Jeff Bergren, the controversial founder of the retail and publishing company The Gaming Goat, has vowed to retire in 2023.
The announcement came on Friday in a public Facebook post on his personal account.
The company will be run by a board of directors, although Bergren said he will take a seat on the board so he can continue to consult the business.
It is unclear what the current business ownership and structure is.
TGG has had conflicts with some of tabletop gaming’s top establishments over Bergren’s behaviour and a pattern of harassment.
In January, BoardGameGeek.com locked Bergren’s account for a “history of behavior across multiple social media platform that directly conflicts with BGG’s community values.”
The site also said it would not accept any new ad campaigns related to the The Gaming Goat.
The Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) expelled Bergren and TGG as an exhibitor from Origins Game Fair in 2021 for violations of their code of conduct.
Gen Con also escorted Bergren off the convention floor in 2021 for violations of their anti-harassment policies.
Bergren claims to have started 73 retail stores, but it is not known how many stores are still in the TGG network.
TGG primarily operates as a discount game store buying in volume often directly from publishers.
It also invest heavily in games launched on Kickstarter.
It then partners with local owners in a franchise model to run stores under the brand.
But many of those stores have since left TGG and rebranded, or closed.
TGG launched a publishing division in 2020 and an online operation shortly after.
More information about the transition will be released Bergren said in his post.
Bergren is also working on a book about his experience that will probably launch on Kickstarter.
Jeff Bergren Facebook post June 24 at 7:31 am
I have a major announcement, but this isn’t intended to serve the purpose of “BOOM/MIC DROP.” This isn’t going to be a lengthy post but a general FYI for the community and my wonderful business partners in the tabletop industry.
I am retiring in 2023! It has been an amazing ride stretching over 73 brick and mortar locations, website/supply chain operations, and board game publishing.
It’s actually insane to think about everything that was accomplished in a short span of 11 years. My entire personal contribution to ‘The Gaming Goat Inc’ was $11,700 in early Q4 2010 and we opened the first store in Elgin, IL on January 1, 2011. We have never taken a loan and maintain 0 month to month debt, we are essentially a completely fluid cash operation that was grown on the heels of the economic depression caused from the housing crash in 2008. I had 2 months of sleepless nights committing to a $900 a month rent with electricity/gas/internet included in the rent! When the decision was made to start TGG, I had no intentions of leaving my executive role in Human Resources or leaving the corporate big box retail industry. After 3 months (March 2011) I was completely hooked, and I couldn’t go another day working outside of the environment that I loved so much. I made the professional move to the CEO of The Gaming Goat immediately and never looked back! I have accomplished everything I intended too and much more.
This decision wasn’t made quickly, and not without years of back and forth on the logistics and timing. As many of you know, I have homes in 4 different countries in the world. My main retirement home is directly off the ocean in Thailand (Pattaya), and construction will be finished this year. Since then I have purchased new homes on oceanfront properties, and all construction should be completed mid-year 2023. It is my intention to split time in the United States, Thailand, and Mexico. My passion of ‘ultra’ running/hiking and personal health was the leading factor of the retirement.
I’m 41 years old and I want to do marathons, iron man competitions, and other competitive endurance activities. I’m not a spring chicken, but I have an unbelievable amount of gas in the tank! I will also be spending my time as a degenerate gamer, which I haven’t been able to truly enjoy as much since 2011 when TGG opened its doors. I am also signing a book deal that will outline all my experiences of the last 12 years, and should be published around late 2023. We are ‘probably’ going to launch it on Kickstarter!
As for The Gaming Goat / TGG Games / TGG Games Online –
WAY TOO much information will be posted/shared in the coming months. We have absolutely no rush, and I am as hungry/dedicated as I’ve always been and that will not change. The company will be split into a board of directors, and I will serve as 1/5th of the board of directors and will be available for training and consulting remotely. This structure is needed to grow TGG into something massively bigger than it ever was, and the biggest obstacle of growth was always ‘putting the entire business on my back and running with it’. It’s going to be fucking awesome, and I’m so excited to see where the brand goes after the new structure takes effect.
I love and appreciate all of you, and I hope you understand my decision. I need to start putting my personal mental/physical health first, as I have worked more than a lifetime of hours at my young age. I’ve enjoyed the financial success of my experience and education and it’s time to plan for the new chapter of adventures!
Cheers, and more to come over the following months.
Jeff Bergren (TGG)“