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Re: Worried about GenCon.

From: agoodall@s... (Allan Goodall)
Date: Thu, 05 Feb 1998 00:15:49 GMT
Subject: Re: Worried about GenCon.

On Wed, 04 Feb 1998 15:54:38 -0600, "Mark A. Siefert."
<> wrote:

>According to
>SJG's Daily Illuminator Site (, WotC has
>raised booth prices up to 50% of last year's rates.  SJG will also not
>be sponsoring any events for their own games.	This is not good.

Apparently a number of smaller companies aren't going, either.
Speculation is rife as to why Andon is doing this (Andon is WOTC's
convention arm). Suggestions run from "GenCon isn't profitable," to
"WOTC is trying to make GenCon a TSR/WOTC only con." I would believe
the "not profitable" part first. I've always been amazed that GenCon
costs $40 pre-reg for the weekend when WorldCon (same weekend this
year) costs $150 for the same time period. This is US dollars, too!

(Side note: Toronto has the inside track for WorldCon in 2003. The
other two competitors are Cancun and another US city. Considering the
bargain you get with the exchange rate coming up here, and the fact
that Toronto is within a day's drive of over 100 million people,
Toronto's bid is looking good!)

>	By all the current indication's WotC is poorly
>organizing this year's event.	If this game fair flops.... then a great
>institution may have just bitten the dust.

I was certainly unimpressed with the "web site" for pre-reg. I noticed
that they are still asking for game proposals. On the other hand, I
received my pre-reg confirmation promptly enough. I liked their
demographics data on the form, though my wife would have preferred the
default to be "Not Sure" or "Unknown" for sex, instead of the default
of "male."

>	The trouble is I don't know what we can do about it.  We can't
>the companies for wanting to stay away.  If they think that WotC is
>being unfair to them, then they have every right in the universe not to
>participate.  The thought of complaining to WotC seems also pointless. 
>I've had little experience with them, but from what I've seen so far
>they seem like a company that cares little for their customers. 

WOTC is a bit better at this than TSR, though. TSR's rules and
regulations for their products and GenCon were rather Draconian. By
strict interpretation you couldn't play a historical samurai skirmish
game because decapitations were on their "evil, bad, awful" list
(though apparently Warhammer Fantasy's critical tables with "death
from shock and bloodloss is almost instantaneous," got past the

Hopefully only a few companies will back out. Or, a LOT will back out
and Andon will be forced to drop their prices to attract anyone. What
with the pricing at GenCon and WOTC's CCG patent, there aren't too
many companies willing to play ball with these guys.

I fear you may be right about GenCon. I could always switch to
Origins, I suppose (it's actually closer for me) but I'd miss
Milwaukee. It's a nice town. In many ways, it's the most Canadian city
I've visited in the US (I mean that in the good way!). (Boston was the
most British.)

Allan Goodall

"Once again, the half time score, 
 Alien Overlords: 142,000. Scotland: zip."
  - This Hour Has 22 Minutes

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