From the GenCon site:
SEATTLE (February 15, 2008) Gen Con LLC announced today that it has filed for Chapter 11 protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the State of Washington. This action became necessary as a result of significant unforeseen expenses associated with attempts to expand its core business to encompass externally licensed events. Gen Con’s flagship show, Gen Con Indy, remains a vibrant, profitable event. Gen Con Indy will take place as scheduled August 14–17, 2008, in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The protections afforded by Chapter 11 will allow Gen Con to further its efforts to address its liquidity needs, preserve value for its creditors and explore strategic alternatives for the business. “Because the fundamentals of our business are strong; and because our debt problems are challenges mostly linked to one-time events, we feel confident that the profile of our company will benefit under Chapter 11 and come out strong in the end,” said Peter D. Adkison, CEO of Gen Con.
Chapter 11 refers to the section of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code that provides for court-supervised restructuring of companies as they continue to operate normally. This proceeding is intended to help companies to become stronger financially.
Gen Con LLC will continue to operate without interruption during this process and looks forward to an expeditious resolution to the short-term challenges and the ability to focus entirely on producing Gen Con Indy, The Best Four Days in Gaming. International Gen Con events are unaffected by this situation and will continue to operate as scheduled.
All of which is a little concerning, but not too terribly troubling. Peter is a smart guy, and he has lots of people who are going to make sure he gets through this intact – people who love GenCon, and have made it part of their lives by making it an annual ritual. It’s a tremendous business opportunity for anyone in – or interested in – the industry. And the increase in computer gaming over the last few years only increases its long-term viability.
In case you are wondering what they are referring to in the press release by the “externally licensed events,” dollars to donuts it’s the Star Wars Celebration show. A few days ago news broke that Lucas was suing GenCon. My pal, the punk-hacker bastard Adam Jury, talks about it here.
It’s unfortunate that GenCon LLC hasn’t been successful with the SoCal show, and now with the Star Wars Celebrations (though maybe that has as much to do with the property being corrupted lo this past decade). But I think the Indy show will continue to grow – and it should be a blast this year. Doing my best to figure a way to get there…