Please Help Save Palladium from Going Under
An open letter from Kevin Siembieda, President & Owner.
A Crisis of Treachery
At a time when Palladium Books’ future has never looked more promising, we have been dealt a crippling blow.
For legal reasons, I cannot go into details about exactly what happened. Suffice it to say that betrayal of trust, theft, and embezzlement has inflicted what we estimate to be $850,000 to 1.3 million dollars in damages to Palladium.
It is a blow from which Palladium cannot recover. At least, not without YOUR help.
Out of options . . .
I have borrowed tens of thousands in loans and sunk every dime I’ve had into Palladium Books. I’m selling everything I own to keep Palladium going. That’s the real reason I’m selling my 25 year old toy collection, art and other items at the Palladium Open House.
But it’s not enough.
For the last year I had kept Palladium going with the hope that something would break in our favor. After all, we had all kinds of exciting things going on behind the scenes, and the huge loss seemed, for a while, like something we could overcome. Then a string of misfortune.
A series of unfortunate events
- The truly wonderful Rifts® videogame – Rifts® Promise of Power – was stillborn. The N-Gage platform never took off in North America. That meant the N-Gage and Rifts® Promise of Power would NOT be available on the mass market in the USA and Canada. Finding it anywhere in North America required an act of God.
- There would be no Nokia royalty-based revenue stream.
- Nor would there be a Nokia videogame sequel and the money that might come from it.
Note: Nokia treated me nothing short of GREAT. They lost truckloads of money on this venture. We’re both the victims of marketing fallout. Please don’t blame these wonderful people for Palladium’s woes – circumstance just didn’t make them part of our solution.
- Minimal gains into the book trade (Barnes & Noble, Borders, Hastings, etc.). PSI’s (Publisher Services Inc.) efforts to get Palladium RPG products into the book trade have been slow to say the least. Although we are confident PSI will be a good partner and get us into many national bookstore chains, it is taking much longer than anticipated.
- The Rifts movie? Stalled. Until Jerry Bruckheimer has a script he loves, the movie can’t get the green light. That makes perfect sense, but it doesn’t help Palladium’s bottom line right now.
- There were discussions with a company interested in doing a Rifts® MMOG but it didn’t pan out.
- Other potential deals have moved forward at a snail’s pace or have fallen to the wayside.
- Going public with this appeal may very well cost us getting the Robotech® license renewal.
- It doesn’t help that the role-playing game industry is in a slump and going through a transitional phase.
- Palladium has a team of amazing writers and artists brimming with ideas and enthusiasm. We have dozens and dozens of ideas and opportunities that will knock your socks off, but not the money to implement them.
- Palladium’s writers and artists have been troopers, waiting months to get paid, but their generosity is not enough.
- Treachery and skullduggery from within threatens to put us out of business.
Please help save Palladium Books®
I struggled and struggled with whether or not I should turn to YOU for help. Palladium and I have always had a close relationship with our fan base. Everything we do, we do with you in mind. We buck the trends, keep prices low, produce The Rifter®, and try to bring happiness with our annual X-Mas Grab Bag offer. We love gaming and gamers.
The irony is, we should be doing fine except for the treachery that has crippled us.
It was actually trusted fan-friends and freelancers who gave me the idea to turn to you, the people who are most important to our survival on so many levels.
Time and time again, each person I spoke to would be stunned by the news that Palladium was facing the possibility of closing its doors soon.
Time and time again, the person would say something heartfelt like, “I can’t believe it. I can’t imagine a world without Palladium in it. Kevin, if I had the money I’d give it to you in a heartbeat.”
I heard this so many times, almost word for word, that it gave me an idea. What if I went public and told all our fans about our trouble? Would they help?
It seemed like a viable solution, but was it right to ask our fans for . . . a helping hand?
My friend, Teresa Mead, helped me decide that this was the best solution when she said to me, “Kevin, I know your fans, and I think they’d be angry if you didn’t turn to them. They care about Palladium. If they find out they had a chance to save it, but Palladium’s gone because you didn’t ask them, it will make them furious. They’ll feel cheated and betrayed.”
I thought about that a lot, and I think she’s right. So here’s goes.
How you can help
Purchase the limited edition print “A Megaverse® United”
- I, Kevin Siembieda, will draw a special, pencil drawing with key characters from our entire game line to be made into a simple, black and white, toned piece of artwork, 11 x 14 inches, printed on a good quality paper.
- Each print will be hand signed by me. I’ll indicate which number that print is (i.e. #1, 2, 100, 1000, 2010, etc.). I don’t know how many there will be in the end; I pray for thousands!
