White Wolf Bought By Paradox

White Wolf, the company that originally brought us the World of Darkness RPG lines, has been owned by CCP (the Icelandic firm which produces Eve Online) for some years now. That company's plans originally involved A WoD MMO, but that go cancelled last year. As far as the tabletop RPGs went, these were licensed to Onyx Path, a company founded by ex-White Wolf staff, and also include Exalted, as well as the various iterations of the Vampire, Werewolf, etc. lines. Well, White Wolf just got bought by the Swedish company Paradox Interactive.

This means that Paradox - a computer games company, like CCP - now owns all those properties. There's no information on whether or not this will affect Onyx Path's tabletop RPG licenses, but Paradox - which calls this its "biggest investment ever" and cost "several tens of millions" of Swedish Krona (divide by 10 to get approximate US dollars) - is likely to pursue the video game angle. White Wolf is going to be operated as "an independent entity with a dedicated team."

Paradox's Shams Jorjani said "We’ve been huge fans of the White Wolf IPs for a long time especially World of Darkness/Vampire. Gonna be great to give it some fresh blood."

Also of interest is that Pradox's Fred Wester says that Vampire is "the world’s second best-selling role-playing and is special because half of all players are women." I'm not sure how true the first half of that sentence is -- Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder pretty much vie for the top spot.

“We’ve been negotiating with CCP for the last year on acquiring White Wolf Publishing and the underlying brands,” Paradox chief executive Fredrik Wester told GamesBeat. “They have sold 5.5 million books, and it’s still the second-best-selling RPG of all time behind Dungeons & Dragons. It adds a lot to Paradox portfolio.”

He also said, regarding licensing, "We’re going to start licensing out the brand again from the beginning. We’ll start with one World of Darkness. We’ll start, basically, from day one to unite the community under one flag."

Onyx Path development producer Rose Bailey said "We knew this deal was brewing, but can't talk about it right now. As far as I know, this includes all White Wolf games still owned by CCP, including both Worlds of Darkness and Exalted. It does not include White Wolf games now owned by other people, such as Scion, Trinity, and Scarred Lands." Onyx Path has been producing the tabletop RPG under license since CCP acquired White Wolf.

As far as existing licenses like Onyx Path's go, it looks like a period of reassessment is coming. Paradoz's Tobias Sjögren said "White Wolf will evaluate all standing relationships with the focus on continue to work with the ones that aligns with our vision of the brand, and also then find new partners to complement the story going forward." Shams Jorjani said "If it makes sense [Paradox] might publish some WW stuff. But our business will stay the same publishing great strategy, management and RPG games."

Onyx Path said the following: "We're touched that so many of you are concerned for us! Thanks for your faith in us. We'll have more to say when we can. Stay tuned."

Here's the official press release:

"STOCKHOLM - Oct. 29, 2015 - Paradox Interactive, a global games developer and publisher, today announced the acquisition of White Wolf Publishing from CCP Games in an all-cash deal. Now a subsidiary of Paradox Interactive, White Wolf Publishing is a licensing business that owns and manages intellectual properties including World of Darkness, Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse. Led by CEO Tobias Sjögren, former EVP of Business Development at Paradox, White Wolf Publishing will operate as an independent entity with a dedicated team.

White Wolf Publishing has a long history of producing gaming universes that span mediums, including tabletop and collectible card games, PC games and books. Paradox Interactive acquired all of White Wolf’s brands, and its new subsidiary will pursue development opportunities across relevant categories of games under the White Wolf Publishing name.

“Like Paradox’s games, White Wolf’s properties have dedicated, passionate communities. While there are similarities in spirit, White Wolf’s IPs have very different themes than Paradox’s titles, and deserve their own brand and team,” said Fredrik Wester, CEO and President of Paradox Interactive. “We have great respect for White Wolf’s gaming worlds and see big opportunities for their expansion in the future under our new subsidiary.”

