White Wolf Publishing Acquired by Paradox Interactive

White Wolf Publishing Acquired by Paradox Interactive

World of Darkness

World of Darkness properties changing hands.

Paradox Interactive has announced their acquisition of White Wolf Publishing, the company behind the popular World of Darkness roleplaying franchise. The company, which holds the intellectual property for game series including Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse, was acquired on October 26 from former owner CCP Games in an all-cash deal for an undisclosed sum.

As a subsidiary of Paradox, White Wolf Publishing is set to operate as an independent entity with a dedicated team, led by former Paradox EVP of Business Development Tobias Sjögren, who will now serve as CEO of White Wolf. The company will (according to a press release announcing the sale), "pursue development opportunities across relevant categories of games" under the brand.

Founded in 1991, White Wolf Publishing produced multiple lines of tabletop roleplaying games, novels, and collectible card games while licensing their World of Darkness properties for several video games. The company was acquired in 2006 by EVE Online publisher CCP Games, which sought to develop an MMO based on Vampire. Following nearly a decade of development, work on the proposed MMO ceased in April of last year.

It's unknown at this point how the change may affect current licensees of White Wolf properties. A statement on the White Wolf Publishing website states that the company aims to, "centralize all aspects of the universe to manage it with the love and care it deserves," and that they are, "re-evaluating our business relationships to make sure we're working with the best creators, developers and artists". A tweet from Paradox CEO Fredrik Wester has promised further details on these partnerships in the coming weeks.

For what it's worth, Onyx Path (which has been producing tabletop products based on World of Darkness and Exalted since 2012) has expressed excitement at the opportunity to work with Paradox. But the change could put Onyx Path in an interesting predicament, with hundreds of thousands of Kickstarter dollars having been collected to publish these products, including a campaign started less than a week ago to publish a deluxe version of their planned Shattered Dreams sourcebook for Werewolf.

Source: White Wolf

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I'm ambivalent about this. On one hand, the thought of World of Darkness getting some videogame life breathed into it is amazing news (Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is among my most favorite games ever), but passing property onto other hands doesn't always produce good results.

But Paradox does work with a wide variety of developers, such as Obsidian, so maybe something great will come out of this. I do love the WoD setting, so I'll try to remain optimistic about this.

To be honest, CCP really mishandled White Wolf so I doubt that Paradox can do much worse. The fact that they outsourced and greatly reduced support for their pen and paper RPGs (including ceasing the production of actual books in favor of pdfs) showed that CCP never really knew what to do with White Wolf or the IPs it acquired. On the other hand, Paradox just recently acquired the manufacturer of a faux-medical anti-tinnitus patch so who knows what Paradox has planned..

So, can we expect to see VTMB2 in cooperation with Obsidian? ;)

Rastrelly:
So, can we expect to see VTMB2 in cooperation with Obsidian? ;)

Im throwing my money but I dont see it yet I must find more.

Do they still have the same staff they've had for the last 30 years? I don't see much change happening, then.

Gethsemani:
The fact that they outsourced and greatly reduced support for their pen and paper RPGs (including ceasing the production of actual books in favor of pdfs)

Did they really? I don't remember the last time I bought a physical book, so I didn't even notice.

Good, I missed whitewolf. Hope they get some kuei Jin stuff going, too.

I miss ravenloft, too but that's anothercan of worms.

Huh, interesting. These guys are still based in Stone Mountain, GA, right? I remember liking Exalted when I tried it in college.

Something Amyss:
Do they still have the same staff they've had for the last 30 years? I don't see much change happening, then.

Gethsemani:
The fact that they outsourced and greatly reduced support for their pen and paper RPGs (including ceasing the production of actual books in favor of pdfs)

Did they really? I don't remember the last time I bought a physical book, so I didn't even notice.

That's half true - everything they publish goes through DriveThruRPG and uses their print-on-demand service. So you can still get physical books, you just can't pick them up at a bookstore like you once could.

Fanghawk:

That's half true - everything they publish goes through DriveThruRPG and uses their print-on-demand service. So you can still get physical books, you just can't pick them up at a bookstore like you once could.

For those of us overseas it is pretty much the same thing unless we want outrageously expensive books. But yeah, you are right, I should have been more clear.

Does this mean they are going to make a VTM grand strategy game where you have to rule over a section of a city and try and expand? That would be cool.

Good.
Honestly, CCP literally did nothing with the franchise besides sit on it and let it rot for years.
They had the franchise for 10 years, and for almost that whole time they had an MMO in preproduction.
Hopefully paradox can at least do something with the franchise.

I hope Paradox does the right thing and leaves Onyx Path to it's thing. They know what they're doing.

