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All Kolossal and Maple Games Kickstarters shut down

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20 Apr 2019 09:42 #295796 by engelstein
All Kickstarters for Kolossal and Maple Games were pulled by KS's "Trust and Safety" team. AFAIK this includes Papillon, Hunt the Ravager, and Folding Space.

I wasn't a backer (don't do KS as a rule), but here's the letter that was sent out:

Hello,
This is a message from Kickstarter’s Trust and Safety Team. We’re writing to let you know that a project you recently backed, Papillon (Suspended), has been suspended. We also want to assure you that your $47.00 pledge has been canceled. To protect our community, we may suspend projects when they demonstrate one or more of the following:

Outstanding fulfillment issues related to a previously successful crowdfunding campaign
Running multiple, simultaneous projects.
Failure or unwillingness to clearly communicate with backers

As a result, all backers will be refunded. No further action is required on your part.

We take the integrity of the Kickstarter system very seriously. We only suspend projects when we find strong evidence that they are misrepresenting themselves or otherwise violating the letter or spirit of Kickstarter's rules. As a policy, we do not offer comment on project suspensions beyond what is stated in this message.

We know this isn’t ideal. But we do sincerely hope to see you again soon, backing one or more of the amazing projects that do cross the finish line, without a hitch, each and every day.

Here’s to next time,
Kickstarter Trust and Safety
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20 Apr 2019 10:07 - 20 Apr 2019 10:14 #295797 by Michael Barnes
Last edit: 20 Apr 2019 10:14 by Michael Barnes.

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20 Apr 2019 10:51 #295799 by ubarose
Kickstarter is cracking down on entities running more than one Kickstarter simultaneously or running a new Kickstarter when a previous one is still unfulfilled.

Daryl Andrews was "let go" as president of Maple Games on Tuesday. His title was changed to founder. My theory is Maple Games was created, at least in part, to get around the Kickstarter rules, but they got caught out.

I think publishers are discovering the limits of the "Kickstarter Business Model." One game at a time really limits the growth of a business.
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20 Apr 2019 11:35 - 20 Apr 2019 11:36 #295801 by Jexik
That has to be really demoralizing for them. Maybe the companies can get regular business loans now instead of fronting it on the consumer? Not sure what the average banker will think when you start trying to explain board games to them.
Last edit: 20 Apr 2019 11:36 by Jexik.

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20 Apr 2019 11:53 #295802 by Michael Barnes
OMG you mean someone was skirting the rules at a Web site where people ask strangers to give them money? What is this world coming to.

Kolossal Games, like CMON, is a Kickstarter mill and they won’t survive this if they are, as they should, enforcing a policy of ONE campaign until it is FULFILLED. That is how it should have worked from the beginning instead of these carpetbagging hucksters slinging 4-5 projects at a time, always with campaigns running and with millions of dollars in fulfillment pending. There is so much indemnity, so many people with their money at risk (regardless of the “Kickstarter is not a store” myth) there it is ridiculous. It was only a matter of time before one of these KS Mills took the money and did a runner or wound up in a situation where they have 4-5 campaigns they can’t fulfill.

I’m happy to see KS do this, I think it is going to cause a lot of these KS hustlers to shit their pants because now you can’t run a business by stringing along three years of TBD delivery.

More than happy to see this age of crowdfunded games go down in flames- I’ve made peace with good folks making good games and running honest and on the level campaigns (like Leder) but these publishers that are always busking for the next campaign can take a hike, neither need nor want whatever games they are trying to get me to bankroll for them.
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20 Apr 2019 11:59 - 20 Apr 2019 12:00 #295803 by Jexik
I agree that it was about time something was done. I'm just curious if they already went forward with production and are personally on the hook for it now.

Whatever happened to Game Salute? Are they still a thing?
Last edit: 20 Apr 2019 12:00 by Jexik.

