The much anticipated Rainbow Six: Siege Board Game is in huge trouble. So much so that in a recent Kickstarter update, the game’s publisher Mythic Games asked for additional money, dubbed “an additional contribution”, in order to continue with the game’s production. This update was received extremely negatively by fans, with some calling it “asking for ransom money” or “a ransom tax”, and who can blame them, as Mythic Games already stated that those unwilling to pay the contribution won’t receive their games, regardless of pledge level.
Mythic Games have given an explanation for this, citing the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, and 100% increased labor rates in China, where their games are produced, shipped, and assembled ($4 to $8 per hour) as the main causes, but also citing increased prices for paper and cardboard (claiming a 50-100% price increase) as well as energy, plastic, and raw materials (claiming a 50% increase). Mythic Games further claimed that while the container fees have decreased, they are not pre-crisis rates and are still high. However, fans were quick to note this seems like corporate talk, blame-shifting, and refusing to take responsibility.
Shifting the Blame or Taking Responsibility?
Mythic Games has taken some responsibility, however, acknowledging that they had spent more money on game development than was needed, as well as having a larger team working on it than initially intended. However, it is important to note the blame was put largely on production costs and not on the studio itself. It is up to the fans to determine whether or not the blame distribution is justified, but a game developer’s salary is not cheap, and with better initial planning and funds management, perhaps this unpleasant situation could have been avoided. At the end of the day, plans change and adaptations can be made, especially given the volatile COVID-19 situation that is still ongoing.
Mythic Games has also justified the contribution request by referencing the similar situation with their Darkest Dungeon board game. Backers were also requested to make contributions due to increased costs, with Mythic Games claiming that 80% of them did, and are “enjoying it today” and “seem extremely satisfied”. While we can’t confirm the level of their satisfaction given the increased costs, it is important to note that the prices for contributions were much, much smaller. And while we’re on the topic of contributions, here are the payment amounts asked, listed by pledge level:
- Fresh Recruit (Core Pledge): $39
- Trooper (Gameplay All-in): $99
- Smooth Operator (Premium all-in): $129
Note that the prices listed above are calculated without the extra shipping cost, which backers will also have to pay. As you can see, the amounts are quite steep, especially considering the standard pricing, with the Fresh Recruit costing $69, the Trooper – $199; and the Smooth Operator a whopping $269. Mythic Games have also confirmed that backers will receive two separate emails – one for creating a dedicated account via a special link, and the other – a confirmation of their pledge level, as well as the additional contributions needed, including shipping costs. Backers will have only two weeks to make the necessary contributions, with Mythic Games warning that if their contribution goals are not met, the game will not go into production.
Refunding Not Made Easy
Ona final note, Mythic Games have committed to reimbursing all contributors their additional costs by the amount of their contribution minus the bank fees if the contribution goal is not met. The studio has also added the refund option for those wishing to back away from the game, but it was stated that they will be done when able, in chronological order, and only if they do not jeopardize production and product delivery. Note that refunds will be done in accordance with a capped amount revised each month. Those seeking a refund will have to send an official email to Mythic Games’ customer service, and they better do it quickly – the refund requests are recorded on the date of sending, regardless of whether or not they receive a response from customer service.