English translations of Japanese TTRPGs before, such as Embryo Machine

The Shin Megami Tensei Roleplaying Game has been around since 2004, even getting an expansion for the base game in 2005, but has never been localized outside of the native Japanese it was published in. The RPG takes place during the events of the third game of the series by Atlus, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, where you play as a plucky high school student recruiting demons help you fight other demons. 

Shin Megami Tensei is a much smaller franchise compared to it’s spinoff, the Persona series, but it the series has maintained a cult classic status during it’s entire history. For passionate English speaking fans of the series who have wanted to try the tabletop RPG for themselves, it looks like you will finally have your chance.

Epic Games Wins Google Play Store Lawsuit

Credit: Epic Games

After a month of trial between Epic Games and Google, the jury ruled in favor of Epic Games in its lawsuit against the Google Play store.

Much like the lawsuit against the Playstation store we covered in an earlier roundup article, the lawsuit from Epic Games against Google was that it’s Google Play platform on Android mobile phones is an illegal monopoly. Apps that want to be published on Android devices have to go through the Google Play store and Google takes up to 30% of profits made by apps on the Play store, which Epic Games argued is in violation of federal antitrust law. Epic Games had attempted to get around this by publishing Fortnite outside of the Google Play store on Android devices, so Epic Games would earn all the profits from Fortnite on Android platforms. In turn, Google removed Fortnite from Android devices and banned it from the Play Store.

If this ruling stands, it is monumental not only for Android and Google, but for all other digital distribution platforms as well. Google has stated its intent to appeal the decision, but if that should fail then publishers will push on all platforms for less centralized digital distribution stores that allow for less profit sharing with the distributor and more money for the publisher. 

Bonus: The Game Awards Winners

Credit: The Game Awards

Last week, we reported on the upcoming Game Awards on December 7th. It was a big night for reveals for gaming, with big winners and weirdness to boot. If you’d like to see more about those reveals, winners, and weirdness, check out our roundtable article about the Game Awards here on!

And that wraps it up for our Games Industry News Roundup this week! Join us again next week for more news about the tabletop games industry and related media. If you have an interesting tabletop news lead, send it to and we may include it in next week’s report!