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(KS) Ninja Division/Soda Pop out of money for Super Dungeon Explore: Legends

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This topic contains 39 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  onlyonepinman 3 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • #1300396

    senjimakoto
    Participant
    560xp

    I’m not sure how many of you are fans of Ninja Division/Soda Pop Miniatures and their line of games. I’m not sure how many of you have backed any of their recent KickStarters, or been following along with them. Long story short- over the last three years, ND/SPM have ran 5 successful KickStarters and have yet to deliver 100% on any of them. Their most successful, Super Dungeon Explore:Legends, raised $1.29 million from more than 6,000 backers. It was funded back in November of 2015, with an estimated shipping date of December 2016. The game has not been completed and has been on the back burner for several months with zero communication from the folks behind the project.

    This led several backers to file complaints with their states’ attorney generals and the Idaho attorney general (Ninja Division/Soda Pop Miniatures is based in Idaho). A response was finally given: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Iu7HOs3mkd6GCve9LqHT_9Q5rdghW5xY/view

    The basic gist of the entire response is that they are out of money for Super Dungeon Explore: Legends, needing $750,000 to bring the product to retail on top of the $1.29 million already raised. Furthermore, the response goes on to say that the company has been out of money since 2017 and they are in discussions with “multiple companies” about an acquisition of their studio. This brings their other projects that have not been completed, such as Relic Knights 2nd Edition and Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures. Two other KickStarters were launched by them since Super Dungeon Explore: Legends, Rail Raiders: Infinite and Way of the Fighter, which have no seen 100% backer delivery despite having been in retail stores for nearly a year now.

    Full disclosure, I am one of the 2,489 backers of Relic Knights 2nd Edition. I gladly backed it, despite several players in my gaming group advising against it, after having won one of the Relic Knight prize packages from a Weekender last year.

    • This topic was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by  senjimakoto.
    • This topic was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by  senjimakoto. Reason: Spelling and formatting errors
    #1300398

    redben
    Participant
    8740xp

    I’m also a backer of SDL and organised the UK tournament circuit for RK back during its 1.0 iteration. I’d still be on board for 2.0 but have too many real life commitments at the moment. Through doing that I did get to meet a few of the ND guys and despite being out of pocket by a few hundred dollars on the SDL KS I’m not mad or angry. They’re good people and I hope they can pull through this and either trade their way through it or find a company who can acquire them as a studio.

    #1300402

    senjimakoto
    Participant
    560xp

    I personally think there were several good folks working for them that were recently let go (namely their customer service department who did the best they could with what they had), but the folks at the top have grossly misused the funds that these Kickstarters were meant for. In their response they state that nearly $350,000 of the Super Dungeon Explore Kickstarter was used for the company’s annual overhead. The original goal for that campaign was only $80,000. If they were dipping into their Kickstart funds to keep their company afloat, then there was some serious issues there.

    #1300403

    ratzinger
    Participant
    32xp

    This is a good example of a dreadful kickstarter experience. I am not sure I’ll ever see my money worth for Legends but definitely Ninja Division is also not gonna see my money ever again. Anyway when u back a project u put into account that you may put your investment in the wrong hands. This said someone that runs away with our money and does it multiple times is not in my “good people” list redben. They are thieves in my book.

    #1300415

    orlandothetechnicoloured
    Participant
    1348xp

    Using some of the KS money to pay company overheads is not necessarily a problem, since that would have been part of the KS budget… you need to pay the staff making the stuff for the KS, and pay for their light, heating etc

    What wouldn’t be as acceptable would be using KS funds for SDE:L to pay for people working on a totally different project and without a more detailed breakdown we don’t know if that’s happened

    not saying there hasn’t been miss-management, but as a backer I don’t think there has been any scam or theft, they were, and still are trying to get the game made. I’m not convinced they’ll succeed, sadly, but they are trying

    #1300417

    jabbaa
    Participant
    258xp

    Disappointing news. I’d pretty much written off my SDL pledge already though sadly. Hope somebody can keep the games going, but maybe the Kickstarter debt is going to prohibit that. 🙁

    #1300568

    redhood
    Participant
    485xp

    Wow I dodged a bullet there! I originally backed Relic Knights 2.0 on Kickstarter and had about £300 pledged. Before the refund deadline though I asked for a refund because I didn’t like the rumours and the lack of progress/transparency from SPM.

     

    I got my refund but kept an eye on the project in the months that followed. I know many backers were looking for refunds and SPM were basically ignoring them.

     

    Looks to me a company that cannot be trusted and it’s taken legal action just to drag the truth out of them.

    #1300596

    odinsgrandson
    Participant
    1082xp

    Sodapop/Ninja Division has created 7 funded KS projects (the first WotF attempt was cancelled).  They delivered, in full on 3 of them (Forgotten King, Ninja All Stars, Rail Raiders Infinite) and delivered in part on two (Way of the Fighter, Starfinder).  They have 0% delivery on Super Dungeon Legends and Relic Knights 2nd edition (both projects have only print and play files available).

