Palladium Books® Weekly Update – January 3, 2013

By Kevin Siembieda

2012 was a good year

Palladium Books is coming off its best year in quite some time. 2012 was a year of progress, improved sales and successful experimentation.

  • Sales were up 4% across the board and Surprise Package and Christmas sales held strong for Palladium Books.
  • Sales of the Rifts®, Robotech® and Dead Reign™ (Zombie Apocalypse) game lines were up 7-8%.

We also saw increased interest in the Palladium Fantasy RPG® and Heroes Unlimited™, especially in the requests for products in Christmas Surprise Packages.

  • The 2012 Palladium Open House was another success and loads of fun for everybody.
  • Gen Con® Indy was the best for Palladium Books in a decade. No exaggeration.
  • We also tried some new things, like crowdsource funding three different titles, all of which were a resounding success.
  • We have also experimented with new advertising venues with mixed success, but mostly good.
  • Thanks to Carmen Bellaire, Palladium released a number of out of print Rifts® miniatures and a ten new miniatures.
  • We investigated new market areas and will be expanding into producing game pieces for Robotech®.
  • My health continued to improved and my diabetes is under control largely with diet and exercise. Alex Marciniszyn’s health also held steady.

As we head into the New Year, we are feeling healthy, positive and focused. Overall, 2012 was a good year.

There were some disappointments

There were only a few disappointments, but they were felt hard.

Lack of new RPG releases. Despite an array of exciting and high demand products in the pipeline, Palladium was unable to release more than a fraction of the new products we ALL wanted. Without question, this was the biggest disappointment. Not just for gamers, but for all of us at Palladium. This was due largely to two reasons. 1. Experimenting with some new production strategies that haven’t worked as well as we’d like. 2. Time and energy were spent on the development of several products for 2013. This included plotting the designs for new products (RPG lines, sourcebooks, and miniatures), exploring possible new licensing opportunities, researching new markets, expanding our Robotech® game line (to include game pieces and tactical rules later this year), and finding and signing the right people to help us make the expanding Robotech® product line a smash success with the highest quality products we can muster.

Yet even this major disappointment is leading to vast, new potential and exciting new product releases for 2013. I’ll talk about them a bit, in a moment.

The major sorrows to hit Palladium came at the holidays. The unexpected loss of friend and Palladium supporter, Kevin Lowry around Thanksgiving (I still can’t believe he’s gone), and Mike Mumah’s shocking collapse three days before Christmas. On Saturday, December 22, 2012, artist and friend, Mike Mumah suffered a severe stroke that sent him to the hospital in critical condition. Mike is a young, vibrant individual in his thirties. It was a shock to all of us. I had spoken to him about his next 3-4 art assignments, starting with Northern Gun One (to be sent to him that weekend), just that Friday.

2013 promises to be an even better year!

Mike Mumah is stable, but it is still too soon to know how difficult a road lays ahead for him. We do know Mike will need physical therapy and speech therapy. How quickly he recovers (weeks, months, years) will depend upon many factors. Our thoughts, love and heartfelt prayers are with Mike and his family. I will keep you posted on his progress in these Weekly Updates and my Murmurs from the Megaverse®.

Mike is one of Palladium’s main artists and one of my go-to-guys for artwork and hitting tight deadlines. It will take some adjustment for me, personally, emotionally and professionally, to not be able to turn to Mike for his illustrations. The day before his stroke, Mike and I spoke and laughed as we made big plans for 2013. Mike agreed to do artwork for Rifts® Northern Gun One and Two and the upcoming Chaos Earth sourcebooks, as well as Rifts® Vampires Sourcebook if I wanted any quick, last minute additions. We also talked about a couple of secret projects, one pet project in which Mike was to contribute concepts and writing in addition to artwork. That project will probably be postponed to 2014. With any luck, Mike will be back on his feet and drawing like the mad man he is.

2013 will be the year of new RPG book releases. I know, year after year Palladium promises to release more role-playing game sourcebooks than ever before . . . but we seldom succeed. So let me simply say this: My personal focus and goal is to release as many new RPG sourcebooks as I can possibly deliver. It will start with the Rifts® Vampires Sourcebook, Rifts® Northern Gun One, Northern Gun Two and Megaverse® in Flames. All of which should be epic, inspiring and come out in rapid succession. Then, I want them to be followed by – in no particular order – more Robotech® books (namely the two, expanded UEEF Marines books), new Chaos Earth Sourcebooks, new Palladium Fantasy RPG® sourcebooks, new Splicers sourcebooks, the two Beyond the Supernatural sourcebooks (Tome Grotesque and Beyond Arcanum). And . . . well, let’s leave it at that for now, shall we? I don’t ask you to wait or believe. I simply ask you to watch and see. I think you’ll be pleased by this year’s production schedule.

