Friday, January 14, 2011

Big Changes to Wizards 2011 Schedule

Culled from a couple other informative gaming blogs, Wizards of the Coast has recently announced a major round of changes to their 2011 product schedule. Primarily affecting gamers of all editions is the discontinuation of their plastic minis line. As much as I hate the look of those ugly blobs of plastic, they are infinitely more useful than metal minis for D&D play. The timing of this with the promotion of new collectable fortune cards will fuel much gamer speculation going forward, as to what D&D is becoming.

Now more specifically to Greyhawkery, this same announcement also brings a slight blow to "4e-Hawk". Apparently they have decided to cancel the upcoming magic item accessory, Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium.

What?! Cancelled? CURSES!!!!!
This is a book I had lampooned harshly back when it was unveiled at Gencon 2010. Basically this was the pitch for MME:

"...a book of magic items designed to inject more story and descriptions into magic items. Not just a bland history, but a real story hinted at by the item’s description."

Well shucks, I guess I got my wish. Mordenkainen won't be demoted to a magic item shop-hedge wizard in 4e. Satire aside, it really could've been a good book fluff-wise, but maybe Greyhawk dodged a bullet here. Who knows? This blogger predicts that the Emporium may still be salvaged by Wizards albeit in the form of a collectable card set (yeash) comparable to recent products they have put out. I kind of agree here, they would not let a book full of magic items go to waste, so one way or another they will see print.

Personally what's a shame in all this is that MME was really the only Greyhawk relevant news I could squeeze out of attending Gencon last year. Here's hoping for something better in Gencon 2011...


Anonymous said...

With all of the jobs they're looking to fill, and the types of jobs, there could be more behind this than is readily discerned by the naked eye.

It will be interesting to see what transpires in the next couple of months. WotC may be coming up on some "rough" times.

Mystic Scholar

grodog said...

I think it's very likely that will be some Greyhawk relevant items for sale at GenCon 2011....


mortellan said...

Oho! A hint eh, grodog? Any word on whether you'll be there though?

mortellan said...

Mystic: Usually WotC lays off people before Christmas. Last year here they didn't do that. I do think they could be downsizing their workload in favor of easier to produce stuff though (i.e. cards).

Anonymous said...

Distinct possibility Mort. And a sad development, IMO.

But I was thinking along the lines of how many "managers" they currently seem to be in need of. Seems to be a "large" restructuring, or shifting of direction, as opposed to some "minor" change. And that's what's got me thinking that future developments will be interesting to watch.

Mystic Scholar

Sam said...

As soon as I heard about the cancellations I went looking at the job openings too, and started thinking the same thing as Mystic Scholar.
I would also add for those who haven't seen it that Goodman Games is doing their own OGL knockoff, which looks to mean they are done with 4E.

After discussing it with a few people, we were thinking WotC would be switching to more "traditional" boardgames with intro/crossover content like Wrath of Ashardalon and Castle Ravenloft, supplementing their heavily revised organized play program with collectible cards, and switching D&D to DDI content on a subscription basis.

mortellan said...

Sam: Interesting! So this means the death of Pen & Paper RPGs I guess. Boardgames, card games and online content that requires no printing costs for Wizards. Devious. It's times like this I miss the 80's-90's.

Anonymous said...

"The death of Pen & Paper RPGs."

Mort, I didn't think I could be more depressed . . . . then you had to go and put it into words! Hahahahaha!

Mystic Scholar

Valkaun_Dain said...

Death of pen and paper games? I think not sir. Remember, we'll be rolling dice and using the copy machine to run off characters at the old folk's home.