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

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This topic contains 112 replies, has 26 voices, and was last updated by  onlyonepinman 1 year, 3 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 76 through 90 (of 113 total)
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  • #1352229

    odinsgrandson
    Participant
    2686xp

    I think that Kickstarter attitudes are changing, and I think that this Kickstarter has a lot to do with that.

    When Super Dungeon Legends was up on Kickstarter, it looked like a Zero risk project. It is a KS for an established brand and company that had delivered two Kickstarters previously (one was a few months late, the other was pretty much on time).

    Both of those Kickstarters had backers praising them for their communication throughout the process on both of those Kickstarters. Going into Super Dungeon Legends, there was no reason to see it as a risky project. At the time, I would have used it as a shining example of a low risk project (along with something by Reaper or CMON).

    Previously, the only undeliverable Kickstarters that I had seen were either from companies that had a reputation for unscrupulous behavior (like with Palladium) and smaller companies that didn’t know what they were doing. We were starting to think that the warning signs were there, for anyone who looked for them.

    Right now, I feel like I’m seeing a few people warning backers against any and all Kickstarters. I’ve seen backers saying that CMON is risky and that Awakened Realms won’t deliver. Before, it seemed like I only ran into that sort of thing with at least some legit red flags (like Archon’s projects).

    #1352259

    orlandothetechnicoloured
    Participant
    2718xp

    apart from some people generally disliking CMON either because of the new wave games association or KS behaviour we’re seeing warnings about them as their last accou(nts showed they posted a big loss (https://cmon-files.s3.amazonaws.com/pdf/cmon_file/file/311/e_08127_AD_1__CMON_ESS.pdf) which we see as they’re now a listed company, now this may not matter much, it may just be due to their position in the retail/KS cycle for their product, outstanding loans etc

    or it could signal they’re overextended and a big crash is coming (i’d say probably not, but if your risk averse it could be a sign to pause backing till we see next years results)

    #1352302

    onlyonepinman
    11361xp
    Cult of Games Member

    That’s quite a significant drop off and it’s hard to see how they can turn that around without cutting costs.  I noticed that their outgoings are higher, significantly so in a few areas plus they have almost $1m in new costs that they didn’t incur last year.  At the same time revenues were down.  I don’t know how reliant on Kickstarter CMON are however it does seem to be a significant part of their income.  So they obviously need to run a few Kickstarters as well and for those Kickstarters to score big.  I hadn’t really been following CMON until now but that’s not a particularly good sign.

    #1352343

    limburger
    14746xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Page 8 of the statement has the percentages

    2018 – +/- 30%

    2017 – +/- 60%

    It looks like they made more at wholesale and less at kickstarter, but overall their wholesale is up compared to 2017.
    If I read it correctly the loss is the result of kickstarter.
    // off-topic

    #1352344

    soulsorcerer
    Participant
    822xp

    @onlyonepinman Well…he is not the only one who lost money there…including me. But he obviously did not know…or care…what he was doing. I do not dispute that he has the right to be disappointed. I am too. But calling it Stockholm Syndrome for those who actually realized that KS is venture capital…with all those strings attached that he complains about…that I would say is harsh. But that is just me.

    CMON is a listed company for some time now…and their share dropped immensely over the last 2+ years. Their KS where making less in the last period and the pdf shows KS vs retail revenues quite well. They seem to have tried expanding quickly…but it is yet to be determined if they succeeded. They lost over 4 million in a 9 months period in ´18. But the last 3 months are the strong Christmas ones and they gave a positive outlook for those. If that will make it an actual profit will be clear at the end of march. I am curious about that. The last months I checked their store regularly…and lots of stuff is out of stock…miniatures and board games alike…with little to no change at all. Either there is something going on…or ASOIAF is draining every last resource they have. For better or worse I don´t know.

