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  • At the heyday of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition in the 1990s, TSR had Lorraine Williams as their CEO, who made no secret of her disdain both for gamers and for the people that worked under her. Among many things that caused Dungeons & Dragons and TSR to be run into the ground note  were:
    • Suing people left, right, and center for violation of intellectual property rights if they even talked about the game too muchnote . This included people who ran message boards for talking about Dungeons & Dragons on the then-nascent internet. This prevented new people from discovering the game through Internet word-of-mouth, gave their competitors a clear field to use the new medium to promote their products, and disenchanted fans.
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    • Lorraine Williams pushed a lot of company resources into publishing and promoting Buck Rogers XXVC, along with tie-in novels, board games, and even a PC game. This despite the fact that TSR already had a fairly successful Sci-fi RPG in the Star Frontiers game that was ripe for a new edition. She insisted that licensing a well-known IP like Buck Rogers would be more profitable, despite the fact that the owner of the IP would have to be paid royalties for every Buck Rogers product produced. In the end the game was not a success. Not because it was bad, necessarily, just that there wasn't much demand for it in an already crowded market.
      Who owned the IP? The Dille Family Trust. Lorraine Williams just happened to be one of the primary beneficiaries of said trust, meaning she personally received a royalty for every use of the license.
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    • TSR's solutions to declining D&D sales was to publish new settings. The problem was that the settings, modules, and rules that governed them were so incompatible with each other that the player base became fragmented. For instance, a Planescape fan would have no use for modules meant for the Birthright setting.
    • Licensing terrible games, with Baldur's Gate being a notable exception and becoming the string holding the franchise together. It probably could have gotten more people into the hobby if message boards about the game didn't have to censor comments about the tabletop version for fear of lawsuits (see above).
    • Nepotism ran rampant in the company, which resulted in unqualified managers.
    • Game designers were often forbidden by Williams to use company time to play test products, on the reasoning that playtesting was just an excuse for the peasants to get paid to play games.
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    • Jeff Grubb as one of their top designers has had a few things to say about this. Especially nice here are #19A "going into competition with our own licensees was a bit of a tradition at TSR" and #20 where his manager threw him under the bus when upper management found out he had been writing comics for a company they were now competing with, but in such a way that he finished his contract with DC before he was forced to stop.
  • Alternity was a generic RPG produced by TSR in last few years of their operations. And was already used as a source of "how to improve xD&D mess" ideas. When WOTC took over in 2000, they killed the system and cannibalized the settings into their d20 modern line so that it didn't compete against it. The official justification was that the game was "complete"...which left fans to snark that nothing quite completes a game like acquiring the Star Wars license, as WOTC put out a Star Wars d20 shortly thereafter.
  • The most common complaints against Games Workshop for their Warhammer 40,000 release schedule is that Space Marine armies always take precedence over non-Marine armies. The main Space Marine book has always been one of the first books updated in every edition change, while other armies have been languishing in Development Hell for almost as long as a decade.
    • An interesting subversion to the Codex: Space Marines are First trend is in 6th Edition. Chaos Space Marines were the first to arrive, followed by Dark Angels (subfaction of Space Marines) and the alien Tau race and then the Chaos Daemons, all before Space Marines. Still, it's no less than two Space Marine derivative armies to mark the 6th edition.
    • In 2014, Dark Elder got their second new codex since their initial debut in 3rd edition, having received their 6th edition codex after a whopping ten years without an update. And in 7e, they got majorly screwed, with the codex being ripped to shreds to provide fodder for two codexes (Dark Elder and Haemonculus Coven) and roughly two thirds of their special characters, including long-runner Asdrubael Vect, getting pruned from the codex. This has led to a huge backlash from the fans.
    • The Sisters of Battle has almost become a meme on how forgotten and mistreated their faction is, despite having one of the most vocal fanbases. Generally, they are portrayed as bystanders at best in any stories that have them, while being cannon fodder at worst. Like the Inquisition, they received a bare-bones codex update that brought them in line with the new rules, but only a digital release and no new units or models. Speaking of new models, they're forgotten for so long that their last model was from 3rd edition. Their newest codex was released in 6th. On top of that, they've also lost models from the range; the Dialogus and Immolator no longer have models that you can purchase legitimately; you'll have to either convert them on your own, buy second hand or resort to third-party vendors. The irony of the whole situation is that the Sisters of Battle is one of the few largely original IP Games Workshop still has but it's one of the least defended ones (which is saying something, since they defend their IP like EA does).
  • CCP's financial troubles in 2011, largely clustered around expensive microtransactions and an incomplete Incarna expansion to EVE Online, resulted in nearly 20% of the company's staff being laid off, including a number of people working at White Wolf, who they'd entered a business partnership with in 2006. Close to the same time, the general market for tabletop games and traditionally published works hit a major downturn, and WW made the transition from traditional print to PDF and publish-on-demand in order to stay afloat. One of the WW staffers, Rich Thomas, set up his own tabletop RPG company, Onyx Path, and licensed or bought most of WW's properties from CCP.
    • Exalted 2e also had an issue with the network screwing its writing staff. The game's already touchy mechanics are unforgiving to poorly-written Charms or Artifacts, and at least one freelancer was hired early in development without having access to the basic combat system rules. The Second Edition Sidereals' author didn't have enough time with the new mechanics to understand the importance of Keywords. Another author — reliably and consistently unnamed by Holden Shearer, the poor man who had to take the resulting hatemail — was responsible for several poorly written charms, including the terribad Solar Charms in Dreams of the First Age, and remained on the mechanics team until Scroll of Fallen Races, which at one point explained the functioning of a keyword, then failed to include any powers that actually used said keyword.
      • Exalted also had problems due to the network not bothering to enforce any kind of consistency or make the writers talk to each other. Numerous books displayed a staggering lack of internal consistency, with Infernals being split exactly down the middle between "Infernals are evil bastards with few to no redeeming features" and "Infernals are messed-up and damaged people, but while their stuff may usually look evil, they're not actually evil in application, so long as you direct them at people worse than you".
  • The Pokémon Trading Figure game in America. Fans got excited for it in 2006 when Pokémon USA announced it — a collectible figure game with high quality figures produced by noted Japanese company Kaiyodo, and featuring actual trainers from the game as figures — but the release was a disaster. All the strategy of the Japanese counterpart had been stripped, turning it into a strange hybrid of the TCG and the failed collectible coins game (essentially, it was Rock-Paper-Scissors with Pokémon, which was already Rock-Paper-Scissors where Rock wasn't necessarily going to be instakilled by Paper every single time) and the figures were impossible for collectors to find, were often broken in the packaging, and hardly advertised. In early 2009, after much delaying of the second expansion's release, it was officially announced as discontinued.
    • On top of that are the additional hurdles when trying to sell a trading figure game in the United States, especially to children: The packaging was not very theft-proof. Heroclix managed to survive because it's aimed at teens and young adults, who are less likely to just open and loot packages in-store, and reduced temptation to steal because every figurine is concealed.
  • The Luck & Logic card game befell this fate in English after two years. Simply put, it didn't seem to catch on like Vanguard or Buddyfight did. The tie-in anime generally topping at "so-so" ratings didn't help either. There was also the fact that said tie-in anime, which is based on the card game, didn't even feature the card game.

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