Fanghawk:

That's half true - everything they publish goes through DriveThruRPG and uses their print-on-demand service. So you can still get physical books, you just can't pick them up at a bookstore like you once could.

Ah. Thanks for clarifying. I did notice some of their books were POD, but never knew they'd killed the normal printing. Also, didn't know it was more than a few books.

Bat Vader:
Does this mean they are going to make a VTM grand strategy game where you have to rule over a section of a city and try and expand? That would be cool.

This is actually what I was wondering; has Paradox ever even published an RPG? (Seriously, have they? I don't actually know.) And that would be pretty cool; take a look at the entrenched attitude of nihilism from a very different angle.

I think this is good news, but remember, Paradox: less Sword of the Stars 2, more... pretty everything else you've made.

Something Amyss:

Fanghawk:

That's half true - everything they publish goes through DriveThruRPG and uses their print-on-demand service. So you can still get physical books, you just can't pick them up at a bookstore like you once could.

Ah. Thanks for clarifying. I did notice some of their books were POD, but never knew they'd killed the normal printing. Also, didn't know it was more than a few books.

They didn't kill it entirely, just mostly. The regularly printed ones are sort of THE main point of the kickstarters.

Gethsemani:
To be honest, CCP really mishandled White Wolf so I doubt that Paradox can do much worse. The fact that they outsourced and greatly reduced support for their pen and paper RPGs (including ceasing the production of actual books in favor of pdfs) showed that CCP never really knew what to do with White Wolf or the IPs it acquired. On the other hand, Paradox just recently acquired the manufacturer of a faux-medical anti-tinnitus patch so who knows what Paradox has planned..

CCP initially planned a WoD MMO, but cancelled it a while back. I used to be friends with some WW staff, from my time moderating thier old JAVA chat game, New Bremen. Not even sure how many even still work there.

I do agree that CCP mismanaged WW, though. They probably thought they'd make out better by owning WW, and its properties if the WoD MMO was asuccess, over paying a licensing fee. Problem was, after the cancellation, they didn't know what the fuck to do with WW, and just kept scaling it back to save money.

Recusant:

Bat Vader:
Does this mean they are going to make a VTM grand strategy game where you have to rule over a section of a city and try and expand? That would be cool.

This is actually what I was wondering; has Paradox ever even published an RPG? (Seriously, have they? I don't actually know.) And that would be pretty cool; take a look at the entrenched attitude of nihilism from a very different angle.

I think this is good news, but remember, Paradox: less Sword of the Stars 2, more... pretty everything else you've made.

I think that they have published the magika games and those are rpgs unless im mistaken.

considering CCP weren't doing anything with them I doubt Paradox can do worse. I just want another WoD game, especially getting into the other settings like Werewolf, Hunter, Promethean, etc. Heck, even doing the whole WoD universe with the different races would make for a fascinating experience.

Good. So tired of companies owning an IP but doing fuck all with it.

Darks63:

Recusant:

Bat Vader:
Does this mean they are going to make a VTM grand strategy game where you have to rule over a section of a city and try and expand? That would be cool.

This is actually what I was wondering; has Paradox ever even published an RPG? (Seriously, have they? I don't actually know.) And that would be pretty cool; take a look at the entrenched attitude of nihilism from a very different angle.

I think this is good news, but remember, Paradox: less Sword of the Stars 2, more... pretty everything else you've made.

I think that they have published the magika games and those are rpgs unless im mistaken.

They've published the pixel-art RPG called Knights of Pen and Paper(the first and the second IIRC), Pillars of Eternity(made by Obsidian, published by Paradox) and they do have experience with RPGish elements via Crusader Kings 1&2. Though they don't make straight up RPGs themselves and to be honest I'd guess they'll mostly license it in regards to videogames. Time will tell though.

OT: Holy [Bleep!] of all [Bleep!]! Never thought I'd see CCP pass White Wolf and its properties on to someone else. I was expecting it'd end up dying in their hands due to how badly things went after they bought them out. Here's hoping Paradox handles it better.

This is huge! We might get a new Vampire game after all. The possibilities are endless. Maybe they even manage the WoD MMO Project from CCP?

I hope this means we'll get a game like VtM: Bloodlines made by Obsidian. It's been too long since we had a VtM game.

Bat Vader:
Does this mean they are going to make a VTM grand strategy game where you have to rule over a section of a city and try and expand? That would be cool.

Thats a dream come true to me.... Especially if you could simulate starting out as a new vampire, and seeing your rise to power over the ages.

There have been multiple attempts to achieve something similar through mods, but ehh - its an ambitious goal.

