Deep7 was formed as a limited partnership in 1999 by Todd & Samantha Downing with Ron Dugdale. It’s initial mission was to help bring quality adventure game content in digital format to players who were increasingly using mobile technology to assist in their hobby. The company’s first game line was the economy 1PG series, rules lite beer & pretzels RPGs based on movie and television genres that could be run on the fly, took no more than two hours to play, and were largely disposable.
The first titles released were Shriek, Bloode Island, Six Gun, Star Legion and Battleforce Bravo, and now numbers over a dozen titles, including third party licenses. In addition, Deep7 also released the first edition of Bill K’tepi’s Santa’s Soldiers RPG before becoming an LLC in 2002. Ron Dugdale left the company that same year, after the release of Deep7 LLC’s first premium printed fantasy RPG, Arrowflight. Todd and Samantha continued to run Deep7 as a full-time operation, publishing second and third editions of the 1PG line, as well as a host of XPG system content in both PDF and printed form: Bloode Island XPG, Santa’s Soldiers Second Edition, the Mean Streets film noir RPG line, and ultimately the official Red Dwarf roleplaying game (based on the long-running BBC cult scifi comedy series).
Samantha Downing lost her battle with cancer in 2005, at the age of 38. Todd kept Deep7 going in a smaller, more streamlined capacity, outsourcing content delivery to third parties like Precis Intermedia and RPGNow. Branching into narrative film content, Todd Downing formed Despot Media LLC in 2007, absorbing the newly named Deep7 Press as a publishing subsidiary. Despot produced the award-winning 2007 short film Ordinary Angels, and the Wolverine-themed music video for Seattle nerd rock band Kirby Krackle’s 2010 single “On and On”.
In 2008, Deep7 Press released the post-apocalyptic RPG RADZ, and 2010 saw the release of the long-awaited Arrowflight Second Edition. In 2011, the company released Northern Empires, the first in a planned series of world resources for Arrowflight. Deep7 Press has also partnered with Studio B Media in the retro pulp webcomic Airship Daedalus (for which it has already developed an RPG core rulebook and supplements), and is branching out into a line of fiction for the setting. Meanwhile, Despot Media produces the AEGIS Tales Radio Adventures audio drama series – vintage-style radio episodes set in the greater Airship Daedalus continuity.