Wyrmwood Gaming, makers of high-quality gaming accessories and game tables, has been forced to lay off off nearly its entire staff amid the outbreak of coronavirus. Nevertheless, it’s going forward with a popular and irreverent YouTube series called Wyrmlife. What was once a way to connect with its fanbase has become a window inside the realities of trying to keep a small business alive during a pandemic.
The streaming series, which began airing in September 2018, just began its 4th season last week. Episode 1 was titled “We Laid Off Everyone.”
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The Massachusetts-based company began life as a tiny boutique woodworking studio, which used Kickstarter to create fund the creation of dice vaults, rolling trays, and dice towers. Since then it’s grown into a business with dozens of employees. Now it feels like it’s just barely holding on.
Cameras were rolling when co-founder Douglas Costello announced that Wyrmwood would be ceasing normal operations in light of new social distancing requirements. Episode two takes the show on the road with a bold plan to use a skeleton crew to keep projects moving in remote, personal workshops around Massachusetts. The latest line of products is called The Homebrew Collection, and a portion of the proceeds on some items will go toward COVID-19 relief efforts.
“As a company, we have a responsibility to ourselves, our employees and our community to take all the precautions we can to avoid spreading the disease ourselves,” Wyrmwood said in a statement on its website. “But at this time, many of us are turning to the gaming community for normalcy and comfort — even if we’re changing how we come together, we’re still coming together. Wyrmwood feels a responsibility to continue our role in this community as much as possible.”
The team is also making plans to support local medical workers. Episode 2 ends with plans to manufacture and sell, at cost, a specially designed plastic shield that could help prevent healthcare workers from coming into contact with the virus.
For more on Wyrmlife, you can also follow the show on Twitter.
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