I met Charles Ryan in a tuxedo shop. At the time, he was the Chairman of the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design, the professional organization of the games industry. He was trying to make the Academy’s awards ceremony (called by most the Origins Awards) more professional and classy, and was encouraging people to really dress up. I and a few others from Wizards of the Coast were getting tuxedos, and Charles was too. We introduced ourselves and chatted very briefly about how cool it was to be doing something different for the awards. He came across as very friendly and confident. It was a brief meeting, but significant. Charles would always stick in my mind as someone that wasn’t afraid to try to new things, shake things up, and try to make things better.
It wasn’t until years later, when Charles worked for Wizards of the Coast as an RPG editor, that we became friends. He and his wife, Tammie, came to a MonteCon soon after they moved to Seattle and I ended up hanging out with them a fair bit. (MonteCon was a 3-day game convention that I held at my house for about 60-70 game industry professionals once a year. It had badges, t-shirts, and program books–just a regular con.)
Soon after that, I left Wizards of the Coast. Charles went on to become the Dungeons & Dragons brand manager and I started Malhavoc Press. Charles and Tammie eventually moved to England, and while I visited them there once, we fell a little out of touch.
Fast forward to 2013. I’d started Monte Cook Games with Shanna Germain to publish Numenera. With the success of the Kickstarter, and all the interest in the game and the setting–not the least of which is the Torment: Tides of Numenera computer RPG and the incredible success of their Kickstarter–it was clear that Monte Cook Games (MCG) was becoming a much bigger endeavor than I ever imagined.
Just at the moment when I began to realize that we really needed help managing it all, fate stepped in and put Charles and I back in contact. While it was great to reunite with a friend I hadn’t spoken with in about a year, it also became clear that Charles was precisely the person to help with the quickly-growing company that MCG was becoming.
So I’m happy to announce that, effective immediately, Charles Ryan is the new Chief Operating Officer of Monte Cook Games. Charles will be handling the entirety of the business aspect of MCG, freeing up Shanna and I to focus entirely on the creative end. He will handle everything from marketing and promotions, to working with our various licensees. From getting Numenera into more stores near you to handling foreign translations. And so much more. As I said, Charles managed the D&D Brand during much of the 3rd/3.5 edition years, and has worked with major game distributors. And of course, he ran his own game company, Chameleon Eclectic, publisher of Millennium’s End and many other cool products, years back. So he’s no stranger to exactly this kind of work. Without a doubt, Charles is my absolute, number one choice for this role, and it’s going to be exciting to see where we can take Monte Cook Games with his help.
You can read the official press release here.