In case you missed it, White Wolf Publishing has been under new ownership for the last couple of months, since Swedish video game publisher Paradox Interactive announced buying the rights to White Wolf Publishing and the World of Darkness and Exalted properties from CCP Games in October. This announcement left fans, and developers up in the air over what the next step would be. Yesterday, at the Tenebrae Noctis White Wolf fan convention in Cologne, more information was announced. Probably one of the bigger announcements being about what was the status, going forward, of the various Worlds of Darkness currently being published.
White Wolf Publishing will be doing the, new, fourth editions of the World of Darkness games, starting with
A press release on the Onyx Path Publishing website said this:
Onyx Path Publishing and White Wolf Publishing are proud to announce that Chronicles of Darkness is now the overall brand name for the series of game lines previously called the New World of Darkness. 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.
And the press release went into some of the reasoning for the change here:
Because, let’s face it, the cWoD/nWoD thing has always been awkward once you tried to explain why there were two of them but the second WoD wasn’t another edition but a whole ‘nother reimagining. Another WoD that enables equally awesome stories to be told but which has different rules and themes and overall tone. Nothing confusing there!
Onyx Path Publishing will also continue with the 20th Anniversary editions of World of Darkness games and Exalted.
Where the “new” World of Darkness will now be called The Chronicles of Darkness, the lines being developed in-house by White Wolf Publishing will just be, simply, The World of Darkness. No longer will there be a “new,” “classic,” or any other sort of qualifier to the title. Where White Wolf Publishing’s World of Darkness games will line up with the upcoming AAA video game, and other media adaptations, the Chronicles of Darkness will be continue to be “an amazing toolkit to create the WOD that you as the Storyteller want,” according to Martin Elricsson, the Lead Storyteller at White Wolf Publishing.
It looks that the World of Darkness setting material will feature a shift from America to Europe, which makes sense coming from a publisher based in Europe. This might actually make the buy-in to the setting easier for many American gamers, since it will make the setting, for them, into more of a “fantasy world” and less of the “world outside of your windows.”
In addition to developing the World of Darkness game in-house, it also looks that White Wolf Publishing will also be developing new LARP rules in-house as well. From social media talk on Twitter and Facebook, it looks as though the new rules will take a nod from the traditions of Nordic LARPs, which will be interesting to see. I admit that I have never been one for LARPing, so my knowledge of that area is a hole that I will have to fill up in order to talk about it intelligently in the future.
In the Onyx Path Publishing press release for the Chronicles of Darkness announcement, they also talked about practical, licensing-related reasons for why the name shifts make sense:
And on a licensing level, garnering interest outside our hobby has been a nightmare. One kind of Hollywood type has a 3.5 second attention span, by and large, and you have to hook them right away, while another type Googles everything as you’re talking. The first will be gone before you can explain the N in new WoD, and the second will find page after page of info that sounds similar but is different and is all coming up under World of Darkness.