Guardians of Order was a Canadian company founded in 1996 by Mark C. MacKinnon in Guelph, Ontario. The company's business output consisted of role-playing games (RPGs). Their first game is the anime inspired BESM (Big Eyes, Small Mouth). In 2006 Guardians of Order ceased operations due to overwhelming debt.
The Big Eyes, Small Mouth game used the Tri-Stat System. The Tri-Stat System would later be modified for use in other games and be more generally named the Tri-Stat dX: Core Role-Playing Game System system. Most of Guardians of Order's game use some form of the Tri-Stat dX system.
After Big Eyes, Small Mouth, Guardians of Order would go on to achieve significant success with the The Sailor Moon Roleplaying Game and Resource Book. The game was built on Big Eyes, Small Mouth but featured an extensive reference to the Sailor Moon universe. Guardians of Order acquired licenses and published Big Eyes, Small Mouth-based RPGs for a number of other anime series including Dominion Tank Police, Demon City Shinjuku Role Playing Game, and Tenchi Muyo!. After El-Hazard Role Playing Game, the last such game, the company's strategy with licensed anime series changed and it began issuing "Ultimate Fan Guides" which served the same purpose while avoiding the need to reprint the same BESM-based mechanics. All of these books included game statistics for characters in the series as well as extensive episode guides and character summaries.
Guardians of Order expanded beyond anime based games when the Tri-Stat dX system was adopted for the superhero game Silver Age Sentinels.
Guardians of Order later acquired the rights to publish the Amber Diceless Role-Playing Game from Phage Press. Guardians of Order licensed the rights to produce role-playing games set in existing fictional works. These include games based on The Authority, Tékumel: Empire of the Petal Throne (Tri-Stat System), and A Game of Thrones.
Between 14 February 2006 and 1 August 2006 there were no official updates to the Guardians of Order website. There was speculation on the official forums that the company was out of business. On 28 July 2006 a post to George R. R. Martin's official web site announced that Guardians of Order was out of business. In response, on 1 August 2006 Mark MacKinnon posted confirmation that Guardians of Order "ceased operations." According to MacKinnon the company had too much debt. MacKinnon is attempting to place Guardians of Orders games with other companies. He promised that existing orders would be filled.
On 9 September 2006 Arthaus Games, whose titles are published by White Wolf Publishing, announced that it has acquired the Big Eyes, Small Mouth RPG. The announcement stated the company was "extremely confident" that a release date of January 2007 would be met and confirmed that those who pre-ordered and prepaid for the book would be "in good hands," though it was also said that they have not taken on Guardians of Order's liabilities.
On 7 March 2007 George R. R. Martin wrote that he had regained control of his intellectual property rights and was "all square" with Guardians of Order. As part of their settlement, Mr. Martin received all remaining stock of the limited edition version of the RPG. No further information regarding the settlement was revealed, nor the status of other creditors' claims on the property.
Source: Wikipedia, "Guardians_of_Order", available under the CC-BY-SA License.