Author George R.R. Martin’s news page confirms what everyone’s known for a while now: Guardians of Order is shut down. The unanswered phone calls and emails told that story already, but Martin offers news that “[Mark] MacKinnon is presently attempting to place some of GoO’s games with other companies.” More encouraging for Game of Thrones RPG fans is Martin’s statement that he is “presently attempting to work out some sort of settlement with Guardians that would allow the RPG to continue with another company”, but nothing is determined yet. Little by little, we’ve heard from folks who have settled up with GoO, so here’s hoping for a peaceful conclusion, rather than a Wizard’s Attic-like lynch mob.
From George R.R. Martin’s website:
GUARDIANS OF ORDER OUT OF BUSINESS
July 28, 2006
I regret to announce that Guardians of Order, the Canadian games company that issued the GAME OF THRONES role-playing game last fall, is closing its doors and going out of business.
Although the GoO website remains open and there is some fan activity on the message boards there, it would appear that orders are no longer being fulfilled and emails to Guardians itself are going unaswered. The company’s office has been vacated, and the company phone has been disconnected, When I finally reached GoO’s owner and president Mark MacKinnon last week, he confirmed what many had come to suspect – that he is shutting down operations. MacKinnon is presently attempting to place some of GoO’s games with other companies.
I am not privy to all of the details of how and why Guardians is going under, but I do know the company’s finances were very badly affected by the decline in the value of the American dollar against the Canadian dollar. Most of GoO’s sales were in the United States, so a weaker dollar meant less money coming in. The massive and gorgeous GAME OF THRONES role-playing book, four years in the making, was finally released last November (for details, see the news stories in my archives) and appears to have sold quite well, but its success proved too little and too late to save Guardians of Order.
I am presently attempting to work out some sort of settlement with Guardians that would allow the RPG to continue with another company, but at this writing the future of the game (if any) remains unresolved.
Ironically, this announcement comes just as the GAME OF THRONES RPG has been nominated for four “ENie” awards as one of the best games of 2005. The game has been nominated in the categories of Best Production Values, Best d20/ OGL Product, Best Product, and Best Game. If you’re a fan of the game and would like to cast a ballot, voting is open until July 30 at http://www.enworld.org/ennies/voting.php
It will be interesting to see how the liscense issues play out on this one…
My comments about timing of announcements and such, I think it’s highly commendable that GoG’s trying to place their licenses and product lines in other hands to ensure a future for them.
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