Why did Gen Con ban TSR?

Gen Con banned Ernie Gygax and TSR Games from its upcoming convention, stating that it does not support TSR’s recent media statements, which upset a lot of people.

Gen Con is the largest tabletop gaming convention by both attendance and number of events. It features traditional games such as board and card games, as well as modern computer games. It was established by Gart Gygax in 1968 as the Lake Geneva Wargames Convention. The convention was later moved to multiple locations in Wisconsin from 1972 to 1984, before becoming fixed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Gen Con became the property of TSR, Inc. in 1976. It was then acquired by Wizards of the Coast in 1997, which subsequently got acquired by Hasbro. In 2002, Gen Con was then sold to Peter Adkinson, the former CEO of Wizards of the Coasts. Adkinson founded Gen Con LLC in the same year, and it is now larger than ever.

Gen Con took to Twitter on Sunday, 27 June 2021, to share its response to the recent statements that TSR released. The tweet stated, “Gen Con is not associated with TSR Games and we do not support their recent statements. While the foundation of Gen Con is tied with the history of TTRPG’s, our goal is to build off the good, acknowledge the bad and work toward a present free from racism, misogyny and homophobia.”

All of the gaming drama unfolded after Ernie Gygax, Gary Gygax’s son, had an interview on the “Live from the Bunker” channel to clarify the position of TSR Games, where he also claimed ownership of a new TSR company, which was founded in 2020. Ernie upset a lot of people when he stated, “TSR has been gone. There are a ton of artists and game designers and people that play, and recently they were dissed for being old-fashioned, possibly anti-modern trends, and enforcing, or even having the concepts of gender identity.”

After seeing the interview, Gen Con banned Ernie Gygax and TSR Games from its upcoming convention, stating that it will not have a booth, nor will it be permitted to run any events.

In response, TSR took to Twitter, stating “We here at TSR are very passionate about gamers [and] gaming. We don’t mean to offend or attack anyone [and] appreciate all the feedback we’ve been getting from fans near [and] far. When confronted with disinformation, we have defended ourselves. Our message is very clear [and] always has been.”

A lot of fans also joined the conversation on Twitter, expressing their opinions on Gen Con banning TSR. One fan stated that he will not be going to the convention anymore, due to the ban of the new TSR Games company. He added that he suspects that Gen Con banned TSR because it knows that the new gaming company may outperform Wizards of the Coast.