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Subject: Atlanta Game Factory gone!?!?! rss

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Matt Wells
United States
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Website is offline, is the store gone?
 
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Lyman Hurd
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Cupertino
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According to the AtlantaBoardgames mailing list, unfortunately yes.
 
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J. Green
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I tried to call them a couple of times last week during what I thought would be peak hours of operation and got an answering machine message both times. Didn't know what was going on. Man, if this is true, that's a real shame. They were supposed to be set up at the next Atlanta Games Day at the end of the month, too.
 
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Allen Vailliencourt
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Greer
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ah, bummer. I was wondering when I visited their site over the weekend and kept getting Wiki entries. Did a whois on the site but the registration was still valid.

So they've closed shop for good eh? My wife and I were planning on visiting them in a few weeks to see what games they had.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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That's terrible. Mike and the guys were wonderful people.
 
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Brett David Spain
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Lee's Summit
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Have I gone mad? I'm afraid so. You're entirely Bonkers. But I will tell you a secret, All the best people are.
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Not so wonderful

I purchased a subscription to Games International magazine from them in April of 2005 and they sent me one... yes, one... issue out of my allotted twelve.

They refused to answer emails or explain what was going on over the course of the next eight months.

It's no wonder they are gone.
 
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Roy Stephens
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dammit, dammit, dammit!! Why? I cannot go back to paying full (over)price for games at the local comic shop. I also cannot see myself having the patience to do mail order. I was just at the comic shop this weekend and saw that the Isle of Dread Runebound expansion was out and had already planned a trip downtown next weekend to get it 30% cheaper.

They were the only game store i ever bought from. I wouldn't have Descent, World of Warcraft, or Mall of Horror if it weren't for them.

Truly a very sad and great loss if this is true. They were always busy (it seemed) and they had a HUGE amount of success at DragonCon this year. With Sword of the Phoenix closed and now AGF, I am at a loss as to what to do now.

If any of the AGF guys see this, drop me an email and let me know if there is going to be another store or something.
 
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Michael Barnes
United States
Decatur
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Hi guys-

Mike Barnes from AGF here giving you the lowdown on what's going on with
the store.

Basically, without going into detail, myself and another owner were
in negotiations with a third partner to buy him out of his shares of
the store. In a rather illegal turn of events, this owner in question
locked myself and my partner out of the business and basically hijacked
it from us, claiming that it was "in the best interest of the business"
although he 1) hasn't been seen in the store during business hours in
nearly 4 months 2) hasn't lifted a finger to assist in the operation of
the store and in fact hindered its operation during the peak Christmas sales
period and 3) has incurred a financial burden on the store that has
crippled its ability to function. Furthermore, a large amount of our
personal property has more or less been seized by this owner and we
have been refused access to it. So most of my game collection is being
held hostage.

The AGF community will live on despite what comes out of all this, but for
now sit tight and I'll keep you guys posted. We're DEFINITELY staying
in the business regardless of what happens...so for now, give some love
to Boulder, Funagain, and all those great online companies while we
get this figured out and hopefully we'll be back up and running ASAP. Please
be advised that any actions taken or comments made by anyone
representing AGF that do not come from myself or Eric do not
represent our opinions,attitudes, or ways of doing business.

There may very well be a liquidation sale and I certainly encourage you
all to take advantage of a good deal, but do understand that the money
is not going to the people who made AGF such a great, successful store.

Thanks,
Michael Barnes
 
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Roy Stephens
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San Jose
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Holy crap!! I am in shock! Thanks for the update, though, Mike.
Well, at least that answers my question about how this could have happened. I hate dirty dealing crap like that. If it was an illegal action, then I am sure there is plenty of recourse you can take. If there is anything we can do to help, let us know and of course, if the unthinkable happens and AGF as we know it goes away, PLEASE keep us posted as to when and where you will return.

 
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Robert Cannon
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ATLANTA
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AGF doors are open!
AGF doors are open!

And they have new stock!

The have the new Lord of the Rings: Confrontation and it looks like some restock on other FGG games.

"The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

 
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Matt Wells
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Website is still offline. Glad they didn't go down the tubes, though.
 
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Michael Barnes
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Please be advised all, that AGF is not in any way "back from the dead"-
the owner who shanghaied it from the other owners/shareholders is running
it and we are still locked out of the business. It might be open, but none
of the staff or management that have been operating the store for the past
9 months are there.

The only reason that new FFG stuff is there is because _I_ bought it-
ironically, the day that all this hit the fan! From what I've heard, there will
be no more new stock (he's just trying to cut his losses by staying open)
so get it while you can.

MB
 
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Roy Stephens
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Well, now i am torn... on one hand i'd like to get my new FFG stuff like the Runebound expansion and whatnot on the cheap, on the other hand, i'd feel like i was stabbing the decent guys that work there in the back.

This is a terrible situation. I hope you get it all straightened out soon, Mike.
 
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Robert Cannon
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Now I am very sorry I bought "Conquest of Empire" that day. Please keep us updated on what happens.
 
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Roy Stephens
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By the way, that was NOT a slam at you, Robert. Far from it.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Uuuhhhh, Mike?

I got an email at my adiken address about AGF getting back together with new hours and all.

The email is from you.
 
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Roy Stephens
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Wrong Mike, Paul. I got that email too and it is from Mike Merlino. Mike Barnes is the guy who has posted in this thread. I'm willing to bet Mike Merlino is the 3rd party in the situation.
 
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Robert Cannon
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hockeyjedi wrote:
By the way, that was NOT a slam at you, Robert. Far from it.


Didn't even consider that it was.
 
