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RPGG News

A team of hard-hitting investigative reporters brings you the news when it happens, as it happens at the time it happens. Or maybe a little later.

Archive for Industry News

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Tragic News - Steven D Russell of Rite Publishing has passed

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Apparently Steven D. Russell was in a fatal car accident on the evening of 7/5/2016. The two car accident sent two other victims to the hospital.

Steve Russell is best known as the principle director of Rite Publishing, a small RPG publisher with more than 350 products to their credit. Steve was responsible for publishing a number of products for some of the most popular RPGs in print today (Pathfinder and D&D 5e), as well as some indie and smaller fan-base games (Lords of Gossamer & Shadow).

This news was confirmed by Matt Forbeck in a tweet this afternoon:




Here is the associated newspaper article: http://wdtn.com/2016/07/06/one-man-dead-in-wagner-ford-road-...

While not a close friend, I interacted with Steve on several occasions through social media (twitter/facebook) and on a few podcast episodes. He was always gracious and kind, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about RPGs, and an all around stand-up guy. My heart goes out to his family, friends, and co-workers.

RIP Steve - I hope you are climbing the Grand Stair.
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Thu Jul 7, 2016 12:25 am
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Greg Bilsland Announces Departure from Wizards of the Coast

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Greg Bilsland, a lead producer/designer for Wizards of the Coast, announced, on his facebook page, his decision to leave WotC. His last day will be June 21st.

Here is the text of his official statement:
Greg Bilsland on Facebook wrote:
I’ll be leaving Wizards of the Coast on June 21st. It wasn’t a decision I made lightly—working on D&D was my dream job, and it gave my wayward, 24-year-old soul a bit of direction. I came to D&D just before the announcement of D&D fourth edition, and now I leave as the fifth edition tabletop roleplaying game reaches new heights and expands to new horizons. It’s been a wild, crazy adventure (as any good D&D adventure should be), but and now I’m off to pursue new endeavors—including starting my own business. I’m excited for all the unpredictable things that come with that, if a bit trepidatious. I hope to stay involved in gaming as much as possible with writing, editing, marketing—and whatever else may come my way.

Gary Gygax said “random chance plays a huge part in everybody's life.” I think that’s as true about taking chances as it is about a roll of the die. So I’m rolling the die and taking a chance on something new.


Bilsland was a stalwart, popular designer for Dungeons & Dragons (4th Edition), working on two of the most popular 4e products (Madness at Gardmore Abbey and Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale.

Greg stayed on the much-reduced WotC development team throughout the Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition) playtest, and worked closely with Mike Mearls and Christopher Perkins to develop the 5e core books. The already tiny D&D team at WotC is now another person smaller...

I, for one, and sorry to see Greg leave the D&D team, but wish him well in his future endeavors!
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Tue Jun 7, 2016 6:00 am
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Paizo Announces Pathfinder 2e with Mike Mearls joining team as lead designer!!!!!

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Holy Design-Confluence Batman! This is possibly the most exciting news in Fantasy RPGs since Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition) was announced! Over on the Paizo Forums Lisa Stevens, CEO of Paizo Publishing, announced that Jason Bulmahn has given the go-ahead to allow Mike Mearls, widely lauded as the man who saved modern D&D, to join the team developing and designing Pathfinder 2nd edition!

Here is a link to the Paizo Announcement!

Here is a link to Mike Mearls' blog confirming the news!



Wow - Such news on a Friday!




I wonder if Pathfinder fans will embrace the changes Mearls will inevitably make... What do you think? Post your opinions/comments below!





If you have a news story for the RPGG news team, please email us at rpgg-news@googlegroups.com!
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Fri Apr 1, 2016 2:51 pm
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Devastating News: Fire destroys Jacob Wood's (aka Munkwunk) home, but you can help!

Just another Steve.

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Jacob Wood’s house recently suffered a major fire. Jacob has a young family, a busy self-made career with his wife AshleyRose in game development, freelance writing and layout, and is legally blind. Luckily nobody was hurt, but they’ve lost nearly everything.

Aside from the irreplaceable mementos and keepsakes of a family home, Jacob has lost the main tool of his trade; his computer.

