Gleemax: Wizard's gaming portal

According to their press release, Wizards of the coast is creating a new portal for “Hard Core Gamers.”

I find it refreshing that somebody is targeting hard core gamers in a time when “casual games” is the new hotness.

Anyway, there’s a lot of information about the new site here:

To quote my wife:



So, the secret of the rubber brains sent to Magic judges is revealed.

So is this why they killed Dungeon and Dragon magazines?


Buehler says in the interview (in part 3 I think) that this is unrelated to DnD or the magazine plan and that they will have other announcements to make regarding that franchise.


Kotaku’s got an interview about it now too:

It doesn’t add much to the discussion though.

I think this has the potential to be something really cool, if it’s not simply a giant shill for Wizards products.

I’m hoping that it will make it feel like it’s 72 degrees in my head… all the time

They’re making all of the right noises on this. The interview stresses that there’ll be places to talk about other company’s products and such.

As a game store owner I’m really excited about the prospect of putting up information about our store events and having that pushed out to users in our area.

In the interests of full disclosure though I should mention that my day job (GameTable Online) is doing some game development for them. I’ll be interested to see what the reaction is once the full raft of launch titles is announced… because I know that I like what I’ve played so far and I’m really excited about what we have in the hopper.


We do have plans for D&D. I’m sure you noticed the license to the Dungeon magazine and the Dragon magazine reverted to us. We let people know that we have plans, but we’re not ready to announce them yet. The story that we’re ready to tell at this stage is the story about Gleemax. The story about D&D is for another day.

If they say, “This is what we’re replacing Dungeon and Dragon with,” they’ve already got bad press and bad feelings in the community. So they have to say, “No, no, this is something totally different,” because a lot of people (including me) were pissed off with the cancellation of the magazines.

That’s the relationship. D&D will still have its own web presence, D&D will still do its own thing, but there will be a lot of cross references with Gleemax. We’ll be trying to drive Gleemax customers over to the D&D Website, and we’ll be trying to drive D&D players over to the Gleemax Website, but they’re not the same thing–they are distinct initiatives.

The D&D website is mediocre and has been for years. The website is there to push product, actual community and discussion is much better at, or at Paizo.

They’re looking at ways to monetize board games beyond buying a board game and playing it with your friends. I remain skeptical.

Gleeking to the max.

I like the excerpt TSG quoted:

The 3-part interview with Randy Buehler has some interesting bits in it.

On the target audience:

“Tabletop gamers are the first customers we care about. The second customer we care about is online strategy gamers. That’s the guy who is playing Civilization, or maybe he’s playing Halo because he doesn’t know any better, if only we could introduce him to the tabletop experiences, he’d rather be a hobby gamer.”

Emphasis mine. Poor deluded Civ player! If only we could free him from playing Halo. Doesn’t he know that he’s doing this all wrong!? Who will save him?

Reminds me of the attitude of some wargamers back on Usenet. All these fools playing modern RTS games, if only they knew about the existence of our glorious turn-based wargames, they’d convert in a heartbeat!

Exactly, as their only line of board games now is the various games AH is putting out, and I think the last few (Skull & Bones, RocketTown) were pretty widely panned. Their flagship is still A&A in various forms.

I’m not sure how their various minis seasons/competions are going (D&D, A&A, Star Wars), but Dreamblade is horrid.

I’m having a tough time seeing this new webportal playing host to discussions of the latest Eurogames, Battlelore tactics, scenarios for Command & Colors, etc.

This is one of those deals that comes down to execution. If it’s really open to non-WOTC products, and the community features are solid, big thumbs up.

But “Gleemax”? Seriously, WTF? During the “Wii” meltdown, it was all about the piss reference for some people, but at least the word itself was just simple and different.

“Gleemax” sounds like an off-brand detergent, and if you break the word down, it’s just dorky as hell, in a completely non-clever way. Great message, Wizards.

Smells like the last word left on the board in a brainstorm, and no one had the taste or sense to veto the damn thing.

I keep expecting it to be followed by a footnote telling me to ask my doctor if Gleemax is right for me.

Clearly they are looking at the success of boardgamegeek and trying to steal some of that thunder. It’ll be interesting, because they have a ways to go credibility-wise before anyone’s gonna make that their board/computer gaming portal.

Heh. Good luck with that!

So wotc have anything to do with hardcore gamers? since when?

BGG seems concerned enough about it to delete topics, messages and warn off Wotc employees from discussing it there.

Um, I would say that Magic the Gathering is about as hard core as it gets without getting into abstract games such as chess or go. So yes, they have a lot to do with hard core gamers imo.