I understand Archon does not owe backers anything.
They were a subcontractor who got royally screwed by there employer. I assume they have lawyers working on that.
I believe Paizo does owe backers something as they convinced people to invest in the kickstarter despite there misgivings about ND.
The solution with Archon is a nice start, but it should have been paired with an optional refund / trade credit, even if its discounted a % to account for Kickstarters cut for people who are really really not interested in un-assembled plastic minis.
That isn't what the paid for and they should have some other option then Key Lime Pie, or starving.
Outside of the above concerns, I really, really hope this works and I am grateful to Paizo for making the effort on backers behalf to recover from Ninja's dastardly, though not unexpected, sneak attack.
You would have been within your rights legally to go with a "Sorry, not our problem, talk to Ninja".
I'm curious, how is this going to work financially for Archon? How do they make money from this?
Ninja Division has no money so can't be contributing anything to pay Archon for all new plastic minis for this can they?
Archon supposedly were never paid for the original resin figures, threatened to destroy the remaining figures, which from a post above may have been misleading as to how many remaining there really were, so they are already in the hole financially.
I would think any and all production costs, molding costs, material cost, design cost, shipping costs etc. for kickstarter backers will be at a loss.
I see they are making a few new figures over and above the Kickstarter ones and will sell those retail, as well as overproducing the kickstarter figures for retail, which now will compete against the prepainted lines.
Are they anticipating making enough off retail sales to cover the expense of the minis for backers as well as the money they've already lost?
What happens if they can't cover that much expense and lost money? Do they just stop half way through?
Also, it was mentioned Archon will be designing the figures, will this mean changes to already sculpted figures, or strictly for the new figures?
Vic Wertz wrote:
Its takes Courage and the will to do what right.
It takes Integrity to tell the truth.
It takes respect, for the people whom were willing to trust in you and put there hard earned money into your project.
It takes Honor to accept the responsibility for mistakes and an effort to fix them.
I've not seen any of this from Ninja Division, and very little of it from Paizo.
Even if the project does someday fulfill the actions of both parties will make it very hard for some people to want to give trust to either company, as well it should because you've both broken that trust and behaved dismissively, disrespectfully and uncommunicative during the entire process.
What the two of you did is criminal and I despise the fact that you both know that no matter what you do, how many times you lie, how long you drag this out and how much money you defrauded people of there will never be any criminal repercussions because the law is designed to protect criminals that pull scams like this and cheat people of there money and screw the victims.
Hey, they'll apparently be at Gen Con, and have shelled out just shy of 8k to get booth space. Hopefully they will be more talkative when they can't avoid contact with their backers?
Asking security to remove you would probably be as talkative as they are willing to get.
Though they will most likely have some nice flyers and a press release about Starfinder Battles you can look at.
There's nothing magical about a con setting that would suddenly make them reverse there course of silence that's caused so much frustration with people and come clean.
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
It would most likely come down to what they knew when and if money from this KS was spent elsewhere.
Kickstarter does have a TOS agreement creators and backers are bound by, a form of contract between them, which KS has no part of btw, that's how they avoid any legal complications from there failures.
While refunds for failed projects were removed long ago, though many people fail to realize that and keep quoting the old ToS that no longer applies I believe the requirement that funding be for the project and used only on the project, not other projects.
If the used money for other projects, or knew they would use money for other projects (the most likely scenario) in a "pyramid scheme" even intending to use profits from old projects to finish this one, that would put them in violation of the ToS, i.e. the contract between backers and creators and since they agreed to abide by the ToS when using the site that could be fraud.
Vic Wertz wrote:
This is true.
But would it not also be true that you could have forseen that Wizkids would eventually have enough time to do a starfinder mini line.
Given the warnings given about ND's lack of performance do you think it might have made a difference and saved people money if they had known there was a good chance that eventually there'd be a Wizkids line?
Especially if they had known it come out before the ND line?
Also, you keep mentioning progress?
How do you expect people to believe that when ND has shown no progress, refuses to engage backers, won't even clarify what happened to the minis Archon supposedly was set to destroy?
