I am officially announcing my retirement from the adventure game industry. After 35 years of making some of the most amazing games and getting to work with the most amazing people, it is time for me to step away and move on to the next chapter in my life. In January 2020, I was diagnosed with a very rare disease that, while not life-threatening, is debilitating, sapping me of much of my energy and making it hard to do my job. The pandemic allowed me to step back from the day-to-day operations of Paizo enough to help me feel comfortable making this life change at this time.
There are so many people to thank for my amazing career that it would be impossible to list them all, but there are certain pivotal people who made a huge impact, and I would like to shine the spotlight on them for a little bit. First, to Jonathan Tweet and Mark Rein•Hagen, who not only allowed a young Lisa to edit Ars Magica, but also let me get involved with the design of their first game. They allowed me to wear a lot of hats at Lion Rampant, which formed the seed that blossomed into my career. To Stewart Wieck and Mark Rein•Hagen, who listened to my crazy plan to merge Lion Rampant with White Wolf magazine and actually agreed to do it! This led to my involvement from the ground up on Vampire: The Masquerade. To Peter Adkison, for giving me the hard sell and convincing me to pick up my life in Atlanta and move to Seattle to become employee number one at a fledgling Wizards of the Coast. Being involved with the creation of Magic: The Gathering, the acquisition of TSR, and making some Star Wars games were a few of the highlights from my career there. Thanks to Johnny Wilson for being the only person to “take the bait” when I left Wizards and formed Paizo with him and Vic. And to Erik Mona and Jeff Alvarez, for being with me for the last 20 years and helping me grow Paizo into the company it is today. From the magazines to Pathfinder and Starfinder, it has been an incredible journey! And finally, to Vic Wertz, for being my partner both in business and in life. Your guidance, support, tough love, and off-the-charts intelligence have been a constant at my side since 1993. I am so happy we were able to share our careers together!
To the hundreds and hundreds of people who played a part in my career, both big and small, you have my eternal THANKS, and I look forward to staying in touch through my retirement years.
Vic and I still own Paizo, so I won’t be entirely gone. However, I have turned over all the operations to Paizo’s amazing Leadership Team, helmed by Jim Butler with Erik Mona, Mike Webb, Rai Kong, and Maggie Gallagher. If there is anything you would have previously talked to me about regarding Paizo’s operations, please address it to my team there instead. If you want to talk to me as the owner of Paizo, I can still be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look back on my career with great satisfaction. I was truly blessed to be able to work with some of the pivotal people and games in this industry’s storied history. It has been a really good run, and I have all of you to thank for it! Keep making great games—I look forward to seeing what the next generation brings to our industry.
What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been
Friday, September 2, 2022