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Layoffs at WotC

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Boric Glanduum

Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 524
Location: "Hammer of Justice!!!"

PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:26 am    Post subject: Layoffs at WotC Reply with quote

From [url="http://icv2.com/articles/news/20420.html"]icv2.com[/url]
Layoffs Hit WotC's 'D&D' Team
Published: 06/25/2011, Last Updated: 06/27/2011 02:19am
Wizards of the Coast has downsized its Dungeons & Dragons creative team. Included in the layoffs was Bill Slavicsek, WotC’s Director of Roleplaying Design and Development, who joined TSR in 1993 after a stint a West End Games where he oversaw the development of West End’s Star Wars RPG. Slavicsek, who wrote the second and third editions of A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, is considered one of the world’s leading Star Wars experts.

In a farewell statement posted on the Wizards Website Slavicsek noted the projects he had worked on since WotC acquired TSR and moved the staff from Lake Geneva to Seattle: “I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with a talented group of creative people over the years, and we accomplished such feats as launching both the 3rd and 4th editions of the D&D roleplaying game, creating d20 Modern and d20 Star Wars, launching painted plastic miniatures for D&D, creating new worlds such as Eberron and the D&D Core World, and most recently launching a new category of D&D board games that started with Castle Ravenloft.”

At least two other layoffs from the D&D creative team have been confirmed on the EN World Website. Michele Carter, the “Editing Manager” of the D&D Group, who has been around for a long time (her name is in the credits of numerous D&D publications from the 1990s), and Stephen Schubert, the Development Manager for D&D, have also reportedly left the company.

Wizards of the Coast did not respond to a request for comment in time for this article.

Wizards of the Coast has given D&D a lot of support in recent years, including the D&D Encounters Organized Play program and new entry level products. But the company pared its D&D release schedule for 2011, eliminating weaker products from the schedule.

WotC’s new initiative to translate elements of its D&D adventures into the world of board games (see “Dungeons & Dragons: Legends of Drizzt”, “Wrath of Ashardalon,” and “Cooperative Ravenloft Board Game”) has met with considerable success.

Many in the OSR community (an admittedly biased group) are drawing four conclusions from this news:
1) D&D 4th is done
2) D&D based boardgames are doing well
3) More D&D boardgames will continue to come out
4) A new D&D version will come, a new direction, and headed by different folks.

In their defense, layoffs such as these historically precede the new editions and direction shifts within WotC. We'll just have to wait and see what happens. I for one would hate to see the brand name turned into "Super Risk" or "Fantasy Life."

Edit: Mike Mearls is now apparently taking Slaviczek's job as D&D Brand Manager. To those who are not aware, Mearls is commonly referred to online as "Clueless Jerk." Earlier this year he tried to soothe all the D&D players world-wide with a series of posts that ended up pretty much enflaming the Edition Wars once again. Happy happy joy joy.
"Ah, the life of an adventuring cleric. I remember it well. A perpetual struggle to maintain the hit point totals of four or five nigh-suicidal tomb robbers determined to deplete them at all costs."
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Joined: 13 Sep 2006
Posts: 642
Location: Sandy, Utah

PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting tidbit. I'd say from the fact of 'clueless jerk' taking over, that the moves were NOT from direction changes requested by users... Twisted Evil Laughing
Magic? Who needs Magic?
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