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Quick, Simple Fun: High Society

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Sandy Petersen has Changed the Terms of Your Interest-Free Loan to Him

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14 Jul 2021 01:55 #324670 by Jackwraith
The most recent Cthulhu Wars campaign has...

Petersen Games is keeping your money and not producing what you paid for while they seek even more money elsewhere.

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14 Jul 2021 09:25 #324671 by hotseatgames
That situation really sucks. It's also one that would have slipped under a lot of customer radars. Petersen Games is established and no stranger to Kickstarter. A "safe bet," one might say.
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14 Jul 2021 09:31 #324673 by Jackwraith
Yeah, as I hope I was able to convey, I'm not OUTRAGED at the situation and not specifically aiming any ire at Sandy or PG, in general. It's just the principle of the whole Kickstarter situation that has been bugging me for a while and this was just the latest and most blatant example of it. Most troubled campaigns that you hear about are because the people involved just aren't good businesspeople and make poor choices about production and/or money management. Petersen is not that and this is a deliberate choice to take advantage of a situation to the mild detriment of many who've supported them for a long time and many who still do, given the high number of "That's fine! Go ahead and keep my money for as long as you want it!" responses on KS.
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14 Jul 2021 09:47 #324674 by Sagrilarus
I'll be honest, this sounds like a company that is having trouble covering payroll. Sure, it could just be a decision that makes the most sense financially, but it could also be that the money has gone to other things and he needs the bigger print run just to get the down payment made.

This is part and parcel of Kickstarter, where you're a "supporter" not a buyer. The money is gone, Petersen can do anything he wants with it and, I suspect, has. The ride IS the product. The $259 product you were promised "FOR FREE" is part of the scenery that makes it so entertaining.
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14 Jul 2021 09:56 #324675 by Jackwraith
I agree. I think they may be in financial trouble and the language of "securing the future" may be cover for "ensuring that we have a future." I'm not interested in seeing PG go down the drain simply because they irritated me by delaying their delivery (well, production and delivery, really) again. But I'm talking about the ethics of the situation. It's honestly not my problem if they've screwed up so badly that they're on the edge of collapse. It's their problem. And being able to successfully produce wholly distinct titles like Cthulhu Wars: Duels while all of this is going on means they'd have to have really screwed up, which doesn't garner a whole lot of sympathy from me. I mean, it will be my problem if they implode and my money goes with them, but I'm not interested in being a fan of Petersen Games. I'm interested in getting what I paid for. I've become markedly less interested in KS for the last couple years. This is another nail in that coffin (on top of having too many games to play already.)
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14 Jul 2021 10:16 #324676 by hotseatgames
Over the last year I did entirely too much backing. It's a problem made worse by the fact that my town does not have a FLGS. If it did, I'd probably go there and waste money instead of wasting it online.
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14 Jul 2021 10:26 #324677 by Jackwraith
Right. And I haven't even done that much! I respond to three entities, basically: Cole Wehrle, Eric Lang, and Gamelyn. That's it. That's all the backing I do. This Cthulhu Wars one was the lone exception to that because, as noted, I was trying to pick up some stuff that's usually out of print. Even my attachment to Gamelyn has taken a hit and I'll probably just order their stuff through one of the local stores. Eric is talking about a Blood Rage expansion at the moment and I really hope he pursues regular retail channels with it, but given that it's CMON, probably not.

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14 Jul 2021 10:29 #324678 by charlest
I think PG's problems arise with their troubles in working with factories.

They mentioned somewhere that they had to switch factories while attempting to fulfill the latest CW print run. If I'm not mistaken, this will be their third or fourth factory they've gone through over the years.

I can't recall if it says this in the update, but Sandy Petersen also had to take out a second mortgage on his home to fulfill the first CW Kickstarter as domestic shipping ended up costing much more than they anticipated.

