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 Jon Schindehette is leaving WotC
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Derulbaskul
Senior Scribe

Singapore
376 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2013 :  15:56:09  Show Profile Send Derulbaskul a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Jon Schindehette is and it's voluntary. ENWorld has the story.

I'm sorry to see this because he was making a real effort, it seemed, to get the new visual style for the Realms right.


Cheers
D

NB: Please remember: A cannon is a big gun. Canon is what we discuss here.

xaeyruudh
Master of Realmslore

USA
1808 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2013 :  18:10:42  Show Profile  Visit xaeyruudh's Homepage Send xaeyruudh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Unsure what to think about this, in the absence of details. Sounds like he felt stymied... like maybe he wanted to do something interesting but he was being held back. Never a good sign when one of your directors leaves for professional rather than personal reasons.

Best of luck to you Jon, if you read this. Thanks for sharing some of your thoughts and looking for feedback. I'm looking forward to seeing the new look at your next digs and seeing what might have been for us.

Also hoping WotC gets someone soon for D&D Next. It'd stink if production was delayed by not having an Art Director. Although more playtesting input probably wouldn't hurt.
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Rils
Learned Scribe

USA
94 Posts

Posted - 27 Sep 2013 :  19:45:10  Show Profile Send Rils a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Jon was the guy responsible for initiating and developing the FR World Bible project. Hopefully that doesn't disappear in his absence! What little we've seen of it Coffee Table Book worthy...

Dugmaren Brightmantle is my homey.
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Hawkins
Great Reader

USA
2130 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2013 :  00:41:24  Show Profile  Visit Hawkins's Homepage Send Hawkins a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here is a link to his explanation on his blog.

Errant d20 Designer - My Blog (last updated January 06, 2016)

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back. --Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

"Mmm, not the darkness," Myrin murmured. "Don't cast it there." --Erik Scott de Bie, Shadowbane

* My character sheets (PFRPG, 3.5, and AE versions; not viewable in Internet Explorer)
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My game design work:
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* Martial Arts Guidebook (forthcoming) (PFRPG, designer; Rite Publishing)
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4291 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2013 :  01:35:53  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That explanation is more cryptic then his prior remark.
quote:
I didnít get fired, and I didnít quit.

If he did neither of these he is still employed, however it appears in the following narrative he is free lancing, thus no longer employed. The other is he is still employed right now, however is looking for a better fulfilling job.

It does not explain anything at all.


Edit: One thing I did forget as possible. Contracts for service if term limited clearly end employment without being fired or quitting. Sports have free agents that sign for a year or more of service, the practice has become more common in other industries as well. It might be safe to guess that renewing a contract did not go well. No meeting of minds so after contract ends unemployed.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon

Edited by - Kentinal on 28 Sep 2013 01:53:42
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14015 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2013 :  13:41:15  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Haven't read the whole thing, but from Kentinel's quote above I would hazard to guess that his job just went from 'in-house' to 'out-sourced', which could mean he his still doing what he was doing, but his status within the company has changed.

I think there are certain... ummmm... 'restrictions'.. placed on in-house guys, and for some, I think a 'freelancer' move may be in their best (long-term) interest. In this industry, its never a good idea to "place all your eggs in one basket" (which is precisely what Hasbro would like everyone to do).

Thus, if you are 'the creative type' (as everyone in this industry should be), you may feel stymied if you want to see some of your ideas used, and 'the powers that be' have no interest in going down that road. Freelancer-status allows you to take those ideas elsewhere, while allowing your to still serve in the 'expected capacity' of your job.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 28 Sep 2013 13:42:09
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Jeremy Grenemyer
Great Reader

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2013 :  18:53:43  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well crap. Between Dungeon/Dragon magazines going silent and now this, I'm left wondering how WotC intends to communicate to fans of the Realms about how the setting is shaping up.

In terms of the look/artwork/style of the Realms, Schindehette was a voice at WotC that I looked to for information about the post-Sundering Realms, because of his presence at conventions and his articles on their website.

I'm disappointed he's leaving and I hope WotC wastes no time in finding someone to fill his shoes and give an all's well signal on their website.