The only progress I see is ND & Paizo getting one month closer to the statute of limitations on a fraud lawsuit or ND's license running out giving them an excuse to not finish and a way out.
That's the excuse used on the Robotech kickstarter ND participated in (sabotaged) after years of lies about "progress".
What is Paizo's priority here? Protecting Backers and seeing they get the rewards or refunds they deserve or Protecting Paizo's bottom line at the expense of the backers?
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Yes, wizkids can make Starfinder minis.
When people tell you not to trust Ninja Divisions and suggest repeatedly using wizkids instead during the kickstarter which paizo convinced doubtful people that they had there back and got them to pledge, only to find out it was really a fraudulent kickstarter as all evidence indicates ND knew they would not, could not finish the project on time, if at all, and were in serious financial issues, which led them to throw money for the kickstarter elsewhere (a violation of Kickstarters TOS, thereby fraudulent) its pretty classless, distasteful and incredibly insulting to come back AFTER you help screw the backers and tell them your going to put out the product many wanted, but only if there willing to spend more money while essentially telling everyone the same lies palladium told everyone when ND threw them under the bus.
i.e. "I am still unable go into specifics (and still can't estimate when we will be able to do so), but we have seen a lot of progress in the last two weeks."
I think the third time that lines been used in the last month, 2 month, or longer? And yet no evidence of progress, comments, feedback or even some sign of the slightest bit of attention and commitment by ND on this KS exists.
I stand by my previous comment. This is nothign more then a distraction and stall until "Jazz Hands: Wizkids minis are in stores now"
2. Is there the possibility that Paizo even *can*, in some capacity, pursue an alternative course of action?
In fact Paizo has already done so.
See the posts & press release on Starfinder battles from Wizkids.
Unfortunately that course involves people who've already been burned paying more money to another company to get minis for this game.
Also, the Kingmaker thing is a book, which Paizo and Legendary Games are very good at making, while this is a miniatures project, which Ninja Division is very bad at making.
I was under the impression Ninja Division doesn't actually make miniatures.
Ninja Divisions runs Kickstarters, all the way back to Robotech tactics, then rely on other people to actually make the miniatures, etc.
Form what I've seen of there history, again back to Robotech tactics is Ninja Division is really good at running a kickstarter and finding a patsy to give them an IP to ruin (Robotech, starfinder...) and lying through there teeth to get the patsy to agree but really bad at
#1 - Correctly estimating the cost of the product, manufacture & shipping.
#2 - Finding someone who is willing to manufacture the pieces at a loss because of #1.
#3 - Telling the backers the truth, because of #1 & #2
#4 - Post Campaign communication with backers, because of #3.
#5 - Taking responsibility for there actions and making things right with backers.
Vic Wertz wrote:
Might I ask WHO the update came from and WHAT efforts you took to ensure it wasn't completely inaccurate, you know like the sales pitch they gave you to get you to let them run this kickstarter?
Ninja Division has a pretty bad track record, starting with Robotech tactics over 6 years ago.
So I would hope you are doing due diligence on backers behalf and not simply believing anything that comes out of there mouth without at least 2 independently verifiable sources?
I'd just like to know if this is a real, honest, good news report, or another one of the hollow, stall tactic promises we got on the Robotech tactics project from ND's partner there.
Given the timing, right when you launch a new crowd funding project which negative publicity could kill, I hope you'll forgive my suspicions.
Steve Geddes wrote:
"Half a dozen" vs. the total number of mini's that were supposed to shipped, only 3 of which were different than the prepaints is still essentially "nothing but the prepaints were done"
I also have a fairly good success rate, though almost all are late to some degree, many to the point I have lost any interest in the product by the time it arrives over a year late.
But the failures have for the most part been truly expensive and more often then not seem to be the result of sheer incompetence on the part of the creators.
The bigger concern to me is that while the 1st few failures were creators new to Kickstarter, I'm seeing more established companies failing because they have fundamental issues with there company and how they execute work resulting in losses on most of there kickstarters that they keep kicking down the road hoping the next kickstarter makes them money and they can get back on top, only to eventually implode leaving the last group of backers totally screwed.
