As formerly noted, one of the secrets of the gaming industry, comparable to “The Emperor has no clothes!”, is that the former King of roleplaying games, Wizards of the Coast’s Dungeons and Dragons, was deposed from, or more abdicated from the Throne of Games and dropped out of the top five roleplaying games. The gaming mega-con, GenCon 2014, was held August 14 through 17 and it was clear there was no vaccuum of power left in their absence at the ENnie Awards.
Monte Cook Games, LLC, Numenera ranked number five of the ICv2’s top five role playing games and took nine ENnie awards including the gold for Product of the Year. Monte Cook formerly worked on Wizards of the Coast’s on their newly released version of their dungeons and dragons genre game, “Next” but left due to differences of oppinion with the company.
From this year’s ENnie awards it is clear that Evil Hat Productions and Monte Cook Games have truly risen to the level of Lords of Gaming but who has risen to the top?
The Paizo Publishing Company‘s Pathfinder ranked number one on the ICv2 list of the top five role playing games and at the GenCon Ennies their pathfinder products took eight ENnies for Paizo as well as two for Whiz Kids for their Pathfinder miniatures. Among their eight awards, all gold, was the gold award for the Best Publisher.
According to the ENnie Awards website:
“The ENnies were created in 2001 as an annual award ceremony, hosted by the leading D&D/d20 system fan site, EN World in partnership with Eric Noah’s Unofficial D&D 3rd Edition News. Since they were originally conceived the ENnies have expanded from an Internet-based awards selection to an annual award ceremony at Gen Con Indy.”
So, while Hasbro’s Wizards of the Coast failed to produce anything worthy of a nomination by the dungeons and dragons playing community at GenCon’s 2014 ENnie awards, Paizo’s Pathfinder has clearly risen to claim the throne with Monte Cook Games, LLC and Evil Hat Productions at their sides. While Hasbro’s Wizards of the Coast struggles to keep their brand alive, the dungeons and dragons genre thrives on without them. So, in the meantime, if your kids say they are playing dungeons and dragons, chances are high that it is Pathfinder from Paizo. The King is dead! Long live King Paizo!