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Hysterical games — "winding the company up"

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  chaingun 1 week, 2 days ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 25 total)
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  • #1308844

    jamesedwards
    Participant
    473xp

    Sad news from Hysterical Games via the Panzerfauste kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hystericalgames/spitfyre-aerial-combat-in-the-skies-of-panzerfaust/description):

    Unfortunately I have some bad news.

    Over the last few weeks it has become clear that Hysterical Games is facing a major cash flow problem and that we are now only left with the option of winding the company up. Exactly how we will do this has yet to be decided.

    To say I am gutted is an understatement, the sudden nature of how this has swept up on us is still very hard to believe, three weeks ago I had no idea there were any problems facing the business.

    We are looking at various options at the moment but our number one priority is to find some way to somehow protect your investment in the game and manage to fulfil as much of the Kickstarter as possible, possibly through an interested third party. I cannot make any promises here but please be aware it is my intention that in any decision being made, that for me, you come first.

    We believe the game and background are good enough to survive and looking forward flourish. The problems that have arisen are largely from other parts of the business.

    I appreciate you will have lots of questions and I hope you will appreciate I will probably not have any answers for them at the moment and that I need to concentrate my efforts on seeing what can be done to salvage the game and protect your investment, so please bear with me and excuse any immediate radio silence.

    Hopefully this is just a (rather large) bump in the road and that soon it will be behind us and we will be driving ever forward.

    Sad to be losing the $90 or whatever it was, but really feel bad for the people behind  the company who built an intriguing world and, if their Kickstarter management is anything to go by, are probably far better at making minis & games than running a business.

     

    #1308908

    orlandothetechnicoloured
    Participant
    1349xp

    They did a lot of contract casting for other companies, so I do wonder if somebody has failed to pay a bill (perhaps because they’ve folded) which would explain a sudden lack of cashflow

    and it can’t have helped that Rob Alderman who was one of the two driving forces behind the business recently left to be the product manager for LoTR at Forgeworld. They did a lot of work to make sure the business would carry on OK without him, but with people doing new jobs because of the change it’s always going to be harder to spot potential problems

    I really hope they can get things sorted out for the game, business and KS

    #1308980

    avernos
    Participant
    6814xp

    this could have a massive knock on, Hysterical did a lot of casting for smaller companies as well.

    Hopefully they get on top of this and work it out, it would be a shame if Hysterical and their products go away forever

    #1309085

    mousaka
    Participant
    275xp

    Out of interest, as that message was for backers only, how did you get this message and why did you feel it necessary to share it with non-backers in this way?

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by  mousaka.
    #1309087

    wesadie1969
    Participant
    1875xp

    I’d say he’s a backer and therefore had access to the message and Hysterical Games have posted the same announcement on both their Facebook and Twitter feeds.

    #1309088

    avernos
    Participant
    6814xp

    it’s on facepage as well, only without the Kickstarter bits as it won’t apply to all their customers

    Unfortunately we have some bad news.

    Over the last few weeks it has become clear that Hysterical Games is facing a major cash flow problem and that we are now only left with the option of winding the company up. Exactly how we will do this has yet to be decided.

    To say we are gutted is an understatement, the sudden nature of how this has swept up on us is still very hard to believe.

    We are looking at various options at the moment and we are looking at ways for our games to continue. We believe the games and background are good enough to survive and going forward can flourish, the problems that have arisen are largely from other parts of the business.

    We appreciate you will have lots of questions but trust you will appreciate that we will probably not have any answers for them at the moment and need to concentrate our efforts on seeing what can be done to salvage the game and sort out other problems, so please bear with us and excuse any immediate radio silence.

    The webstore is closed and we cannot take any new orders at the moment.

    Hopefully this is just a (rather large) bump in the road and that soon it will be behind us and we will be driving ever forward.

    #1309106

    jamesedwards
    Participant
    473xp

    @mousaka — in answer to your first question, I am /was a backer (so out about 50 pounds). For the second, I wanted to share the information and don’t believe that there was a request it remain confidential nor do I believe such a  request would have been reasonable.