Erik Mona wrote:
I have proof that these guys ARE trying, and some of that is encouraging. I don't want to say more than that, but I do want you guys to know and understand that much at least.
I can prove I've been trying to lose weight for the last 6 months but the scale in my bathroom says I've gained 3 pounds.
Ninja Division and Palladium "tried" to deliver wave 2 of Robotech tactics (well, Palladum tried, Ninja Division bailed in the first few months after they got paid) for 5 years before admitting it was never happening
Until ND actually ships mini's to backers they can say they are "trying" all they want and it means absolutely nothing to backers.
Backers deserve less "try" and more "do".
I also find it interesting after reports the mini's Archon had already produced being scheduled for destruction I've yet to see word of what actually happened, were they in fact destroyed?
If not, when will they ship?
If they have, how is ND "trying" to overcome that further deficit?
Paying Archon for minis already made and shipping them when ND is broke is bad enough. Paying archon for destroyed mini's, contracting to a new company to manufacture those same minis and paying them on top of what archons owed and then shipping is far is even worse.
Robert Gooding wrote:
This is an open call for paizo to comment on ownership of the production files and if or why they cannot release them to backers
Keep in mind from Paizo's point of view based on earlier comments they have no legal responsibility to the backers. The kickstarter was done by Ninja Division under license, not by Paizo.
Also, the files in question would be set up for resin molding, not 3d printing, and could very well not work without considerable man hours of tweaking to make them printable. Just looking at the pictures from the kickstarter I see a lot of rifles , limbs, snakey tendrils, etc. that would be unprintable without supports or tweaks and some details that look to be too fine for a FDM printer.
The best bet would still be to somehow force Ninja Division and Archon to finish the project and get backers the mini's they bought.
Has anyone seen any updates from Archon since the fiscal quarter ended this past weekend?
If you mean did they post a pic of all the starcraft mini's they supposedly have done getting tossed into the garbage, no.
I am also curious if that happened or was just a negotiating tactic they used.
When Paizo was informed of ND's history of poor handling, delays, production issues and inabilities to fulfill previous kickstarters during the kickstarter Paizo doubled down and reassured everyone that ND could be trusted and backers would get what they pledged for.
I don't think its unfair to ask Paizo to explain why they felt so strongly about ND's ability to fulfill this KS, whats being done to honor the KS and how Paizo is going to get backers what they pledged for as per there reassurances during the kickstarter.
I strongly doubt the difficulty in answering that is due to backers requests for information or anything else happening in this thread, but rather Paizo not having a plan in place to back up there reassurances and promises and can't come up with one in light of ND's spectacular failure that doesn't cost them more money then they are willing to spend to make this right.
As to weather its Paizo's responsibility to make this right in my mind is based on weather Paizo's reassurances and promises were what tipped a backer into making a pledge in spite of ND's reputation.
Ninja Division may not be able to sue for breach of NDA, but Paizo setting the precedent of breaking contracts would be very poorly viewed in the eyes of their current and future partners.
Given the provocation by Ninja Division I wouldn't want Paizo to work with a company that took offense at them "breaking contract" when it seems clear that Ninja Division deliberately entered into said contract fraudulently with the intention to screw Paizo from the get go.
I'm assuming at this point since we have not seen that it will not be forthcoming.
I'm sure the excuse will be "NDA" or somesuch.
I just wonder sometimes why and how an NDA or contract applies when you're dealing with a company Like Ninja Division, who apparently deliberately set Paizo up and is costing them sales & damaging they're reputation.
At what point does Paizo & especially its CS reps have to stop taking it on the chin for a company who certainly looks like they deliberately intended to stab them in the back from the start?
Because if that's what "THE LAW" requires of them then there is something seriously wrong with "THE LAW"
While I agree, the simple fact is there will most likely never be as much information as backers want as ultimately it must come from Ninja Division and they are not likely to ever admit they flat out intended to rip Paizo, Archon and the backers off and anything less then such an admission would not be accepted by many people.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Of course, the longer it goes without official comment the more likely it is we’ll try and “fill in the gaps” from our position of relative ignorance.
This is probably the biggest problem with this situation.