“Over the last 20 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with beloved studios like DICE and Paradox on the business management side of games, and as a developer earlier in my career. I look forward to bringing my experience to bear as we pursue new ways to interact with White Wolf’s universes,” said Tobias Sjögren, CEO of White Wolf Publishing. “The White Wolf IPs are well suited for all kinds of media and we see great potential to expand them in the future.”

"At CCP, we have great admiration for the White Wolf brands and communities, and it was extremely important to us that the acquiring company share the same respect and understanding,” said Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, CEO of CCP Games. “With Paradox, we know we are leaving the brands in good hands."
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Jiggawatts

Adventurer
It's interesting this is somewhat divisive on here, as just about every other article I've read on the matter has seen nearly universal praise, the IGN comments section on this was one big lovefest (and for anyone who knows anything about IGN, thats a extremely rare). From everything I've encountered, most people generally like and respect Paradox.
 

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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
It's interesting this is somewhat divisive on here, as just about every other article I've read on the matter has seen nearly universal praise, the IGN comments section on this was one big lovefest (and for anyone who knows anything about IGN, thats a extremely rare). From everything I've encountered, most people generally like and respect Paradox.

IGN is a video game site, though. I'm sure Paradox has a great video game rep. But our teeny little niche corner of the web is concerned with something else - a tabletop role playing game.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
So if WHite Wolf did have a decent sized % of the RPG market in the early to mid 90's then yes they would be outselling Paizo/Pathfinder and could claim to be the 2nd biggest selling RPG of all time. They couldn't claim to be the 2nd biggest selling RPG in 2015 though.

You would also have to claim that all of White Wolf was one system. Which it wasn't. In the 1990s, the World of Darkness games were a collection of systems all built around some of the same core ideas and mechanics, but not actually compatible without home-brewing how things interacted.
 


Balesir

Adventurer
OK, a vote of support from me.

First I'll say that Paradox Interactive (computer) games are my favourite computer games by a country mile. That is primarily the ones made by their house studio, but Cities: Skylines is a classic of its genre, too. I first started playing their strategy games in 2001, and I intend to keep doing so until I peg it. They are that good (IMO). If they have lots of DLC, it's because that is how they fund continuing expansion and improvement of the gameplay (and the expansions themselves allow enhanced access to that gameplay).

Second I'll say that I know that the guys who own and run Paradox are geeks and gamers - including of tabletop RPGs. I was first introduced to Paradox games by Robin Crossby, the author of the Hârn world and system - yet another thing I am grateful to him for.

I'm not saying that Paradox won't make a mistake with WoD - everyone cocks up, from time to time. But I can assure you that it would be completely out of character for them to deliberately abandon any part of it, or screw over its fans.
 

Jiggawatts

Adventurer
The same could be said of D&D in its entirety.
Bingo.

Stating WoD/Vampire is the number 2 selling RPG of all time is probably accurate, it was really popular for a long time.

Really I just want Pardox/Obsidian/Avellone/Mitsoda to all get together and make a new game in the vein of Bloodlines, still one of the best CRPG's of all time.

And I sincerely doubt Paradox would be so foolish as to screw over Oynx Path, considering most fans are extremely happy with the current product, Paradox is pretty good at listening to fans.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
The same could be said of D&D in its entirety.

Well, no. If you compare 1990s World of Darkness to 1990s D&D, you're comparing a suite of 5+ games (Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Changeling, Hunter, and maybe a couple of others, plus the live action Mind's Eye Theater Vampire, which is yet another completely different ruleset) to two games (2e AD&D and Rules Cyclopedia).
 

Jiggawatts

Adventurer
Well, no. If you compare 1990s World of Darkness to 1990s D&D, you're comparing a suite of 5+ games (Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Changeling, Hunter, and maybe a couple of others, plus the live action Mind's Eye Theater Vampire, which is yet another completely different ruleset) to two games (2e AD&D and Rules Cyclopedia).
It could be argued that one is comparing all those games to D&D, Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Ravenloft, Dark Sun, Planescape, Spelljammer, and Birthright.

But really this is all just petty semantics.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
It could be argued that one is comparing all those games to D&D, Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Ravenloft, Dark Sun, Planescape, Spelljammer, and Birthright.