    Also, apologies for the strange formatting on the post!

    #1309180

    hephesto
    Participant
    423xp

    Would suck for a lot of folks, both in the company and KS backers. There was a lot of cool world building going on and they have done a lot of project work for other, smaller companies. Would be quite a loss for the industry as a whole if they’d truly ended up having to shut down entirely.

    Though quite frankly Rob leaving earlier was a bit of a sign something was amiss. Not the first time he’s moved on to ‘brighter shores’ just before the endeavor he was previously associated crumbled to ashes shortly there after……there’s a man who knows when to jump ship when needed.

    #1309194

    chaingun
    Participant
    1101xp

    I think like most people here that it’s a shame and I truly wish them all the best in sorting this issue, if they can. Making ends meet in business is a very difficult thing to do, balancing the books, ensuring you get paid for doing work for others, material / labour and running costs are to name only a few. But, the world along with the miniatures they were creating was fantastic and will be a shame if they are no more.

    Thanks to the original poster for sharing this as I too have bought their starter set early part of the year and was very keen in their ideas

     

    #1309195

    theamazingmrg
    Participant
    1316xp

    Though quite frankly Rob leaving earlier was a bit of a sign something was amiss. Not the first time he’s moved on to ‘brighter shores’ just before the endeavor he was previously associated crumbled to ashes shortly there after……there’s a man who knows when to jump ship when needed.

    And the update from Hysterical said that they didn’t realise the extent of the cash flow problem and a few weeks ago they thought everything was fine.  A General Manager would have a better idea of the finances, so yes, it does look a bit suspect to me too!

    #1309348

    jamesedwards
    Participant
    473xp

    Given the reality that many Kickstarters are run by passionate creators rather than by mature businesses, I do think that Kickstarter have a responsibility to help guide creators to set both minimum and maximum funding levels. This is hardly the first time that a Kickstarter has done much better than the creators expected and then caused problems.

    I’m sure there are always multiple factors, but it was clear from the campaign that the team struggled with the number of orders (they exceeded their target > 11x over).

    The simple truth is that a lot of things get harder with size & volume, and it doesn’t just ruin the campaign but also the creator’s businesses (and Kickstarter’s reputation) when they fail.

     

    #1309356

    avernos
    Participant
    6814xp

    you’re right there @jamesedwards I know a few companies now have taken flack on KS for not having insane stretch goals or adding tons of freebies and the amount of shit their “backers” threw at them in the comments was appalling.

    The idea that you back a project you like and want to see funded has been seriously damaged by the “pre-order now and get 5 times the value of stuff” that KS has become.

    #1309357

    torros
    Participant
    8213xp

    It does seem a strange way to try and run a company

    #1310247

    marcuslamb
    Participant
    170xp

    I was a backer too. I got probably 80% of my pledge and to be honest I’m very happy with the minis. My biggest issue was with the Ruleset – They implied back in 2015 that the rules where mostly written. How has it taken them nearly 4 years to actually produce a rulebook?? I now have all these lovely minis with no ruleset to play them with.

    The last update on Kickstarter before the announcement that the company was folding was that they had finished the lore section of the Skirmish rules (there was due to be 2 separate rules – one for skirmish and one for mass battle) I only hope they have the decency to at least release what they have as a free pdf to backers.

    #1310285

    limburger
    Participant
    4542xp

    @avernos : the iron&oak kickstarter has that kind of response from a certain type of backer.
    It’s flockin’ insane when a project has achieved 100+% funding and those folks act as if there isn’t enough value.

    I guess part of the problem is that the average person doesn’t understand how much money is required, so creators are forced to bid low and use stretchgoals to achieve the actual funding level.

    // —

    @jamesedwards Kickstarter have done a ‘100 items max’ theme where creators were encouraged to restrict their output to 100 items/backers. The problem here is that Kickstarter themselves are a business so while there is definite long term benefit of supporting such newbie creators for the platform the short term results of the big boys are more important to the shareholders/owners.

    It sucks when companies refuse to accept the social responsibility (the size of) their platform has given them, because there is no doubt that it would have saved a lot of post launch problems.

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