West End Games, one time publishers of Paranoia and The Star Wars RPG, and current publishers of the Junta board game and the d6 RPG system, is up for sale.

West End Games was doing well with its Paranoia and Star Wars RPG system into the early nineties, but an excess of other licenses and inability to turn these into profitable lines caused the company to go bankrupt in the late nineties.

Eric Gibson bought the company in 2004, and turned out Junta and the d6 line of products, Unfortunately, these did not result in sufficient sales, and the company was hemorrhaging money. The latest project, an RPG project called Septimus by Bill Coffin, took in some preorders, but in March had to be cancelled, as the 400 page book was going to be too expensive to produce.

Eric now claims to be in such a bad financial situation that he can’t yet offer refunds to those who preordered Septimus, and can’t even ship alternate products to those who said they were willing to accept them as he couldn’t even afford the postage. This is rather a strange claim, as several people have indicated that they would be willing to pay for the postage themselves.

What seems to bother most people is the lack of communication. On the RPG.net forums and on the West End forums, customers have been remarkably patient, with a few on RPG.net being rather less so, but the responses from Eric are generally rather infrequent and less than satisfyingly complete.

Yesterday, he finally said he had enough of the belligerence and difficulty and is offering the company for sale. In fact, he has already turned down some offer for sale from some parties, calling them insufficient, and is now offering the company for sale to the general public. The future of the company is not certain.