|Founded||1991 (White Wolf Corporation)|
2016-05-25? (White Wolf Entertainment AB trademark filing date)
CCP Games (2006–2015)
Paradox Interactive (2015–present)
White Wolf Entertainment AB, formerly White Wolf Publishing, was an American roleplaying game and book publisher. The company was founded in 1991 as a merger between Lion Rampant and White Wolf Magazine (est. 1986 in Rocky Face, GA; it later became "White Wolf Inphobia"), and was initially led by Mark Rein-Hagen of the former and Steve Wieck and Stewart Wieck of the latter. White Wolf Publishing, Inc. merged with CCP Games in 2006. White Wolf Publishing operated as an imprint of CCP hf, but ceased in-house production of any material, instead licensing their properties to other publishers. It was announced in October 2015 that White Wolf had been acquired from CCP by Paradox Interactive. In November 2018, after most of its staff were dismissed for making controversial statements, it was announced that White Wolf would no longer function as an entity separate from Paradox Interactive.
The name "White Wolf" originates from Michael Moorcock's works.
White Wolf published a line of several different but overlapping games set in the "World of Darkness", a "modern gothic" world that, while seemingly similar to the real world, is home to supernatural terrors, ancient conspiracies, and several approaching apocalypses. The company also published the high fantasy Exalted RPG, the modern mythic Scion, and d20 system material under their Sword & Sorcery imprint, including such titles as the Dungeons & Dragons gothic horror campaign setting Ravenloft, and Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed series. In order to complement the World of Darkness game line, a LARP system dubbed Mind's Eye Theatre has been published.
White Wolf also released several series of novels based on the Old World of Darkness, all of which are currently out of print (although many are coming back into availability via print-on-demand).
White Wolf also ventured in the collectible card game market with Arcadia, Rage, and Vampire: The Eternal Struggle (formerly Jyhad). V:TES, perhaps the most successful card game, was originally published by Wizards of the Coast in 1994, but was abandoned just two years later after a revamped base set, name change and three expansions were published. White Wolf acquired the rights to the game in 2000, even though no new material had been produced for the game in over four years. Since then, several V:TES expansions have been released, and the game was the only official source of material for the Old World of Darkness, until 2011 when the 20th Anniversary Edition of Vampire: The Masquerade was published and the Onyx Path was announced.
Video games such as Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption and Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines are based on White Wolf's role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade. There are also several Hunter: The Reckoning video games.
On Saturday, 11 November 2006, White Wolf and CCP Games, the Icelandic MMO development company responsible for EVE Online, announced a merger between the two companies during the keynote address at the EVE Online Fanfest 2006. It was also revealed that a World of Darkness MMORPG was already in the planning stages. This game was cancelled in April 2014 after nine years of development.
Main article: Onyx Path Publishing
At GenCon 2012 it was announced that CCP Games/White Wolf would not continue to produce table-top RPGs. Onyx Path Publishing, a new company by White Wolf Creative Director Richard Thomas, purchased the Trinity games and Scion from CCP and became licensee for the production of World of Darkness titles (classic and new), as well as Exalted. Onyx Path does not, however, hold a license to the Mind's Eye Theatre titles.
On Thursday, 29 October 2015, Paradox Interactive and CCP announced that Paradox had purchased White Wolf and all of its intellectual properties. Tobias Sjögren would serve as the CEO of the revived company, which would remain a subsidiary of Paradox. Martin Ericsson, formerly a developer on the World of Darkness MMO, served in the "Lead Storyteller" role for the company.
In November 2018, as a result of backlash generated by material pertaining to "murder of gay Chechens" published in a Vampire: The Masquerade Fifth Edition source book as well as the inclusion of optional neo-Nazi aesthetic in the Brujah vampire clan, it was announced that White Wolf would no longer function as an entity separate from its parent company, and would cease developing and publishing products internally.
The games of this series use White Wolf's Storyteller System. Several games inspired spinoffs in the form of historical period settings such as the Dark Ages.
In addition to those game lines a series of books was produced under the title World of Darkness. These provided stand-alone materials for multiple game lines with the focus on a specific region or theme, e.g. WoD: Blood-Dimmed Tides (about the oceans), WoD: Combat (an alternative 'crossover' combat system to resolve contradictory mechanics and add some sophistication), WoD: Tokyo and WoD: Mafia.
For the Third Edition of Ars Magica, White Wolf connected that game's pseudohistorical setting to the future World of Darkness setting. This was a simple adjustment (since the core premise of both settings is 'Earth as we know it' + 'supernatural fiction is reality') and particularly suited to the 'Tremere connection' between a clan of vampires from the original Vampire and a House of magi in the Order of Hermes (the central organization of Ars Magica as well as one of the 'Traditions' in M:TA).
The games of this series use White Wolf's newer Storytelling System. For over a decade it was also known as "World of Darkness," causing it to be referred to as the "new World of Darkness" or nWoD to distinguish it from the prior line of games. In December 2015, it was renamed "Chronicles of Darkness" by its new publisher Onyx Path in order to more clearly distinguish the two given Paradox Entertainment's intention to reboot the original setting.
Trinity was originally named Æon, but a trademark issue with Viacom related to the MTV show Æon Flux resulted in a name change.
The majority of the Old World of Darkness games were adapted into the original Mind's Eye Theatre format for live-action roleplaying. Product lines in this era include:
Subsequently, the Mind's Eye Theatre was revamped for the New World of Darkness. A core Mind's Eye Theatre rulebook was published as the LARP analogue to the World of Darkness core rulebook, with several Mind's Eye Theatre adaptations following in suit: The Requiem, The Forsaken, and The Awakening each adapted their respective namesakes to the new system of MET rules. The license to produce Mind's Eye Theatre content was acquired by By Night Studios in 2013.
At Midwinter Gaming Convention in 2013 it was announced that as a result of CCP Games' discontinuation of publishing, By Night Studios had acquired the license to all Mind's Eye Theatre titles. In May 2013, By Night Studios launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to rebuild the Mind's Eye Theatre: Vampire The Masquerade product specifically for the Live-Action Role Play audience. By Night Studios is currently developing Mind's Eye Theatre: Werewolf The Apocalypse in the same rebuilding fashion as Vampire The Masquerade.
In the 1990s, White Wolf also published fiction. This included novels and anthologies based on White Wolf's games, as well as general fantasy and horror fiction. White Wolf printed several Elric of Melniboné collections by Michael Moorcock. The company also put out general fiction collections by Harlan Ellison, as well as several paperback editions of the "Borderlands" anthologies edited by Thomas F. Monteleone.
White Wolf had different imprints under which various books are published, most notably:
Black Dog Game Factory was also a fictional company in the World of Darkness, as detailed in the Subsidiaries: A Guide to Pentex game supplement.
White Wolf won the 2004 Silver Ennie Award for "Best Publisher".