During the period of 1991 to 2004, the White Wolf Gaming Studio created The World of Darkness.
It was a dark urban fantasy, or cyberpunk near-future version of the modern world, in the form of a table-top role-playing game. In this world you could play as a vampire struggling with your inhumanity, a mage discovering the esoteric patterns underlying reality, a werewolf fighting to regain environmental equilibrium, a fae being navigating strange and treacherous faerie courts and urban decay, or a wraith exploring the realms of the afterlife. And these are only a few prominent examples of what to expect in the World of Darkness: a role-playing game created for mature players with disturbing and, conversely, intelligent and philosophical themes.
Now imagine all of this made into a massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
It’s not too much of a stretch to consider. Crowd Control Productions Games (or CCP Games), along with White Wolf, were planning to take Vampire: The Masquerade and use its emphasis on in-character or player politics to create an interesting dynamic with the rest of the dark world as a backdrop. Essentially, you as the player would know what it would be like to be an individual vampire attempting to interact with and understand undead existence amid the mortal world. It very much sounded like a multi-player expansion of the Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines game.
Unfortunately, CCP has been forced to cancel this project that had been in the making since 2006 and CCP Atlanta is currently in a process of staff layoffs and internal reassignments within the company. So the World of Darkness seems to have been foiled in its attempt to spread throughout the Internet. Perhaps that is just as well. MMORPGs tend to lose cohesive story development and meaning, becoming a repetitive item-drop and annual enemy killing cycle over time. Of course, I could definitely be wrong and I admit that perhaps there were different rule mechanics in this game project that might have been different from generic MMORPG game-play.
Who knows: they might have even expanded on it and added other denizens from the World of Darkness as well in a very cohesive and well-rounded manner.
I suppose we will never really know for sure now. Above is some of the first in-game footage. Tell us what you think.
One thought on “A World of Darkness Closes Its Eyes”
Hi! Just a few clarifications. White Wolf indeed published what we’re now calling the Classic World of Darkness from 1991-2004, and began publishing a new World of Darkness from 2004-2011 (sort of like the main Marvel Universe and the Ultimates Universe). In 2006, White Wolf and CCP merged, but books continued to be released. At the end of 2011, CCP released Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition, one of their final products before an internal reorganization unfortunately caused them to shut down their publishing arm.
WW’s creative director Rich Thomas started his own company, Onyx Path Publishing, where I serve as community manager. Onyx Path got the license from CCP to publish both Worlds of Darkness and another popular WW property, Exalted. For the past two years our crew, mostly the same people who have been working on the books all along, have released a ton of excellent new material. We just finished a Kickstarter for a deluxe edition of Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition, and it pulled in a shade over $670K, making it the second highest-funded tabletop RPG Kickstarter, second only to our Kickstarter for the deluxe edition of the aforementioned Exalted.
The closure of the MMO sucks for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that many of our friends, family, and coworkers are suddenly left without jobs. However, for people who loved the original White Wolf tabletop experience, that proceeds uninterrupted for new and old fans alike.