April 19, 2007 (BELLEVUE, Wash.) – Paizo Publishing and Wizards of the Coast today announced the conclusion of Paizo’s license to produce DRAGON and DUNGEON magazines effective September 2007. Publication of DRAGON and DUNGEON will cease with issues number 359 and 150, respectively.

“Today the internet is where people go to get this kind of information,” said Scott Rouse, Senior Brand Manager of Dungeons & Dragons®, Wizards of the Coast. “By moving to an online model we are using a delivery system that broadens our reach to fans around the world. Paizo has been a great partner to us over the last several years. We wish them well on their future endeavors.”

This is horrible. I have no intention of supporting paid “internet only,” content. Its a slap in the face to gamers across the board, both those with no net access and to the rest of us. The ill will is already spreading across the internet, I have seen multiple postings on a variety of e-lists (mostly WOTC official ones), LiveJournals, etc. I think the backlash from this will surprise the powers that be over at Hasbro.

I started reading and buying Dragon back at issue #40, and despite the prodigous amount of game materials I have purchased over the years would daresay that I have spent as much on Dragon as I have on other game supplements, and to much greater overall effect. I also think, as a technologist and proponent of internet based promotion, publication, etc that they are making a huge misstep here. Even with widespread wireless you cannot easily take your latop on the bus to read, or anyplace else that a computer in inconvenient. Some things are meant to be on paper (without having to spend more money and hassle printing them yourself) .

I chalk this up to a bad decision by people (as usual) who have no understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the digital medium and tabletop gaming. Many RPG gamers do not actually play video games, I know because I am one of them. Pushing us into a conrner where having a computer is needed to aquire and utilize the new content is a mistake. A big mistake. As a game designer I am also quite displeased to see another forum for my work disappearing.

It is enough to make me seriously reconsider any purchases of WOTC materials in the future. I have suported them in many ways since they took over TSR, especially when they brought in the open source mentality of the Linux crowd to make the OGL and d20 licenses. This, however, is the senseless eradication of the most successful gaming magazine out there, one that has been a stepping stone for the career of many a designer as well as an endless fount of material for the overworked GM. Like many out there, it does not endear them to me.