More for Palladium Fantasy RPG® in 2013. I had hoped to release the Palladium Fantasy RPG® Ultimate Edition for its 30th Anniversary, but that won’t happen. However, we are kicking around ideas for many new Fantasy sourcebooks. I don’t want to get people’s hopes up, so I’m not going to mention what I have in mind or when you might expect to see them. At least, not yet.

Beyond the Supernatural sourcebooks, at last. By hook or by crook, I expect to hammer out the two, long awaited Beyond the Supernatural sourcebooks: Tome Grotesque™ and Beyond Arcanum™. It is one of my personal goals.

Robotech® RPG Tactics: Defense of Macross Island™ is going to be the big boxed game to launch the Robotech® line of 1/285th scale game pieces. It will be quickly followed by several expansion sets, and we plan to present ALL eras of Robotech® as quickly as we can.

It is still too soon for us to announce who we’re working with or any details about the product line, but it’s all excellent. I can tell you we hope to debut it at Gen Con® and release en masse in the Fall of 2013.

Some outsiders looking in have questioned Palladium going into an unfamiliar market with a new product line. I think, however, that all questions and doubts will be put to rest when more details are presented. Our thorough research indicates this is a tremendous opportunity to make Palladium truly strong again. And the talented people working with us have the expertise that Palladium does not have itself. You don’t pass up an opportunity like this when it comes your way. As Robotech® fans ourselves, we are working to make this game line gorgeous to look at and fun to play. We want it to be everything Robotech® fans as well as Robotech® gamers could want. We want you to go wild over this product line. We’re excited. The people working with Palladium are excited. The people at Harmony Gold are excited. This is going to be something special.

Let me stop one crazy rumor: I have seen at least a couple rumors suggesting that I want to dump role-playing games and go into the board game/miniatures market. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have never stopped evangelizing the merits and joy of the RPG experience for 32 years now (longer if you count my days before founding Palladium Books), and I have no intention of abandoning RPGs now. I love role-playing games and hope to be designing and writing them till I take my last breath. In fact, I have plans to take RPGs to the next level and into new markets. I just need the time and resources to do it. Working on it. ;)

2013 is starting out strong

As I write this, it’s only January 3, 2013, but the year is already off to a great start. Initial sales have been excellent, we’re working full bore on several books. New projects are moving along well. There is tremendous excitement about the Robotech® game pieces and I’ve already seen concept drawings for the cover to the box game and all aspects of the product are in development. My imagination is on fire with ideas for sourcebooks and games, and many of Palladium’s freelancers are fired up as well. Plus, Palladium has been approached concerning a couple of possible licensing opportunities. Too soon to say where that might lead.

So there you have it. Palladium’s comeback continues in 2013. Optimism abounds and ideas are flowing like water. Stick with us and we’ll carry you to new realms of adventure.

Happy New Year and thank you for your continuing support. 2012 would not have been so good without you. We still have limited resources and there remains debt to continue to pay down, but with continued fan support and new product releases, Palladium can only get stronger with every passing day. I think 2013 is going to be our best year in a decade. Thank you, again. We couldn’t do it without you.

I’m going to leave the focus of the rest of this Weekly Update on the final week and a half to order 2012 Christmas Surprise Packages and more kind words from our many wonderful gaming friends and customers. Keep those imaginations burning bright and game on.

– Kevin Siembieda, Publisher, Writer and Gamer

X-Mas Grab Bags Extended

Only One and a Half Weeks Left – Surprise Package Offer ENDS January 13, 2013

Time is running out. Order your Surprise Package before it is too late. When the offer ends, you’ll have to wait till next Christmas to see this super-deal again. Offer ends Midnight, January 13, 2013.

And spread the word. As you’ll see in the comments section of this Update, gamers are still discovering the Surprise Package offer for the very first time! Make sure all your gaming buddies know and get a chance to order. Game on!