People spent a lot of money, have nothing to show for it and the people responsible, weather it be ND, Paizo, Archon, aren't really giving backers much of a real explanation as to how this could have happened and what is being done to resolve it.
I understand there are NDA's, contracts and such to consider, but at some point that needs to go out the window and honest answers need to be provided, not dodgy half truths and butt covering.
All of the parties involved need to live up to there requirements as per the CURRENT KS tos (not the old ones that don't apply people keep reffering to when demanding refunds)
"When a project is successfully funded, the creator must complete the project and fulfill each reward. Once a creator has done so, they’ve satisfied their obligation to their backers.
Throughout the process, creators owe their backers a high standard of effort, honest communication, and a dedication to bringing the project to life. At the same time, backers must understand that when they back a project, they’re helping to create something new — not ordering something that already exists. There may be changes or delays, and there’s a chance something could happen that prevents the creator from being able to finish the project as promised.
If a creator is unable to complete their project and fulfill rewards, they’ve failed to live up to the basic obligations of this agreement. To right this, they must make every reasonable effort to find another way of bringing the project to the best possible conclusion for backers. A creator in this position has only remedied the situation and met their obligations to backers if:
they post an update that explains what work has been done, how funds were used, and what prevents them from finishing the project as planned;
To be fair, no one here has ordered these miniatures from Ninja Division. Many people pledged money to Ninja Division's Kickstarter to have miniatures made, but that is not the same thing. Until people stop treating Kickstarter like a store these woes will continue to happen.
I have and will continue to dispute this point.
backers did not pay to have the miniatures made, they paid to have them delivered.
Stop trying to blame backers for ND's blatant misuse of Kicxkstarter as a pre-order service.
Until CREATORS stop USING Kickstarter as a PRE-ORDER store these woes will continue to happen.
That would be a more accurate statement.
Well, at least Archon will be destroying the minis in a couple weeks, so Paizo should be able to quit being vague then.
Yeah, not seeing anything online to back this up, other then your post on the KS page.
I get it your pissed, but if you are lying about this to generate outrage to cause Paizo / ND / Archon damage you might actually be committing a crime.
So maybe mention where you heard this as of yet unfounded rumor?
Well, at least Archon will be destroying the minis in a couple weeks, so Paizo should be able to quit being vague then.
Where did you hear that?
It sounds more like a negotiating tactic then an intelligent decision on Archons part.
I would also think it could be illegal as those mini's were bought and paid for by backers and they have a legitimate claim to those minis.
Its also an extremely bad move as far as PR is concerned.
Destroying mini's KS backers have paid for could get them some extremely negative comments on any future kickstarters they are involved in. I'd certainly be a lot more reluctant to touch anything they are involved in if they pulled a move like that.
Kind of like cutting your nose off to spite your face and all that.
Steve Geddes wrote:
I think this is the best description I've seen of how most of us feel and what we would like at a very minimum.
I will give you the same answer I've given before when this ahs come up.
Please list other companies that have the capability & willingness do do said project and provide a letter from them verifying they have the capability and would have said yes if approached.
Arguing that Paizo should have turned down ND's offer AT THE TIME WITHOUT KNOWING HOW BADLY IT WOULD TURN OUT, and gone to another, as of yet mythical company, because while people like you continue to spout off about how many there are, but no one has listed a single viable alternative is just nonsense.
If you want anyone to take you seriously you need to back up your claim as to the existence of these mythical companies that would have jumped at the chance to provide minis.
James - Unfortunately Paizo has more then just itself & the backers to contend with.
There is ND, who has a license which gives them certain rights and Paizo can not just simply walk in a revoke those rights and do whatever they want to fix this.
There is Archon, who most likely has a contract with ND and not Paizo, so Paizo can not simply walk in and toss them a bunch of money. They need to go through or work with ND.
There may be a distribution partner, who may have a contract with ND or Archon or both and not Paizo.
There is also precedent here. Paizo deals with a lot of 3rd party vendors and more and more they use Kickstarter.
