After reading that, I have to wonder who these "executives" at TSR were. While I don't doubt Shooter's recollection that they, like Gygax, "clearly loved D&D," it does fly in the face of the received view of TSR's history that, by the time the Blume brothers were fully in control (and they were in 1981, as I understand it), the company came increasingly to be run by people who didn't know or care about gaming. Now, maybe at this early stage, the culture of TSR hadn't yet changed, I don't know, but it's nevertheless fascinating to read an outsider's perspective on Gygax and the other TSR-ites he met back in 1981.Gary and his troops talked about what they did. Gary struck me as a brilliant, clever and creative guy.
I was also impressed that his top executives, suit-and-tie business people types who wouldn’t look out of place at MetLife, all knew the game and played the game. They clearly loved D&D.
Then it was our turn to talk about what we did. Galton and the licensing people made it clear that they were far too dignified and sophisticated as human beings to ever read a comic book. They joked about not knowing anything about the comics.
I have to believe the TSR people had to be a little insulted. If Marvel’s execs thought that proper adult business people worried only about dollars and deals, that actually reading the books would be somehow embarrassing, then what might they be thinking of TSR’s game-playing execs?
Thanks to everyone who pointed me toward this story.