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Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Mythic Games: They'll NEVER deliver this Kickstarter

For a few months now I've debated whether or not to make this post.  I gave the company at issue a gracious amount of time to respond to the very MANY people who had taken them at their word and trusted them to produce a great product.

However it has now been almost seven months since anything in the way of official word has been published.  That should have been plenty of time to let the backers know what's up.  Claiming that it's been caught up in "manufacturing problems" isn't cutting it anymore.

So it's time for Mythic Games to level with us: Is there going to ever be a release of the Monsterpocalypse Board Game?

I've written before about my fondness for Monsterpocalypse: the miniatures game about giant kaiju monsters thrashing it out with one another atop a city that the players build, then demolish.  Monsterpocalypse was first published by Privateer Press in 2008.  And it enjoyed some terrific growth in popularity for a couple of years.  Unfortunately a series of business decisions (making the game "collectible" and having to buy blind boxes of minis, the mishandling of the movie deal among others) caused a dip in interest.  Privateer Press eventually brought the game back as a more traditional miniatures game, where players were free to buy whichever models they wanted and paint them on their own.  Which was certainly how the game should have been marketed from the beginning.  But it was still an awesome game.  I certainly enjoyed playing it, especially with my precious Lords of Cthul faction.

Anyway, Monsterpocalypse has lingered for some years now.  And then two years ago this fall a French company, Mythic Games, announced that it was adapting Monsterpocalypse as a board game.  Basically the same as the regular Monsterpocalypse but with miniatures that didn't call for assembly and painting, and playable on the resilient surface typical of most board games.

There was a lot of hype for this game.  And to finance it, Mythic Games turned to Kickstarter: that website devoted to letting people find backing from those who are interested enough to want a copy of the finished product.  Kickstarter has been a terrific platform for fostering innovation and creativity.  A few years ago I had thought about doing a Kickstarter, for a board game I had designed rules for.  Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) some friends convinced me of how politically incorrect the game would be, and that was the end of that particular project.

Mythic Games however, dangled a really beautiful carrot before us.  There was going to be the core Monsterpocalypse Board Game.  And the more backers supported it, there were "stretch goals" that would be unlocked: more miniatures that would produced.  As backing grew, so would the game itself.

The Kickstarter went live on November 2, 2021.  In a matter of minutes the core game set was fully funded.  And by the time the Kickstarter had ended on November 24th more than $1,300,000 dollars had been raised.  A handsome amount by any measure.

I backed the core game.  My finances were a little off-kilter at the time (in short, I was skint broke).  But then came the stimulus check from the government and I decided that I wanted to go "all-in" on the Monsterpocalypse Board Game.  When the pledge manager was activated after the Kickstarter itself, I loaded up and pledged support for all of the unlocked minis, as well as faction-dedicated boxes with more minis.  It wasn't every product that I put down for, but I wanted to have a complete set of all the factions so that if I played someone we would have all the options available.

Here.  Read this: My post from a year and a half ago about Monsterpocalypse Board Game.  That alone should convey how much I was looking forward to getting this game.

Well, delivery of the game and all it's associated products was stated to be around November 2022.  A reasonable amount of time.  Mythic Games after all had to mold the zillions of pieces, print the various paper/board components, do everything required for marketing a board game.  And for awhile we the backers were getting updates from Mythic about how the production was coming along.

And then, inexplicably, the updates - which had been weekly and then became something to expect monthly - began to decrease in frequency.

This concerned many backers.  Was there something wrong with production?  Mythic elaborated that time was needed to machine the molds.  And then it was the global supply chain breakdown that plagued many manufacturers world-wide.  And these were reasonable, the backers thought.

But the rate of updates was decreasing even more.  And some were now wondering if Mythic was committed at all to giving us Monsterpocalypse Board Game.

Well, some backers  began demanding refunds.  I cannot recall if this has at all happened.  I do know that Mythic Games is offering store credit for its other products.

Ahhhhh yes, the "other products".  Mythic Games meanwhile had been selling and doing Kickstarters for more games.  While apparently doing not only nothing at all about the Monsterpocalypse intellectual property, but it's been speculated by many that the company took that $1.3 million from the Monsterpocalypes drive and has been applying it to their own IPs.

Is that the truth?  I don't know... but I can report that bulk e-mails have been regularly received by my main account, pitching other games.  I've tried unsubscribing but that's not happening.

Those updates?  The ones that Mythic promised at the start of the year would be a regular feature?  The most recent update was on March 31.  There has been absolutely nothing from the company about Monsterpocalypse since then.  Complete radio silence.

This, is unacceptable.

If the company would be straight with us, and give assurance that the Monstepocalypse Board Game was being produced even now, then I might... might... be willing to wait another year.  I believe a number of backers of this project would be willing too.

