Guess what. Wizards of the Coast won't be at Gen Con this year.
Honestly, I'm probably not going to notice the difference. I'm not saying that Wizards of the Coast is terrible and I'm glad they won't be there. Far from it. I love the current edition of Dungeons and Dragons, and I ran a couple of campaigns with 4e and enjoyed most of my time with it. I've been a big fan of Wizards ever since I cracked my first Magic Starter Deck. For me, Gen Con has been the place I go to play anything but Dungeons and Dragons.
I'm not entirely sure what Wizards' absence from Gen Con really means. Baldman Games will still be there running the big D&D events, so if you want to play in the massive D&D games they'll still be there. Aside from the one session of 5th edition I participated in two years ago, I'm not sure what else Wizards does there for D&D.
The main reason I won't notice Wizards' absence is that I'm way too busy doing stuff that isn't D&D. If you're concerned about Wizards pulling out, or you're just looking for some other options, here's a few recommendations.
- Monte Cook Games puts on a ton of events that they're a blast.
- Slight bias here since I ran Numenera for them last year, and likely will again this year.
- ConTessa puts on a bunch of events that are great. I turned to them to get my Fate game for the year.
- You can pick up and play games at the Games on Demand room during the entire con.
- We got to try out Night Witches during some down time thanks to this hall.
- There are loads of other games to try out like Call of Cthulhu and 13th Age.
- There are board games to check out.
- The dealer hall, as crowded as it gets, has a ton of stuff to see.
Basically, there's a ton of things to do. Wizards presence at the convention hasn't ever been something that comes into my mind when I'm planning my time out there. I'll have a full schedule, and I'm pretty sure it'll be a lot of fun.