The ongoing legal battle between Dungeons and Dragons owner Wizards of the Coast and the recently resurrected version of original DnD company TSR has been (temporarily) halted, as the latter filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy this week.
Legal proceedings between the two tabletop RPG companies began in December 2021, and have been a somewhat messy affair, with TSR suing over Wizards’ right to use various trademarks and Wizards countersuing right back with various complaints, including trademark fraud regarding use of the TSR logo.
That’s all on pause now, however. As of June 12, proceedings are automatically stayed until further notice is given from the bankruptcy court. Previously the suits were due to come to trial in March 2024.
This news comes from Polygon, which says documents filed in North Carolina show that TSR has made a measly $621.93 in 2023 so far, while its liabilities total a whopping $384,941.99. It’s plain to see how those numbers have placed the company in its current sticky situation.
TSR in its original form was founded in 1973 by Gary Gygax and pals, and was the original publisher of Dungeons and Dragons. It was acquired by Wizards of the Coast after a period of financial trouble in 1996, with some members of staff moving to WotC and the company taking over publishing and designing for the RPG brand.
A new version of TSR was able to emerge in 2021 (as the trademark had expired years earlier) formed by North Carolina tattooist Justin LaNasa and Gary’s son Ernie Gygax. And so the stage was set for the current legal conflict.
In 2022, Wizards of the Coast attempted to place an injunction preventing TSR publishing a “despicable” game it said would damage its reputation. A report by Techraptor had claimed this game, Star Frontiers New Genesis, contained racist and homophobic content.
Did you know you can still play DnD (and other tabletop RPGs) like it’s the 1970s or 80s?. Check out our Into the Odd Remastered review if you’re interested in checking out the OSR scene. Or if you’re a true 5e fanatic instead, check out our guides to DnD classes, DnD races, and DnD character builds.