Saturday, June 21, 2008

RedBrick Signs on the Dotted Line

RedBrick has posted a press release, claiming to be the first folks to complete the GSL authorization process:

RedBrick Limited are pleased to announce they have successfully concluded the signing and acceptance of the first Game System License for Wizards of the Coast’s DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® 4th Edition Roleplaying Game.

James Flowers, RedBrick’s Managing Director, said "This is an exciting opportunity for us. We have been looking forward to working with Wizards of the Coast for some time. Now that Wizards have accepted RedBrick’s application for a Game System License, we can move forward with our plans for publishing DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® 4th Edition compatible products. Once details of our forthcoming product releases have been finalized, we will make a separate announcement."

This is a surprise, honestly. RedBrick are best known as the caretakers of other peoples' IP. They currently keep in print and publish supplements for FASA's Earthdawn, Holistic's amazing Fading Suns, and Biohazard's Blue Planet. Could they be talking about a 4e version of one of those games? Possibly, but it seems more likely they're thinking about completely unrelated projects. Blue Planet is a through-and-through sci-fi game. The sci might be a bit soft, but it would certainly be better served working under the as-yet-promised GSL for non-fantasy projects. Ditto for Fading Suns, though it does have some fantasy elements. So the most likely target in their current stable would be Earthdawn, and I'm not certain there's a market for a 4e version of that game. The 3e version, as I recall, didn't do all that well.

So I'm guessing that RedBrick is hoping to start a new line of products to support 4e. They're well positioned to do this, already having the resources in place to create and distribute professional-quality dead-tree and electronic books. They also already have access to some professional-level writers and designers. A new 4e line of sourcebooks and adventures would be an additional revenue stream for the company. In addition, without any OGL products in their catalog, the "poison pill" provisions of the GSL are not an issue for them.

So that gives us RedBrick as a confirmed GSL publisher, and Necromancer Games as an all-but official GSL publisher. I'll be surprised if Goodman Games doesn't also announce that they're signing on to the GSL as well.

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