A couple of people sent me emails directing me to this announcement that Mongoose Publishing and Issaries "have mutually decided to part ways," which means an end to RuneQuest II and further supplements detailing Glorantha's Second Age. The announcement is quick to point out, though, that the end of RuneQuest II does not mean the end of the rules system behind it, which will be rebranded as Wayfarer and continue to be used for all the games that currently rely on RuneQuest II. Furthermore, the Wayfarer rulebook, when released, will be 100% compatible with the RuneQuest II rules, so there's no need to "upgrade" if you don't want to do so.
I can't say I'm particularly broken up about this news, since I was never particularly invested in MRQII, let alone the Second Age of Glorantha, the latter of which I frankly found dull. No explanation is given for just why Mongoose and Issaries parted ways, so we can only speculate. One possibility are that Mongoose discovered that the MRQII rules were successful while Second Age Glorantha was not and therefore it was no longer worth paying licensing fees to Issaries for the rights to the RuneQuest name and the Gloranthan content. Another plausible explanation (though a less likely one in my opinion) is that Greg Stafford felt that MRQII distracted gamers from HeroQuest, his preferred -- and controversial -- presentation of Glorantha.
As I stated in my review, MRQII is a solid updating of Perrin and Turney's original rules, albeit a bit on the "crunchy" side for my tastes these days, especially when compared to OpenQuest. I doubt Mongoose will suffer much from this change and indeed may reap greater benefits from it, since Wayfarer will be fully generic, which may attract the interest of gamers put off by the perceived connection between MRQ II and Glorantha. What we don't yet know is whether Wayfarer is going to use the OGL, though my gut tells me it won't, since MRQ II did not. If I'm correct, that'd be a pity, since I genuinely think Wayfarer might gain greater traction by being open.
As an aside, it's worth noting that there already is a fantasy RPG in print called Wayfarers, which I reviewed way back in 2009. Granted, Wayfarers has a terminal "s" in its title and isn't very well known, but it's still in print in several formats and has a small but devoted community of players. I imagine Mongoose is simply unaware of the existence of Wayfarers or, if they are, don't think there could be any confusion. Still, given that Wayfarer doesn't exactly screen "Fantasy RPG!" to me, I wonder if it's such a good idea to go with that moniker.