Years of miscalculations and mistakes add up.
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14 Jul 2021 10:50 #324680 by Gregarius
I'm curious if Kickstarters of other types of products have followed the same path as board games. Are they all just free loans/pre-order systems? Whatever happened with that Coolest Cooler with the solar powered margarita maker built in, or whatever it was?

I'm sorry, I know this is probably a massive derail, but I just wondered if backers of indie bands' new albums have the same complaints that we do.
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14 Jul 2021 10:56 #324682 by fightcitymayor

Jackwraith wrote: ...and this is a deliberate choice to take advantage of a situation to the mild detriment of many who've supported them for a long time and many who still do, given the high number of "That's fine! Go ahead and keep my money for as long as you want it!" responses on KS.

These are the people I loathe the most.
These are the people who guarantee KS will never stop with its ridiculous "KicKsTaRtEr Is nOt a sToRe" bullshit.
These are the useful idiots who give their money away to companies abusing a system not meant for them, no strings attached, and when repeatedly kicked in the ballsack respond with "THAT'S FINE!"

It's only because most people in the boardgaming business aren't mendacious pricks (yet) that KS' ridiculously open-ended idea of "crowdfunding" hasn't resulted in copious amounts of backer cash spent on hookers & blow with zero avenues for recompense.
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14 Jul 2021 11:06 - 14 Jul 2021 11:09 #324683 by jeb
"Don't worry backers, we're on schedule with our new schedule, and as a bonus to you long-time backers, we're including a rare, just-for-you metal d6 we estimate to be worth $1.6 million dollars. So don't worry about return on your investment, with this just-for-you $1.6M collectible, you'll be getting exactly what you deserve."

I kid, of course, but just a little. They set the prices, so they can just fiat ROI at any point in this process. It's silly bullshit. As for the hookers-and-blow note above, I feel lucky to have been torched in the very early goings of KS'd board games with DICE AGE. Vaporware money pit and poisoned me on the process. Otherwise things like this would pull me in over and over, I am sure.
Last edit: 14 Jul 2021 11:09 by jeb. Reason: more context
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14 Jul 2021 12:21 #324685 by jpat
Obligatory "He has altered the deal; pray he does not alter it further" reference
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14 Jul 2021 12:22 - 14 Jul 2021 12:23 #324686 by Anjou Valentine
I might have been upset to hear this if I hadn't pledged so long ago that I need to be reminded that I pledged for this.
Last edit: 14 Jul 2021 12:23 by Anjou Valentine.
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14 Jul 2021 12:28 - 14 Jul 2021 12:29 #324687 by ubarose
I think they probably tripped up on the math because they essentially opened up their entire catalog for purchase in the pledge manager. They were offering dozens of products, and probably many didn't hit the magic number where the money raised covers the manufacture of the number of items ordered plus the manufacture of the number of items the distributors want (which is typically a verbal agreement with no contract or upfront money) .
Last edit: 14 Jul 2021 12:29 by ubarose.
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14 Jul 2021 13:01 #324688 by Joebot
That was a very interesting article, thanks for writing that.

I've barely dipped my toe into Kickstarter, and mostly for D&D materials and miniatures to paint, rather than boardgames (although I have backed a few games). My Reaper Miniatures pledge should be shipping soon, and that's exciting, but I can't help but think ... Reaper made $3 million on this campaign. That feels like it goes against the spirit of Kickstarter. If an established, successful company can raise $3 million on KS ... what the fuck are they even doing on KS??? It's just kind of gross, and I likely won't back any future Reaper campaigns because of it.

Conversely, I'm a big fan of Red Raven Games. They've used KS a lot in the past, but they are finally moving away from it for their next game (Now or Never), and doing a traditional pre-order through their website, followed by a traditional retail release. Nice! The owner Ryan Laukat said that the company is now on a stable enough footing where they don't have to deal with the hassle and stress of a KS campaign. That's great, I feel like that's how KS is supposed to work.
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