How does Paizo step in to provide rewards without putting themselves in a position of becoming responsible for every single kickstarter for a Paizo brand product? Or do they just not allow anyone ever to use kickstarter because of the liability which cuts off some 3rd party providers from the ability to make there products a reality?
As much as everyone would love for this to be simple, quick, easy to fix, its not.
Palladium Books said the same thing after ND put them in a bind for 5 years before admitting it was all a lie.
A project with the Mini's made (as per Archon) but not delivered because ND spent the money on something else and can't pay Archon is not "delayed".
Its "failed" until someone comes in and hands ND more money (Paizo?).
I would assume getting them would be easy, just pay archon for the mini's.
I imagine the haggling is over how much that would cost and who's going to pay it.
Then once they get them there's shipping to contend with.
The big issue with ND's kickstarter is that Paizo let it be ND's kickstarter, which meant ND was paid up front and got to spend the $$$ on whatever they wanted.
I don't think any of your precautions would have helped with that.
I suspect using all of the licensee disclaimers as you suggest would have just backfired as people would have backed anyways when Paizo came out in support of ND the way they did and Paizo using that language to tell everyone its all on ND would have likely just made backers even angrier and feeling like Paizo always planned to let ND scam them and then use the language as a cop out.
The money should have gone to Paizo who would then pay Archon up front and ND getting performance based pay, they design X # of mini's and they get paid X $$$.
The fact that ND most likely wouldn't have worked under those arrangements as they wouldn't have been able to use the money to finance other projects at Paizo & the Starfinder backers expense would have been the final clue Paizo needed to realize this was really nothing more then a scam pulled on them and the backers by ND.
Silas Stadatilas wrote:
Correct, I don't believe Paizo did anything illegal or fraudulent (though the boats still out on Ninja Division in that regard) but I do believe Paizo is liable to backers as in they need to make every reasonable effort, even if it costs them some money, to come to a satisfactory resolution for the backers but not in the sense anyone could, or should take them to court.
Repeat after me: Paizo is NOT LIABLE for Ninja Divisions problems.
I've had this discussion previously.
Paizo became liable when, despite warnings to the contrary, they reassured backers that they had investigated those concerns and ND would not have any issues and fulfill the kickstarter.
Paizo didn't just hand a license over to ND, they SOLD the project to backers who knew better but went ahead anyways because they trusted Paizo's word.
Palladium is not even a remotely fair comparison as there products have always been an extremely small niche, nothing close to the volume Paizo does.
Palladium also caters to a "fanbois" player base who still love them to death despite robotech's failure and the new backers who only got into Palladium for that one kickstarter are meaningless to Kevin & Palladium as they would generate no future, long term revenue for them.
Paizo on the other hand could see a long term loss of revenue if players not only bail on Starfinder, but Pathfinder as well.
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
But for many people, including from what I understand everyone outside of the US they have absolutely no mini's for the game despite paying quite a bit of money for them.
Take a risk yes, but the entire burden of that risk should not have fallen on the backers shoulders.
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
I agree, Paizo tried to make the best of a bad situation and it backfired on them.
But I do have to wonder if Paizo would have partnered with ND and not taken extra precautions, such as paying in installments as work was done, instead of handing them all the cash at once if it had been Paizo's money at risk instead of backers money.
The update was just a very formal, well written way of saying the same thing that was said during the robotech project they worked on, for 4-5 years before they admitted failure.
You got some of yer stuff, were working really, really hard on the rest and we'll get you your stuff someday.
All that's missing is the "This is the Year of Robotech, err, Starfinder", "Waiting on Quotes from China", "Part count reduction" and "Its the Shippers fault for charging so much!"
Though I would much rather this had worked out and everyone was right and could tell us "I told you so" when they said we were just being paranoid and could trust Paizo to keep ND in line.
Its further complicated by the fact that the backers already bought and paid for those mini's BNW.
Does Archon own the minis, or do the backers own the mini's? Is it legal for Archon to take the mini's the backers paid for, thereby "stealing" the minis the backers paid for to recover there own losses, leaving the backers hanging?
In fact I have a question for Sara Marie to pass along.
Is it even Legal for Paizo/ND/Archon to hold these talks without the backers having representation at those talks? Who speaks for the backers?
