Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Evil Stevie’s State of the Union Afterbirth

The big news from Steve Jackson’s latest address to the masses is that Munchkin will continue to dominate the efforts of the company for the foreseeable future.  The tongue-in-cheek card game accounted for over 55% of sales in 2006… and Steve reported in a recent message board post that he is hard at work on Munchkin 5.  He also remarked that in this new year, the company will drop everything at the first sign of a shortage in Munchkin product.  Letting Munchkin go out of print is like “leaving money on the table,” he noted.

Many GURPS fans got their panties in a wad at the news of what was to come for their favorite role playing game this year, but the fine print bears looking into.  Two new hardbacks are on the plate for 2007… including a third that was slated for 2006.  It would appear that the company has officially given the “240-page hardback every other month goal” the royal flush.  [Note to Editor: please cut and paste ‘Cut and Run’ joke #47 here.]  But don’t forget that the company plans on producing about as many online pdf pages for GURPS products ranging in a variety of sizes.  This e23 component can potentially double the amount of new GURPS material released in 2007– unless of course Munchkin sales rage out of control.

That said, what are the upcoming GURPS releases?  Marketing Director Paul Chapman recently stated that GURPS Ultra-Tech should ship in February and that GURPS Martial Arts likely to be released in the second quarter.  He also pointed out that e23 PDF releases in 2007 are likely to include “projects by David Pulver, Phil Masters, William Stoddard, and Sean Punch, covering everything from Infinite Worlds to supers to dungeons.”  GURPS Line editor Sean Punch has stated that he’d be editing High-Tech while Steve is editing Thaumatology— which will probably lead to High-Tech coming out first what with Steve having to do all of the boring run-the-company sort of stuff all the time.  Thaumatology might squeeze into 2007, Munchkin sales permitting. 

Should the GURPS fantasy gamer contingent be upset about such a perceived slight?  Not at, all, says Punch:  “Since 2004, fantasy fans have received Banestorm, Fantasy, and Magic… Fans of realistic historical gaming haven’t even received a crummy T-shirt, so it’s only fair that we give them High-Tech.”   If that doesn’t satisfy the fantasy crowd, then there are reports of a memo leaked from the Austin offices that Steve Jackson will begin confiscating power stones if he hears any more complaints.

And speaking of complaints, where is Ogre and Car Wars in all of this?  Yes indeedy, a couple of whiners have been heard on this point… nay, I say unto you, lo some have even gone on to write long winded heart-felt pleas.  Is Munchkin-mania a scourge and a plague upon our favorite gaming company stifling work on the fans’ favorite games?  Perhaps not, says Paul Chapman.  “The current situation is no different than the period when the entire SJGames staff focused on nothing but INWO, or the ‘all Car Wars, all the time’ era before that….  We’d all love to see Ogre (and Car Wars) returned to print, and succeed in a major way. However, the numbers (our income vs. our staffing levels) simply aren’t in support of such a move at the moment.”


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