Formerly Tuque Games, Invoke Studios is working with Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast to develop a new AAA Dungeons & Dragons video game.
Dungeons and Dragons is being primed by parent company Hasbro for even greater goals. The brand has been as popular as ever with a big budget movie (Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves), buying out D&D Beyond, and bringing the tabletop roleplaying game to school classrooms. A new AAA title can only add to the success of the franchise on the electronic video game front.
What can video game fans expect from the upcoming AAA D&D title in development? Read on for more.
On October 12, 2022, Wizards of the Coast issued a press release that the old Tuque Games will be relaunched as Invoke Studios. Along with this relaunch of the video game development studio located in the Saint-Henri district of Montreal is the announcement of a new AAA Dungeons & Dragons game being developed.
At Invoke, we believe the best games come from people who love what they do, in an environment that values them and their ideas.https://t.co/U5X0TuhW54
— Invoke Studios (@invokestudios) October 12, 2022
Dominic Guay, Vice President and General Manager of Invoke Studios, described their business environment and strategy:
We have our own culture and our own specific work methods. We value the autonomy of each team member, so that each person can express his or her talents in order to have the maximum productive impact on our games. In that way, we are not just the Montreal division of an international group. We will also continue to put forth the ideas and the direction of the game universes we expand and create.
As for the new AAA game under the Dungeons & Dragons brand being developed by Invoke Studios, Guay had this to say:
We have the largest and most popular brand of fantasy role-playing games in Dungeons & Dragons. Such a brand, with 50 years of history behind it, inspires developers and gives us enormous creative freedom. Our focus is on high-quality AAA games and we will have the means to achieve our ends.
Guay is no stranger to developing games for marquee IPs. He worked with Ubisoft for over 20 years and was involved with the production of entries in the Far Cry and Splinter Cell franchises. His most notable experience is creating the highly successful Watch Dogs series of games.
It should be noted that Invoke Studios has already made a previous Dungeons & Dragons game under its previous name of Tuque Games. This was 2021’s Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance.
The game took place in the Forgotten Realms with a party comprised of the dark elf Drizzt Do’Urden, dwarven warrior Bruenor Battlehammer, the archer Catti-brie, and the barbarian Wulfgar. Built on the Unreal Engine 4, Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance was played in a third-person perspective and was more of an action adventure game than a straight up roleplaying game.
Tuque Games released it on June 2021 for multiple platforms, including Windows PC, Sony Playstation 4 and Playstation 5, and Xbox One and Xbox Series X. Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance received middling reviews. On Metacritic, it is currently holding an overall score of 53 and a 3.3 user score from players. Much of the criticism is aimed at the repetitive gameplay, lack of actual roleplaying elements, and the presence of bugs that takes away the entertainment value.
As Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast are setting up the Dungeons & Dragons brand to reach a wider audience, Invoke Studios AAA game will have high expectations. With Larian Studios eventually releasing Baldur’s Gate 3 and Standing Stone Games is celebrating 16 years of Dungeons & Dragons Online, Invoke Studios faces a challenge and opportunity to make a hit AAA game for old and new D&D fans.
However, the only detail revealed so far is that the new game will be developed using the Unreal Engine 5. To that end, Invoke Studios is aiming to expand its creatives and work force. Of the current 80 total employees currently working at the Montreal-based studio, Invoke is looking to increase that number to 200+ by 2025.