It’s true. I found out from Mark Simmons himself last week. The official release is below.
It’s a crying shame. Mark’s been one of the industry’s biggest boosters, even from before he started the Games Quarterly Catalog 16 years ago. He turned around the Origins Awards before handing them over to Charles Ryan and then went on to rescue GAMA in the aftermath of the quiet doom that was the Miami GTS.
Matthews Simmons Marketing, which ran Games Quarterly Catalog, Games Quarterly Magazine, National Games Week, and the ill-fated Games Expo 2007 died because of the horrible contraction the tabletop games industry has suffered through the past couple years. MSM runs on ad money, essentially, and when companies hit hard times they cut their ad budgets—and sometimes don’t bother to pay their bills.
Still, it’s good to see that the two Richards (Hartnett and Martin Leep) will pick up GQC‘s torch and continue along Mark’s path. I wish them luck.
For me, this means I successfully wrote an article for every issue of Games Quarterly Magazine. I just wish it had been a longer streak. The magazine had the best pay rate in the entire industry. Still, as I told Mark, I’d have written for him for free if he’d asked.
Here’s to Mark and his crew. I hope they all land on their feet and that we see them again soon. They contributed so much to tabletop games, and I can only hope that MSM’s demise doesn’t prove to be the canary in the industry’s coal mine.
April 6, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Owners for Games Quarterly Catalog
Games Quarterly Catalog (GQC), the 16 year old standard reference for the games industry, is now under new ownership. The acquisition was completed today. The previous owner Matthews Simmons Martketing (MSM) sold the catalog to Richard Hartnett and Richard Martin Leep. Mr. Hartnett has been a Sales representative for Games Quarterly employee since the beginning of the year, and Mr. Leep is the former Senior Editor for MSM. They are, as of now, the exclusive representatives for Games Quarterly Catalog.
“I am pleased to see this vital publication continue, with two people who know the function of GQC so well, ”stated previous owner Mark Simmons.
Games Quarterly Catalog lists product lines from over 500 game publishers, with an estimated 42,000 items. It is a comprehensive guide to family, hobby and educational non-electronic games. About 5,000 retail stores and distributors use GQC on a daily basis. The staff of GQC also voluntarily manages, for both the hobby and games trades, a standard manufacturer code system with over 4,400 manufacturers and publishers listed. Most distributors utilize the standard codes, to allow retailers to easily identify and order products from the wide range of companies.
Mr. Hartnett noted that the regular production schedule for GQC will remain as it has for the past several years with a one time delay of two weeks in order to facilitate this transition. This means the summer edition, GQC 63, will ship June 30. Updates and advertising placements have already begun. This edition includes a large quantity of new game and accessory releases for Summer.
Mr. Simmons further announced that MSM is closing after 16 years of service to the games industry. He noted the closure was forced by mounting bad accounts receivable through the past eighteen months and recent losses due to the launch of Games Expo 2007. Games Quarterly Magazine’s publication has ceased. National Games Week, according to Mr. Simmons, is a phenomenon that is likely to continue, with or without management. “However, stated Mr. Simmons, ”who knows what the future will bring?“
Mr. Simmons has become the North American Agent for Shanghai China based MeiJia International, the top board and card game manufacturer in China. He also has taken a position as Marketing and Sales Director for Denver based Vibrant Solar, Inc, which installs solar panel arrays for homes and commercial buildings. Mr. Simmons can be reached at email@example.com.
FOR MORE INFORMATION Regarding Games Quarterly Catalog Contact:
Games Quarterly Catalog Company
12568 Tammywood Street
Broomfield CO 80020
Richard Hartnett email: GamesQuarterly@ecentral.com phone: (303)437-3218 or
Richard Martin Leep email: GQCproduction@comcast.net
phone: (303) 817-1877