Halloween

Halloween
5% of All Sales go to Support The Tavern

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Gygax Magazine All Out of Gygaxes - Ernie and Luke Leave to Settle Suit with Gail Gygax



Remember how the new TSR arose out of the ashes of... well, nothing really. It was just three letters and it was grabbed for nostalgia purposes.

Same as Gygax Magazine - named and laid out to evoke nostalgia of Dragon Magazine in the mid 80s but not aimed at the D&D player, old or new. Instead, it's a shotgun aimed at pretty much all RPGs. Which means it's value to the old school gamer is fairly lacking.

Well, it seems that Gail Gygax had a lawsuit against the new TSR for using the Gygax name (I wouldnt be surprised if trade dress was also an issue.) The suit is now settled. TSR has non-exclusive rights to use the name Gygax and in the process Luke and Ernie Gygax have left the new TSR. That leaves Tim Kask as the only true heir to the Gygax legacy at TSR.

You can read the article over at ENWorld, as Gail sent the notice to +Russ Morrissey

In the end, I doubt this will have much of an effect on the viability of Gygax Magazine. The content is too scattered to appeal to many and I suspect the initial excitement of Dragon nostalgia has worn off for the grognards. A friend just predicted Gygax won't make it past issue #10. Even if it does, I doubt few will notice.

Now, any updates on the Gygax Memorial, or has that become a forgotten project?

30 comments:

  1. I have not decided my future involvement with the magazine; I was a reluctant participant from the onset.

    You raise another very important question, tho'. What's up with the Memorial Fund? I can find no public records or filings, as required by Wisconsin laws. There is nothing for sale on the website.

    The website promised action, or at least news, in Spring 2015.

    What is going on?? Who's in charge?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heya Tim! I bet someone lined their pockets with the funds, and we both know who.

      Delete
  2. All I can say is it's a said day when family fights over things left by dead relatives. It really makes you ask yourself how important is life to some people or more important how much $$ is worth your life to others? I hope to have nothing when I go so there are no issues with that which know one can take with them anyways...... in the end.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I find it difficult in the extreme to believe that Gail has any rights to 1980's TSR trade dress. She seems to be spending her days waiting for someone to drive up to her house with a dump-truck full of money, from someone willing to fork over a couple of million dollars for rights to some never-gonna-happen computer game. She has been badly used by her advisers. Every time she cancels some contract, thinking she's "consolidating her rights", she's really just cutting off her nose to spite her face, shutting down the few possible sources of revenue that the Gygax name, and what bits of the Greyhawk IP come with it, could possibly get her. What happened here, and what happened with the Trolls demonstrate that amply.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your probably right, but she deserves every bad thing that happens to her because of this. She is just jealous and full of disrespect and hatred toward the Gygax kids. Very spiteful woman.

      Delete
  4. How much money, if any, is left in the Memorial Fund? NTRPG Con donated and we would like to know, as well as an update on how the plans are going. Kickstarters for far less money have faced much more scrutiny.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I really enjoy Gygax magazine...and hope it continues!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wonder if Ernie and Luke will go start NewGygax magazine?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Gail has spent the better part of the last year accruing legal fees that have to be in the six-figure range trying to secure the rights to, essentially, nothing.

    She is busily filing trademarks on the name Gygax in any connection to games, gaming, video games, movies, books, cartoons, and a bunch of other stuff. I have seen the filings; they are a matter of public record. (The minutes and finances of the Memorial Fund are also supposed to be a matter of public record, but are seemingly absent or nonexistent.)

    She has gone so far to file on the adjective form of Gary's name, "gygaxian" in any use such as those listed previously.

    The saddest part of this Greek tragedy is that there is no product to sell, let alone protect. Immediately upon Gary's death Gail made the Trolls pull everything. That move defies rational thinking in view of her later actions. Anyone with any sort of business acumen could have seen that anything with Gary's name on it would have been snapped up as keepsakes or mementos; they could have sold out small reprints.

    By the time she has constructed her little house of trademarks, the name will have little or no value compared to what it once had. It's kind of like bombing the shit out of the enemy only to find nothing worth occupying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The last Tax Return for the Memorial Fund linked on the is 2012.

      That is an issue.

      Delete
    2. Yeah it is. It should be filed annually. Here is a link to the 2012 filing for those interested. http://www.gygaxmemorialfund.org/images/Documents/tax-returns/990ez-2012.pdf

      Delete
    3. Well, it depends. If a 501(c)3 organization takes in less that $12,000 in donations, it is not legally required to file. It may be that the Gygax fund took in a lot of money that first year, but has only had trickles since then... *If* that were the case, the fund does not need to file because the IRS doesn't care if you get only a smattering of donations.

      Delete
    4. That name has a lot of value, and a long history of being respectable (except where gail is involved) That name is a wonderful thing to many people. I love it because of my cousins who all share that same last name, something she can never take away from them. And something she can never be a "REAL blooded Gygax".

