Thursday, January 28, 2010

End of an Era: Retrospective

It has recently come to my attention that Wizards of the Coast (WotC)  will be ending its involvement with the Star Wars RPG, as well as the pre-painted miniatures line. While this is terrible news, I can't say I'm surprised or shocked about it. Long time readers may recall my review of the Star Wars Saga Edition (SWSE) way back in January 2009. At that time I had lamented about the fitful support Star Wars as an RPG property has gotten. While the SWSE I think is a solid ruleset, and deserves its own time in the sun, WotC's stewardship of the property has been inept, to say the least.

I bears to note that the SWSE is in fact the third edition of the game from WotC in 10 years: the first edition was released in 2000, with a revised edition coming out in 2002. Finally the Saga Edition came out in 2007. In between these editions, WotC released product in fits and starts, with a very long period between the Revised (D20) edition, and the Saga edition (around 3 years or so).

With the SWSE, WotC decided to take a different tack than the previous edition: releasing "era" books with all the information and resources a GM would need to run a game during that era. While I can definitely applaud WotC for this tack, it also has the unfortunate side-effect of leaving other eras undetailed (such as the immediate New Republic era, and the Yuushang-vong invasion). While there are still a few products to be released, and this may change, the simple fact of the matter is that the rules are "incomplete" without it. Still, there is enough there a GM can cobble together something, but I'm dissappointed we did not get a New Republic sourcebook, or a "Tales of the Jedi" era sourcebook.

I'll be sad to see the game go, and this also means that I no longer have any sort of involvement with WotC whatsoever. There are plenty of other good games out there, and I hope I'll be able to explore them. But it is strange that a company that I had so long supported -- felt enthusiastic about when WotC bought TSR -- no longer is a facet in my gaming life. All good things come to an end, and now I'm scrambling to complete my book collection.

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