Earlier this week, James Mishler of Adventurer Games Publishing made this announcement. Basically, four of their print products are being cleared out. These are the only full-sized products AGP has done since they've started doing business a back. They are 'XXXI', the '2008 Wilderlands Jam', 'Monsters & Treasures of the Wilderlands I', and the first (and sadly only) issue of the 'Adventure Games Journal'.
When he made this post, he included the numbers he had remaining but warns that any copies still left on hand would be destroyed when the sale end on January 4th. A few thoughts crossed my mind when I read about this clearance sale. One was naturally was 'why'? After discussing this with a couple of my peers, it was suggested it may have been for tax-related purposes. Now, I know that retail stores have to account for their store inventory at the beginning / end of year and that inventory is effectively taxed. Taken in that light, it makes sense.
I shudder to think of the alternative though. Personally I think AGP has a future despite the problems it has faced in the past couple of years. The last thing I would like to see is Mishler throwing in the towel. I don't think that's happening though I think AGP is continuing to change how they operate. The newer digests are an example and I would be surprised if he had many copies of the digest books printed in advance.
As it turns out, the other books which had a print run of sorts have proven to be the exception. Though I hope these four are not the last (I'm personally hopeful we'll eventurally see issue 2 of the journal), it may be a while before AGP's foundation is secure enough to try again. While I have no idea what the sizes of most of these print runs were like, I do know the size of the print run for the first.
'XXXI' was a print run of 310 copies. The obscure looking name is derived from the fact that the release coincided with the 31st anniversay of Judge's Guild. It was released for GenCon 2007 and, based on the post, has sold 236 copies since it was released (up to December 15th, 2009). Personally, I would rather see 310 copies sold before the deadline imposed (January 4th, 2010) and if there is only one thing you were considering buying from his sale, let it be this one.
It will not be reprinted... it will not be held back... it will simply be 'gone'.
I own a couple of copies myself and I own at least one copy of the other products. I heartily recommend all of them and, if my own finances were a bit better this season, I would glady buy more.