Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's Official - TLG Loses Castle Zagyg

Over at the Troll Dens, Stephen has revealed that Gygax Games has officially yanked all of TLG's licenses to Gary's intellectual property:
Gygax Games has withdrawn all licenses from Troll Lord Games. This includes Gygaxian Fantasy Worlds, Gord the Rogue, King of England King of France, C&C Adventures as well as Castle Zagyg.
Now, I can't say that I've not seen this coming, despite the efforts of some pollyannas to say that "no news is better than bad news". There is no news as to what, exactly, Gygax Games is planning on doing with all the properties that TLG had spent so many years developing, although it seems pretty obvious that they're going to need to spend quite a bit of time ramping up their own development process just to catch up to where TLG was as of this week.

The implications for Castle Zagyg are clear; if and when the series is released by Gygax Games, it's not going to be as a Castles & Crusades product. The most likely scenario is that they will be releasing it as a 4E product, because the market is much larger for such material. I fully understand that decision, if it actually materializes, even if I do not support it as it is clearly not what Gary Gygax wanted to do with the material. But that is only speculation on my part, and I shall wait to see what comes out of Gygax Games in the coming months in terms of announcements to the gaming community.

What this means to me, specifically, in the context of my own Greyhawk campaign, is that I will be using the published version of Upper Works produced by TLG, as it is an excellent product and conversion to my own system of choice (AD&D) is quite simple. I had originally been waiting for the next boxed set in the series, so I could have a good half-dozen or so levels for my players to explore, but now I will then be producing my own dungeon levels, based on both the announced plans for the TLG product line and the many and varied bits of Greyhawk lore scattered hither and yon on the web. I simply don't want to have to wait for Gygax Games to get its act together, especially when it seems pretty obvious that their product will be released in a game system that is light-years away from being compatible with the game I play. I might retro-fit converted versions of their material into my own at some point, but I'm not going to worry about that until we get some more information from Gygax Games, and close to an actual delivery date.

If you can, buy TLG's Upper Works now, while they have them in stock. They're ceasing sales of UW (and other Gygax products) on December 31, 2008.


DuBeers said...

I had a feeling when Gary passed that the Castle Zagyg project was suddenly morphed into vapor-ware. (sigh)

James Maliszewski said...

Vapor-ware I can deal with. What worries me more is the likelihood that some third party will come along to develop the CZ concept for Gygax Games, a third party who'll do so without any real connection to Gary or his vision for the project. The end result of such an arrangement would be to reduce Castle Zagyg to a brand name in the same way WotC has reduced the name Dungeons & Dragons to one.

No thanks.

Zachary The First said...

Yep. I hope for the best for the Trolls, and am curious what sort of reception Gygax Games will be met with. We always seem to be fracturing, fracturing into smaller and smaller factions.