      She is an extremely spiteful woman, who says one thing and does not follow through, like she went to the ken whitman school of business practices.

      If she had one grain of integrity, she would cease and desist and leave people alone. She has had money sent to her for the memorial statue (including from me) and it has gone nowhere, no statue, no accounting of where the money all went. That alone should get her sued.

      But to take away projects belonging to Gary's children is the lowest thing she could do. I hope she gets exactly what she deserves! She is evil, cut right from the cloth of Cinderella's horrible, jealous, conniving step mother. Gail gives her a run for her money in those departments.

      The best thing she could do is apologize and go away.

      Delete
  8. I had been building up steam to contribute to the magazine also, in between my TLG projects...but with this now looming over it, I don't know. Darn!

    ReplyDelete
  9. If we keep supporting the magazine they will have reason to continue it. Keep with the plans Brian! I like the magazine and I agree a bit more focus on Fantasy adventure gaming would be preferable to me I still think it's great.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. No matter what happens with Gygax magazine, I am grateful for having had the opportunity to write for them. I am also grateful for having gotten to know Luke, Ernie, Tim, Jayson, James, Scott, Len, Susan, Mary, and issue #4 cover artist Den Beauvais. Every single one of them has earned my respect. I will continue to support the magazine for as long as it remains in print, and long afterwards. What it has accomplished for the 1E AD&D community on Long Island cannot be understated.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You are spot on in terms of the content of the magazine. It needs to be tightly focused like Fight On or Knockspell and instead is a useless grab-bag.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I recently added a limited subscription to support Ernie and Luke with hopes of doing a larger subscription in the future... Now I wish I could cancel it

    ReplyDelete
  13. Publishing a financially successful FRPG-focused magazine is an impossibility given today's market and fan bases; there are so damned many RPG's the focus is diffused. No one game's, or edition's, adherents will buy enough print copies to make it financially successful.

    Selling print advertising today is like pulling teeth from people who don't see the need for any dental work right now. Prying open those wallets was like prying open those unwilling mouths.

    I believe that the only model for a gaming mag that is likely to be financially viable is to broaden the scope. RPG's might be the larger share of the gaming market, but they are not all of the market. My version of The Dragon was successful because we went everywhere gamers were: minis. boards, RPG's and card games, across all genres of Wild West, fantasy, sci-fi, historical, simulations, whatever.

    Perhaps the printed model is dead in this field. If that turns out to be the case, I will not be too surprised, but very much saddened.

    Gygax Magazine veered from what was originally the plan--a mag a lot like the old Dragon. It never had enough pages to cover enough stuff because the funding was not there. I became involved only because misconceptions on the part of certain media types and websites got it all wrong in the first place. Jason gave it one hell of a fight, but the money became the crux of the problem.

    I have no idea as to the future of the mag or even whether or not I will remain involved. (If it was an ego thing, I could write all I want and put it on my website, my blog or several other places.)

    I am sorry to say this, but there is no one type of gaming or system that can financially support a printed mag at this time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *cough* Games Workshop has two printed mags, one monthly, one weekly, at this time. But thats just me being pedantic.

      Delete
    2. And they would be considered house organs by many, and they are in England, not the US. Two very different markets, as I have many years experience to know.

      Delete
  14. Can't they just call it, "Ernie & Luke Gygax Magazine" (with Ernie & Luke in a little smaller font)? I mean, it's their own name!

    ReplyDelete
  15. A great magazine and it was so nice to see the Gygax brothers involved in the creating new old school material. Very disappointing news. I really hope they can work this out.

    ReplyDelete
  16. No one (read: very few people) reads print magazines anymore. There's no point to a printed mag with the abundance of awesome free old school gaming content on the Internet.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I loved the magazine, Gary's passing had renewed a passion I had long forgotten. My brother and I went to Garycon this year, I met personally the Gygax brothers at Ken's chalet and had a phenomenal time. Bought and paid for this year's Garycon as well. I will continue to support the Gygax magazine, Luke and Ernie jr. Mike and Holly Gygax. HELL, I may even cast a bronze dragon statue on a polyhedral die in honor of Gary's legacy leaving it on the shore of Lake Geneva.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I rather enjoy the format. I have interest in many games and Gygax provides what I am looking for. I respect the knowledge of Mr. Mask in terms of market and advertising. I will continue to support Gygax magazine as long as they continue to provide quality content. I accept that every article won't appeal to me when I buy it...but enjoy the magazine immensely!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I enjoy the articles on gaming history and the recent Godlike adventure. I like the idea of it including tabletop gaming of all types instead of focusing too much. Issue #5 was the best so far IMO. KODT did well for awhile when trying to include articles on many eclectic gaming related things.

    It is certainly possible, as Tim points out, that this type of thing is from the past. Perhaps smaller fanzines will pick up again - like the nost excellent "Tales from the Game Tavern."

    I wish I knew what Gail was trying to ultimately do as I still (maybe foolishly) wait for her to bring Lejendary Adventure back.

    ReplyDelete