- EVERYONE who purchases the print will see their names appear in the back pages of a major book listed as “Heroes of the Megaverse®!”
- The print will sell for $50.00 plus shipping and materials (envelope, protective cardboard, etc.), probably about $2.00-$5.00 by regular first class mail.
- We need those sales NOW!!! If 4,000 or 5,000 people all order that darn print within a month or two, it should give us the money we need to get back on our feet! Without a shot in the arm of some big cash, and fast, I fear Palladium is gone. That kind of jump start should carry us through the year and should enable us to do the other things we need to do to keep the company going for years to come!
YOU can make a real difference
This is one of those rare moments in life when YOU, as an individual, can make a real difference. You can be a real hero by purchasing one of those prints and encouraging every Palladium gamer you know to do the same. Spread the word online, at conventions, at game stores, everywhere. Encourage every Palladium fan who has ever enjoyed our games, purchased a Grab Bag, or visited us at a convention to run home and place an order.
I would never ask this great kindness of you if I didn’t think it would really work to save Palladium and keep us going for years.
This is easier than it may sound.
Four or five thousand may seem like a big number, but that’s not even close to the number of gamers who purchased the Rifts® Ultimate Edition within the first few weeks of its release!
Palladium has a mailing list of 14,000 fans who buy from us throughout the year.
We sold 2000+ Christmas Grab Bags last year alone.
We get 25,000-50,000 hits on the website every month, with some months exceeding 100,000!!!
Millions of gamers around the world have played our games over the years — Rifts®, Ninja Turtles®, Robotech®, Palladium Fantasy RPG®, Heroes Unlimited, Nightbane® and others. MILLIONS!
With YOUR help Palladium CAN survive, but we need a rapid infusion of cash. That means we need YOU to spread the word about Palladium’s situation and encourage others to buy a print too. And as soon as possible.
YOUR help is real
Any amount we can sell will make a difference. 2000 prints sold is a big help and “should” enable us to limp through the rest of the year working toward getting into the book trade and launching new products that can make a difference. 4000 prints sold “should” free us of the most crushing debt, and help get us standing on our feet. 5000 prints or more should help enable us to release a range of amazing role-playing games, sourcebooks and related products. With the cash we need, Palladium can do all of the following.
Release the stockpile of exciting new sourcebooks and products created by Palladium’s unbelievable crew of talented freelance writers and artists.
Palladium can release new RPGs and publish more products for ALL its game lines, hopefully boosting overall sales and making Palladium strong again.
Palladium can reprint key titles.
Palladium can expand vital advertising.
Palladium can keep doing the X-Mas Grab Bag that makes Christmas that much brighter for so many people.
With your help, a little luck and hard work, this will be the boost we need to keep Palladium going for years and years to come.
Without giving away too many secrets, we’ve been looking into a number of exciting licenses and new product areas you guys and gals have been asking for over the years, including novels, comic books and toys. Things that would already have been in production except for the crisis of treachery.
YOU will be a bigger, intrinsic part of the Palladium Megaverse than ever before. You’ll be true champions who did something noble, kind and significant.
YOU have my word that fans will always come first and I will repay you by keeping Palladium’s quality high, our prices reasonable, and giving back whenever I can.
What else can you do?
- Come to the Palladium Open House and celebrate the past, present and future, buy back-stock items, toys, art and rare collectibles.
- Keep supporting Palladium by purchasing our games at stores and online from Palladium Books.
- Spread the word about Palladium’s role-playing games to other gamers. The greatest sales tool there is, especially in this age of the internet, is “word of mouth.” Encourage others to play Palladium games, run games and demos at your favorite game store or local game convention.
- Take advantage of online offers and sales, like the 25th Anniversary items.
- Tell stores that you want our books and wish they’d carry them (but only if it’s true).
- Share your thoughts and ideas with us.
- Forgive me for having to bother you with our troubles. I hope this appeal doesn’t offend anybody. I’ve run out of options.
- Please do not try to assess blame or blast the person or persons who may be responsible. It can only lead to more trouble for Palladium. Besides, we need you to focus on the positive with us. Palladium CAN be saved with some help from its friends.
If Palladium Books should come to an end, I have no regrets. I’ll know I did everything possible to keep going and do right by everyone. I have nothing but wonderful memories I will cherish forever. Palladium Books has allowed me to touch the lives of millions of people, meet thousands of fans, and become friends with scores of wonderful people.
– Kevin Siembieda, Publisher – Spring 2006