As an aside, it's starting to feel like some bean counting management genius decided that now is a really great time to do a reorg within the gaming division at WotC. I swear sometimes its like their management is perpetually cursed by the Dilbert Paradox.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).
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Plaguescarred
Learned Scribe

Canada
190 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2013 :  23:36:37  Show Profile Send Plaguescarred a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Best of luck to Jon! I'm thankful for everything he did for D&D!

Yan
Montrťal, Canada
https://twitter.com/Plaguescarred
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Dark Wizard
Senior Scribe

USA
830 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2013 :  04:36:34  Show Profile Send Dark Wizard a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Saw this news floating around G+, but didn't want to believe it with all of the weirdness coming out of WotC. Sad to see Jon go as he seemed like one of the few people at WotC who actually had a long-term plan for the game and setting, and the ability to push things along.

In his blog post, John uses a business term "value-add" more than once. I'm not versed in the terminology, but I'm guessing if someone knows the context of that term, they'd have a pretty good idea of what he's talking about.

I'd bet it was a disagreement on his job description or a shift Wizards wanted to implement in his position, possibly them wanting him to take on some more managerial duties like before. Whereas he stated he definitely wanted to remain on the creative side with enough opportunities to participate in the overall art communities. Not being fire and not quitting could just mean phasing out his role in the upcoming D&D line.

No worries with his skills and experience, there's no lack of gaming companies in the area (or other companies dealing with such).
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Drustan Dwnhaedan
Learned Scribe

USA
323 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2013 :  07:54:59  Show Profile Send Drustan Dwnhaedan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Grenemyer

Well crap. Between Dungeon/Dragon magazines going silent and now this, I'm left wondering how WotC intends to communicate to fans of the Realms about how the setting is shaping up.

In terms of the look/artwork/style of the Realms, Schindehette was a voice at WotC that I looked to for information about the post-Sundering Realms, because of his presence at conventions and his articles on their website.

I'm disappointed he's leaving and I hope WotC wastes no time in finding someone to fill his shoes and give an all's well signal on their website.

As an aside, it's starting to feel like some bean counting management genius decided that now is a really great time to do a reorg within the gaming division at WotC. I swear sometimes its like their management is perpetually cursed by the Dilbert Paradox.



Doesn't the management of every company in the world suffer from the 'Dilbert Paradox' at one time or another? Sorry, I didn't mean to go off topic (I find the news that Mr. Schindehette is leaving extremely upsetting), but I just couldn't resist).
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Jeremy Grenemyer
Great Reader

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2013 :  08:29:38  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Drustan Dwnhaedan

Doesn't the management of every company in the world suffer from the 'Dilbert Paradox' at one time or another?
I'm sure they do.

Would you say, however, that every company perpetually suffers from the paradox? As in all the time?

quote:
Originally posted by Drustan Dwnhaedan

Sorry, I didn't mean to go off topic, but I just couldn't resist
No worries.

When I think about WotC under Hasbro's banner in terms of how they handle their operation and their headcount, the first words and phrases that come to mind are: turnover; consistently shrinking staff; fire over the holidays; do more with less; money first, IP second, staff a distant third.

Because Hasbro has told WotC that each of its departments has to produce a large income stream (instead of viewing the entire company as a single source of revenue), WotC's bean counters put money first.

Because their products are what make the money, they insist on onerous contracts that basically claim everything their employees create as belonging to WotC.

In my opinion, WotC's setup is the perfect engine for driving off in-house talent.

Yes, there are certainly lots of people waiting in line to take the place of the Jon Schindehette's of the world, but in my not so humble opinion those people aren't as talented because they're likely not as experienced.

In this day and age, an IP is often associated with the people who create it. Individuals are in many ways their own brand. When an individual like Schindehette achieves name recognition status amongst fans of the IP, his personal brand becomes part of the reputation of the IP.

When WotC's bean counters fail to retain that person during the lead up to a product launch, regardless of whether Schindehette decided it was time for a change or because WotC's work environment forced him out, that damages the IP and casts doubt on the leadership and direction of the division Schindehette was a part of.

