Coronavirus has hit the world of popular culture and gaming like nothing else before it. With companies closing their doors at lightning-speed and reopening like molasses, it's especially clear that the tabletop gaming industry has taken, arguably, the worst hit of all.
After all, tabletop gaming is, at its very heart, a social experience. If we are all distancing ourselves, there is no reprieve in the form of tabletop gaming if we can't play together in a social context.
Having said that, here is a brief outline of what is going on with some companies:
- Games Workshop, the industry giant responsible for Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer: Age of Sigmar among many other games, is closed worldwide for the foreseeable future. They aren't releasing models, they aren't doing orders, and all of their stores are closed for the time being. The bright side is that they are doing previews for models as an optimistic portent into the future of their grimdark future! Their most recent update regarding their place in the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.
- Wizards of the Coast, most famous for their games Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, have delayed their releases for physical tabletop goods. The Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths prerelease was meant to have taken place two weekends ago, with the physical release being a week later; due to COVID-19, this release was delayed to May 15th in North America, Latin America, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. There is no word on if this will be delayed further anywhere, considering the continuation of the pandemic's existence in the United States or other places. Their most recent COVID-19 update can be found here.
- Paizo, known for its Pathfinder and Starfinder role-playing games, has been periodically updating players about their updates by email. They are releasing modules for their games by digital means.
- Renegade Game Studios, the creator of many games including Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid, seems to be running safely.
- Studio71, the company behind Half Truth, also seems to be running alright. We recently interviewed two of the designers for Half Truth you can find the interviews we did with Richard Garfield and Ken Jennings here and here, respectively. Half-Truth is available for preorder, on top of all that.
- Wyrd Games, known best for their Malifaux tabletop game and their associated role-playing game Through the Breach, is expecting to experience further delays in shipping their releases due to COVID-19. Their statement on the matter is here.
It seems to us that COVID-19 is beginning to falter. While this may be true, it's still safest to keep tabs on your favorite companies (and of course, your friends and family) from afar. Please stay safe as we go into May of 2020!