October 3, 2001
Dear Friends of Decipher,
In light of the September 11 tragedies in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., resulting airline safety concerns, and expected military action in the near future, I have made some very difficult decisions. The safety of our players and our employees must be my number one concern. As such, I’m changing our plans for two large, group events in October and November.
The first decision is to allow our European marketing professionals and team of product champions to represent us at Spiel Game Faire in Essen, Germany on October 18-21 instead of flying our marketing team from Decipher’s headquarters in Virginia. I’m sure all of you who get to attend Spiel will be treated to a spectacular showing by Marcus Sheppard and Dominiek Vermandere, including a first look at The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game.
The second, and more significant, decision is about DecipherCon. We have a lot of important things planned for the show, but I can’t imagine anything more important than the safety of our players all around the world. As such, I’ve decided to cancel the convention this year. I know there will be many disappointed players out there, just as I am deeply disappointed.
Still, it’s my belief that out of adversity comes opportunity. I think we can collectively turn this disappointment into a tremendous positive on behalf of the entire gaming community. Here’s how:
As many of you know, this was to be the first time Decipher awarded $50,000 in cash prizes in the world championships of our various trading card games. Many of you were looking forward to competing in these events. Yet, it seems appropriate now and I believe most of you will feel the same way that this money should go for a higher purpose. I’ve decided that Decipher will donate all $50,000 to relief efforts for the September 11th tragedy.
But, it’s not just the donation that feels like the right thing to do. It’s more. All 300 of our players who qualified for DecipherCon through State, Open, and Continental Championships will be contacted shortly by email and given the opportunity to vote on which charity(ies) will benefit from the donation. When that determination is made, we will make the contribution not in Decipher’s name, but in the name of all these championship players. (Click here for a list of the champions.)
In addition, we are going to challenge our retailers, distributors, and players around the world to match this money through fundraising efforts of tournaments and other events. These funds will be donated in the names of all Decipher players and collectors.
Another key feature of DecipherCon this year was to be the very first sanctioned tournament in the world for The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game. Instead of asking players to come to our community (in Virginia Beach) to celebrate the launch of the greatest game Decipher has ever made, we will take The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game to your communities all over the world. We plan to implement a series of sanctioned tournament events instead of just one. (Locations of these events will be announced later.) It’s true we have a short period of time to organize all of this (no one expected the events of September 11th), but I’m sure our team will rise to the occasion.
Finally, we are going to ask our qualifying champions, the same people who would have been competing in the world championships for our games, to serve as guests of honor at these Lord of the Rings events. They are stars and deserve to be treated as such.
On Friday, I will be talking about these decisions on Radio Free Decipher. If you have questions for me, feel free to email them to Kyle Heuer at email@example.com, with the subject “Question for Warren Holland”, before noon (EST) on Thursday. I’ll be happy to answer as many questions as I can and also give you some background information on these decisions for me.
Should any of you have trouble canceling your airline travel arrangements, please consult the airlines directly to find out what paperwork is necessary in order to have your ticket purchases refunded or exchanged for future travel. We are dedicated to helping you in any way we can and will be happy to provide you with any written documentation about the event cancellation. Please contact our conventions manager, Kendrick Summers, regarding your personal situation. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 757.664.1143.
I ask for your support in helping me make Decipher’s proud player community stand above the rest in a show of widespread devotion to our country in its time of need. Everyone within the company already knows that our players are special. Now it’s time to show the world what you’re all about.
All the best,
Chairman & CEO