After all, its the backers money that funded this.
I mean when Paizo / Archon comes up with a deal it will most likely be geared to help Archon and Paizo first with the backers paying the price.
According to the terms of Kickstarter backers have a legal contract with the parties involved, ND/Paizo/Archon.
How are backers voices heard, how are they represented?
Why are backers NOT part of the Non disclosure agreements?
At what point does Paizo become completely liable for any damages backers suffer because they are keeping backers out of the discussion?
I'm going to be selling all my Paizo material, over $1000 worth and I will not be buying another thing from this company. Not only have they endorsed Ninja Division and assured us they would make sure they followed through, they are blatantly not making us customers a priority. This will probably be deleted because it speaks truth.
I think its a little quick to condemn Paizo so readily.
This is a legal issue involving a large amount of $$$ and multiple companies and multiple overlapping contracts.
These kinds of things take months to resolve, not days or weeks. Given that I suspect 1 party in the agreement (Ninja Division) to be uncooperative and non-communicative this can't be easy.
Form a post below it sounds like Paizo is communicating with the manufacturer (Archon) directly and trying to find a solution that's equitable to both companies. That sounds like they are following through to me.
Given that any such agreement is likely to involve both companies losing money out of there own pockets I'd hardly call Paizo's actions "blatantly not making us customers a priority", that's a bit strong.
Selling your stuff is your decision, but before you do so maybe take a deep breath?
HLO does what it's intended to do, within the limitations of cloud storage. It works the way it's intended to. So, yes, I'd say it's unfair to compare them to Bethesda (which delivered a buggy product) or Ninja Division (which, from what I've seen in the other threads about it, failed to deliver at all for most of their backers). LWD delivered on exactly what they said they'd do. Just because they're not offering the product you want doesn't mean they've done something wrong.
The original posts about Starfinder support from Herolabs made no mention of an Online Only Subscription model.
Of course those posts also mentioned it would be ready around release time, not months and months later.
The first mention of a subscription service ( that I saw anyways) was well after Starfinder was released (and I had sunk a lot of money into it) so I do in fact consider what Hero labs did very similar to what ND did as I would NOT have bought into the system had Hero labs in fact been open and up front and not misled people about there intentions before the game released.
Wasn't me! I Swear!
Not this project. I bailed because I knew how it would end and I didn't want to go down that rabbit hole again after Robotech.
It is interesting that the guiltier the company is the more they blame the backers for the failure to communicate.
Follow up question, would you consider them as good as the pathfinder mini's done by wizkids?
I haven't seen any myself but I know the pathfinder sets I've gotten have ranged from really nice for a low cost prepainted mini to really bad, but I've assumed that was due to sloppy paint obscuring details and never really considered just how good the molded figure was, pre-paint.
So basically the AG's for several states sent ND a letter asking them if they've committed fraud and got a "oh, no, we spent all the money on the game and are working round the clock to finish it" and that's good enough for them.
I guess that means the AG will not do anything for backers. If the backers want a resolution they will need to sue.
This is the tragic flaw of Kickstarter. Its a platform which only has one course of resolution when things go wrong, a lawsuit, but ensures each individual backers commitment is small enough so they won't sue.
It comes down to weather Paizo has any sort of leverage over them or the willingness to spend there own money to complete the project.
One question I have from people who have actually gotten stuff. Are the minis high enough quality, I've heard many are lumpy, bad, that you'd want a broke ND & paizo to finish them or another company to be brought in, presumably a better company, to finish?
Couple of comments on previous posts:
Amano - You're right, now one has stated you won't get your miniatures. Creators of failed kickstarters don't admit there failures, that would hinder there ability to run more kickstarters. I think its far more telling that no one is saying you WILL get your mini's or presenting any sort of plan or timeline for that to happen despite pressure from backers to do so.
James Todd - Project creators have run afoul of AG's and been sued before, but NONE of that has ever gone back on Kickstarter. The ToS and "contract" you agree to when you sign up to use there site forces you to agree they are held harmless if a project fails.
technarken - all questions I think we'd like to see answered, none of which I expect to be answered.