Paradox Interactive Vice President of Business Development Shams Jorjani has been named interim manager of White Wolf Publishing. “In practical terms, White Wolf will no longer function as a separate entity,” Jorjani said in a statement posted on the White Wolf website. “The White Wolf team will be restructured and integrated directly into Paradox Interactive, and I will be temporarily managing things during this process. We are recruiting new leadership to guide White Wolf both creatively and commercially into the future, a process that has been ongoing since September.”  White Wolf Publishing CEO Tobias Sjogren left the company in September.

White Wolf will now focus on brand management, according to the statement, no longer developing or publishing products internally. The staff will instead develop guiding principles for World of Darkness, equipping licensees with the tools and guidelines needed to create products.

Meanwhile, digital sales and printing of the physical copies of the upcoming Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition books V:TM Camarilla Sourcebook and V:TM Anarch Sourcebook have been suspended while a section on Chechnya is removed from the Camarilla volume, a process that Jorjani said he expected to take about three weeks.   

The section on Chechnya in Camarilla is set in the real nation of Chechnya and is based on actual events: the nation’s ongoing genocide against LGBT citizens.  In the Vampire volume, these events are reframed as a conspiracy engineered by vampires to obtain a food source. Critics, reviewers and fans balked at the misappropriation of an active tragedy for entertainment purposes.

“The World of Darkness has always been about horror, and horror is about exploring the darkest parts of our society, our culture, and ourselves,” Jojani said. “Horror should not be afraid to explore difficult or sensitive topics, but it should never do so without understanding who those topics are about and what it means to them. Real evil does exist in the world, and we can’t ever excuse its real perpetrators or cheapen the suffering of its real victims.

“In the Chechnya chapter of the V5 Camarilla book, we lost sight of this. The result was a chapter that dealt with a real-world, ongoing tragedy in a crude and disrespectful way. We should have identified this either during the creative process or in editing. This did not happen, and for this we apologize.”

Paradox acquired White Wolf from CCP Games in 2015 (see “White Wolf Publishing Acquired by Paradox Interactive”), and launched the Fifth Edition of the Vampire: The Masquerade  this summer (see “White Wolf Unveils First 'Vampire: The Masquerade' Fifth Edition Releases”).

White Wolf already has an active licensing program for the property: Nice Game Publishing is producing Vampire: The Masquerade – Heritage (see “'Vampire: The Masquerade' Becomes A Legacy Board Game”), Geek & Sundry is livestreaming Los Angeles By Night (see “Geek & Sundry Streaming 'Vampire: The Masquerade' Game”) and Onyx Path is Kickstarting a supplement for the game (see “'Chicago by Night' Joins 'Vampire: The Masquerade 5E'”).