Two Kings Entertainment is launching a first-of-its-kind news show for tabletop games, whether they’re card games, board games, or tabletop roleplaying games (like Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder). Called Tabletop News, this series will launch with a Kickstarter campaign this March and already hosts a ton of well-known faces from across the tabletop industry.
Tabletop News will be a weekly news show that will report on upcoming product releases, community events, and announcements from independent tabletop gaming creators. The show also aims to interview celebrities and industry faces in the tabletop gaming space. Each episode will be about 12 minutes long and feature a collection of fast and fact-driven 60-second micro-stories and larger in-depth deep-dives.
When asked if Tabletop News will invest in pursuing its own original reporting or opt to exist as a space that offers a weekly roundup of stories collected from other voices in the industry, Tabletop News producer and host Michelle Nguyen Bradley told GameSpot it would be a “mix of both.”
“Our team of researchers and writers will, of course, be looking at other news stories of the week but will also seek out stories not often covered in major news media, spotlighting indie games and developers, BIPOC creators, and community members while covering everyone’s favorite games,” Bradley told GameSpot. “Additionally, we will be encouraging publishers and creators, big and small, to send us their press releases and news, as our goal is to keep the community at the heart of Tabletop News and keep them involved however possible.”
Tabletop News is launching during an incredibly ideal moment to jump into covering the multi-billion dollar tabletop gaming industry. The space has always been popular but has drastically grown in recent years given the explosive popularity of actual play D&D series like Dimension 20, Critical Role, and NY by Night/LA by Night. Virtual tools like DnDBeyond, One More Multiverse, and Roll20 all do a great deal to cut out the math aspects of TTRPGs as well, making many tabletop games more approachable. Plus, these virtual tools make it easier to play these games from anywhere, removing the barrier of having to meet in person to play.
On top of that, Dungeons & Dragons, arguably the best-known TTRPG, faced a crisis recently following the reveal that Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast were planning unpopular changes to D&D’s Open Gaming License. Hasbro and WotC have walked back that early OGL draft, but plenty of big names in the industry took advantage of the situation to announce their own TTRPG systems or gaming licenses. Kobold Press revealed its new Black Flag system, for instance, and Paizo announced independent third-party creators making content for Pathfinder would be protected under its new Open RPG Creative License (or ORC). The tabletop gaming space is primed to further expand in the coming years as these new systems are released and attract even more players and publishers into the community.
To account for this approaching growth, the Tabletop News team recognizes the importance of taking steps to make its video content accessible to all. “We are diligently working to ensure that all our content is accessible to the entire tabletop gaming community,” Bradley told GameSpot. “All our content will have captions for those with hearing disabilities. We are also working to keep our graphics and content color-blind-friendly.”
Admittedly, covering tabletop gaming news isn’t anything novel. Polygon hosts a superb tabletop section led by senior editor Charlie Hall for example, and Gizmodo staff writer Linda Codega is an incredible reporter in the space. However, there’s notably no trusted go-to spot solely devoted to collecting and distributing news in the tabletop industry. That’s the hole that Tabletop News seems like it’s trying to fill.
“It’s our belief that, like movies, TV, and even sports, the games we play around a table are equally deserving of a world-class news program,” Tabletop News executive producer Adam Rady said in a press release. “We’re excited to provide a place for all tabletop games to call home.”
“We recognized the lack of a consolidated news source as a pain point for the tabletop gaming community, and we’ve created Tabletop News to remedy that,” Bradley added. “By bringing tabletop gaming news together in one place, the community can spend less time figuring out what’s happening and more time gaming and creating.”
Bradley is well-known in the tabletop gaming space for her fabulous performances in popular actual plays Critical Role and NY by Night. Many of her fellow hosts are similarly popular in the tabletop space. Xander Jeanneret is known from LA by Night and Invitation to Party, Surena Marie worked on Critical Role and played in one of Dimension 20’s campaigns, Carlos Luna is a producer for Roll20 and also played on Dimension 20, and Becca Scott co-founded Good Time Society and, yes, also played on Dimension 20. Lots of D20 alums. The cast of rotating hosts is filled out by Nathan Ondracek from TheDaTNetwork and Katie Wilson, a well-known face in the Paizo space–home for popular TTRPG Pathfinder–and is also a host for SYFY.
Tabletop News has been in development for over a year, but the team is turning to Kickstarter to bring the series to life. The Kickstarter campaign will launch on March 14 and continue until April 13.
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