Unfortunately the more shady that Mythic Games gets with us, the more that our patience runs thin.  The more that some might be inclined to press legal charges against the company.  Mythic Games is based in Paris however, which may make litigation that much more wonky.  But I'm sure there are some with a little know-how and understanding of the French legal system who could start a court case against the company.

A year and a half ago I was cheerfully steering readers of this blog to the Monsterpocalypse Board Game pledge manager.  I believed with honest intent that Mythic Games was going to deliver on this product.  However it increasingly is becoming apparent that the resources pledged on this particular Kickstarter have been misappropriated and abused and that there is no publishing of this game that is actively being pursued.

Mythic Games made me look foolish.  It did that for everyone who was enthusiastic about Monsterpocalypse not only about this particular product, but about the entire franchise.  Monsterpocalypse is a very fun pastime.  To see it treated like this, is abhorrent.  It deserves much better.  Maybe it's primary publisher Privateer Press can take over the project.  But that would require the original funding being transmitted to them, and I don't think that's going to be possible.

What am I trying to say with this post?

Avoid Mythic Games like the plague.  That company has abused our trust in it.  If you've been contemplating getting this Monsterpocalypse-based game, DO NOT DO SO.  Neither would I recommend any other product that Mythic Games is presenting as a game.

Mythic Games owes us a solid explanation.  And if there is no Monsterpocalypse coming, it owes us our money back.

Will that happen?  I doubt it.  But at least with this article some may have warning against doing business with them again.

EDIT 10/18/2023 8:53 PM EST: A correction.  I have been notified by a number of readers that while Mythic Games has much of their operations in France, their headquarters is located in Luxembourg.  This blogger appreciates that bit of information.


prchamb said...

So you don't know what's going on. That's understandable as Mythic hasn't said much on this project.

Mythic has 6 outstanding games - 6: Siege, Darkest Dungeon, Rise of the Necromancers, Monsterpocalypse, Hel, and Anastyr - which together pulled in at least $15 million. That money is gone (or likely there is enough money left to run the company for a few years at greatly reduced staff).

Mythic has cut their bloated staff, cut other expensive overhead, and are now working one project at a time with a skeleton crew. Since they have no money, backers have to "contribute" the full cost of manufacturing and shipping their games (on top of their original pledge and shipping already paid).

6: Siege backers have already paid their "contributions" and Mythic has shown pictures of the games being manufactured.

Darkest Dungeon backers recently received their wave 2 "contribution" emails and have until the end of the month to pay. Many expected 6: Siege to be on the water before the DD emails were sent in order to assure backers this wasn't the start of a new Ponzi scheme, but Mythic felt differently.

Rise of the Necromancers is expected to be the next project Mythic works on.

The order for Monsterpocalypse and the other two are unknown.

It is possible Monsterpocalpyse will get produced under this plan, but it's still the same owners/management that blew $15 million in the first place - and who didn't fast track Monsterpocalypse in 2022 to get it into retail distribution to pull in additional revenue.

Chris Knight said...

Dear prchamb,

My father had a saying: "The squeaky wheel gets the grease."

Maybe a little noise about it will compel Mythic to at least be honest and forthcoming about what's happening with this game.

prchamb said...

If they haven't been honest and forthcoming with Privateer Press, why would they be honest and forthcoming with backers?

They don't care about all the noise on any of their projects.

Matthew P said...

I love Monsterpocalypse too. This game deserves so much better than what Mythic has done to it. The property may never regain enough goodwill to go on.

Chris Knight said...

Someone sent me a humorous email, saying that we're more likely to get a real life Three Cornered Pitney game than a Monsterpocalypse board game. I immediately knew what they were talking about. Three Cornered Pitney is a fictitious board game described in a classic article from MAD Magazine. It was pretty hilarious. Also pretty unplayable.

NeilM said...

Thank you for writing this. It very nicely sums up my own feelings about this game.

Hotsauce said...

I definitely agree. MonPoc is an _amazing_ game. I just love it and all the fluff behind it (also a Lords of Cthul lover too Chris). This property deserves so much better. I wasn't able to back it then but I did think about going the late backer route. I'm glad that I didn't. It may be another decade before Monsterpocalypse regains the faith in it that's been lost.

Mike Waz said...

Thank you for writing this Christopher. I also got burned by Mythic. Can we start a class action lawsuit against a foreign based company?

Monpoc fan said...

Dirty shame this happened. Privateer Press gave Mythic a license to print money practically. The game was going to sell and sell very well. Mythic would have made money hand over fist with expansion sets, factions, new buildings, what ever. Most of all the Monsterpocalypse brand would be in good shape for many years to come. I love Monpoc and everything about it. It's a brand that deserves better. Oh and by the way Chris I'm a lover of the Apes. I wanted Gakura so bad sitting on my desktop. Mythic should never be trusted with a game again.