Wizards of the Coast to acquire TSR

Report by Ken Tidwell
April 10, 1997

Wizards of the Coast, makers of Magic: The Gathering and other fine games, announced today that they had signed a letter of intent to acquire TSR, Inc., makers of Dungeons & Dragons.

Coming hot on the heels of the acquisition of Mayfair by Iron Crown Enterprises and persistant rumors that Wingnut Games is about to be snapped up, I think its safe to say that we're seeing a consolidation. Perhaps its the end of an era as the CCG excitement cools, or, at least, settles into normalcy.

The move is a bit confusing given that it was only about a year and a half ago that Wizards of the Coast got out of the role playing game business and TSR's business has always centered on RPGs. That coupled with rumors that were floating around GAMA that WotC were about to get back into the board game business make me think the company is making yet another course correction.

On the other hand, the purchase puts WotC in control of almost all of the really large gaming conventions in the United States, AvalonCon being the exception that proves the rule. I know that at one time WotC's corporate strategy was to focus on events - game cons, tournaments, and the like.

Curious curmudgeons in Silicon Valley are wondering whether Mr. Gygax (the most outspoken of the creators of D&D who left/was expelled from the company long ago) will be returning to take the helm a la Steve Jobs at Apple. Garfield & Gygax has a very TSR-ish ring to it...

You can check out the official announcement at the Wizards of the Coast site.

The Game Cabinet - editor@gamecabinet.com - Ken Tidwell