Thursday, January 9, 2014

We've Lost Dragon and Dungeon, Are We Now Losing White Dwarf as Well?

Today is a sad day for the hobby. 

Dungeon and Dragon Magazine have each put out their final issues and are now officially on hiatus. For many readers of these magazines this marks an ignominious ending to two of the premier magazines in our niche hobby. Shameful not only because they have gone on hiatus, but for what has happened to these magazines over the past decade. 

At one time these magazines had page counts well over a hundred pages and were filled with insightful and intelligently written articles. This was true both when TSR, inc. published the magazine and when it was licensed to Paizo Publishing in 2002. However, things began to quickly change in 2007 when Wizards of the Coast and Paizo ended their partnership and Wizards took the magazine digital. 

Initially Wizards of the Coast made an effort to provide the same level of product quality that Paizo had provided their customers with; yet as Fourth Edition languished instead of producing more content to bring additional customers into the fold the company seemed to pull back. The number of authors involved in the magazines on a regular basis shrank over the years as the digital magazine became smaller and smaller with less outside authors making appearances. For many readers this was incredibly frustrating as the cost of the magazines remained the same while their content and production levels faltered.

Yet some readers remain optomistic about the break, hopeful that the magazines' relaunch will provide them with the magazines they grew up with and loved. However, there is not a lot of information coming from Wizards of the Coast about what the relaunched magazines will look like, and what they will have to entice disgruntled readers back into the fold.

When I contacted Wizards of the Coast to find a date for the relaunching of the magazines this afternoon I was told that neither had a return date at this time. I was also informed that while the Dungeons and Dragon Insider program was still functioning at the present moment that they did not have any information on how long it would be supported, or if it would be present when the new edition launched this summer.

All of which has left some fans feeling abused by a company they once trusted. 
"Can we get some information about what will happen to the outstanding months of subscription please? Will they be rolled over to when the subscriptions relaunch? Nothing in the subscription renewal email, nothing in the editorial... the little detail of what happens to the money we paid in good faith may not matter to you, but it does to us.

"Despite superficial appearances, I say the above and the following with genuine goodwill, as feedback I urge you to take for the sake of the brand (if not the game):

"Given the long months of broken promises, missing features, and a periodical that despite much lower production and distribution costs was both far inferior to the printed magazines it replaced (including many months of not even getting the basic courtesy of a compilation) and in your own words "looks like it fell off an assembly line", I hope you offer those who have stuck with you some kind of recognition - and reward - down the track.

"Start showing the kind of respect for the community of players (without whom no game can possibly survive) that the rest of the industry shows, and you might stop losing ground quite so fast - which is something I would sincerely like to see. The new edition sales bump will be short-lived if gamers sense more of the same shonkiness underlying it."
posted by Anthrope (1/8/2014 8:20:03 AM)
Now on the heels of Dragon and Dungeon magazines closing their doors rumors have begun to circulate that the long running White Dwarf Magazine will be ending its run in February. While no official announcement has come from Games Workshop, anecdotal evidence has begun to mount pointing to the end. According to Faeit 212, a popular news aggregate site for all things Games Workshop, the long running monthly magazine will be broken up into two separate magazines: White Dwarf Visions and Warhammer Visions. 

White Dwarf Visions is rumored to be a weekly magazine with around a 50 page count. Warhammer Visions, on the other hand, is going to be a more robust monthly magazine with a page count rumored to be around 250. While there has been a screen shot of the rumored White Dwarf Visions subscription page I have been unable to confirm that the image is legitimate at this time.

Nine days into the new year and we've seen two long running magazines end, an edition of Dungeons and Dragons is officially out the door come summer, and now White Dwarf magazine may be gone as well.

7 comments:

  1. Dragon used to be a fantastic source for info and inspiration, I would honestly rather see it gone than marginalized like it has been.

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    Replies
    1. I'm mostly in the same boat, but I'm really holding out the hope that it won't be complete crap when they relaunch it.

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  2. It is hard to mourn for White Dwarf. It has been so long since it was great. Besides, magazines don’t really make sense in 2014. (And there are a few excellent exceptions to prove that rule.)

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    Replies
    1. I don't know how I feel about White Dwarf anymore. It started out so phenomenally great and then . . . and then not so much.

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  3. My hope, and that's all that it is, is that Dragon and Dungeon will support multiple editions, as that seems to be the mission statement that is being sent regarding other product at present.

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    Replies
    1. That sure would be nice, wouldn't it?

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    2. That seems to be the way they want to take things besides the core mechanics of the new version.

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