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White Wolf has issued a press release announcing that the World of Darkness era in their games will be coming to an end. It will be followed by the Time of Judgment, which, according to the press release, will be tied into the upcoming Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines computer RPG. Check it out:

Atlanta, GA; July 26, 2003 -- After 12 years of buildup, White Wolf Publishing is bringing its award-winning World of Darkness to a climactic end in an unprecedented series of game supplements and tie-in novels. This is the Time of Judgment.

At a special announcement today, held as part of the Gen Con Game Fair in Indianapolis, IN, White Wolf Publishing brought the exciting and cataclysmic news to its fans and the entertainment community at large. Over the first three months of 2004, the Time of Judgment will unfold and bring a finale to the entire World of Darkness and its trademark games -- Vampire: The Masquerade®, Werewolf: The Apocalypse™, Mage: The Ascension®, Hunter: The Reckoning®, Demon: The Fallen™, Changeling: The Dreaming™, Mummy: The Resurrection™ and Kindred of the East™. Four hardcover game supplements will allow World of Darkness players and Storytellers to tell their own tales of the Time of Judgment. These books will be accompanied by three tie-in novels and special releases for both Mind’s Eye Theatre™ (White Wolf’s popular live-action roleplaying game) and Vampire: The Eternal Struggle® (White Wolf’s collectible trading-card game).

"We’ve been building to this point for years," said Justin Achilli, Intellectual Property Manager for Vampire: The Masquerade. "It’s time to put up or shut up." Indeed, even the very first edition of Vampire, released to acclaim in 1991, included prophecies of Gehenna, the vampires’ version of Armageddon. In 1998, that game’s revised edition ushered in the Final Nights™, a multi-year build up to the Time of Judgment. Every year thereafter brought a major step toward the brink of apocalypse. The Year of the Reckoning™ brought an end to Wraith: The Oblivion™ and ushered in Hunter: The Reckoning, a game chronicling humanity’s last stand against the monsters lurking in the shadows. Similarly, the Year of the Damned™ saw the arrival of demonic forces writ large as the gates of the biblical Hell opened, setting the stage of Demon: The Fallen. "An apocalypse is only exciting and terrifying if it can actually occur," said Mike Tinney, White Wolf’s President. "Our fans have come to expect top-notch storytelling from the World of Darkness, and a great story needs a great ending. It’s time to deliver."

"This really is the Apocalypse," said Ethan Skemp, Line Developer of Werewolf: The Apocalypse. "The final battle Werewolf has been leading up to since the get-go. A lot of fans have become jaded by supposedly earth-shattering events in comics and games that end up just returning to the status quo. This is not one of those." Indeed, after March of 2004, White Wolf will cease publication (and reprinting) of game books set in the modern World of Darkness. (The Dark Ages™ product line -- White Wolf’s medieval horror setting -- will continue as normal.)

"Many other publishers have released new editions of their games over the years. Some with more success and fanfare than others. That’s not what’s happening here," said Tinney. "In this case we’re delivering on a promise we made when Vampire first released in 1991. This end is real and this World of Darkness will never be seen again. What will ultimately follow is going to be wholly different. A new and compelling setting."

White Wolf Fiction will be an integral part of this cataclysmic event. The Time of Judgment Trilogy™ chronicles the end of the World of Darkness, with one book focusing on each of the three core games -- Vampire, Werewolf and Mage. As with game products, fiction releases have presaged these events for several years. "Back in 1999 and 2000, the Vampire Clan Novel™ series was a big part of launching the Final Nights," explained Philippe Boulle, Managing Editor of White Wolf Fiction. "The conclusion of 2001 and 2002’s Werewolf Tribe Novels™ showed just how close the Apocalypse is. These plot threads all come together in the Time of Judgment."

White Wolf’s live-action roleplaying line will also play an important part in the Time of Judgment. White Wolf will release Laws of Judgment™, which will provide all the tools for live-action players to tell stories of the end of the world. Similarly, White Wolf will release a special addition to its popular Vampire: The Eternal Struggle trading-card game based on the Time of Judgment. "The Gehenna expansion allows VTES to partake in this exciting storyline," said Steve Wieck, White Wolf’s Director of Card Projects. "We’re committed to continued support of VTES, and this set of boosters is only the first part of that."

White Wolf’s licensing partners are also getting involved in this event. Activision® will release Vampire: The Masquerade--Bloodlines, the second Vampire computer game, with a storyline tied directly to the Time of Judgment. "This will add extra excitement for those who are playing the tabletop game or reading the novels," said Chris McDonough, White Wolf’s Director of Computer Projects. "The computer game gains an epic scope from that connection. There are unique insights into the Time of Judgment that can only be uncovered through this game."

The Time of Judgment begins on January 14th, 2004 with the release of the first game supplement in the apocalyptic series.