Earlier today White Wolf Publishing posted news regarding some changes at the behest of their parent company, Paradox Interactive. After the backlash from content written in the Anarch and Camarilla books for the new edition of Vampire: The Masquerade, Paradox announced large changes to White Wolf’s upper-level management. Vice President of Business Development at Paradox Interactive Shams Jorjani explained that White Wolf’s team is merging with Paradox Interactive.
For the moment, sales and printing of the books are on hold. The controversial content in question is in regards to the recent human rights violations in Chechnya, where homosexual men are currently being detained, tortured, and killed. The situation in Chechnya, according to White Wolf, is simple: it’s a vampire conspiracy. Jorjani estimates the editing to remove the chapter will take approximately three weeks. For customers who have already ordered a copy, an email with further information will be sent out.
Paradox Apologizes for Insensitive Approach
Jorjani apologized for the oversight, claiming that the way the published chapter handled the tragedy was both “crude and disrespectful.” White Wolf will no longer be developing and publishing their content internally and will work on its brand management. Paradox Interactive will be bringing in new leadership, a process that Jorjani claims the company has been working on since September. In the meantime, Jorjani will be managing the team as it folds into Paradox Interactive.
Here’s a section of their statement as it regards to the published chapter:
The World of Darkness has always been about horror, and horror is about exploring the darkest parts of our society, our culture, and ourselves. Horror should not be afraid to explore difficult or sensitive topics, but it should never do so without understanding who those topics are about and what it means to them. Real evil does exist in the world, and we can’t ever excuse its real perpetrators or cheapen the suffering of its real victims.In the Chechnya chapter of the V5 Camarilla book, we lost sight of this. The result was a chapter that dealt with a real-world, ongoing tragedy in a crude and disrespectful way. We should have identified this either during the creative process or in editing. This did not happen, and for this we apologize.
Vampire: The Masquerade, released early August this year and distributed by Modiphius Entertainment, has had a troubled development. Playtesters remarked on the controversial and tone-deaf fluff and worldbuilding in its pre-release material. Despite White Wolf stepping forward with condemnations and attempts to make amends, its release remained soured by the negative attention. Before its split from Onyx Path, White Wolf worked on the World of Darkness and Exalted games, among others. The two companies separated after layoffs in 2011.