We extended the offer because we realize many of you are so full of the Christmas Spirit that you spend your money on gifts for your loved ones rather than yourself. This wonderful act of charity often leaves no money for you to buy a Palladium Surprise Package for yourself. We think that’s pretty darn awesome, so we extend the offer so you selfless souls can pick up a Surprise Package after the holidays. We know this happens, because a lot of people over the years have thanked us for the extension for this very reason.

The extension is also for you Johnny Come-Latelys who are so caught up in the holiday frenzy, work and life that somehow you miss placing your order for the Christmas Surprise Package before the offer ends. And for those of you who wish you had ordered one (or another one) but forgot.

Lastly, it is our way to carry that holiday good cheer into the New Year. So get your post-holiday Surprise Package and enjoy.

A Special Gift. While supplies last, you get the Mike Mumah, Santa on the Day After Christmas color print ($10 value) signed by me, Kevin Siembieda, when you order one or more Surprise Packages during the extended period. Mike did this fun illustration as a gift to me, the Palladium crew and the entire Palladium family. Including it in the post-holiday Surprise Packages just seemed perfect, especially under the circumstances.

X-Mas Grab Bags

The Palladium Christmas Surprise Package offer

What a great way to start the New Year, with Palladium product you’ve been meaning to try. The Palladium Christmas Surprise Package is an opportunity to try new game settings, fill in your collection, stock up on reading material for the winter, get gifts for other occasions and acquire books and artwork with autographs. Order yours today, and be certain to provide a nice, long Wish List of currently available books (12+ items) and we’ll do our best to delight you with your Surprise Package.

  • $85-$95 worth of product for only about $45 or so in every Palladium Christmas Surprise Package! These days, that’s the price of a core rule book or two supplements. And sometimes the crazy Publisher includes even more value than that!
  • Autographs in every book in your Surprise Package, upon request if you want them. For many gamers this is the only way to get signed books.
  • Get original artwork. The inclusion of art is considered only for those who request it, and depending on the size, subject and quality of the art, you may only get the art and one or two other items. (The typical piece of original art is 8½ x 11 and has a value of $30-$60.)
  • Get other goodies like limited edition prints, posters, back issues of The Rifter®, game settings you’ve been meaning to try, T-shirts, coffee mugs, bookmarks, magnets, Chi-Town Library pencils, and other Palladium goodies.
  • A great gift for ALL gift-giving occasions – birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day (just around the corner), graduation, and so on.
  • It’s a surprise, like a real present, because you never know exactly what you are going to get and it is packed with love!

Placing your Surprise Package order involves you sending Santa Kevin a “Wish List” of 10-12 different in-stock products and a flat payment (+ shipping and handling). I then hand-pick items from that Wish List and I may include product you didn’t ask for (hence the nickname, “X-Mas Grab Bag”), but all things I think you’ll enjoy, and we ship it all off to you. Gamers have been loving this special offer for 14 or 15 years now. Order one or several for yourself and for your gaming buddies. For the holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, or just to get cool stuff and signatures. Get all the information from the description in the online store. The Christmas Surprise Package offer ends January 13, 2013.

Click here for complete details and to place your order.

More Surprise Package comments from gamers like you

Enjoy, and thank you. Oh, and spread the word. Gamers are still discovering this great opportunity for the first time!

J.F. in Lawrence, Massachusetts, writes: This is the first time I’ve ever heard about the Grab Bag. AWESOME idea. This is definitely part of my Christmas wish list from here on out!

B.P. in Colorado Springs, Colorado, writes [in part]: I think this may be the coolest thing I have ever seen from a gaming company.

A.M. in Oakdale, California, writes: These Grab Bags are such a great bargain. I just can’t get enough of them!

M.W. in Albuquerque, New Mexico, writes: I have been getting this Surprise Package for my husband for years, and he loves it. This is the best gift for an avid gamer.

J.M. in Stow, Ohio, writes [in part]: I started playing Rifts® a year ago with a couple of friends. After years of D&D, playing a new game with this much depth completely enthralled me.

E.R. in Oak Harbor, Washington, writes: I’ve been playing Palladium games since 1988; Palladium Fantasy® being my first role-playing game. I’ve enjoyed Palladium in all of its Megaversal flavors and want you to keep up the great work.

