After multiple board game Kickstarters met with disaster, tabletop publisher Mythic Games’ reputation has taken a hit it’s unlikely ever to repair. But the company’s owner Léonidas Vesperini says many of the things fans repeat about the business are “false rumors”. According to Leo, commenters often speculate that he and cofounder Benoît Vogt used backers’ money to enrich themselves, but he claims this is entirely false.
“None of us got rich,” Vesperini tells Wargamer. “I don’t own my house, for instance – still pay my rent every month.” He adds that as Mythic Games currently has no employees, the only people still being paid by the business are external workers finalizing and shipping the board games. He himself is apparently not taking a cut.
“Benoît and I stopped paying ourselves at the beginning of 2023,” Vesperini says. “We haven’t been paid for a year and we’re not entitled to any compensation, unemployment or anything else.” He explains that the managers have done some consulting work in the last year to support themselves, but that the majority of their time is spent working on Mythic Games’ projects.
Mythic Games enraged its Kickstarter backers over the last year, initially by asking for an additional payment from backers in order to deliver the successfully crowdfunded titles Six Siege and Darkest Dungeon (which raised $1.5m and $5.6m respectively in their initial campaigns). Last week the company announced it was selling the IPs for Anastyr and HEL to CMON, so the Zombicide creator could finish the games, which led to further anger from customers who felt cheated by Mythic.
In the past year Vesperini claims he’s received death threats, experienced doxxing where people leaked his private details, and had people tell him they’ll “come and see me to settle the score physically”.
“I read that we ‘sold’ the HEL and Anastyr IPs so that we could continue to pay ourselves huge salaries,” he adds. “But neither Benoît nor I have been paid for over a year now, and we’re still working for Mythic Games to find the best solution (or the least worst) for each of the undelivered games.”
“As far as Benoît and I are concerned, all we’ve done for over a year is work for free to find solutions,” Vesperini says. “Even during the best years of Mythic Games, we never paid ourselves a dividend. Neither of us has been personally enriched. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.”
On the current situation, Vesperini says by handing the IPs to CMON, who were committed to providing former backers with a core box “we were enabling as many backers as possible to have something.”
“It seemed a better solution than asking for a contribution and delivering to a small number of backers, or worse, delivering nothing at all,” he adds.
He also says he feels relief to have CMON working on the games, because they’ve “been delivering high quality games for a very long time” and have “put a lot of work into these two games already”.
Mythic Games currently has two more unfinished crowdfunders, Rise of the Necromancers and Monsterpocalypse. Those who backed these games are doubtless waiting for an update, and the CEO says he’s working to find the best solution – whether a contribution like the one asked for for Six Siege or some other method.
But he adds: “I have to admit that I’m finding it hard to get my head around these two at the moment”.