Coronavirus Update 19/03/20

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Hi Folks,

After due consideration, we have taken the decision to cancel the first event of 2020. This has not been an easy decision; I have never cancelled an event in twenty years of operation, running though hurricanes (twice), floods, droughts, and blizzards. But it is painfully clear that the escalating situation with the pandemic has left us with no other choice. For as long as everyone is being asked to reduce social contact, we cannot in good conscience proceed with an event. In these circumstances, the only responsible decision is to cancel.

If you have an existing booking for the first event, this has been rolled over to the next available event. For example, if you were booked for the first two events, your account will now show that you are booked for events two and three. Tent bookings have been cancelled and the cost refunded to your Empire account. We’ve taken this approach to minimize the administration burden; if you’re happy to have your ticket rolled over then there is nothing further that you need to do.

If you want to have a payment for any event this year refunded, or if you need to change the new booking for any reason, then you can do so by emailing us. We understand that many of our players will be facing a deeply uncertain future for the next few months and will need us to refund their payment. We want to make sure that we do that in a timely fashion, to minimize any potential distress, so we we have created a dedicated email address accounts@profounddecisions.co.uk specifically to allow us to deal with these requests promptly. Please make sure you include your full name, your PID if you know it, and your sort code and account number, so that we can deal with your refund efficiently for you.

We hope that most of our long-standing players will be happy to leave their booking fees on account with us. I won’t lie to anyone, doing so will make an important difference to Profound Decisions in the short term. We have a team of permanent staff and we will need to continue to pay their wages. If we were a “normal” business then we might lay people off, but the staff of Profound Decisions are my family and my friends. What’s more, every one of them has put thousands of hours into creating Empire and making the game so successful. I have decided that we will keep all our team on no matter the costs. Supporting Profound Decisions in the short term will help us to do that.

A few players have asked if there is more that they can do to support Profound Decisions over the longer term to ensure that it can continue to operate. I want to reassure people that we are putting place a plan to guarantee that we get through this come what may. However if you do want to offer additional support, then you can email us at accounts@profounddecisions.co.uk and we’ll make the requested adjustment to your account. Any support is very gratefully accepted, as it will help Empire come back bigger and better than ever.

However I would ask that experienced live roleplayers who enjoy Empire as well as other games also consider helping our fellow organizers and other professionals in the hobby if you’re lucky enough to be in a position to do so. Being frank, we are incredibly fortunate to be running one of the most commercially successful live roleplaying games in the world. While our outgoings are far bigger than most, we are lucky enough to have reserves and support that most individuals and groups in the hobby do not. Many small event organizers have lost money already and more will do so in the coming days. Likewise many LRP traders are reliant on the sales they get at events like ours to pay their bills. If you can afford to do so, then please consider buying some costume, weapons or kit from a British LRP supplier like the ones listed here (https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Autumn_Equinox_2019#Traders). I’ve always said that live roleplaying is an incredible community, but this is an existential moment for many in the hobby. I hope that we can rise to the occasion and ensure that everyone gets through this.

Enough about logistics! What about the Empire? Having looked at the situation carefully there is no choice but to “freeze” in-character time. The world of Empire is so reliant on the actions of the players that it’s not practically possible to move time on without that input. That means that the first event that we run in 2020 will be the forthcoming Winter Solstice. Obviously that means that the event names and dates will remain slightly odd forever more but we can live with that - it will be a little reminder of the year that was.

Thus our plan is to continue to release our Winds of War over the coming weeks followed by the Winds of Fortune, but now they will run all the way up to June. No-one will be credited with any experience points for the event that never happened, there won’t be any additional downtimes, sinecures or similar. Everything that would have been delivered for the Easter event will now happen in June instead. Since we have more time to prepare than usual, we’re going to look at what we can do to provide additional updates to accompany the game. We’ll have more details of that in the next week.

Matthew Pennington,
Profound Decisions.

tl:dr;

  1. Due to coronavirus, we are very sorry but we have to cancel event one. There simply is no other option.
  2. If you booked the event, your ticket has been rolled over to the next available event.
  3. Anyone can request a refund at any time - email accounts@profounddecisions.co.uk with your name, PID and bank details and we’ll sort that for you.
  4. E2 will be now the first event of the Empire year, so everything in the IC world will start from there.
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