Saturday, May 26, 2007

Quote: Even in the 19th Century, Chicks Didn't Dig Gamers

Mr. Gardiner did not attempt to conceal these particulars from the Longbourn family. Jane heard them with horror. "A gamester!" she cried. "This is wholly unexpected. I had not an idea of it."
--Pride and Prejudice

Friday, May 25, 2007

Morrigan Press/Talislanta Status Update From Scott Agnew

Scott Agnew posted to the Talislanta list with his story:

Hey folks,
My extreme apologies for the lack of response from Morrigan these past few weeks but the stories of our death have been greatly exagerated.

The reason for the silence stems from the fact that one of the major Morrigan shareholders has opted to pull out of the company. Because of that, we have been asked to run silently while the lawyers work things out. NO, we have not gone out of business. In fact, we are doing everything possible to avoid that. All current orders have been shipped. To the fan who waited a long time for that Midnight Realm, my apologies. I was sent out within a few days of the order but mail from Canada can sometimes take unusually logn to cross the border. Subscription holders should now have everything upt to the Players Guide to Talislanta (5th) edition. We expect to ship The Menagerie out to subscription holders within the next two weeks.

The GM's Guide is all but done but because of the legal issue we're currently working out, it'll likely be late June before those start shipping. Also, because we are losing a major piece of capital in our shareholder loss, we now expect to only be able to get 2 or 3 more Tal books out over the coming year. Writers who have submitted manuscripts will be getting an email over the next month (once the lawyers give us the OK) regarding their works. If their work is not on the list that we hope to release in the next 12 months, we will be giving them the option to either leave it with us for later release (and payment) OR to have their work returned in which case they would be free to do with it as they please (jnclduing releasing it for free). Another option if the writer so chooses, is to self-publish under Morrigan. In other words, if a writer wants to actually do the work to layout their book, we will publish it for them under our label and return the lion's share of revenues to them. Anyone interested in this option should contact me ASAP.

Anyway, I've probably said more than our legal "team" would like me to but I just wanted to try and stop the rumor mill before it got out of control. So to recap, Morrigan has suffered a major setback but it is not the end of us. We're restructuring and rebuilding and will get the presses running again sooner than later.

Thanks for your patience folks,
Scott Agnew
Morrigan Press Inc.
I dunno, man. Sounds like tough times for Morrigan. I hope they pull through but this sounds a lot like putting the best face on a bad situation.

I can't say I'm impressed with the tactic of cutting off all communication with customers and artists/authors for weeks or months at a time, no matter what "restructuring" the company is going through.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Morrigan Press Rumor Update

[ UPDATE from Morrigan Press chief Scott Agnew available. ]

Another Talislanta list poster has dug up this notice, which lists Morrigan Press under the following heading:
Notice of decision to dissolve provincial corporations
Take notice that the Director under the Business Corporations Act has made a decision to dissolve the following corporations pursuant to paragraph 139(1)(c) of the Act, as the said corporations have been in default in sending to the Director fees, notices, and/or documents required by the Act. Please note that 60 days after the date of publication of this Notice in The Royal Gazette, the Director may dissolve the corporations.
The poster suggests that this is a standard governmental threat proceeding from delinquent paperwork rather than Scott Agnew absconding in the night. That would be nice, but it does leave open the question of why so many people are owed money or merchandise from Morrigan Press, with Scott incommunicado for a number of weeks now. Could just be a rough time for a guy running a side business. Or could it be... the curse of Talislanta?

Hm... also, it's been 84 days since that notice was published, giving 60 days' warning... I'm not actually a member of the talislanta-l list; I follow it via RSS, so I can't get to the file mentioned here. Maybe it clarifies things.


I got ahold of that status document. All it says is that the status was changed to "Intent To Dissolve" on Feb. 5 and remained so as recently as the document was requested. There were no filing fees for 2007 or annual returns reported for 2007 or 2006. Nothing more than that. So it does seem possible that Scott's just not in communication with the government any more than anybody else, rather than having taken any specific action to dissolve the company. Still. Man.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Another Talislanta Publisher Disappears

[UPDATE from Morrigan Press head dude Scott Agnew available]

People on the Talislanta e-mail list have been making noises lately about the absence of Scott Agnew of Morrigan Press, current publishers of Talislanta. Nobody seems to be able to contact him. Including people who sent him money and are waiting for their copy of the brand new edition.

Tal groupies are understandably antsy, having been stung before, when David Bollack of Pharos Press had the rights to the title. A lot of money was sent to Pharos Press in pre-orders of the 10th anniversary edition of Talislanta (which had to have its name changed to the 4th Edition when the 10th anniversary of Tal's publication came and went), and no such edition of Talislanta ever emerged from Pharos Press, as time dragged on and on and on...

In the end some deft maneuvering by Tal's creator, Stephan-Michael Sechi, rescued Talislanta from Pharos. If my memory serves, and it may not, so don't quote me on this, Sechi quietly allowed Pharos's license to Talislanta to lapse, and then surprised them by refusing to renew it. During this time he had been working with the Shooting Iron web design company (John Harper & Jonathan Elliott) -- who hosted the Tal website -- to put together a new edition themselves. As soon as the rights reverted to Sechi, he and Shooting Iron published the new book, and there was much rejoicing.

John & Jon didn't want to be publishers forever, though, and so the rights were handed off to Morrigan Press, which has done a great job publishing & supporting the game, and which has just put together a really nice even *newer* edition of the rulebook, with a Burning-Wheel-esque character creation system.

I know this book exists; I have held one in my hands; Joe ordered it and received his copy already.

But it looks like Agnew's "low profile" was not without some unfortunate significance:

From the mailing list:

According to the province of New Brunswick, the status of Morrigan
Press changed on Feb 5th to "Intent to Dissolve"

See morriganStatus.GIF in the new area of the Files section for a copy
of the info I bought from the government for $3 or so.


I don't know what's gonna happen next but I don't think we're going to have web designers swoop in and save the day this time.