COVID-19: A Further Update

On March 18th we posted a statement on how COVID-19 was affecting our business. We noted that the situation was highly fluid and unpredictable and promised that we’d keep you updated.

Some two-and-a-half weeks later, it’s time again to check in.

Impact to Our Operations

As states have worked to mitigate the spread of the virus, many of our business partners have (rightly) been deemed non-essential businesses. This includes our main distributor, our printer, and many of the local game stores who carry our titles. Our retail pipeline is basically shut down. We understand that is a dire step – but a necessary one. We’ve weathered financial hardship before and we’re fortunate to be in a position where we can absorb this hit for a couple of months. Obviously the situation is supercharged with uncertainty but for now we are holding steady.

This turn of events has forced some operational changes, however.

Since our warehouse is closed, we can’t fulfill physical orders and for the time being we have closed our webstore. If you’d like to support us or are just looking to pick up a game in PDF format, you have two options:

In terms of upcoming releases, the Fate Space Toolkit made it through the printing process before the facility was closed. We anticipate that it will be ready to pick up from your FLGS within a couple weeks of our warehouse re-opening. If your FLGS is open and takes part in Bits & Mortar (which they should, it’s free for them) they can take your pre-order and deliver you the PDF right away.

AGON is final, the proofs have been approved, and the game will go to press when our printer re-opens. We are currently taking pre-orders here. Making a pre-order now gives you immediate access to the PDF.

With so many local game stores closed, our fans have been forced to look elsewhere to find our books. We are temporarily broadening our PDF guarantee to include other sources. We encourage you to support your FLGS however you can. They need your help in these times.  But we don’t want to penalize customers who don’t have that option. If you buy one of our games new, we’ll send you the PDF for free.

If you’re in the US and looking to mail-order our recent releases and most popular titles in hardcopy, Indie Press Revolution is still shipping daily. They send you both the book and the PDF and stock a finely-curated selection of indie titles from a variety of great publishers. They also carry physical copies of our highly-praised story-building game For The Queen as well Channel A, our goofy party game of pitching anime tv shows. If you have teens or pre-teens both of these are easy to learn and will provide stimulating creative engagement for bored kids and parents alike.

While many other retail outlets are closed, IPR is not a retail storefront in the traditional sense and this post explains the details about their unique situation, why they’ve chosen to stay open, and how they work to keep their staff and their customers safe.

The Online Escape Valve

Especially in these times, we’re glad we have official licenses with online virtual tabletop Roll20. If you’re looking for a very rules-light game that’s extremely newbie-friendly, we recommend For The Queen. It uses a simple yet engaging series of prompts to help you develop the characters and story. It’s easy to learn, easy to play over the internet or tablet, and it’s never the same twice.

Fate makes it easy to pick up a set of dice and set foot in the world of your favorite movie, tv show, or novel. The Fate Complete Bundle gives you rules, character sheets, two complete Worlds of Adventure, character tokens, and more. Everything you need to get a game of Fate going on Roll20. 

The Fate SRD has recently been updated with resources and tips for playing Fate online.

If you’re looking for a concise, streamlined version of our rules, last month we released Fate Condensed.  It’s a tight 60-page package that explains how to play Fate and is fully compatible with everything else we’ve published for the system. It’s priced as a Pay What You Want PDF or you can browse the rules online at the Fate SRD

And on the board game side of things, the digital version of the Dresden Files Cooperative card game offers cooperative play and a wide set of challenging cases to solve together. It’s available on Steam, the App Store for iOS, and Google Play. It supports both online and local pass-and-play. Fans of the novels will appreciate the characters and references, but knowledge of the books is not required and doesn’t give a player any specific advantage. End-to end, it’s a terrific adaptation of the highly-acclaimed board game.

In Conclusion

As we’ve learned in the past two+ weeks, this crisis moves quickly and takes unexpected turns. We’re dealing with the uncertainty as best we can. It’s challenging and stressful but we still see a path forward for our business. We know there is a lot of economic instability out there. If you’ve been affected by reduced hours or a job loss and are looking for a distraction or creative outlet, you have our full blessing to pick up any of our 30+ Pay What You Want Worlds of Adventure and set the price to zero. If you find yourself in a position to help ease some of the suffering out there, we still recommend supporting your local food bank.

Please put health and safety above all else, the only way we can beat this is through discipline and collective action.