J.N. in Greely, Colorado (who has ordered something like a dozen Grab Bags this season), writes: Hey, Kev! Back again for a Rifter® Grab Bag. Your inclusion of issue #57 hooked me. I’m looking to fill in the line retroactively. Tell Wayne to keep the great material coming, and add more Fantasy.

M.N. in Mapleton, Utah, writes: I was fortunate enough to meet Kevin at E3 several years ago, which was a real delight. I was glad to see I didn’t miss out on the extended Surprise Package this time around. I hope Palladium continues on for many more years. I know I’ll be supporting you.

T.R. in Mustang, Oklahoma, writes: Yes, please autograph the books. Since you extended the offer, I guess I’ll have to order another. Thank you, by the way, because this works great [for me], as I want to have all the Rifts® books in my collection.

C.P. in Oak Forest, Illinois, writes: I’d like to compliment Palladium Books for keeping its prices so low. I was recently at a game shop and noticed some other companies’ books were each $39.99. Most of Palladium’s World Books are less than $25 each. That’s very affordable in my opinion, and that’s what keeps me as a loyal fan. Game on!

A.S. in Dade City, Florida, writes: I ordered one of these a couple years ago and it was great for our gaming group. We got a chance to try out Beyond the Supernatural™ and Splicers®, both of which were great. I have a new gaming group I’m pairing up with, and I want to introduce the wonderful Palladium Megaverse® to them. Thank you for all the wonderful memories you’ve helped us create.

K.B. in Cincinnati, Ohio, writes: I do not have many Palladium books, but my gaming group does play a lot of Rifts®. I want to thank all who have written the books and have kept my group entertained with the ideas they come up with. I’m converting most of my games over to the Palladium system.

A.C. in Everett, Washington, writes: I am very glad Palladium has survived. I’m also very thankful for the X-Mas Grab Bag.

R.M. in Edmonton, Canada, writes: My brothers and I have been playing Rifts® for the past 10+ years. Thank you for all the hard work you put into your games.

S.D. in Eugene, Oregon, writes: Thank you all for the great games you’ve developed! It has been a huge part of my life for many years now, and I’ve met many great friends because of it.

J.R. in Waco, Texas, writes: Can’t wait to see what you do with the Minion War on Earth. Keep up the good work!

J.H. and K.H. in Bradyville, Tennessee, write: Years ago, I had nearly every book then in print. In a moment of duress (or stupidity), I sold them. What an idiot. I’m now trying to rebuild that collection and catch up on the new releases. Thanks so much for being who you are, and staying as cool as ever!

From Kevin and the Palladium Crew: Thank you one and all for your kind words and even flattery. I think you’ll love the Minion War™ on Rifts® Earth (Megarverse® in Flames) and the many other exciting products coming down the pike. Game on!

© Copyright 2013 Palladium Books Inc. All rights reserved.

Rifts®, The Rifter®, RECON®, Splicers®, Palladium Books®, The Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game®, Phase World®, Nightbane®, Megaverse®, The Mechanoids®, The Mechanoid Invasion®, Coalition Wars® and After the Bomb® are Registered Trademarks of Palladium Books Inc. Beyond the Supernatural™, Chaos Earth, Coalition States, Dead Reign, Heroes Unlimited, Ninjas & Superspies, Minion War, Mysteries of Magic, SAMAS, Thundercloud Galaxy, Three Galaxies, Vampire Kingdoms, and other published book titles, names, slogans and likenesses are trademarks of Palladium Books Inc., and Kevin Siembieda.

Robotech® and Robotech® The Shadow Chronicles® are Registered Trademarks of Harmony Gold USA, Inc.

This press release may be reprinted, reposted, linked and shared for the sole purpose of advertising, promotion and sales solicitation.

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Rifts®, The Rifter®, RECON®, Splicers®, Powers Unlimited®, Palladium Books®, The Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game®, Phase World®, Nightbane®, Megaverse®, The Mechanoids®, The Mechanoid Invasion®, Coalition Wars®, Chaos Earth®, Dead Reign®, and After the Bomb® are Registered Trademarks of Palladium Books Inc. RPG Tactics™, Beyond the Supernatural, Coalition States, Heroes Unlimited, Ninjas & Superspies, Minion War, Mysteries of Magic, SAMAS, Thundercloud Galaxy, Three Galaxies, Vampire Kingdoms, and other published book titles, names, slogans and likenesses are trademarks of Palladium Books Inc., and Kevin Siembieda.

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