Or why I'm not going to back CMoN on Kickstarter ever ever ever again.
So the other day CMoN sent out an update for The Others, which gave the news that the EU shipments would be hitting the shores of Germany one lot on the 13th September and the other on the 22nd September.
Add in time to clear customs, and then getting to the distributor, by the time that second shipment lands the first one might actually be in the process of being sent out. So we might start seeing copies arriving at the start of October.
That's a two month delay from when the US and Australia started getting theirs!
The thing is CMoN have given bs reasons for the delay. Ours in the EU had to be delayed because
“For the European packages, we ran into an issue with the August holidays, which means our distribution center would be closed if the packages arrived in August as expected. Unfortunately that means we are going to have to delay the European shipment a little bit, so that the distribution hub can send them out in September. We are sorry for the inconvenience.”
This statement smelt so bad even I could smell it was rotten, and I have no sense of smell. a distribution centre closed for a month as implied by their statement! I call shenanigans, “liar, liar, pants on fire”.
But CMoN buried their heads in the sand and ignored the furore that this announcement caused this side of the pond.
One poster on the comments section of the Kickstarter page suggested an interesting conspiracy theory that maybe the original shipment for the EU was directed to the US so that CMoN could sell the game at GenCon. The timings certainly fit.
Looking at the timings of the arrivals that CMoN gave in the latest update, I suspect that possibly the EU shipment may have been delayed deliberately to save them shipping costs so they have product to sell at a certain large event in October in Essen.
The initial delays for the game from its original March delivery were down to production delays and the Chinese New Year. Basically bad project management. They new they had production problems with the Zombicide:Black Plague stuff, and that there had been long delays from that having a knock on affect.
Ok I was disappointed with that, but could live with it. What I can't take is the lying to cover up what I think is a combination of my theory and the GenCon conspiracy theory.
What really grates is that CMoN seem to have got a corporate shill to sing their praises on line to say what nice, salt of the earth guys they are. Apparently they will move the earth to help you, nothing is too much for them. That maybe so if you are part of the most popular Boardgaming YouTube network with a reach of tens of thousands. But further down the food chain, they are more than happy to screw you over.
Now some posters on the comments section of the Kickstarter page point out the CMoN small print:
“Please note that while we do our best to get you your rewards in a timely manner, you may not necessarily receive your rewards before the product makes it into distribution in your own country or before it's made available in conventions and special promotion opportunities. We hope that the special price and exclusive items you will get during the Kickstarter will make up for any such possible lag. However, if this is something that is not acceptable to you, please do not back this project, and instead wait for the retail release. Thank you for your understanding.”
Firstly as others point out, these aren't rewards, we are buying a product. If it was a reward that means it's a gift and should be marked as so when shipped. However CMoN won't do that.
CMoN like others use Kickstarter as a pre-order system to fund their up and coming games. The money raised pays for the production, it's a risk free route for CMoN. They don't have to put their own cash up to make a game that might not sell. The risk is all on the backers.
So CMoN should be doing everything to make sure that game is in the hands of backers before anyone else. Without them there would be no game. TMG have delayed the release of Thiefs Market by a couple of weeks to the mass market so that backers can get their copies first.
As for the exclusive content being compensation for any possible lag! That exclusive content, that is the reward for backing the project. Not the game itself. I think Kickstarter exclusive content is wrong. If it was timed exclusive, fine I'm down with that. But only able to get it if you back the project is wrong. It means that last line of you have to wait until it hits the shops if you don't like it, is basically saying “take it or lump it”. I'd happily wait for the shop release if they also made the exclusives also available at a later date. But CMoN do like to prop up the eBay scalpers.
Until people start to not back the CMoN kickstarters (which will never happen in significant enough numbers to make a noticeable difference) CMoN will continue to treat their backers like an inconvience, and like dirt.
As you can see this whole CMoN Kickstarter experience hasn't been a pleasant one. Their disregard for EU backers, and I would argue backers in general is leaving a rather unpleasant taste in the mouth. Personally if I was Eric Lang I'd be wondering if I had partnered with the right company. They are tarnishing the image of his game and name.
Wow that was a long rant, and it might even be coherent too in places. But as you may have detected I'm a tad upset about this. I think my tag line for them is so true, “CMoN cool games, crap company”. They won't respond to this, they don't respond to the comments on the Kickstarter page. But at least I feel better having vented.
Oh wait it's just clicked if you say CMoN it sounds almost like you are saying … That explains a lot.