Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Palladium Books Buyout

This morning it was announced that Wizards of the Coast would be purchasing long time independent publisher, Palladium Books. According to industry insiders this purchase is an attempt by Hasbro to strengthen the Wizards of the Coast line by providing them with a more versatile base setting that will allow the company to easily integrate their various lines within the Dungeons and Dragons game.

Artist concept piece provided by Jim Haltom

Mike Mearls, lead designer on the new edition of Dungeons and Dragons, was said to be excited at the prospect of integrating Dungeons and Dragons with highly profitable Hasbro mainstays such as G.I. Joe, Transformers, and My Little Pony. When reached for a statement Mearls said, "I can't wait to bring Optimus Prime and Twilight Sparkle in against Tiamat when we launch! Since we got the news of this acquisition we've been rewriting the entire Tyranny of Dragons storyline to integrate as many of the Hasbro lines as we can!"

While there are many who see this purchase of Palladium as a good thing, long time Palladium fans greated the news with outrage and disbelief. "You know first there was the whole treachery thing and we thought we were going to lose our game forever, yet we rallied behind Kevin and pushed Palladium back from the edge. And now he's gone and sold it all. I hope his 15 pieces of silver were worth it all," said one Palladium forum member. 

When I contacted Kevin Siembieda about the deal and some of the outrage sparked on the Palladium boards he replied, "This purchase was about keeping the Palladium lines viable in a market where the competition is only getting more intense. By selling our lines to Hasbro we've ensured that our products won't just be a footnote in the history of this hobby, but that they'll be one of the major bulletin points."

14 comments:

  1. Heh. If it were the case, then at least Rifts would become a relatively playable system.

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    1. I know it's cold, but damn dude, is it not the truth?

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    2. How's it not playable? We have a group that plays it all the time.

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    3. Okay, speaking as someone who is trying to learn the system because I love - love - the fluff throughout the setting, the esoteric terminology and obtuse explanations in the books are a wall to players who have no established groups to play with. Add to that the ever expanding glut of rules that have pushed the mechanics to a point where they appear almost indecipherable to an outsider.

      Luckily there are good blogs out there who make it their mission to turn that around. But the rules as written are a pain.

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  2. And of course the artwork and overall production values of the Palladium stuff would improve drastically. Well, I suppose "improve" would be a matter of perspective/taste. I say all that as a former Palladium fan. As a teen, I actually found something appealing in most of Palladium's art. There was something almost comforting, I think, in the workmanlike quality of the artwork to be found in the Rifts books, as well as Heroes Unlimited and Ninjas & Superspies. Kevin Long's work, I think, was the notable exception to the generally bland (or often downright terrible) artwork.

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    1. It was that the art was so different from anything else out there at the time - at least as far as rpgs went.

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  3. Still sounds like an April Fools joke...not the idea of selling to Hasbro. The idea that this is "an attempt by Hasbro to strengthen the Wizards of the Coast line" when in fact they don't seem to realize that they own WotC. But the cincher was the quote from Mearls.

    Funny!

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  4. A shame its a joke. It might have saved DND Next for some people...

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    Replies
    1. Ah, if you want to have all that stuff you can have it. You don't need Wizards to give it to you. All the same, it is sad that it's a joke. I'd love to see Rifts updated and brought to a wider market.

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    2. It makes me wonder, and I'm just spitballing here, but do you think that the Rifts line would be worth more in a one shot sale to one of the major players, or do you think Siembieda feels that he's making enough on keeping a stranglehold on the brand?

      I used to love reading the Rifts books, just for the ideas and the cool shit that you could do with it. But I absolutely hated playing the system. I think if some top-notch, forward thinking game designers got a hold of it, it could be a seriously awesome property, if not THE post-apocalyptic, science-fiction game.

      Of course, we know that Siembieda won't ever sell it, which is a damn shame if you ask me.

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    3. Honestly Siembieda is a very smart man who has been able to create several million dollar games during his time and I don't think he's fool enough to let them go without a fight.

      I still read the Rifts and FRP books and am enthralled with his settings. If he would let go of the system and move to a new and more easily grasped one I really believe that the game would have a renascence.

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