GenCon Rumors

I have plenty to say about GenCon, but first I feel it my duty to report on a funny thing that happened to me yesterday on my final spin through the dealer’s hall:

I found myself at Troll Lord’s booth, idly skimming the Castles & Crusades titles.  A fellow working the booth asked me if I ran C&C, and I told him no, but that I run Basic D&D for which a lot of the stuff is easy to translate.  He then said “Oh, did you hear the news?  Wizard’s is going to republish 1st and 2nd edition AD&D.”

My mind was boggled.  I told him I was extremely skeptical, that this sounds far too wise a decision for Wizard’s, but he assured me he had it from a distributor and that it was true.  I left the booth and continued to roam the dealer’s hall with the idea bouncing around my head.  Then I found myself at Wizard’s booth and figured, why not just ask?

The first fellow I asked was clearly just a hired hand, but he directed to me an actual Wizard’s employee, and I put to him: “I heard a rumor that Wizard’s is going to be republishing 1st edition, can you confirm or deny that?”  He gave me an odd look and a shrug, and said he didn’t know anything about it.  A woman standing nearby chimed in “I can tell you what was said at this morning’s seminar.”  That sounded promising, “I’d love to hear it,” I told her.

“Someone asked ‘Will you be republishing or making available in electronic format any previous editions?'” she told me.  “The response was ‘Not at this time.'”

I then started stacking up the points in favor of its being true or false.  In the rumor’s favor was the bold assurance of the Troll Lord’s guy, his supposed reputable source, and the feeling that it seemed odd he should make such a thing up about what to him is essentially a competing product. The cagey responses from the official Wizards folks could also be interpreted as “I’m not allowed to talk about it.”

Against, is, well, a lot.  Why would they reprint both 2nd as well as 1st?  If they were going to reprint anything, why not announce it publicly right here at their biggest venue of the year?  There was also the second-hand report of their contradictory statement at a seminar that morning.  And finally, well, as I said it all just sounds terribly out of character for the company I’ve come to expect nothing but bungling and bad decisions from.

Still, just in case there’s any truth to this wild rumor, I thought I had better post about it.  Personally I’m extremely skeptical, but why not let the wild speculation begin?

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2 Comments

  1. I share your skepticism. I recall similar confident rumor 1-2 years ago, also through distributor chain, that came up bupkis (that 4E publishing would be suspended). Good on you for the follow-up journalism inquiry.

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