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Kasey Relford
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Just adding my proverbial "two cents"...

Right around the beginning of the New Year, I shot an email to AGF, asking for a copy of Memoir '44 to be ordered [for my best friend's birthday gift], and got a quick reply [from "Michael Merlino", but I THINK it was probably Barnes who actually answered it from the AGF email address] saying they could get it for me, it would be ordered, blah, blah...

Then, all this sh*t hit the fan, we started reading all of these emails in the Yahoo! Group about the store going down, etc...[Cheers to you Barnes, for keeping it real and trying to keep us informed]

Days later, I received that same email [again, from "Michael Merlino", for REAL this time, I'm guessing] as everyone else, indicating that things are great, with the exception of new hours, website hacked, etc...

Saturday afternoon, I went to the store, thinking I'd grab my friend's birthday copy of Memoir '44 and maybe something else for myself, say HI to the usual suspects [Barnes, et al..], maybe play a game with the wife. As soon as I walked in, I could tell something was WRONG.

#1 [and the wife noticed this right away] The store was eerily clean and the shelves were a bit more empty. Gone were many of the little gaming knick-knacks from behind the counter, as well as the sign that reminds visitors to bathe before coming

#2 Some smarmy-looking ASS in a dress shirt and khakis comes up to me asking if he can help me, so I respond "IS everything marked down?" with a smile. He looks at me like I just slaughtered a kitten in front of his mother. "NO. Why would it be?". I shrug and look around. I noticed there WAS one shrink-wrapped copy of Memoir '44 [most likely "mine"], but that a guy is demoing the game for a couple, and they seem like they might be interested in buying the copy. Not one to interrupt a demo for newbies, I asked Mr. Jerkface if that might be my pre-ordered copy, and he shuffles around by the counter for a bit and offers "We HAD an order for someone, we got two in, but I'm not sure who it was for. I can order you one NOW if you'd like". I refused. GRR...

#3 Aforementioned jerkface seemed to know VERY LITTLE about the store and it's wares. My wife witnessed several customers come in, ask for/about something, and Jerkface replying with "We never carried that", "Sorry, we've had a problem with our distributor" or the puzzled "I don't know what that is". She noticed he seemed to not know where merchandise was, exactly.

Strange things are indeed afoot at the Circle K.

p.s. Let it be known that the reason I didn't snatch up that copy being held onto by the couple demo'ing it was [apart from trying not to be RUDE] that I decided I truly didn't want to give Jerkface my money.

Can I assume, at this point, that Mr. Jerkface = Mr. Merlino ?

Sorry, AGF. I'll miss you. We were just becoming great friends.

K
 
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Shawn Low
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Footscray
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Wow. High drama.

I'd like to hear Mr Merlino's side of the story. Right now, he's the 'jerkface' and the apparent baddie in this whole saga. I'm curious to find out why and what he did.

In any case, the other Mike: Sorry things turned sour with the business. I hope that things work out amicably. From what I've heard, AGF was a good store.
 
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William Tan
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Hi Mike,

I'm wondering how would this happen?

If you're a legitimate shareholder of the store, how would this other individual be able to lock you out of the store totally?

Of course, we'd know that you're not physically locked out since the store is still open right now.

I've heard of such cases before but this was when a shareholder brought a truck and took off with all the stuff in the shop. (And physically bolted the doors prior to doing that...)

Is there going to be any legal action?

It's not as simple as being locked out right?
 
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Joel Abbott
United States
Burlington
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I've been in the store three times since "The Change," and it's way different. The shelves are noticeably not-restocked. The employees are new faces. To me, Mike Barnes _is_ the AGF.

I tried to get into the store a week and a half ago (I don't remember the exact date) and as I tried to enter the store, I was told by three people exiting and locking the door, that the computers had been hacked. I supposed that this meant the register or the credit card account or something. Then, I checked the AGF website and it was down, so I was confused.

I went in last Wednesday for the usual Wednesday night gaming. There were people working behind the counter who I'd never seen before, no new games, and there were almost none of the "old gang" there, so I left after a few minutes.

Last time I was in, I asked the guy at the counter where Mike Barnes was, and he dodged my question, saying, "we can give you his contact information." I pressed this guy a little further, and he said, "We're not supposed to talk about it," which I thought was a very incriminating lack of information.

Anyway, I'm angry about this turn of events.
 
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Roy Stephens
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I haven't been to the store since all this went down. I had considered going in to try to score a couple of things with the 30% discount, but from the above message, it sounds as though that isn't even in place anymore.

I have this horrible feeling that the reason the other person (Merlino?) was able to do what he did was due to some fine print in a contract that allowed for him to be "The Owner" as far as some legal technicality would be concerned.

Since the website is down and the store is not being restocked, I think it is pretty obvious what is happening. This a crying shame. I don't even know what to say at this point. I think I will go down there at some point, perhaps this weekend, and comment to "management" on what a great store it used to be and how it is so very sad that they would allow this to happen.

Mike Barnes, please drop us another message to let us know what is happening and where/when the original AGF will return.
 
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Kasey Relford
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Roy :

To be fair, from what I saw, the 30% discount is still in place...

..still the best prices in town.

And I agree, it is very sad.

Kasey
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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This is terrible news! I've been to AGF twice, and quite like the place. It is very unsettling now to discover that the place that I've been to is not the same place that it originally was.

I was intending to go to AGF very soon to buy World of WarCraft, but after hearing the situation, I'm not sure I even want to be there! Maybe I'll just order online...


Please keep us updated on the situation! I would definatly like to know if the sitation can be remedied, or else it is a tragic loss to the gaming community.
 
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