    #1352384

    odinsgrandson
    Participant
    2686xp

    I mentioned CMON because I had encountered people trying to say that CMON Kickstarters are super risky- BEFORE- that report came out. Like when Cthulhu Death May Die and Starcadia Quest were up, some folks were warning people away from their Kickstarters because of the ‘risk’

    Basically, there was no reason to worry about CMON (and there still probably isn’t) and people were out forecasting doom and warning folks away from Kickstarters because they’re “risky.” I’m starting to see this on more and more Kickstarters, and when one does go belly up, there are always people around to say “There were red flags” whether or not there were any and with SDEL, there were none).

    Some backers love to bring unlikely games to life, and enjoy taking a risk on a little company to give them a chance. That’s great, but a lot of backers want a sure thing, and only back companies that have established reputations.

    I think that backers are becoming much more wary that a Kickstarter can fail- and what Ninja Division have done is shown us that a reliable and established company that puts on a very professional front and raise a huge gob of money can completely fail to deliver.

    In summary, I think that Ninja Division’s failure is bad for Kickstarter and it is bad for the industry. Even with the report, I don’t think that backers from three years ago would be talking as if they were high risk the way that many do now.

    #1352401

    onlyonepinman
    11361xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I personally back a variety of Kickstarters but I do tailor my pledge according to what I believe is an acceptable risk, new companies get less.  I agree that perhaps Super Dungeon Explore Legends slipped through the net as it were, however I think their subsequent Kickstarters definitely should have had alarm bells.  That’s certainly why I only backed Starfinder for a couple of add-ons

    #1352902

    limburger
    14746xp
    Cult of Games Member

    We’ve seen (board)games companies fail without kickstarter too …

    As for ND affecting kickstarter. To that I say : nope.
    There are still thousands of projects from a wide variety of creators.

    Besides … what the heck could that platform to prevent any of this anyway ?

    The reason companies have multiple projects at any given time is because they can’t tell them to go home for the rest of the year once their part of the process is completed. As a result the artists and sculptors will be assigned to ‘the next big thing’.

    It’s either that or an industry that hires and fires entire departments like the video game industry tends to do.

    You can’t stop people from overspending and mismanaging anything. And the amount of luck needed to get enough momentum to become the next GW is infinite.

    Even a company as big as GW has had problems staying afloat in recent years.
    This industry is very competitive and has to deal with a customer base that is not exactly predictable.

    The only difference between Kickstarters and post-release issues is that it is a bit more publicly visible and it happens within our hobby so the visibility is extra.

    Any company with management problems is going to fail once their luck runs out and they fail to fix the source of their problems.

    #1353264

    maledrakh
    11602xp
    Cult of Games Member

    The big difference between ND and most of the other KS failures is the lack of red flags in the ND projects. It should have been a safe bet. The lack of red flags just makes the loss more difficult to swallow, as the risk was seen as low and backers therefore were more inclined to go all in with large amounts, hence maybe the disappointment is more bitter?

    I think the ND fiasco affects kickstarter in that it makes many existing backers in the established community, especially many of those who spend a lot of money across many projects, more risk averse and less willing to part with large amounts in one go. Also such bad publicity might scare off potential new backers as even the safe bets are actually risky.

    There are enough of “no more kickstarter for me because of this!” type declarations to support this position.

    Then we can look at the diminishing successes of CMON big box projects, that might have something to do both with the above and also that many of the big backers are reaching some sort of saturation point with the big box games. I know I am rapidly approaching my own. I mean, where do I put all these boxes from the multi-digit projects I have backed that show up all at once on my doorstep? There are too many to be able to paint or even play them all! So they go into the pile of shame, probably destined to be thrown in the bin by my heirs after I check out.

    However, since neither the amount of money nor the amount of actual KS backers are finite null-sum amounts, KS should keep growing as more people discover it exists and become familiar with how it works, as the continued growth and number of campaigns should show.

     

    #1353877

    limburger
    14746xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I’d argue that the diminishing success of the CMON projects is simply the result of saturation for big box games.
    We can see this in how other companies have changed their approach.

    A bit of news from Archon in the latest update for Chronicle X.
    It looks like Archon has been affected, but is on a path to recovery.

    There may be some sort of solution for backers of Starfinder and Archon studios projects.
    Details are not known at this time. But I thought it might be worth mentioning.

