A muddle of obscure press releases seems to suggest that a new TSR is on the block. But we’ve had a TSR Games before, and it didn’t end well. Or perhaps it didn’t end at all.
One press release notes;
Originally formed in 2020, TSR Games is officially back and under the leadership of E. Gary Gygax Jr.
Tactical Studies Rules (TSR) was founded by Don Kaye and Gary Gygax in 1973 to publish the new type of game that Dave Arneson and Gygax was developing; Dungeons and Dragons.
In 1983 it split into TSR Inc, TSR International, TSR Ventures, and TSR Entertaiment, Inc. After hitting financial troubles, TSR was sold to Wizards of the Coast in 1996.
Then, in 2012 a new TSR Games was set up by Jayson Elliot to publish the Gygax Magazine, some of the Gygax brothers were involved, but Gary’s ex-wife Gail Gygax was not and objected.
The Gygax Magazine closed.
This week, YouTuber Nerd Immersion asked/announced “TSR is back?!?”
The evidence was this tweet from @TSR_Games dated 9th June.
Yeah, that TSR_Games Twitter account puts a TM™ besides their name. They’re going with TSR™, and maybe they have it. The account was founded in May 2015.
Some research of my own dug up this press release. That’s the one that says E. Gary Gygax Jr is involved. In the press release, Gygax Jr says;
Thanks to the vision of our CEO Justin LaNasa, and the help of Wonderfilled, we’re bringing TSR back home to Lake Geneva. It really means so much to me.”
I checked it out at the time but thought it was a false alarm. Unfortunately, there was no such announcement on TSR Games’ social media. Just the continuation of activity from 2015.
The closest I can find is a Tweet from June 10th, which mentions 2.0. I assume TSR Games 2.0. Surely, a 2,0 tag suggests a relaunch.
But also this new website from May. So is TSR 2.0 a website relaunch?
The press release was interesting, but there had been no new posts on PR.com since December 2019. One expectation being another release to say that GiantLands would be a TSR Game. That news pre-dates the news that TSR is back.
Something has happened between GiantLands and TSR, but a backers only Kickstarter access is now needed to see the news published in April. Was it public before?
A look at the Kickstarter comments section, which is always public, shows people frustrated and cancelling their project.
Giantlands is an RPG by James M. Ward, who has recently being ebaying old TSR items, Stephen E. Dinehart and E. Gary Gygax Jr. The campaign launched in 2019. And aren’t these people TSR Games anyway?
The TacticalStudiesRules Facebook page was founded in May 2021.
No wonder Nerd Immersion was confused. I was confused too.
As far as I know, TSR Games still haven’t stepped in to clarify. So we’re left to unearth these clues found scattered over their social media activities and one very sketchy press release. Oh, and the claims of a GiantLands amusement park.
Soon you’ll also be able to join us at live events and a GiantLands theme park where you can go on adventures as your favorite characters in a living game world!
At this point, it feels like the TSR Games founded all those years ago had consolidated projects, including GiantLands, with a fresh spurt of energy. One theory is that this is not a return; it’s not a new thing; it’s the promise of a change of gears.
It doesn’t end there. Tenkar’s Tavern has revealed, but not cited a source, for TSR CON 2022 from TSR Games.
He notes this Blackmoor trademark request and the potential clash with Wizards of the Coast over any TSR trademarks. Also observed in the critical post is the lack of details, even a date, on the poster. It’s hard to check the context because there’s no source for the poster. There’s no way to validate it.
As it stands now, without clarity from TSR Games, it looks like big plans from a company ramping up its efforts. It’s not a new-new; it’s a renewed. It doesn’t look very well communicated at all, though.
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