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WotC's Annual Xmas Layoffs

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Wizards of the Coast's annual Christmas layoffs appear to have begun. So far, casualties appear to include Rich Baker and Steve Winter. More as we hear more.

Rich Baker has posted his farewell on WotC's forums.

Today, Wizards of the Coast eliminated my position. I have unfortunately been let go, after more than 20 years of employment with TSR/WotC.

I still hope to write for the Forgotten Realms novel line as time and opportunity permit. In fact, I'm going to go home tonight and finish my second draft of Prince of Ravens. There may be some more opportunities down the road.

D&D fans... thanks for a great run. I hope I've given you some good gaming over the years. Your game is in good hands with Mike and Monte.

For fans of the A&A minis games, I would like to say that this does not signal the cancellation of any miniatures lines. I hope I can take on some of the design work on a freelance basis, but we'll have to see.

Time to splice the main brace, as they say. Good gaming, all!
Interestingly, it seems this must have come as a sudden surprise because just yesterday (the 13th) he was posting about the work he'd be doing in the New Year.
 
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Matt James

Game Developer
Yeah, I knew Rich well. Good guy and will sorely be missed. He also did a lot of non D&D work, such as Axis & Allies and the recent Conquest of Nerath. Another fun fact is that he was one of the creators of the late-90s sci-fi RPG Alternity. To top it all off, he is an award winning author of many Forgotten Realms novels.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Yeah, I knew Rich well. Good guy and will sorely be missed. He also did a lot of non D&D work, such as Axis & Allies and the recent Conquest of Nerath. Another fun fact is that he was one of the creators of the late-90s sci-fi RPG Alternity. To top it all off, he is an award winning author of many Forgotten Realms novels.

Don't forget the Birthright setting.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
That's sad. I've got fond memories of both of their work...especially Baker!

PnP Game Design: You can make it your life, but it'll only pay you to be awesome for a few years. And then: well, yer on yer own, soldier. :(
 
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Holy Bovine

First Post
Yeah, I knew Rich well. Good guy and will sorely be missed. He also did a lot of non D&D work, such as Axis & Allies and the recent Conquest of Nerath. Another fun fact is that he was one of the creators of the late-90s sci-fi RPG Alternity. To top it all off, he is an award winning author of many Forgotten Realms novels.

What?! I was under the impression CoN was doing very well - it is favourably reviewed even on Eurogame loving boardgamegeek for gawd's sake! Talk about a case of 'what have you done for me lately'...
 

Shemeska

Adventurer
Damn. Rich Baker was one of the few guys left doing D&D stuff over there that I could name off a dozen things he'd worked on and still be left with dozens upon dozens more that I owned copies of, still used, and really enjoyed. He did some good stuff. He also wrote the PSMC II with the guardinals and eladrin (and others) back in 2e. Good stuff.

I don't know what WotC is thinking here. *sigh and shakes head*
 
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Stormonu

Legend
'Tis a sad, sad day. Two gentlemen of many credits on the things I liked.


I have to wonder if Paizo would be able to pick them up - if they still wanted to be involved in the RPG business?
 

Lancelot

Adventurer
Rich Baker's departure hurts me more than any other WotC departure in recent memory. Other than his tenure with company (massive contribution to the D&D line), I'm a huge fan of his work on Axis & Allies. Axis & Allies War at Sea is my favorite collectible minis game. Rich was the lead designer, and also a friendly community supporter. And Conquest of Nerath is an excellent game - was playing it with friends only a couple days ago.

Best wishes to him... but this really sucks. I would have been less upset to read an announcement that 5e is coming out next month, and the only playable races will be glitter-vampires and shirtless werewolves.
 

Mythous

First Post
I wasn't sure who Steve Winter was but I was familier with Rich Baker. Either way, it sucks to lose a job especially just before Christmas.

I agree with another poster in this thread, Paizo would do good to pick them up, having followed Rich Baker and his work, he would be a great addition to their team.
 



Pour

First Post
All the best Rich and Steve. It's a deep wound to be laid off, but I'm certain your credentials will land you in good places- PnP, video games, or full-time freelancing.

Suckily enough, I find out tomorrow if I'm in something of the same boat.

Could someone link the current roster as it stands now? And does this mean they're not gearing up for 5e yet, given the supposed tendency of hiring for the initiative rather than firing? I'm curious what people read of the implications, but maybe that deserves another thread.

Again, condolences and best wishes to those affected.
 

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