    Source :
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1915792245/chronicle-x-by-archon-studio/posts/2426909?ref=activity

    #1354133

    onlyonepinman
    11361xp
    Cult of Games Member

    The diminishing returns of Kickstarter campaigns is, I think, far more likely to be related to market saturation than the number of failed projects (which as a percentage is actually incredibly low).  Kickstarter has enabled some absolutely amazing games to be brought to life, but I don’t think it’s done anything to grow the market in any significant way, certainly not the miniatures market.   So it is, for the most part, the same people backing now as 5 years ago and without growth in the market that was a bubble that couldn’t keep inflating lest it burst.  I don’t think it has burst and I don’t think it will, more likely we will see a few companies go under as the market plateaus, but I don’t really think we will see it shrink very much.  I also don’t think we have seen the last “mega Kickstarter” that reaches hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars.  Mythic Battles Pantheon went to £2m and then £800k and Monolith are already planning Mythic Battles Ragnarok, a Norse version of the game fully compatible with Pantheon.  Given the amount of fan-wanking Vikings and all things related to them get, does anyone think people aren’t already marketing organs on the black market to get in on Ragnarok?  I think Ragnarok will quite easily breach the £1m mark again.  So what we’re really seeing is a competitive market with some established products and companies into which is getting more difficult to break into. However I think the diminishing returns has scuppered the ND business plan and possibly CMON who will no doubt need to massively rethink their strategy.

    I don’t think Ninja Division’s demise will have a significant impact on Kickstarter at all.  I think it will have an impact on a few people’s spending habits but they definitely won’t be a majority.  Sure, there’s a few people out there saying they’re never backing Kickstarter again but they’re a small, vocal group who thanks for to the power of the Internet have been brought to a single place at the same time which creates the illusion that they are a majority when this isn’t really the case.  Not only will the Ninja Division failure not affect Kickstarter but they also won’t be the last failure.  It will also most likely affect the business practices of companies like Archon who subcontract casting or other production work.

    Also, there were definitely some red flags around Ninja Division at the point they launched Star Finder.  There were already rumours that they were using successive Kickstarters to fund previous Kickstarters.  They were also involved with the ill fated Robotech game.  This very much directed my pledge – there were lots of miniatures that I liked but only a handful of them I was prepared to gamble on.  So I made a very small pledge to get just the ones I really wanted – sadly it looks like my gamble has failed but importantly, it was an amount I could cope with losing.

    #1354198

    onlyonepinman
    11361xp
    Cult of Games Member

    @limburger that’s an interesting little piece of information.  If Archon have cast all the miniatures and actually have them as stock and if they’re not obliged to hand them over to any US authorities as part of ongoing proceedings at ND, then I have to say I would probably be willing to re-buy them off Archon (I only backed for about 5 models).  However I am not a backer of any of Archon’s products so I suspect I probably won’t get such an offer.  I also realise that for many people this simply won’t be an option, especially people with large pledges.

    #1354199

    onlyonepinman
    11361xp
    Cult of Games Member

    @maledrakh I have quite a lot of games that could be considered part of my “pile of shame”.  However as they are entirely self contained boardgames I have taken to playing with them unpainted because the games themselves are fun 🙂  Conan is a prime example of this;  It’s one of my favourite boardgames and although it was the miniatures that drew me in the game is such good fun I don’t really mind that it’s unpainted.

    #1354200

    orlandothetechnicoloured
    Participant
    2718xp

    at present Archon would not be able to sell the ND minis they have as they’re based on ND IP (one of the reasons why the remaining stock of the Halo spaceship combat game was destroyed when spartan games went under)

    the exception might be the Starfinder stuff since the IP is Paizo’s so in theory they might (depending on how their contract with ND runs) be able to authorise it

    but nothing would stop Archon from ‘disposing’ of the minis by giving them away (they’d be probably able to charge shipping but nothing to generate a profit and thus make it look like a sale)

    #1354202

    orlandothetechnicoloured
    Participant
    2718xp

    the latter is my hope if ND can’t come up with at least the money needed for Archon’s upcoming tax bill if the don’t ship/dispose of the existing stock of minis they’ve produced

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