Together, we will create the industry’s most innovative games leveraging both online and offline systems.
-White Wolf president Mike Tinney, November 2006
The ongoing tale of CCP Games, White Wolf, and the World of Darkness IP. A story as old as this blog.
Back in 2006, during the heady days of MMO glory, when every virtual world idea seemed like a good one, CCP bough White Wolf with the express desire of turning World of Darkness into an MMO. We had heard that by 2009, during the growth years of EVE Online, that CCP was had a team actively working on that project.
World of Darkness
And then fortunes changed. There were layoffs in 2011 and again in 2013 that directly affected the team working on the project.
Then there was the mysterious asset derecognition in the company books in March of last year that later turned out to be World of Darkness. Then, finally, in April of 2014, the 56 people still working on the project were let go and the project was officially terminated by CCP.
After that, some tales of the project leaked out to the press, with stories of hitting alpha a few times only to be rejected and a large amount of “borrowing” of assets from the WoD team to support other projects, especially EVE Online.
And that is where things were left. It has been well over a year since we have heard anything substantial. And then yesterday there was finally some news. Paradox Interactive, the Swedish King of computer strategy games, is buying White Wolf from CCP. On the Icelandic side of things, this unburdens CCP some and provides them with some additional cash in the bank. But we already knew that they were concentrating on the EVE Online universe and related VR titles like Valkyrie and Gunjack. (What fate awaits DUST 514 though, the only “not in space” game in the set?)
What Paradox will end up doing with White Wolf is less clear. The phrase “…will pursue development opportunities across relevant categories of game…” is as open ended as one would expect at this stage of things.
Does that mean a World of Darkness MMO some day? That still seems pretty doubtful to me. The age of “MMO all the things!” has passed. I am not sure “WoW with vampires!” would do any of us any credit. (And hopefully nobody is thinking “LoL with vampires!” We’re past that too now, right?)
But we might get a decent computer RPG some day. We shall see.
The press release from Paradox Interactive is below. There was no press release from the CCP side of things, but then they cannot even seem to keep up with EVE Online expansions there.
Paradox Interactive Acquires White Wolf Publishing from CCP Games
New Paradox Subsidiary will Operate Independently and Manage All White Wolf Properties, Including World of Darkness and Vampire: The Masquerade
STOCKHOLM – Oct. 29, 2015 – Paradox Interactive, a global games developer and publisher, today announced the acquisition of White Wolf Publishing from CCP Games in an all-cash deal. Now a subsidiary of Paradox Interactive, White Wolf Publishing is a licensing business that owns and manages intellectual properties including World of Darkness, Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse. Led by CEO Tobias Sjögren, former EVP of Business Development at Paradox, White Wolf Publishing will operate as an independent entity with a dedicated team.
White Wolf Publishing has a long history of producing gaming universes that span mediums, including tabletop and collectible card games, PC games and books. Paradox Interactive acquired all of White Wolf’s brands, and its new subsidiary will pursue development opportunities across relevant categories of games under the White Wolf Publishing name.
“Like Paradox’s games, White Wolf’s properties have dedicated, passionate communities. While there are similarities in spirit, White Wolf’s IPs have very different themes than Paradox’s titles, and deserve their own brand and team,” said Fredrik Wester, CEO and President of Paradox Interactive. “We have great respect for White Wolf’s gaming worlds and see big opportunities for their expansion in the future under our new subsidiary.”
“Over the last 20 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with beloved studios like DICE and Paradox on the business management side of games, and as a developer earlier in my career. I look forward to bringing my experience to bear as we pursue new ways to interact with White Wolf’s universes,” said Tobias Sjögren, CEO of White Wolf Publishing. “The White Wolf IPs are well suited for all kinds of media and we see great potential to expand them in the future.”
“At CCP, we have great admiration for the White Wolf brands and communities, and it was extremely important to us that the acquiring company share the same respect and understanding,” said Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, CEO of CCP Games. “With Paradox, we know we are leaving the brands in good hands.”
For more information about White Wolf Publishing, please visit www.whitewolf-publishing.com.