These stories have been rounded up from all over the internet but many of them come from GamingReport which, as a partner site, remains GameWyrd’s number one choice for industry news. Direct quotes from GamingReport appear in blue text.
- New Dragonlance novels and RPG.
- … and will Vin Diesel star in a Dragonlance movie?
- Buffy RPG released; season 7 fine. Lord of the Rings RPG released; movies fine. Farscape RPG released; series cancelled.
- Wizards cut 115 jobs
- … Cheapass Games cut 2 jobs (and hire a cardboard monkey)
- Dragon #300’s “vile content” causes stir
- 70,000 Jedi Knights annoy government
Wizards cut 115 jobs
We had news of trouble at Wizards of the Coast in the previous issue of Echoes from the Wyrd and there’s been trouble again. This is how former WotC employee Jim Butler (now running Bastion Press) summed the situation up:
115 people from now through the end of the year (most of them happened on Thursday and Friday). RPG R&D is left with about 7 designers; the editors have been moved under an Editing group and new
procedures have been put in place for formal design reviews before the editors get a hold of it (which should hopefully allow the editors to edit and not develop as much).
Names you might know who got let go from R&D: Jeff Grubb, J.D. Wiker, Penny Williams, Skip Williams, Eric Cagle.
Most of the cuts were in areas duplicated by Hasbro, but some areas were hit hard. Spine Design was smacked around really good, but just about every division saw the loss of personnel.
If you’re watching the gossip a follow-up comment by an anonymous user added:
Jim should not be speaking for WotC. I do not care if he ‘used to’ work there. He is not making him self or his company look good.
You can read the full post and the other comments here.
Cheapass Games cuts 2 jobs (and hires a cardboard monkey)
Fan favourite Cheapass Games have also had to let staff go but they insist it’s to ensure that the company stays alive rather than a sign that they’re about to keel over. Mind you, according to them they’ve replaced the axed employess with a cardboard monkey called Prince.
Cheapass Games is pleased to announce that as part of its plan to death-spiral into obscurity, it has eliminated two high-ranking personnel and replaced them with a part-time conventions manager and a nine-inch cardboard monkey named “Prince.”
Later on in the announcement they add:
Game submissions can now be sent to Prince, our cardboard monkey, who will summarily reject everything that hits his desk. We think Prince is uniquely suited for this job because no one cares about being dissed by a cardboard monkey. Prince will keep James Ernest from ever seeing your game idea, so that when you meet James in person he will not automatically hold you in contempt. Send your unsolicited game submission to Prince at [email protected].
You can read the full statement here.
Vile content in Dragon #300
Pazio Publishing who produce the Dragon magazine issued this warning to distributors:
We wanted to take a moment to alert our retail customers to a potential concern. Dragon Magazine Issue 300 contains some very mature content. There is a sealed section in the center-spread with some spells and prestige classes. But there is also an article just before the sealed section with some rather graphic suggestions for Vile Gaming.
We would encourage retailers to look over this section (pp. 44-47) before determining who to sell this issue to at their store, taking into account any local or state ordinances.
Later Johnny L Wilson of Pazio shared some of the reasons why. The following quote from Gaming Report is just the first four paragraphs.
Less than 14% of Dragon’s readership is under 18 years old. An even smaller percentage of Dungeon’s readership is under 18. The average age of Dragon is 28. The average age of Dungeon is higher. When
we create content and determine the readership level for issues of Dragon and Dungeon, we focus on our target audience. The Catch-22 is that we don’t want to lose our small percentage of precocious teenagers. So, in Dragon #300 and Dungeon #95, we attempted the impossible. We attempted to target our older readers while protecting our younger readers.
We did this in a manner that is consistent with my position on game ratings since the days when Acclaim’s Mortal Kombat was the big media issue and I appeared on ABC-TV Good Morning, America. We did it in a manner that is consistent with the position I took in a debate on CNN with the lawyer for the parents of a child killed in a school shooting. We did it in a manner that is consistent with the position I took in a segment of Hard Copy and in interviews with Public Radio International following the Columbine shooting as well as in an interview with Canal during the Mortal Kombat controversy.
I said then and I say now that the market must decide. It is the responsibility of a publisher to let consumers (or in our case, readers) know what is in an issue so that parents have enough information to determine what is acceptable or not for their children and so that mature consumers can determine whether something appeals to their taste or not. It was our intent to place a warning on the sealed section so that those who didn’t want to have the vile content thrown in their faces didnít have to open it. The sealed section would also help parents know whether their kids were reading that section behind their backs or not.
For the rest of this article and the heated debate which followed you can click here.
If you want to take part in live debate about whether people can take this too far RPG-Radio are hosting a special live call in on Tuesday the 24th September at 7pm PST / 10 EST.