Why Gen Con Went Bankrupt

Gen Con is a major American tabletop game convention, once owned by TSR, which was bought by Wizards of the Coast, which was bought by Hasbro. The rights to the con were bought by the former director of Wizards of the Coast, Peter Adkinson.

On Jan 10, Lucasfilm announced that it was suing Gen Con.

On Feb 15, Gen Con released a press release indicating that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chapter 11 allows the company to restructure its organization and continue operations while it tries to find ways to pay its creditors.

Living Dice did some rooting around and found out to whom Gen Con owes its money. Top creditors are:

So Hasbro owns Wizards of the Coast and it’s owed money from Gen Con, owned by Peter Adkinson, former director of Wizards of the Coast. Furthermore, Peter Adkinson founded Hidden City Games, which is also owed money from Gen Con.

Got it.

Update: Peter Adkinson is the former (not current) director of WotC, as noted by Propagandoid in the comments. Also, see Tiger’s comment for further suggested elaboration.

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6 Responses to “Why Gen Con Went Bankrupt”

  1. Eric Says:

    Nobody’s ever accused Peter of being a good businessman. He’s a brilliant guy, and latched on to and rode a revolutionary idea, but his financial acumen isn’t all that. Or a bag of chips.

  2. Propagandroid Says:

    Peter Adkison sold Wizards of the Coast in 1999, he is not the director of the company…he has no position or affiliation with WotC at all.

  3. Tiger Says:

    There aren’t any explainations on what is owed, or when it originated either.
    Some of these “debts” may be from upcoming money due to be paid (say, for GenCon Indy 2008) and had to be declared as well.

    Also, Peter is included in his own debts. That is because GenCon LLC is, well, an LLC. It is seperated from the owner’s assets and his own company may owe him money.

    My unfounded assumption is that they made some bad business expectations and did not meet their bottom lines at some events. Star Wars Celebration got a bit out of control and the tape and bits holding it all together fell apart and so did their accounting… leaving themselves unable to pay for and explain their expenses. By February they owed money to folks from SWCIV and for the upcoming GenCon Indy… so rather than leave themselves open to lawyers clawing what was left into shreds, they filed the Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will sort everything out with a (hopefully) better business plan and more accurate accounting.

    But then again, maybe they’ve been doing bad accounting the whole time, funneling money into something like a shoe company rather than paying the bills for GenCon or something. It wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened in the gaming world.

  4. Trask Says:

    I posted some additional documentation, the complete financial filing for the month of March. You can see it for yourself here:

    http://www.livingdice.com/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=Gen-Con-Bankruptcy-Financial-Statement-for-March-2008.html&Itemid=116

    Trask, The Last Tyromancer

  5. Acroyear Says:

    Peter’s last name is spelled Adkison. See http://www.hiddencitygames.com/management.html

  6. Wizards of the Coast to Co-Sponsor GenCon « Purple Pawn - Game News Across the Board Says:

    […] This is good for GenCon, who needs a successful con to pay off its debts, and good for WotC, who needs a successful con to receive the money they are owed from GenCon. […]


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