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20 Apr 2019 12:01 #295804 by themothman421
Wow it's almost as if Kickstarter is trying to be a platform for independent creators to seek funds for a singular passion project, rather than a place for game "companies" to seek interest-free loans from a base of FOMO-riddled rubes. Took them 5+ years and multiple ponzi scheme booms and busts (5th Street Games suffered a similar fate to the companies mentioned above) to realize this, but hey!
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20 Apr 2019 12:18 #295806 by Josh Look

Jexik wrote: Whatever happened to Game Salute? Are they still a thing?


Unfortunately yes. I get emails from them all the time though I have zero recollection of backing anything by them.
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20 Apr 2019 12:48 #295809 by Disgustipater
Wouldn't Petersen Games run up against this? I don't follow them, but it seems like they have campaigns going pretty frequently. Or do they slide by because they have fulfilled some past Kickstarters?

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20 Apr 2019 12:59 #295811 by ubarose
Enforcement is of the rules is spotty. But in the past few months it has tightened
up. They have caught a few at the application phase and denied them much to the surprise of the submitters.

I think this one happened in response to complaints from backers of an earlier Kolossal campaign that has not yet been fulfilled who also brought it to Kickstarter's attention that Maple Games was a subsidiary of Kolossal.
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20 Apr 2019 13:05 #295812 by Ah_Pook

disgustipater wrote: Wouldn't Petersen Games run up against this? I don't follow them, but it seems like they have campaigns going pretty frequently. Or do they slide by because they have fulfilled some past Kickstarters?


I wondered this immediately as well. I'd have to think this will affect their plans to launch yet another Cthulhu Wars campaign later this month.
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20 Apr 2019 14:21 #295813 by ubarose
There is a tremor running through the Kickstarter ecosystem. This just went up in one of the large KS board game focused Facebook communities (37,000 members). I expect it or others like it to pop-up in the other large KS communities.

“Kicktarter Kuestions RE:(Simultaneous/Subsequent Rules)
As a KS Backer of Tabletop Games, you know that it is standard industry practice for a game to take from 3 to 12 months to get delivered to you after the KS Campaign ends. You also know that creators/publishers are able to and often need to publish more than 1 game per year in order to stay in business. You also know that the purpose of KS has evolved overtime to a demand gauging/pre-order system. However, what you may not know is that it is against KS’s rules for a creator to run simultaneous campaigns, and against the rules to run subsequent campaigns until previous campaigns have been “fulfilled.” KS has a history of only selectively enforcing these rules, which breeds uncertainly for small creators/publishers. While KS’s heart is in the right place to protect backers, it is at odds with the tabletop industry standard practice. That said, what are some solutions to rectify the situation:”

Followed by a poll. So far the voting is going towards wanting KS to make changes to allow simultaneous campaigns, and new campaigns before previous are fulfilled.

I think there is just too much money lying on the table for Kickstarter to not make policy changes, or create some kind of spinoff platform.

Although, even if this happens, I think we will see the collapse or contraction of publishers that grew to big too fast.
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20 Apr 2019 14:36 #295814 by WadeMonnig
I think they hit Kolossal for basically having multiple "accounts." I also think kick starter stops caring once it's funded, so as long as Petersen games doesn't try funding two at once, and show progress on all pending KS they consider them fine. Not indicting Petersen here but it does leave a horrible chance of a company tanking and taking multiple projects with it.
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20 Apr 2019 14:59 #295815 by Sagrilarus
Games are Kickstarter's biggest source of revenue. I'll wager that model citizens will get a pass, regardless of how badly they bend the rules.
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20 Apr 2019 15:49 #295817 by southernman
I'm a backer of Kolossal's Western Legends: Ante Up that funded and closed late January (due Nov 2019) and I saw that they had started two more since then - Consumption (also due Nov 2019) and Papillion. Interesting that they allowed Consumption while WL:AU hadn't been fulfilled, I suppose three at the same time was putting too much head above the parapets.

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