Wizards of the Coast, the publisher of Dungeons & Dragons, has filed a lawsuit against TSR LLC in order to stop the development and publication of its next tabletop RPG Star Frontiers: New Genesis.
On September 8, the Wizards filed a preliminary injunction against TSR, Justin LaNasa, and the Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum in Washington, D.C., where preliminary injunctions are commonly used to prevent one party in a legal battle from causing additional damage to a plaintiff, before they have the chance to file a formal lawsuit.
In this case, Wizards is closing down the production and distribution of Star Frontiers: New Genesis, a tabletop game that the smaller company is attempting to revive. In July of this year, a leaked playtest material appeared on social media and forums, revealing a slew of explicit racist, bigoted, anti-trans, and alt-right material throughout its worldbuilding and character creation.
The two companies, along with Gary Gygax''s son, Ernie Gygax, have formed what is now called NuTSR, a publisher who is already involved in a legal battle with Wizards of the Coast. However, NuTSR was dropped in a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, but was dismissed with a countersuit claiming the TSR logo continued to be used.
After purchasing Dungeons & Dragons, Wizards of the Coast now has the rights to many of the original TSRs games and properties, which was nearly insolvent. As outlined in the injunction, the company maintained the legal standard for common law trademark rights by selling digital TRPGs bearing these logos through web stores like Dungeon Masters Guild and DriveThruRPG.
Wizards of the Coasts is claiming that it intends to postpone any further manufacturing or distribution of Star Frontiers: New Genesis, including playtesting, because it has two logos legally belonging to the publisher. It further states the public may mistakenly believe Star Frontiers does nothing wrong, which would infringe upon the company''s recent efforts to foster a more inclusive environment.
Wizards has filed an injunction against NuTSR, which prohibits them from publishing "blatantly racist and transphobic" and "despicable content" using WotC trademarks. This thread will be updated as we get through the documents, there are three people and they''re long. pic.twitter.com/9Q2Q2VbOjn
Wizards of the Coast refused to comment on Dicebreakers'' request, and TSR LLC refused to respond before publication. This is only the beginning of NuTSR''s latest legal problem with Hasbro, a Seattle-based company. According to the document, general infringement may be remedied through future injunctive relief and monetary damages that Wizards will prove at trial.
Many will expect that NuTSR may be weakened beneath the legal potential Wizards of the Coast can bring to bear, and it''s difficult to argue that the playtest version of Star Frontiers New Genesis (which stated it was not to be given, released, and handed to anyone associated with Wizard of the Coast[sic], Hasbro) deserves space on game store books.
The preliminary injunction will be discussed on September 30th, so we will likely know more about the Wizards of the Coasts'' full legal plan and the potential TSR rejoinder by then. More detailed information about all three documents can be found in a detailed Twitter thread by NoHateInGaming.