OT: Honestly, PI is one of my favorite publishers. If they bring out VtM PC game out - thats at least competent - they might just be one of the best things to happen to PC gaming. At least imho.

Recusant:
This is actually what I was wondering; has Paradox ever even published an RPG? (Seriously, have they? I don't actually know.)

Paradox mostly does strategy games as a developer, but as a publisher they're all over the place - GalCiv and Sword of the Stars, Pillars of Eternity, Mount and Blade, Cities: Skylines, and a pile of other stuff from all kinds of different genres. As awesome as a WoD grand strategy game would be, if Paradox act as publisher rather than developer, games could end up in pretty much any genre.

Recusant:

Bat Vader:
Does this mean they are going to make a VTM grand strategy game where you have to rule over a section of a city and try and expand? That would be cool.

This is actually what I was wondering; has Paradox ever even published an RPG? (Seriously, have they? I don't actually know.) And that would be pretty cool; take a look at the entrenched attitude of nihilism from a very different angle.

Knights of pen and paper(turn based RPG), Mount and Blade, and Runemaster.
they have done first person survvival horror before with Penumbra.

I have a feeling we will see something good out of this, just by virtue of this not being a single game publisher like CCP is.

I'm still hankering for a good Werewolf videogame. Old, New, 2E ... don't really care which version (though 2E is a pretty phenomenal experience). Not enough games with werewolves as player characters. The new Harmony system might work well in a sandbox-y type of setting. I mean ... form up with a pack, help hold and develop territory every now and again between 'missions', maybe even downloadable hunts of dangerous prey through DLC, interact with spirits, develop klaives and fetishes ... cross in and out between flesh and Hisil. I mean ... gah. So much potential.

Perhaps too much stuff to incorporate. Vampire is kind of easier and has brand name recognize beyond the pen and paper types like me. I think Werewolf might have more longevity, however. Simply given the two worlds mechanic, all the weird shit, hunting, crafting essentially 'magic' items, territory options.

Fappy:
Huh, interesting. These guys are still based in Stone Mountain, GA, right? I remember liking Exalted when I tried it in college.

You may want to keep an eye on The Onyx Path. They have been licensing WW IPs from CCP for some time and have been producing some successful books; Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Mummy. Exalted 3rd Edition is coming out finally after many delays but very positive feedback thus far (just need to ignore the angry Kickstarter trolls). :)

www.theonyxpath.com

Interesting news, but to be honest I'm not 100% sure if White Wolf can be brought back successfully after this much neglect, bad writing, and poor business decisions. I've been critical of the people working with the IPs for a long time, both pre and post CCP, and sort of predicted what was going to happen with it a long time before it did. WW's IPs were a product of their time and had the benefit of being relatively fresh, so fresh in fact that I feel it was widely imitated through a lot of the modern "paranormal drama" genera both books and TV shows, with everything from "Supernatural" to "The Vampire Diaries" and tons of others owing a debt to it. It of course doesn't help that White Wolf failed to defend it's IPs in regards to things like the movie "Underworld" which was apparently based on a story called "For Love Of Monsters" published by White Wolf, which pretty much opened the door for all of the things it inspired in one way or another. I think a lot of this kind of material is beginning to be tapped out for the moment even if it's going strong and in many cases wound up doing White Wolf better than it did itself. I'm not sure if the audience is there for it anymore, it having evaporated into other things. It also doesn't help that we already saw how they ended their popular world/canon and then rebooted the whole thing as "WoD 2.0" which has done okay but I think managed to hurt the following to begin with and it seems like they lost a good number of people along with the changes. New management means what is likely going to be a 3.0 and I'm not sure how well that is going to go over since I can see it decimating the fan base that has continued under publishers like Onyx Path more than bringing more people into the fold. Right now does not exactly seem to be a good time for PnP RPGs in general with even WoTC shutting down it's D&D forums due to lack of traffic.

I'll also be brutally honest on another front. Part of the success of White Wolf, especially "World Of Darkness" is how it pushed the envelope and good taste and then smugly sat back and played the whole "art" card as a defense. Things have become a LOT more politically correct in recent years and while the pendelum always swings back, the bottom line is that when a lot of their popularity comes from pushing the envelope, I do have to question as to whether they have the guts to make it work given the invariable backlash that will be incoming. I suppose they could produce far more sanitized works than they have in the past, but that would kind of defeat half the purpose.

That said my opinion of White Wolf has always been fairly mixed as I've gone on about at length in the past, and I confess to having a dislike of a couple of "names" attached to it. I myself would like to see more done with the IPs however including another decent video game or three. I also confess that I have more interest in seeing a revival of the Aeonverse, especially "Aberrant" and it's world building, assuming they can stay away from the scripted meta plotty stuff.