Around these parts Jacob is better known as
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If you'd like to help, there is a gofundme campaign here:

Go Fund Me for Jacob Woods
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Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:33 pm
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News Bits (January 22): Gygax magazine cancelled, Evil Hat numbers, Gen Con news

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Hello and welcome back to the Industry News. This week we've got the cancellation of a magazine, more numbers for the number lovers and some Gen Con news. So let's dive right in, shall we?

The biggest news this week comes from TSR, Inc (Gygax Magazine). Today the company announced in email to its subscribers the cancellation of Gygax Magazine. The just released Issue 6 is the final issue of the short-lived OSR gaming magazine. It seems the new TSR, originally ran by Luke Gygax and Ernie Gygax, was involved in a legal dispute with Gail Gygax, wife of the late Gary Gygax, which seemed to deal with the use of the name "Gygax", but has now been settled. Part of the settlement was that Ernie and Luke both withdrew from the new TSR. Without them the company didn't want to continue publishing the magazine, editor Jayson Elliot explained in the above-mentioned email. New TSR will continue to publish OSR products though.

Even more numbers for all you spreadsheet fans out there: Evil Hat Productions released the sales numbers for Q4 this week. The company seems to have done okay, even though - as seems usual for Q4 - numbers were rather soft. If you look at the spreadsheet, most of the products have sold considerably less than last quarter, with only a few upward spikes.

Most companies are already preparing for convention season, with the likes of Paizo, Fantasy Flight Games and Pelgrane Press looking for GMs for Gen Con. The big exception regarding preparations for the big con is Wizards of the Coast - it seems they won't be attending Gen Con this year. ENworld refers to a list of conventions WotC plans to attend and Gen Con is not among them. The reason an unnamed employee of the company gave ENworld is WotC is supposedly changing things up to support more conventions and locations, especially those they don't normally get to attend - which doesn't make that much sense, because you can attend smaller cons and still go to Gen Con as well, especially when you're still the 500 pound gorilla in the corner.

And that's it for this week's coverage. As usual, if there's anything I got wrong or stuff I might have overlooked, feel free to comment below.
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Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:28 pm
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News Bits (January 15): D&D 5E OGL & SRD, Monte Cook Games hires, new Dungeon World publisher, SJG stakeholders report

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Hello and welcome back to the Industry News. This week we've got lots of D&D5E news for you, Monte Cook Games hiring and a few more numbers for you numbers lovers out there. So let's dive right in, shall we?

Wizards of the Coast takes the top spot in this week's news roundup once again with Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition) news. On January 12 the company announced the new D&D 5E Open Gaming License which allows you to design content using the fifth edition rules for D&D and publish original campaign worlds using fifth edition rules as well as print and sell your own fifth edition D&D product on your own as long as it doesn't use the Forgotten Realms - for the latter you need to join the new DMs Guild. The 5E OGL also comes with a new System Reference Document (SRD). Reactions so far are mostly positive, the biggest complaint from third party publishers so far is the missing unified compatability logo.

Want more D&D 5E news? Here you go: the D&D Adventurer's League content, the current Dungeons & Dragons organized play program, is now available for everyone. In response to a query by ICv2 WotC explained they wanted to open up the program for those players who don't live within a convenient distance to a gaming store.

Monte Cook Games has announced the hiring of noted game designer Dennis Detwiller as a managing editor effective February 2016. Current managing editor and MCG co-founder Shanna Germain will be moving to the creative team of MCG's operations.

Burning Wheel has announced a publishing deal with the creators of popular indie fantasy rpg Dungeon World. As of January 1, 2016, Burning Wheel has become the official publisher of Dungeon World and its future supplements. Thanks to RPG Geek user Modoc for this news bit.

Steve Jackson Games released its annual stakeholders report. The company did quite well, though the gross income was down quite a bit, but according to the report that was expected and manageable. Increasing sales of foreign translations and steady sales of their big name games (Munchkin etc.) made the year a success overall. There's very little information on rpgs in the report, but they do mention Discworld Roleplaying Game and GURPS Mars Attacks haven't arrived at the printer yet. Physical GURPS (4th Edition) books seem to be difficult to produce right now, but they're working on it. Thanks to RPG Geek user Steamcraft for the link to the report.

