Wizards of the Coast jumps off the Star Wars ship

In what I’m sure is not a shock to any and all active gamers, Wizards of the Coast will not be renewing their Star Wars license.

They picked up the RPG license back in 2001, redoing the game twice, and some say they never quite captured the spirit of the original West End Games line that was an important launching point for the modern EU, and many writers still working with the franchise today.

I don’t think we’ve seen the end of a Star Wars RPG: StarWars.com’s line about “announcements regarding future products” almost guarantees it – so here’s hoping that Lucasfilm can find a company with the enthusiasm they – and the fans – need.

A publishing 411: Go buy some books

Random House is among the publishers doing some housecleaning and restructuring right now. I’m not seeing Del Rey get any mentions, even in the blogs, but the Star Wars line is a massive cash cow, so maybe the folks there will weather it out. (Wizards of the Coast, however…)

But my point: I’m going to echo Scalzi and say that now is a good time to go buy some stuff that doesn’t have the safety net of a massive franchise and a 4-year contract, i.e. all those other books. Remember, science fiction and fantasy is a niche market, and thus likely to get caught up in cuts along the bottom line. So go out and support your favorites: Every paperback helps, and the bookstores aren’t doing that hot, either.

UPDATE: Scalzi is having a suggest-a-thon.