That's my thoughts at any rate. "Bloodlines" is an old game and shows the potential for Vampire based RPGs if people put in the time and effort.

The world of darkness, the game that ruined CCP is now on its way on sinking Paradox.

Even after 22 years, Mages are still getting owned by paradox

GeneralChaos:
Even after 22 years, Mages are still getting owned by paradox

If only I could like posts. I would like yours into oblivion.

The thing I'm hoping for is a new Geist book (or game I guess but more eh on that) that was one of my favorite new world books that got next to no love.

Therumancer:
-Snip-

As someone that has played nearly every iteration of White Wolf's many products and their re-envisionings, it still seems to have a lot of support. Particularly on the online chat model given its reliance on not merely being a dungeon crawl kind of game, where much of it relies on a general aura of secrecy. Whilst Masquerade was fun its market model wasn't going to work, and it became way too much about establishing world-building as opposed to creating tools for a ST to use to build their own. Mechanically Masquerade was kind of all over the place, and lore wise it was all a bit silly particularly towards the end. Honestly, having played every instance of Vampire, Werewolf and Changeling ... thematically and mechanically, they're improving. 2E Vampire is actually a lot of fun, and I quite like the ideas put forward into the God-Machine Chronicles in general. They've fixed up the morality systems and transformed it into a more meaningful integrity slide which charts just how much of you remains as you experience the World of Darkness, and how much of your core values that create your individual moral compass still survive.

From Classic WoD to 2E ... the process has been all about refinement and making things organic. And overall it works ... it creates vulnerabilities, and heightens aspects of being a predator in the two splats currently out for the latest iteration of the base product.

If I'm bummed out about one thing, it's that they going to have to do Mage first before they get around to Changeling ... if only for a sake of tradition. C:tL is perhaps one of the finest roleplaying games ever made. Not only that, but each expansion diud more than add new mechanics, new entitlements, or new game play elements but created whole new feels in the game that you could explore. Expanding the game universe not so much in cases of merely what was happening in the material, the Hedge and Arcadia, but created new dimensions to each that all players and STs could explore. If 2E Werewolf is anything to go by, as well as 2E Vampire, they're merely taking the feel and environment, and improving them to make better predators and better prey. Addition of tilts and beats rewards weakness in so far that it acts as an organic means to chart weakness and strength.

So I don't really see any doom and gloom for White Wolf, or at least Onyx Publishing. The artwork, the feel, the ingenuity of the new setting? All of it comes together well, and all of it works to breed new dimenions of fear and triumph. A lot of players got turned off when you had nWoD after Gehenna ... but the thing is that most players who played nWoD agree that most of the splat venues (Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Changeling ....) well that they are more or less improvements on Classic, and that you 2E Werewolf and Vampire, as well as the base game, are further improvements on those.

Even the artwork and presentation is improving. The books are nicer in general ... better value for money. I just hope the Mage book isn't like Mage: the Awakening ... bright gold and bleached white should never be a primary art palette in a book that you will need to constantly reference and read as you're playing a game. It's a recipe for headaches. That being said, juxtapose it with Changeling: the Lost, which has singularly the best artwork and presentation of any roleplaying book ever (with the possible exception of Planescape).

Hence why a lot of fans including myself, have stuck around around. From Classic to New, to 2E. Because the direction is an overall improvement, and because Classic was ... silly. I mean it was awesome, but it was silly. It had a pseudo-campyness to it that it on the surface tried so hard to avoid. Since New World of Darkness, most of the mythos is split up and distinct from one another. Werewolves had a creation story, vampires don't really but nor do most of them care, mages have a creation myth that is largely seperate from werewolves, changelings have their own but it begins and ends in Arcadia and what Arcadia and the True Fae really are ... etc. Given there isn't an attempt to world build and create some clusterfuck-y umbrella of world history, the books no longer read like bad fan fiction.

I think you are overrating just how much the Methusaleh and the Jyhad added to the gaming enjoyment of vampire. The Methuselah were a good narrative idea on paper, but because they existed every ST felt the need to tie their consistent battles over their own narratives when Vampire should have always remained a game of survival and personal acquaintance with horror and deceit. Not some ever distant, omnipotent force of magical McGuffin-ery.

I also fail to see the 'political correctness' of it. Neither Classic, New, or 2E were or are politically correct. It's about mortals interacting with ever better predators in a world that is harsh and impersonal to human suffering. That story hasn't changed ... if anything it's become less politically correct as the narrative reasons for people's suffering have become less about archaic conspiracies, and timeless contracts and mistakes, and more a protracted message of; "Life sucks. People suffer and die."

 

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