Ongoing legal sparring between Dungeons & Dragons publisher Wizards of the Coast and the company popularly referred to as ‘NuTSR’ were postponed on June 12, thanks to TSR’s recent bankruptcy filing.
First reported by Polygon, TSR filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in North Carolina’s Eastern Bankruptcy court on June 8th. A few days later, the court had collected the necessary paperwork from TSR’s legal representation to send through the bankruptcy filing, and in doing so paused all ongoing cases or legal obligations involving the company. In the US, Chapter 7 bankruptcy means TSR’s assets and property will be liquidated to pay off as much debt as possible.
TSR’s website remains active, but none of their previous products, games or merchandise is available for sale. Instead an ominous “Big Sale Coming Soon” text fills the background of an otherwise empty landing page. A judge has ruled that the legal stay on TSR’s entrenched battle against Wizards of the Coast, along with any other lawsuits, will remain in effect until March 2024.
Longtime readers will remember the saga of NuTSR that has unfolded over the last few years, beginning with failed Republican politician Justin LaNasa and the son of D&D co-creator Gary Gygax creating a new tabletop RPG publishing company under the name TSR - despite the fact that Wizards of the Coast purchased the original TSR in 1997.
This ‘NuTSR’ sued Wizards for the rights to sci-fi RPG Star Frontiers, subsequently dropped that suit amid a crowdfunding campaign for their own version and were then slapped with a countersuit by the massive Hasbro-owned company, which claimed NuTSR was fraudulently using the classic TSR logo.
Perhaps more importantly was the claim that TSR’s new version of Star Frontiers contained "blatantly racist and transphobic" and “reprehensible content”, according to Wizards of the Coast’s 2022 injunction that aimed to stop any playtesting, distribution or design work on Star Frontiers.
LaNasa and his version of TSR are in dire financial straits, if the court documents paint the full picture of the company’s assets - it has amassed $621.92 since the beginning of 2023. Level that sum against the full legal liabilities, which include payment owed to LaNasa when he acted as dubious legal counsel for the upstart publisher, currently totaled at $384,941.99.
The stay will only remain in place as long as the bankruptcy proceeds, so there’s no telling if this latest chapter in the story between Wizards of the Coasts and a revenant from its past will move forward before March 2024. Dicebreaker reached out to the lawyer representing TSR and LaNasa but did not immediately receive a reply.