    Sodapop have always seemed like they had growing pains- like the company was always smaller than they could handle.  During SDL development, they brought in extra people (especially Justin) and I think that increased their expenses quite a bit- and it is clear that Super Dungeon sales were covering a LOT of their previous expenses (and SDE sales are WAY down from where they used to be).

    Ultimately, if they could get either of the Super Dungeon box sets into the store, the company and game would probably be able to recover.  It seems to me that if they are able to sell their company for their Kickstarter obligations (basically, you get the properties free so long as you send backers their stuff) then that would be the best thing for the properties.  Remember, Super Dungeon had a really good name- it used to be CMON’s top selling game before it was NJ’s top selling game.

    So it just comes down to whether or not there is anyone who feels like the property is worth the investment at this point.  To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure, but the potential is there.

    #1300632

    senjimakoto
    Participant
    560xp

    The comment section for Rail Raiders: Infinite’s KickStarter is still showing that that project has not been fulfilled completely. There are still several people who have yet to receive their game, even after all this time.  If “in part” means a dozen or so of the 120+ miniatures for Starfinder being delivered to a handful of backers, then ok. My comment about the 5 KickStarters were just Super Dungeon Explore Legends and everything launched after.

    I do fully agree that not having any new Super Dungeon product on retail shelves was a decidingly painful blow to their bottom line. I also feel not having Relic Knights, or at least what they claimed was finished, at the last four major gaming conventions didn’t help matters at all either.

    #1300639

    limburger
    Participant
    4529xp

    yep, once again proof that Kickstarters aren’t risk free. Even from companies that are supposedly experienced.
    But then we don’t see the inefficiencies at such companies. And as we’ve seen with Dropfleet Commander and others … Kickstaters can be a serious stress test for the people involved, especially when a lot of people have pledged support.

    Although I’ve got my Railraiders (100% )+ Way of the Fighter (need to check, I think the miniatures aren’t in) I am waiting for updates for Relic Knight (very quiet … but not unusual) and Starfinder  (initial deadline in October, then moved to november and no update).

    For my list of backed projects the failure/non delivery rate has been pretty low (I’d estimate 10% … ), so while it sucks to see this happen the overall experience on my end has been fairly positive. Lack of communication is far more annoying than any failure IMHO, which is why some backers get angry.

    I seriously doubt there is malice.
    Costly problems due to inefficient processes and unforeseen issues are more likely.
    The good news is that such things can be fixed … the bad news is that such things can take time and (more) resources.

    #1300662

    odinsgrandson
    Participant
    1082xp

    @Senjimakoto- I’m maintaining that Rail Raiders is fulfilled- despite a few people who are working with NJ’s customer service (I’ve seen that sort of thing in other Kickstarters that are generally considered to be 100% fulfilled).  Most of the frustration with RRI was that the US got their shipment from China into backers hands long before the boat left for Europe, so a lot of backers had to wait a long time for stuff that other people had in hand.

    I think we’re in agreement generally here, though.  I haven’t been following the Starfinder stuff (I did not back) and I know that I’ve spoken to people who have received the first wave.  I figured that they sent that wave out to all (or most) of their backers, but since that KS was such a piecemeal endeavor, I could see how it could go a lot of ways.  But that project clearly has a long way to go.

    Obviously, things have gone very wrong for them.  I do hope that one of the paths to fulfillment works out.

    #1300731

    limburger
    Participant
    4529xp

    RailRaiders was unfortunate, however they choose to ship both RR and Way of the Fighter using the same ship/containers in order to cut costs. It’s always tricky to judge fullfilment as a lot of stuff is still in transit for days/weeks before backers get their rewards.

    Starfinder has been a big mess TBH.
    I think they started shipping bits and pieces months ago (or at least announced they did).
    I suspect they were limiting costs by getting stuff shipped as it arrived, which may explain the rather erratic schedule.

     

    #1300776

    turbocooler
    Participant
    1439xp

    From the comments, I have read the Washington State AG office is going to get involved.  The WA State AG has sued and won several of these KS non-delivery cases and even referred one to the FTC who then also took action and also sued.  Ninja Division is going to have a lot of fun with the AG involved.

    #1300851

    stvitusdancern
    Participant
    1308xp

    Unfortunately  that is incorrect. We still have not received anything related to Rail Raiders.  Even the last time we interviewed John from ND I had mentioned we had not received it and that was when we were standing in front of a large pile of copies of the game at Gen Con. He said we would soon. It has never materialized. It is very sad to see these problems happening.

    #1300859

    koldan
    Participant
    176xp

    All this is sad but also in a weird way funny. For example back when they said they withdraw from kickstarter because of the toxic atmosphere, in reality they already knew about the financial problems. But instead of openly saying that, they just blamed the victims.

    Mostly seen with sexual offenders, but alot of offenders can live better with what they have done, if they have a reason to tell themselves the victims deserved it. Even if they have to ignore cause and effect like here, the backers reacted to their behaviour not the other way around.

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