Unofficial TSR-WotC Buyout FAQ (June 9 update)

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Patrick M. Berry

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Jun 9, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/9/97
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TSR - Wizards of the Coast Buyout
Unofficial Frequently Asked Questions List (FAQ)

Compiled by Pat Berry (p...@delta.com)
9 June 1997

This document is an attempt to summarize in one place what is currently
known about the purchase of TSR by Wizards of the Coast (WotC). I'm doing
this because there seem to be a lot of rumors and confusion concerning the
buyout, and there is no single place where people can look for answers.
Hopefully, this FAQ will only be a temporary measure, and will become
unnecessary when TSR and WotC announce their plans.

This FAQ is UNOFFICIAL. I don't work for WotC or TSR, and I don't know
anyone who does. However, I've tried to ensure that this list is accurate by
using information only from WotC or TSR employees. All of the quoted
statements came from the following sources:

* Articles posted to rec.games.frp.dnd
* Documents on the TSR web site (http://www.tsrinc.com)
* Interview with Peter Adkison published in the July issue of Model
Retailer magazine (and on the Web at
http://www.kalmbach.com/mod/NextMonth/GameNewsJuly.html)
* Information posted to the TSR section on AOL and the RPGANews official
announcement list

The individuals quoted in this document are:

* Peter Adkison (President and CEO, WotC)
* Adam Conus (Customer Service, WotC)
* Dave Gross (Editor, DRAGON Magazine, TSR)
* Bruce Heard (Director of Production Planning, TSR)
* Lisa Stevens (Vice President of Location-Based Entertainment, WotC)

If you're reading a text-only copy of this FAQ, you can find the HTML
version at http://users.delta.com/pat/tsrfaq.htm.

Thanks to Tim Breen of the RPGA and Adam Conus for providing additional
information.

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Q: Has WotC bought TSR?

A: Yes. A news release announcing the completion of the sale was issued by
WotC on June 3. You can view it on the TSR and WotC web sites:

http://www.tsrinc.com/wizards/purchase.html
http://www.wizards.com/About_Wizards/Press_Releases/WotC/WizardsTSR2.html

Q: Did WotC buy TSR to shut it down?

A: No. On June 9, Adam Conus wrote: "WotC ABSOLUTELY DID NOT purchase TSR
for the purpose of shutting it down. TSR was purchased with the aim adding
the already successful products TSR produces to our own. . . . We are fans
of AD&D (particularly Peter!) and will do our utmost to ensure it survives
longer than it already has."

In the Model Retailer interview, Peter Adkison said, "We believe that [TSR
is] a business we can grow, and that we have a lot of love and respect for
their products and we want to invest in those products." In fact, Adkison
intends to manage the TSR product line himself. "I've always wanted to do
role-playing games," he said. "I've played role-playing games since 1978 and
I still play D&D."

A note from a TSR employee who chose to remain anonymous, posted on the TSR
web site, says in part: "We don't see WotC trying to destroy or change AD&D.
. . . To us at TSR, we see this as AD&D being directed by gamers again. They
love the game. We love the game. They want AD&D products out on the market.
We want AD&D products out on the market."

On June 3, Lisa Stevens wrote: "This is really going to be fun. The folks
here at TSR are the greatest and already friendships are forming. Thanks for
hanging on through 'the dark times' and welcome to the new age of TSR."

Q: Will TSR stay in Lake Geneva or move to Renton, WA (where WotC is)?

A: TSR will move to Renton. In the Model Retailer interview, Adkison said,
"We have the extra space, with no incremental facility costs, and we can
absorb people." The TSR label will continue to appear on products. "TSR
would be what we call a brand group," Adkison explained.

Q: What about GenCon? Will it move?

A: This year's GenCon will take place in Milwaukee as scheduled. Future
GenCons will remain in the North Central region of the country. "Conventions
like GenCon attract people from all over the world, but they also have a
very large regional complement," Adkison told Model Retailer. "If you move
the convention, you risk losing that . . . I would be inclined to leave it."

Q: When will TSR start shipping products again?

A: Soon! In the Model Retailer interview, Adkison said, "We want to get in
there and get the presses rolling as quickly as possible. TSR has a large
backlog of products that were going to be released and are ready to go. We
probably will try and catch up a little bit of that lost time. But . . . we
could really glut the market if we release too many products too quickly. My
inclination would be to try to make it up over a period of a year or
something."

On May 29, Bruce Heard wrote: "TSR's creative staff is still working on new
releases. . . . Once the deal goes through, figure 3-6 weeks for the first
wave of releases to hit the shelves in your area. There's a good chance that
our magazines will be among the earliest releases (periodicals staff is also
keeping up with work on new magazines). . . . We should have a pretty good
selection of new products available for GenCon."

On June 3, Lisa Stevens wrote: "We are working on a revised product
schedule. If things go smoothly, you should start seeing new product next
month, and you may even get your Dragon and Dungeon magazines this month!"

On June 6, Adam Conus reported that the July issue of DRAGON had gone to the
printer, and said "Dungeon is to follow." On June 7, Dave Gross wrote that
the July DRAGON "should go out in late June or early July. The plan is to be
on a regular [monthly] schedule immediately."

Q: Will my favorite TSR product be discontinued?

A: WotC has not made any specific decisions about product lines. In the
Model Retailer interview, Adkison said that TSR product lines will be
analyzed and adjusted as needed. "We'll certainly continue to invest in any
product as long as it is doing well in the market. . . . We have to go
through each product line on a case-by-case basis and see what makes sense
financially."

Q: What else is known about WotC's plans for TSR?

A: WotC and TSR are still working out most of the details, but a few tidbits
have been revealed. On June 3, Lisa Stevens wrote: "We are . . . examing the
Online Policy and the Code of Ethics. Expect revised documents sometime
soon. . . . I am also working with Robert Weise to boost the RPGA and get it
the support that it deserves. And there are other surprises coming as soon
as we can get to them."

On the TSR web site, the June 3 news release had an encouraging footnote: "A
FAQ for questions that we can now answer, such as what is being planned for
immediate release, relocation, etc., is in progress and will be posted as
soon as it is an organized state."

Hopefully, that FAQ will make the one you're now reading unnecessary.

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(End of FAQ)

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