The Grand Masquerade (GM) is a convention focusing on LARP World of Darkness action. There's some tabletop role-playing, but the focus is definitely on LARP'ing and a previously-announced Big Announcement. If you recall before Gencon I was a little upset that White Wolf was holding off what seemed to be news of the future of the World of Darkness line for this smaller White Wolf-only event. Last night was supposed to be the big night with all the big news coming through.
Ignoring the fact that, even well after the announcement happened their own website couldn't be bothered to explain the actual news, the word that's coming out of The GM is hardly news at all. I speculated before Gencon that we'd be getting something that was actually a new piece of information that would give us some indication of where the World of Darkness tabletop line was going. Whether it was a New New World of Darkness or something else, I had hoped to see some kind of new approach or even just a broad strategy that the line would be taken to stay alive.
What we got was two announcements we have known about for ages, one since 2007. Essentially the center piece of The GM is a video of the first cinematic of the MMO "World of Darkness" CCP, the owner of White Wolf and producer of Eve Online, has been working on since they bought White Wolf. That's it. The other news is a confirmed Print-on-Demand structure in which the entire World of Darkness lines - Old and New - will be available in print and that it's confirmed they are still working on the character builder and online tools we heard about, what, a year ago? Essentially what could have been two minor press releases and a video at gametrailers.com is the big news.
frustratingly vague teaser we got at the back of Geist: The Sin-Eaters and all the speculation it ignited over a year ago? They really should have saved themselves the ink because this is an incredible let-down. I firmly believe that they had no idea what they were going to announce as an answer to this teaser when they made it. They just needed something to fill the page, and they unfortunately chose something that made it sound like they were revising the New World of Darkness for a new edition and rules update. Who knows - maybe they are. The problem is that White Wolf has always been just terrible with keeping their fans informed about their games.
This is ultimately what the title of this post is about. I'm not at The GM. I had to follow along like everyone else with baited breath to wait for the exciting announcement we were denied at Gencon and finally was to be revealed. I understand now White Wolf's terrible performance at Gencon. From their odd choice of not having actual items on sale or really be welcoming to anyone under 21 to their blaring "hot beats" and pretentiously dressed vampires, they really didn't have much to do at Gencon in the first place. I try to keep a civil and respectful atmosphere here with an emphasis on being generally positive, but sometimes the game companies we love make it so hard to be supportive. At this point we have just as good - or as bad - an idea of what's coming down the line, and there aren't anymore conventions to keep stalling for a later date to announce something for quite some time.