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I get the impression that WW is one of the few companies that made RPGs that is still financially viable without relying on some other product line (Munchkin in the case of SJGames), but that could be based on ignorance. Did WW get bought out because it was a valuable purchase or because they were looking for a buyer?

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Did WW get bought out because it was a valuable purchase or because they were looking for a buyer?

White Wolf themselves described it as more of a merger¹ as did CCP². WWG are the junior partner in that merger, but in joining with a computer games company, they are no longer reliant upon the vagaries of the market for RPG's. CCP has steady revenue, but needs more story developers than they can afford full time; WWG lacks steady revenue, like most RPG companies, but has steady supply for developers.

I don't know if they've ever been close to bankruptcy, but mergers are not normally a response to serious indebtedness. I do recall there was a financial hurt after Rein•Hagen left...


references:
1 http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/11732
2 http://www.ccpgames.com/en/company/merger.aspx

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I was privileged to visit CCP headquarters in Reykjavik on a Science trip with University. I can confirm what Aramis says, since that question was asked directly to several CCP employees. It was not out of necessity, but a mutually beneficial agreement/**merger**. I also heard WW was looking for a game company to create a MMORPG int he WoD universe, for which a company like CCP (who owns Eve Online, the largest persistent universe out ther afaik) is a great choice. –  joon Mar 19 '11 at 12:50
    
Pretty much, Flying Buffalo, SJG and Palladium are about the only 1st gen companies still in business under their original ownership... Even the second and third waves of companies have almost all sold off, merged, or died. Even the few whose names are still big and still around (Hero Games, ICE, White Wolf, Avalon Hill, Games Workshop) are all on at least the second ownership. FGU seems to still exist, in a reprints-only mode, but has recently lost/sold two games to excellent bit player Goblinoid. –  aramis Mar 20 '11 at 2:18
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