Riimuahjo Oy, the company behind the Roolipelaaja magazine, announced yesterday that the magazine is ceasing publication. The current, 23rd issue of the magazine, is its last, and Finland is, once again, bereft of a roleplaying game magazine.
It did come as a bit of a surprise, though not a great one. It was always known that the magazine was not making profit. It was the original reason H-Town ceased its publication and sold it to Riimuahjo. I do not know if it did any better under its new management, but if it did, it evidently did not do well enough.
I will not engage in speculation as to what could have been done differently, or point fingers. Roolipelaaja was certainly a bit of an oddball in being billed as a lifestyle magazine for gamers. However, it was well made, most of the articles – even the LARP stuff – was interesting, and I, at least, enjoyed it.
Of course, I am strongly biased. I started writing for Roolipelaaja in late 2007 and wrote a total of twelve articles, reviews or other pieces for the magazine. In the most recent issue, “Luolaston perukoilta” (From the Back of the Dungeon) started. It was to be a regular feature where I talk about recent events in the D20 and OSR scenes. So much for that, then. It does sting a bit.
Writing for Roolipelaaja was a very rewarding experience. I learned a lot about writing and editing – especially about editing. I learned to condense to the relevant. I learned about conducting interviews. I am also grateful for being given a chance to write for the magazine at all, given the crushing review my book received. I suspect my writings also played a part in me being asked to apply for a position in Ropecon’s committee.
And, well, I gotta admit, I did get a certain ego boost from seeing my name in print.
The loss of Roolipelaaja is a heavy one for the Finnish scene. It developed the community and served as a communications channel. It endeavoured to have something for everyone, from art larpers to D&D grognards. This, perhaps, was its failing – it is hard to appeal to everyone.
In any case, second guessing is useless in at this point. For my part, I would like to express my gratitude to Juhana Pettersson, Mikko Rautalahti, Petteri Moisio, and all the others who made Roolipelaaja happen. During its four years of life, it enriched and vivified our hobby, and played its part in ushering in the new renaissance of Finnish roleplaying.
Other bloggers weighing in on the topic:
- Ville Vuorela of Burger Games
- Mikko Rautalahti, Roolipelaaja’s first editor
- Eero Tuovinen of Arkenstone Publishing
- Jukka Koskelin, an early contributor to the magazine
- Kka0s, a game blogger
- J. Tuomas Harviainen, a LARP writer