Another Publisher Bites the Dust: The Grim(lord) Reality of Board Game Biz
Hold onto your dice bags, folks, because we’re about to delve into the murky world of board game publishing. Specifically, the dramatic tale of Grimlord Games – a company that allegedly raked in a whopping £293,597 / $367,664 from Kickstarter backers and yet never actually started production on some of their games. Ouch, indeed.
Just thinking about it evokes images of a dark, rainy (ever)night on a deserted street, with a shadowy figure in a long trench coat (likely emblazoned with the Grimlord logo) pocketing wads of cash and cackling maniacally into the storm. But, dear readers, fear not! I’m here to unravel this tangled web of mystery for you… with a hearty helping of humor thrown in for good measure.
The Backstory: High Hopes and Broken Dreams
Let’s set the stage: Grimlord Games, a UK-based company, burst onto the scene promising exciting things. Their flagship game, “The Everrain,” was funded on Kickstarter but took an agonizing five years to finally deliver to backers. That’s practically an eternity in board game time!
And then there’s “Grim Dynasty,” the sequel to their popular “Village Attacks” game. It raised over $367,000 on Kickstarter, but – plot twist – as we now know, production never actually began. Talk about a slap in the face for those loyal backers, right?
Where Did it All Go Wrong?
So you may be wondering, as am I: where on Earth did all that money go? It’s a valid question, and one that has been debated ad nauseam on various social media platforms. After all, game production isn’t exactly cheap, and more in-depth tabletop experiences like those promised by Grimlord Games can cost a pretty penny – but surely not to the tune of nearly $370k?
Some backers have sworn in online comments they’ve seen invoices and proof that molds for miniatures were indeed produced. Others argue it’s all been smoke and mirrors, with the cash funneled into other nefarious enterprises – or perhaps more mundanely, simply squandered due to poor financial management.
The Moral Quagmire of Board Game Publishing
Now, I’m no detective (although I’m pretty darn good at clue), but one thing’s for sure: this whole Grimlord Games debacle sheds a glaring light on the risky world of crowdfunding and the high-stakes game of board game publishing.
It’s tempting to point fingers and lay blame solely on the company, but as some have pointed out, this industry is filled with indie publishers working hard to deliver their projects despite countless hurdles, from rising costs to supply chain disruptions. And as much as we’d like to believe everyone in the biz is a well-meaning game enthusiast just trying to create wonderful experiences for players, there’s no denying that some bad eggs do exist.
The Silver Lining (or Maybe Not)
If there’s any solace to be found in this mess, it’s that backers might – just maybe – see some return on their investment through the liquidation process. However, as others have argued, that’s likely wishful thinking: from experience, backers tend to come last in the pecking order when a company’s assets are divvied up.
And so, we’re left with a cautionary tale for gamers everywhere. There’s always an element of risk involved with crowdfunding and board game publishing; while many indie developers are working their butts off to create something special, others may be all too willing to take advantage of our passions and pocketbooks.
Significance and Impact
The Grimlord Games saga is a sobering reminder that not all that glitters is gold (or even shiny Kickstarter funds). While it’s always tempting to dive headfirst into the next amazing-looking board game project or expansion, it’s essential to keep in mind the inherent risks at play and temper our expectations accordingly. And as we mourn the fall of Grimlord Games and their undelivered projects, I hope you’ll join me in raising a figurative toast to those indie devs out there doing the right thing, working hard to create the games we know and love.
In the meantime, stay tuned for more board game intrigue – you never know when another juicy story might surface…