WotC Rumblings: Online Store, E-Tools, And So On

With Hasbro’s quarterly earnings announcement due this coming Monday, it comes as no surprise that Wizards of the Coast‘s online store has closed down. Why? Because WotC has finally announced part of what’s been rumored for weeks now: someone else will be handling online retail sales for them from now on (specifically, SVGames, LLC). WotC wasn’t selling anything at their booth at Origins last month, reportedly due to a clause in the new contract with SVGames. Will WotC’s retail stores be sold off soon as well, fulfilling the other part of the prophesy? Perhaps we’ll see on Monday.

According to a post on Fluid Entertainment’s boards by Fluid’s Scott Matthews, the D&D3 eTools will be released at GenCon on Friday, August 9th. Scott will be giving a two-hour presentation of eTools the same day. The GM aid software will be sold on CD Rom, with an electronic manual crammed on it as well, but considering WotC’s recent retail wackiness, who knows if you’ll actually be able to get your hands on it at the convention. Scott expects the price to be around $30, but that’s just a guess.

WotC has also made some announcements regarding their product lines. The Wheel of Time RPG won’t be seeing any more supplements, nor will the recently cancelled Chainmail game see its planned September releases in their intended form. Instead, the figures from September’s sets will be sprinkled in amongst the Giants and Dragons I and II, and City of the Spider Queen sets. The reason given for shoving September’s figures out the door so haphazardly was difficulties in fitting them into the production schedule, plus, “This will allow us to better focus our efforts on the upcoming D&D miniatures game for Spring 2003.” Another one? Hoo-boy. I’m sure this one will overthrow Warhammer, and retailers everywhere will jump on the bandwagon without hesitation. Yeah, that’s the ticket…

By the way, there’s an online petition to change WotC’s mind about cancelling Chainmail, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.