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As a rule of thumb, companies we've visited over the years have always and will always want to talk about their products. My arrival was unannounced - if you discount the multiple emails I sent - but it's not often a UK journalist turns up on the doorstep. Even when we've caught people off guard (cold calling for a story, or catching them an event) there's usually a positive outcome as a result of showing an interest. In complete contrast to those past experiences, our meeting at DFI was fraught with nervous smiles and no comments about everything
we wanted to address. Clearly something isn't right.
This visit coincided with another set of events. I finally contacted some other people associated/previously associated with DFI's LANParty group in Taipei, and arranged several meetings during Computex. Today, we finally got our answer: DFI told its LANParty team in 2009 there would be no more LANParty products. The division was losing money continually through 2009 and late in the year the sales team were told to clear their inventory before being moved to the far more profitable industrial division.
This didn't go down too well at all and as a result many of the LANParty sales and marketing team left DFI for new ventures. We have heard that famed product manager and senior engineer for the LANParty division, Jerry Chang and Oskar Wu, stayed on at the company but have moved to the industrial division instead. We tried contacting both but were told by others not to bother: DFI is taking a muted approach to inquiries about LANParty - no-one in the company is allowed to say anything, which explains the outcome of the conversation before.
As a result of our investigations, we feel confident in saying that the game is officially over for LANParty. One of the original and at one point, most well known enthusiast brands has died.