HerderOfCats writes "Shannon Appelcline has written up an excellent independent history of Wizards of the Coast, the company that brought us Magic: The Gathering, eventually acquired TSR and D&D, transformed the paper RPG game industry with d20 and the Open Game License, and eventually was acquired by game giant Hasbro." From the RPGNet article: "Overall, Hasbro was looking to make Wizards meaner and leaner, and thus a better profit making machine. In 2001 and 2002 Habro also divested themselves of their conventions. Origins went to GAMA and GenCon to Peter Adkison. Around the same time they also outsourced their magazines by licensing Dungeon, Dragon, Polyhedron, and Amazing Stories to Paizo Publishing, who continues to publish the RPG magazines today. Two years later another pruning would come. Wizards had also been running 85 'Game Keeper' and 'Wizards of the Coast' retail stores, but in early 2004, Hasbro shut them all down. Together with selling the conventions, this relieved any concerns that Wizards might be developing a vertical monopoly, like that controlled by Games Workshop in the UK--and really such a monopoly wouldn't have made sense given the d20 strategy. "
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