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Good-Bye, Dungeon. Good-Bye, Dragon.

It’s true. Paizo just announced that the last print issues of Dragon Magazine and Dungeon Magazine will ship this fall. Their license is up to be renewed and, well, it won’t be.

Wizards of the Coast plans to use the magazine brands as part of a renewed web presence. In the meantime, Paizo will transition to publishing series of d20 adventures instead, among many other things.

Dragon Magazine is the great-grandaddy of gaming magazines. It’s last issue will be 359. Little brother Dungeon (which covers adventures as opposed to material useful to all players) makes it a nice around 150.

I read Dragon religiously when I was a kid, and I’ll miss it for sure. Oddly, I bypassed the industry standard of placing an article in Dungeon and went straight to working on games instead. An article I wrote about the heroes in Secret of the Spiritkeeper appeared in Dragon in 2004, and a short-story prequel to Marked for Death showed up in issue #330.

Farewell, old friends. You’ll be missed.

Comments 10

  1. Now, that’s horrible. Despite the fact the last Dragon magazine I bought was the lovely issue 300, it just felt nice having it around. And Dungeon… quite an essential ideas treasure chest back in my AD&D days. Bah! Sad news.

    Great post, though 🙂

  2. Now, that’s horrible. Despite the fact the last Dragon magazine I bought was the lovely issue 300, it just felt nice having it around. And Dungeon… quite an essential ideas treasure chest back in my AD&D days. Bah! Sad news.

    Great post, though 🙂

  3. I found the news sad as well, but not surprising. In an era where, one of the formerly best selling Movie magazines, Premiere goes out of business, it seemed inevitable that Dragon and Dungeon would follow suit. After all, Premiere is a magazine with many times the subscription rate of Dragon and Dungeon, yet they couldn’t survive as more than an online only presence.

    Cinefantastique recently had to change formats and become Geek Monthly, even though they are barely making ends meet as it is.

    I have been a subscriber to both magazines since prior to the launch of 3rd edition. I used to buy newstand prior to that, but found out that publishing houses only barely break even on newsstand sales. Which is, naturally, one of the key problems for Dungeon and Dragon magazines, they sold a large percentage as newsstand copies (or gamestore copies to be more specific) and that is costly.

    I am happy that Hasbro/Wizards will be supporting and online magazine and hope it will include room for new writer submissions. Given your recent news about Hasbro supporting a new line of books, that seems likely.

    I will also support Paizo in their new effort, Pathfinder, and am already a subscriber to that magazine.

    What surprised me was any calls for boycotting Wizards over the deal, though I think it is amusing that those calling for boycott tend not to be subscribers in the first place. While those of us with more moderate voices are subscribers and are transitioning to the new mag as well.

  4. I found the news sad as well, but not surprising. In an era where, one of the formerly best selling Movie magazines, Premiere goes out of business, it seemed inevitable that Dragon and Dungeon would follow suit. After all, Premiere is a magazine with many times the subscription rate of Dragon and Dungeon, yet they couldn’t survive as more than an online only presence.

    Cinefantastique recently had to change formats and become Geek Monthly, even though they are barely making ends meet as it is.

    I have been a subscriber to both magazines since prior to the launch of 3rd edition. I used to buy newstand prior to that, but found out that publishing houses only barely break even on newsstand sales. Which is, naturally, one of the key problems for Dungeon and Dragon magazines, they sold a large percentage as newsstand copies (or gamestore copies to be more specific) and that is costly.

    I am happy that Hasbro/Wizards will be supporting and online magazine and hope it will include room for new writer submissions. Given your recent news about Hasbro supporting a new line of books, that seems likely.

    I will also support Paizo in their new effort, Pathfinder, and am already a subscriber to that magazine.

    What surprised me was any calls for boycotting Wizards over the deal, though I think it is amusing that those calling for boycott tend not to be subscribers in the first place. While those of us with more moderate voices are subscribers and are transitioning to the new mag as well.

  5. Note that the press release states that Wizard only plans to bring the type of content you see in Dragon and Dungeon to its website. It says nothing about starting up an online magazine with either name.

    I’ve also learned that Wizards also allowed Margaret Weis Productions’ license to produce Dragonlance material to lapse. My guess is this is all a means to begin starving the marketplace of 3.5E material in preparation for the upcoming 4E, which is still at least a year or more off.

  6. Post
    Author

    Note that the press release states that Wizard only plans to bring the type of content you see in Dragon and Dungeon to its website. It says nothing about starting up an online magazine with either name.

    I’ve also learned that Wizards also allowed Margaret Weis Productions’ license to produce Dragonlance material to lapse. My guess is this is all a means to begin starving the marketplace of 3.5E material in preparation for the upcoming 4E, which is still at least a year or more off.

  7. To post #2:

    Dragon and Dungeon were both profitable magazines for Paizo, and WotC received money for the licensing fee. Unprofitability was not the reason for the end of the magazines. Just wanted to clarify, as it is an assumption by many that was the reason.

  8. To post #2:

    Dragon and Dungeon were both profitable magazines for Paizo, and WotC received money for the licensing fee. Unprofitability was not the reason for the end of the magazines. Just wanted to clarify, as it is an assumption by many that was the reason.

  9. Good point, Thorian. Given the fact that Wizards has also allowed Margaret Weis Productions’ license to produce Dragonlance material to lapse, it seems this is part of a larger trend. My guess is that Wizards hopes to starve the market of 3.5E material in advance of the premiere of 4E sometime next year.

  10. Post
    Author

    Good point, Thorian. Given the fact that Wizards has also allowed Margaret Weis Productions’ license to produce Dragonlance material to lapse, it seems this is part of a larger trend. My guess is that Wizards hopes to starve the market of 3.5E material in advance of the premiere of 4E sometime next year.

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