Wizards of the Coast (often referred to as WotC or simply Wizards) is an American publisher of games, primarily based on fantasy and science fiction themes. Originally a basement-run role-playing game publisher, they popularized the collectible card game genre with Magic: The Gathering in the mid-1990s. Today they publish board games, collectible card games and role-playing games. Currently they are a subsidiary of Hasbro.
Wizards of the Coast was founded by Peter Adkison in 1990 just outside Seattle, Washington, and their headquarters is still in nearby Renton. Originally the company only published role-playing games such as the third edition of Talislanta.
At 1993 Gen Con the company presented Magic: The Gathering, which success was so big that its revenue helped to solve numerous other problems Wizards has been having at that time. In 1994, they expanded their role-playing game line by buying SLA Industries from Nightfall Games and Ars Magica from White Wolf, Inc. In 1995 they released Everway and then closed their roleplaying game product line with Peter Adkison explaining that they were doing a disservice to the games with lack of support and had lost money on all of their roleplaying game products. In 1997, Wizards of the Coast was granted US patent 5662332 on Collectible card games, followed by the purchase of TSR, Inc., the cash-strapped makers of Dungeons & Dragons.
Many of the creative and professional staff of TSR relocated from Wisconsin to the Renton area, and Wizards re-hired many game designers who had been laid off during the troubled last years of TSR. TSR was used as a brand name for a while, then retired. Wizards of the Coast allowed the TSR trademarks to expire. The game and toy giant Hasbro bought Wizards of the Coast in September 1999. Between 1997 and 1999, they spun off several well-loved but poorly-selling campaign settings (most notably Planescape, Dark Sun and Spelljammer) to fan groups, focusing their business primarily on the profitable Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms lines.
Right now Wizards of the Coast publish several rules supplements, campaign setting supplements and adventures every year, together with updating the old books with web enhancements, erratas, additional maps and customer support.
There is also a tendency to explore the best bits of the older D&D editions and to migrate them to 3.5.
Games and products
- For the full list please consult Wikipedia.
Role-playing games and supplements
- Alternity (defunct line, acquired in the TSR buyout)
- Ars Magica 3rd edition supplements only.
- d20 Modern
- d20 system
- Dungeons & Dragons (acquired in the TSR buyout)
- Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game (acquired in the TSR buyout)
- Star Wars Roleplaying Game
- The Primal Order
Fantasy novel series
Wizards of the Coast also publishes many fantasy novel series based on its other game products. Some of these are now out-of-print.
- Forgotten Realms
- Legend of the Five Rings
- Magic: The Gathering (since 1998)