Well I have been expecting this after hearing James being interviewed at GenCon.
This is an open letter to the game community and to fans of RedBrick.
In a couple of months, RedBrick will be nine years old. We started in 2003 with the Earthdawn license, picking up Fading Suns in 2007, Blue Planet in 2008, and Demonworld in 2011. During this time, the number of people involved waxed and waned. Everyone was part-time (we still are), but we had dozens of talented people contributing in different ways to their favorite games at any one time.
The company was born by accident -- an email sent without my knowledge, in fact -- and it became an opportunity to work with emerging technologies, print-on-demand and e-publishing being key. RedBrick was an early supporter of DriveThruRPG (now OneBookShelf) and an early adopter of Lulu's POD services.
We suffered ups and downs, as all companies do. Some of those were decisions made by myself; others, through the vagaries of real life intervening on members of the RedBrick team. Personally, one life-changing event meant the company relocated from New Zealand to the United States, where it is based today.
But all things have their time. Different opportunities arise and we need to embrace them for what they are. In this case, RedBrick has served its purpose and now it is time for it to become something else.
At Gen Con Indy 2012, RedBrick shared a booth with FASA. There are several interviews on the Internet recorded at Gen Con that summarize the changes and plans going on at present. As is the way of things, there will no doubt be rumor and speculation and all the usual interplay that happens on the Internet. But the reasons for RedBrick's retirement from game publishing are actually very simple, and much of this is just timing:
Business: You could call this lessons learned about people and business. I've made both good decisions and (very) poor decisions; I've been both hands on and (very) uninvolved in how the business runs; I've made many friends along the way, and I've dropped the ball and lost some of those friends also. Overall, I think we had more wins than losses, but it's time for the old ways of doing business to change.
Personal: Part of the reason for setting up RedBrick was to involve my late son in the company (he was a gifted child, very social and intelligent, and crazy about gaming). This isn't going to happen and I need to move on and get some closure.
Opportunity: I was offered an opportunity to work with people far more experienced in this industry than I am. Such opportunities do not come up often, so the answer was yes. To that end, I have accepted a position as President of FASA Games, Inc., working with one of the original founders and owner of FASA Corporation. The upcoming effort and commitment required, however, means that I cannot run multiple game publishing businesses and a day job.
Timing: Well, this is always in the hands of fate. The opportunity came up earlier this year, but the pace of change required to implement it has meant a LOT of work in a very short time, especially with commitments to Gen Con already in hand. So we've had to roll with the punches a lot, sorry.
Here's a summary of what's happening with various game lines previously held by RedBrick:
Earthdawn, Demonworld: These licenses reverted back to FASA Corporation and have been subsequently picked up by FASA Games, Inc.
Fading Suns, Noble Armada, Blue Planet: These licenses reverted back to their licensors and have been subsequently picked up by FASA Games, Inc.
Any future plans that RedBrick had in place or announced are now void or being reviewed. While some RedBrick personnel are working for FASA, not everyone has come across. FASA will be running with Revised Editions of Earthdawn, Blue Planet, and Fading Suns. The Savage Worlds and Pathfinder game lines for Earthdawn are coming across, along with Demonworld. For the most part, it's status quo across the board. "Business as usual."
The RedBrick Forums and Online Store will remain in place, even after the FASA web presence becomes operational in the next month or so. During this transition period, RedBrick is happy to share resources with FASA -- we will sell FASA products on the RedBrick Shop, for instance. Until FASA is fully operational, we will make announcements for new products on the RedBrick web site. In this respect, no change is expected for a while. However, most, if not all, of the ebook products currently sold by RedBrick on OneBookShelf will be going away in the very near future. Many of these will not be coming back.
FASA will make their own announcements in due course, but with the cat out of the bag after Gen Con, it seemed appropriate to let people know what was happening with RedBrick. I do want to be very clear that the decisions to retire RedBrick and the transition to FASA are completely independent and unrelated to recent changes within RedBrick. I do admit, however, that the opportunity to work with FASA did change the timing of RedBrick's retirement, bringing it forward.
So what is happening to RedBrick after this transition is complete? Well, we'll still be around. Many years ago, I promised my late son that he and I would work on some books together. We talked about some ideas and it's time to start getting those down on paper and into print. RedBrick will become an imprint for fiction, no longer publishing games. And at a personal level, I'm hoping it will help achieve the aforementioned closure. "And so to bed."
Lastly, I want to thank the fans and developers who have supported RedBrick over the last nine years. It has been a truly exciting, scary, emotional, sometimes sad, but overall fun journey and everyone who has been a part of it should be proud of being part of the community. You are all a talented bunch and I'm proud that we have collectively been a part of the history of our hobby.
"And so we dim the lights and pour a glass of wine. It is a time for reflection, a time for change."
Thank you all very much.
James SuttonManaging Partner, RedBrick LLC
James, I'm personally thanking you for keeping Earthdawn alive for the last 10 years, I can only imagine what it would be like to lose my boys, hell I get teary when I think of them moving out. You kept my favorite game alive, and I have watched it improve over the last several years with the Mongoose 3rd edition. With FASA Back in control, I hope to see Earthdawn rise to take its proper place in the gaming industry, High Fantasy done right!
May you find closure with this change...