White Wolf has not had an easy year. The numerous controversies attached to its Vampire: The Masquerade products forced its parent company, Paradox Interactive, to step in last month. After a major restructuring, including a total upheaval of White Wolf’s upper management, Paradox integrated White Wolf directly into their company. A month later, an announcement was posted on the official White Wolf blog. Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition’s distributor, Modiphius Entertainment, will handle future content for the game. Modiphius will handle publishing and licensing while White Wolf focuses on brand management. In a press release from Modiphius, they also announced several new products for Vampire: The Masquerade. Chris Birch, President, and CEO of Modiphius said the following:
We are thrilled to become the official stewards of this incredible roleplaying game. And we look forward to developing and publishing the official Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition (V5) tabletop roleplaying game under license from Paradox. We’re committed to providing fans with a truly exceptional range of new products to help them enjoy this rich, exciting world.
Modiphius in the future will handle third-party licensing for Vampire: The Masquerade V5. This includes content from White Wolf partners such as Onyx Path Publishing, Dogmight Games, and Need Games, among others. Content from these partners has not been affected by the change. Modiphius will guide the direction of Vampire: The Masquerade, with White Wolf’s brand management giving it approval. Currently, the license is exclusively for Vampire: The Masquerade V5, not any other World of Darkness product. What White Wolf’s dissolution means for other denizens of the World of Darkness and even other editions of Vampire: The Masquerade is now uncertain.
Shams Jorjani, Vice President of Business Development at Paradox, promised fulfillment of pre-orders for both the Camarilla and Anarch sourcebooks.
This new arrangement goes into effect immediately following the publishing of the Camarilla and Anarch books. As promised, the section on Chechnya that previously appeared in the Camarilla book has been removed from both the print and digital versions, and replaced with new content. All pre-orders for these books, as well as the Anarch books, will now be fulfilled, and we expect delivery to be complete as soon as possible, with all orders estimated to be filled by early Q1 2019. I want to again thank all pre-order customers for their patience during this process.
For customers interested in purchasing the books after release, however, Jorjani has unfortunate news: you can’t. Not unless you manage to find a stray copy through one of their store partners, anyway.
Once all existing pre-order commitments are finished, both the Camarilla and Anarch books will no longer be available for sale in print or in digital form. White Wolf is moving away from internal development and publishing, and this is part of that process. The creation and sale of these books would not happen under the incarnation of White Wolf that we are building — the creation, production, and editorial oversight of such products is now entirely run by Modiphius Entertainment and their partners. Until then, we’ve made promises to customers and partners who have pre-ordered these books, and we feel a strong obligation to fulfill those commitments as they were made. Those orders will be filled, and then we will focus entirely on working with licensees who will create the White Wolf products yet to come.
At the end of the post, Jorjani invited applicants to apply to an open position at Paradox as a brand manager for White Wolf.
While Modiphius acquired publishing and licensing for Vampire: the Masquerade, news of WorldofDarkness.com shutting down circulated. Subscription services to the site ended on December 20. One user at EN World posted the contents of an email sent out to subscribers, along with a follow-up. Jorjani’s response suggests a new avenue for subscriptions is in development.
The future of White Wolf’s other World Of Darkness products seems as murky and bleak as the series itself. Ending the subscription service isn’t surprising, because of its dissolution as an independent company. Customers are receiving refunds. At this point, the question isn’t really when the game will recover, it’s if the game can recover. Fingers crossed that these changes work out for the better. It has not been a roller coaster, because that would imply there were points things went well for White Wolf this year.