It could, of course, but that would be pretty bizarre argument.
 

melichor

First Post
You guys win!
Yaaayyyyy you!

Still doesn't mean that WOD isn't the number 2 all time rpg.
Unless of course all time really does mean only the 90s.
 


Benji

First Post
Well, no. If you compare 1990s World of Darkness to 1990s D&D, you're comparing a suite of 5+ games (Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Changeling, Hunter, and maybe a couple of others, plus the live action Mind's Eye Theater Vampire, which is yet another completely different ruleset) to two games (2e AD&D and Rules Cyclopedia).

I dm'ed campaigns with bits from the core games together and never really had a problem with combinations of characters (some games where, say 'pure vampire' or 'pure werewolf' but others were one or two types mixed) I just used my common sense and it seemed to flow fine. While you could say that 'bits of the games never interacted',I'd say that it was far more likely that the garou would meet a mage/vampire whatever than a character from Faerun meeting one from Greyhawk and going on any type of adventure together. In some respects, the D7D settings were further apart.

Saying they all has different rulesets only hold true for the first edition - second made some massive steps to make it all fit under one banner.

While Mind's Eye was a separate ruleset, if we're talking only tabletop, it doesn't have a D&D equivalent - unless TSR released some extra LARP ruleset I'm unaware of.

Really though, we're trying to argue a quantification made some people by trying to guess what criteria they've judged it by. Unless we know that quantification of '2nd best selling' to prove or disprove, we're all wrong for bothering to argue about it.
 

Fasckira

First Post
I dm'ed campaigns with bits from the core games together and never really had a problem with combinations of characters

Just want to add a +1 for this. One of my favourite settings is the Vancouver one which actively encourages the mixing of werewolves and vampires.
 

dd.stevenson

Super KY
First I'll say that Paradox Interactive (computer) games are my favourite computer games by a country mile. That is primarily the ones made by their house studio, but Cities: Skylines is a classic of its genre, too. I first started playing their strategy games in 2001, and I intend to keep doing so until I peg it. They are that good (IMO). If they have lots of DLC, it's because that is how they fund continuing expansion and improvement of the gameplay (and the expansions themselves allow enhanced access to that gameplay).
Yeah. I can't say PI is my favorite developer, but if I was to draw up a shortlist of best possible computer game houses to pick up this IP, they'd easily make the top ten. They treat customers feedback seriously, they make DLC (usually) worth buying, and they by all appearances create games that they themselves would love to play. And when they mess up, it's because their ambition exceeds their limitations, not because they're exploiting brand loyalty to sell churn.

For those of us who want to see quality computer adaptations of TTRPG IPs, this is the best news since Projekt RED teased their Cyberpunk game.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I'm getting old. I don't know anything about one video game company over another! I couldn't name 10, let alone have a top 10!
 


mordaken

First Post
One of the reasons people should be happy about this news is Paradox Interactive is a video game publisher. They do have a separate development arm. The reason why I am pointing this out is because the publishing arm this year released two great games, from out of house developers. Cities: Skylines and Pillars of Eternity (the latter is Obsidian, who does a lot of RPG games). These two development companies have their specialties and Paradox know that their development studio does not fall into those specialties.

My guess is that they will hand the CRPG to Obsidian, and this is a win.

The second part of my guess is that they will request Obsidian and Onyx Path to work together to bring a unified vision to the properties. Again all a guess.

Edit:
Also Obsidian has done some great RPG's in the past and I really wished WotC returned to them for 5e games, but WotC seems to be making horrible decisions with their Digital 'Realm' right now.
 
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Don't forget the option to create a videogame, and after the pen-and-paper rpg. Another chance is to create a third World of Darkness for the videogames, because the powers from rpgs aren´t easy to be adapted.
 


keterys

First Post
Separate from actual numbers and research, I assumed the comparison was between D&D (every edition, ever, including Pathfinder), WoD (every edition, every product line, ever), and the rest of the RPG market.

So, sure, I'd believe that.
 

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