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Out of Supply: When Table-Top Companies Die

Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:53 pm

Recently, Spartan Games of Britain posted on its website that as of 4th September 2017, it had entered into Administration (which this Colonial assumes is a quaint British way of saying bankruptcy).

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Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:55 am

Hi - I think there are a number of issues with this piece, so while it may have some general value, the Spartan Games closure has some specific reasons that may have come to light after you wrote this.

So to set the scene, Spartan have been around since 2002. In this instance there have been two key contributory factors to the closure, firstly, that the printer they relied on, (who had been around for 200 years) collapsed suddenly, (In June I believe), secondly, one of the principals had a significant health problem.

Spartan was not a one man band part-time operation, it was a professional games company and held the Halo license. Whether the cost of this (which I assume was substantial), impacted on their financial viability, I couldn't say.

Finally, I take a very different view of Kickstarters. I believe these are not necessarily an indicator of a companies financial health or viability. I tend to think of them as being like the Eureka Miniatures 300 club, a way for established companies to fund an expansion of their range at the same time as testing demand. Having said that, I would be reluctant to buy into a wholly new company, with overly generous targets and no track record.

I've bought into 4 KS, and all were by reputable companies who needed some guarantee that the figures/games they were contemplating bringing to market would sell in sufficient numbers to justify the investment. All of them have delivered.

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Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:33 am

As far as I gather, the problem with Spartan was their extremely shot attention (or product support) spans. So they launch a new product. Pretty soon, they start a Kickstarter to launch an even newer product, and the development of the previous one grinds to a halt. Then they launch a Kickstarter for an another product, halting any work on the previous one... Gamers, especially those buying into niche games, ten to be a little more savvy than people just buying a Monopoly set, so they noticed a trend and stopped supporting the studio.

The end.

Meanwhile, Kickstarters are good enough, as far as I hear it. There are very functional games born out of those.

One last thing: Flames of War are produced by Battlefront, and they're... not good people, as far as I've heard, especially if you want to play Soviets.

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