GEN CON 2002

August 8-11 2002

Milwaukee Wisconsin

(Version 1.00 - Last updated: 08/22/02)  
Written by Kenneth Olson

Five members of the Robotech Research group attended GEN CON 2002 on Saturday August 10 2002.  This was the ninth GEN CON for myself in the last fourteen years and I had a great time, as I always do; however, this was decidedly the minority opinion with 3 of the other 5 members attending giving the 2002 version of GEN CON unfavorable ratings.  As in previous years, Palladium books did not attend and there was little in the way of Robotech related material except for the odd Macross or Robotech toy sold at exorbitant prices.  I was somewhat disappointed for in the past I have been able to find a couple of good deals on rare Japanese source material, but alas not this year.  

Here are a couple of observations made by the group during GEN CON.  There were fewer venders this year than in the mid to late 90's.  I believe that there are many factors which contributed to this primary among these is the contraction of the RPG industry over the past decade.  A large portion of the main convention hall which in previous conventions was exclusively taken up by venders had a large number of gamming tables, especially in the front portion of the hall.  Besides the apparent decrease in the total number of vendors, there was a dramatic decrease in the number of venders selling role playing material or card collectibles.  The slack was taken up by the plethora of non-role playing vendors with material of interest to the attendees, such as Intel, Microsoft, Nvidia, amour and sword craftsman, and toy and video sellers. 

WizKids had a very large presence at the convention.  As many of you know, FASA went bankrupt and sold the Battletech license, minus the interactive computer games which belongs to Microsoft, to WizKids which has radically changed the RPG system.  I attended several gaming sessions as well as a conference on the future of Battletech.  The largest piece of information ascertained was that WizKids  has decided to stop writing books about events which they are now calling "classic" Battletech, although role playing material for the time being will continue to come out for the classic game.  All future novels will be written for their "Mechwarrior Dark Age" which occurs 150 years after the abrupt ending of the "classic" story line in the 3067 time frame.  As a fan on the novels since "Decision at Thunder Rift", I am very disappointed to see the old characters for which I have grown accustomed to over the years suddenly disappear; however, I will give their new story line a chance.  Michael Stackpole is writing the first book in the new "Mechwarrior Dark Age" series with a scheduled December 2002 release.  Further information on the newly revised Battletech universe can be found on the WizKids web page at

Pictures from Gen Con 2002






















Back to Robotech Research Articles