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I don’t think we know why wizkids turned them down originally. Sure it could be they simply did not have capacity at the time.
Perhaps they didn’t have confidence in potential sale numbers but paizo were now able to show their actual book sales the second time round; or they just saw the number of Kickstarter backers interested in minis?
On the other hand it could be they were simply offered a much better licensing deal the second time round by paizo with a view to just getting something to retail.
The problem is the optics. To me if paizo had any confidence in ninja division they wouldn’t be arranging for someone else to also publish the line. I don’t think it’s enough to distinguish them as one line is their painted line and the other is not. Ninja did release some pre-paints of their own sculpts and I’d be surprised, if the line also succeeds with wizkids, if it doesn’t end up in their own unpainted line as well.
All that said people keep referring to an ‘nda’ but even if there is one in place there is nothing stopping the release of information provided both parties consent. So if there is progress surely it’s in the interests of both parties to show us?
The lack of information and communication from both sides is what continues to upset backers.