Board game publisher Mythic Games caused controversy this weekend, when it asked Kickstarter backers to pay an additional contribution of up to $129 for the 6: Siege board game. An update explains that extra funding is needed to cover the unexpectedly high costs of making the game.
According to the publisher, the unanticipated crises of Covid and the war in Ukraine have caused exploding prices for everything from energy to labour, “and the estimates on which we based ourselves before and during the Kickstarter campaign are absolutely no longer relevant.”
Now, backers have two weeks to decide whether they’re willing to pay more to get the game made and receive their copies – which, if everything goes to plan, will come in October 2023. The Kickstarter update explains that “The funds received for this contribution will be entirely and exclusively reserved for the printing of 6: Siege – The Board Game”, but adds that “if you are unwilling or unable to pay, you will not receive your game in October.”
The additional contribution Mythic Games is requesting is tiered based on what pledge level backers opted for, with backers at more expensive levels featuring more rewards asked to pay more. Those who went for the ‘fresh recruit’ pledge of $69 are being asked for $39, those at ‘Trooper’ pledge level who paid $199 will now pay $99, while those who gave the premium ‘Smooth operator’ pledge of $269 will need to cough up another $129. Some additional content, including two extra maps and STL files for the minis are being added to the game by way of apology.
If enough backers agree to the extra contribution, the game will be produced, but if a certain rate isn’t hit, it won’t be and those who have paid it already will get their contribution back. This follows the model used for Mythic Games’ other recent crowdfunded board game, Darkest Dungeon, which ran into similar production cost struggles. According to the developer, more than 80% of Darkest Dungeon backers paid the extra fee, allowing it be to delivered to over 20,000 backers
Mythic Games acknowledges in its update that it wasn’t just outside factors that put the game in a tricky spot, and that “it must be said” the company also incurred more costs than anticipated. “We spent much more than expected in the development of the game, with more people than we expected working on it, and longer than we originally estimated.”
While this hasn’t come out of the blue, and 6: Siege fans were warned they’d be asked to pay more as part of an update in March, naturally the reception to this latest development has been largely negative.
Mythic Games managing director Léonidas Vesperini tells Wargamer: “We know it’s a difficult situation to accept, we understand a lot of the anger or disappointment (although we’ve communicated on our situation for a long time). But we’ve been very clear and simply offered a clear choice to make.”
“We want to do everything we can to deliver this game to the motivated backers who will take the plunge, rather than playing it low-key and avoiding making noise.”