He may have decided to leave of his own free will, but (again, in my opinion) it's 100% WotC's fault for failing to retain him.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).
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xaeyruudh
Master of Realmslore

USA
1808 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2013 :  09:04:46  Show Profile  Visit xaeyruudh's Homepage Send xaeyruudh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Grenemyer

Because Hasbro has told WotC that each of its departments has to produce a large income stream (instead of viewing the entire company as a single source of revenue), WotC's bean counters put money first.


I agree on most counts, especially WotC's failure to retain Jon and others, but at the risk of sounding like I'm bashing WotC yet again, I have to point out that the bean counters were putting money first before the acquisition by Hasbro.

I'm not actually trying to bash them, and I think I'm going to drop this topic like a hot potato because few/none of us have any real knowledge of the situation and I don't think it's possible to get anywhere except frustration. I find a lot to dislike in what WotC has done to the Realms, but I don't know if the WotC acquisition of TSR was a bad thing objectively. Likewise the Hasbro acquisition of WotC. Just don't have enough info.

I'm sure WotC's bean counters are not unique in their moneygrubbing ways. Certainly other industries have their greed-dominated corporations... Walmart for an easy example. I'd like to think otherwise, but maybe even in the RPG industry every company has to be run by weresharks in order to just keep their heads above water.

Hot potato dropped.

Edited by - xaeyruudh on 29 Sep 2013 09:06:02
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Jeremy Grenemyer
Great Reader

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2013 :  10:39:47  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by xaeyruudh

I agree on most counts, especially WotC's failure to retain Jon and others, but at the risk of sounding like I'm bashing WotC yet again, I have to point out that the bean counters were putting money first before the acquisition by Hasbro.
I guess it depends on what you mean by "putting money first."

If you mean it in the sense that money and the IP mattered to pre-Hasbro WotC as much as it seems to mean to WotC-under-Habro, such that they regularly fired people and seemed to think doing more with less is a smart way to run a business, then I strongly disagree.

If you mean it in the sense that pre-Hasbro WotC allowed itself to be bought by Hasbro, i.e. they sold out, well then I only partially agree. I don't think WotC sold out by any means, but I do believe the management team that existed then intended to build a company that could eventually be sold at a premium, for the benefit of those who'd invested in WotC.

But in order to do that, they had to do (amongst other things) D&D right.

And they did. The D&D game, in my not so humble opinion, has never been better served than it was under Wizards of the Coast when WotC was privately owned and they'd just purchased the brand from TSR.

Your hot potato does not bother me.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).
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Derulbaskul
Senior Scribe

Singapore
376 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2013 :  16:25:38  Show Profile Send Derulbaskul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Any business has to put money first if it's going to stay in business.

But the art in business is knowing when cutting a cost is trimming the fat... or is cutting into muscle.

To do business well, you must cut fat - that's a simple fact - but must build muscle.

And there are bean counters and there are bean counters. There are bean counters who understand the difference between fat and muscle - and, more importantly, report to business leaders who know the difference between the two - and then there are pettifogging petty bureaucrats who simply enforce petty rules invented by petty minds with no measure of talent or leadership.

Bean counting by itself is not a bad thing.

Cheers
D

NB: Please remember: A cannon is a big gun. Canon is what we discuss here.
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SirUrza
Master of Realmslore

USA
1283 Posts

Posted - 29 Sep 2013 :  16:48:55  Show Profile  Send SirUrza an AOL message  Send SirUrza an ICQ Message Send SirUrza a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This doesn't bold well for other settings, assuming WOTC puts any effort into them. I was hoping they'd put as much love and attention in bringing Dragonlance and Greyhawk back when they were done with the Realms.

As for the business side of things, remember, Magic the Gathering makes them more money at the end of the day then anything else. When other projects start to cut too deeply into their project profits, things will get dropped. It's why Star Wars minis got cut, then D&D Minis got cut, then the Star Wars license got lost, and then novels and 4e supplements evaporated.

I mean really... Star Wars miniatures. How could that fail? If even Star Wars fans weren't playing the game, they should have been able to sell them like hot cakes but they choose to randomize them, a lesson Fantasy Flight took to heart and has seemed to benefit from.

"Evil prevails when good men fail to act."
The original and unapologetic Arilyn, Aribeth, Seoni Fanboy.
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