An that's it for this week's coverage. As usual, if there's anything I got wrong or stuff I might have overlooked, feel free to comment below.
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Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:44 pm
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News Bits (January 8): Modiphius deals, Asparagus Jumpsuit closes shop, ICv2 survey, Fantasy Grounds numbers

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Hello and welcome back to a new edition of the Industry News (finally!). I sincerely apologize for my prolonged absence, I had some personal issues to deal with during the last couple of months. This week we have some new deals struck by a rising star in the rpg business, another company closing shop and a few numbers for all you number lovers. So let's dive right in, shall we?

Some distribution deals were made during my abscence, the biggest coming from Modiphius Entertainment. Not only has the company struck a deal with Wade Dyer to publish his Fragged Empire rpg with a full line of four books and some custom dice. No, they also announced a sales and distribution deal with swedish company Järnringen for their acclaimed dark fantasy rpg Symbaroum.

In the indie publisher segment, we have some sad news to report, as Asparagus Jumpsuit has announced they're closing shop effective December 31. But fear not, Berin Kinsman will continue to release rpg products, as he's setting up a new company by the name of Dancing Lights Press that will also release its own house system. Hope it works out!

Ever wondered how game stores did in 2015? Wonder no longer, as ICv2 did a survey a few weeks ago that lead to rather surprising results. Basically over 80 percent of the store owners said their sales had increased in 2015, for over a third of them the increase was higher than 10 percent. Their biggest hope for the future are consumers/fans, while their biggest concern is publishers (closely followed by distributors/wholesalers and consumers/fans again - gee, we must be fickle lot in their eyes). If you want to have some additional information on how the survey was conducted, this article goes into some of the details.

Want more numbers? Here you go: ENWorld has the numbers for different game systems played on the popular VTT Fantasy Grounds. Would you be surprised if I told you that over 75 percent of the games played on that platform are D&D games, with Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition) taking the lead with 47 percent of the games played and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game a distant second with 16 percent? Didn't think so either.

An that's it for this week's coverage. As usual, if there's anything that I got wrong or stuff I might have overlooked, feel free to comment below.
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Fri Jan 8, 2016 7:28 pm
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Chronicles of Darkness Announced by Onyx Path and White Wolf

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Onyx Path Publishing and the newly formed White Wolf Publishing have announced a new brand name for the Chronicles of Darkness RPGs.

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These game lines include Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition, Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition, Mage: the Awakening 2nd Edition, Promethean: the Created 2nd Edition, Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition, Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition, Geist: the Sin-Eaters, Mummy: the Curse, Demon: the Descent, and Beast: the Primordial, as well as any upcoming projects and game lines.

The purpose behind Chronicles of Darkness is to enable the game lines of the first World of Darkness that started in 1991 and the New World of Darkness that started in 2004, to coexist as distinct and different settings. Onyx Path‘s ongoing publication of the 2nd Edition core books has already evolved the Chronicles of Darkness game lines into their own unique settings, and this change in the overall title will allow our creative teams to further explore these game lines’ own themes and tone.


Thanks to Steve Dubya for the tip.
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Mon Dec 14, 2015 1:10 pm
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Rights to 7th Sea sold to John Wick Presents

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7th Sea fans wanting the game back in print have received good news!

Alderac Entertainment Group has sold the 7th Sea production rights to John Wick Presents:

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AEG is excited to announce that we have entered into a deal with John Wick Presents to sell back the publication rights for the 7th Sea game line. AEG will still retain rights to publish a number of products within that line over the next few years and we are negotiating and planning what that will be but have no announcements at this time.


The Youtube announcement refers to 7th Sea: The Director's Cut and mentions a new edition coming in 2016.

7th Sea proper has been out of print since 2002 (it morphed into the D20 based Swashbuckling Adventures until 2005).

If you would like to follow along, you can sign up for updates here.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Thanks to Vestige, Jasri, and sabode for the FYIs. Also Matthew Gromer scooped me in the forums.
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Wed Nov 4, 2015 3:29 pm
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World of Darkness IP Sold to Paradox Interactive

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According to Venture Beat, the World of Darkness IP has been sold to Paradox Interactive by CCP. They are setting up their own publishing subsidiary (White Wolf Publishing).

What this means for Onyx Path Publishing and their current Kickstarters is yet unknown.

Quote:
Moving forward, the new White Wolf will begin analyzing its current deals and licensing agreements to see which ones make sense. If something is working, Sjögren said he plans to keep it around.


Let us know what you are hearing in the comments!
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Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:05 pm
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