Miniatures Kickstarter Ninja Division


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Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think it is indeed premature to demand that Paizo jeapardize their efforts to get you (at least some of) your minis by a refusal to wait to see what they can do.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Redelia wrote:
I think it is indeed premature to demand that Paizo jeapardize their efforts to get you (at least some of) your minis by a refusal to wait to see what they can do.

Oh, the minis are a write-off. I know I'm never getting those. Blood from a rock, etc etc etc. However the silence from the people who vouched for ND speaks more than anything. From the way they are handling this makes me (and probably others) question why I am supporting a company like this with my subscriptions.

Its a lot easier to earn lost money than to earn lost trust, and with the tabletop rpg market booming and being more mainstream, Paizo isn't the biggest kid on the block anymore. Just food for thought.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I still hope that someone can find the funds for the product supposedly in warehouse at the moment, be that Paizo or someone else. I’d love to see a Razor Coast-like resurgence.

But Paizo has never been the biggest on the block.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So in other words, what you are actually saying to Paizo is 'Quit working on getting me my minis and get busy apologizing.'


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

No, very clearly people are saying they want the people who convinced them to spend the money, literally took the time to tell them that they should have confidence in Ninja Division, to take at minimum the same amount of time to say.

"My Bad"

But you know, keep reading between lines that don't exist.

Lots of hours in the day, and if you can't spare a moment for the people you helped rob? Speaks volumes and the people who were robbed will wind up getting more and more vocal and then start voting with their dollars.

But, you know, keep using words other than what people are saying to minimize their actual message and continue making them feel ignored. That is also an option. Not one I'd recommend but it appears to be your go to choice.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Redelia wrote:
So in other words, what you are actually saying to Paizo is 'Quit working on getting me my minis and get busy apologizing.'

More like have Erik take 30 mins out of his obvious very busy day to address the issue at hand and (within the scope of an NDA) what they plan to do about it. That would earn a lot more respect (at least to me) than having Sara continuously take bullets for him.

Then work on getting me my minis. :)


SCSi wrote:
J-Bone wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:


The only viable option, as evaluated by Paizo at the time. Hindsight is 20/20 and all.

How do you know that? Paizo hasn't been at all forthcoming in the decision making process? Maybe if they did, we could avoid a lot of this discussion.

Maybe they are betting on the short attention span of gamers and hope it'll just be forgotten in a few months.

I mean im sure thats what Palladium is doing with their Robotech Fiasco

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.


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I'm still waiting for one of the people who insists Paizo had lots of choices for manufacturers to come back with a list and a letter from each indicating they could have done it and would have done it had Paizo come to them.


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Burro-crat wrote:
Companies shouldn't "gamble." They may take risks--and those risks should be calculated--but it isn't gambling (and I take it you're not really a gambler either).
This sounds pedantic.
Quote:
To pile on, I still don't find fulfilling the explanation to go with ND over some other alternative. Reaper supposedly didn't want to compete with their sci-fi line--but that means you actually have existing IP to bring down your initial investment and can be re-purposed, using Starfinder as a revenue booster--score!
That would be something you need to talk to Reaper about then.
Quote:
WizKids said they didn't have enough time for sculpting. So maybe delay release a bit? Or, hire additional sculpters on a freelance basis, which we know is how this industry often works. Oh, that may drive up the price a bit for Paizo? Do it, because it's better than the risk of total project failure from ND--which HAD to be identified as a possibility--and we know it won't be by much given the prices that freelance artists are paid. More importantly, if scheduling sculpting really was the case, how was ND going to have time to do it?
Uh, Paizo does not own WizKids, they can’t make them hire more employees to take on extra projects for them.
Quote:
I obviously don't know the details, and I'm not pretending to, but the answers provided don't make good sense. Maybe those involved in negotiations simply don't have as much business acumen as expected, or maybe Paizo rushed Starfinder's release too much (TBH, the game definitely feels like it was rushed in places).

Reaper and WizKids have a constant full schedule, it’s how they stay in business. It’s not as simple as hiring on more people at the last moment, there’s plenty of manufacturing that goes into mini design and production (machinery involved, factory space, etc) so just adding more people would most likely done little for production.


Redelia wrote:
So in other words, what you are actually saying to Paizo is 'Quit working on getting me my minis and get busy apologizing.'

No, we are saying Paizo needs to commit to making things right for the backers and accept that Paizo has a responsibility to do that. That may not mean every miniature or most but it does mean that they need to make good faith efforts.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That "just hiring more people" thing is overly stupid.
Those people need to be onboarded, trained and paid. They also need enough projects etc. to be viable, what then leads to more cost, customers paying more, etc. Then when the project ends or not enough new projects can be acquainted, they might be fired and end up on the street.
Overall it can easily lead to the exact situation we experience here, because it really needs careful planning.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Summersnow wrote:

I'm still waiting for one of the people who insists Paizo had lots of choices for manufacturers to come back with a list and a letter from each indicating they could have done it and would have done it had Paizo come to them.

Not speaking for them, but people who go down that route may not be looking at the project as a whole.

Sure, there are factories in China that can pump out the plastic within a year, but the project as whole would need to be managed and directed. Everything from sculpting to sourcing.

In that regard, if you outsource, there really isn't alot of companies to go through. But if you want to do something right, and you do not have a reliable company available?

You either don't do it, do it yourself, or outsource to a shady company like Ninja Division against your own customers warnings. In the end biting the hand that feeds the machine.

So, yea, there are alot of 'options' when you go the route of doing it yourself. But you rebuild the wheel and that has risks of its own.


Some anecdotal pondering just out of boredom: I know getting our money back on the Kickstarter is probably a bust, even though they clearly failed to deliver ANY product of any sort to people who threw hundreds of dollars at them, but I wonder amusingly if they can't be at least nailed for fraud on shipping and handling, since they clearly didn't ship, assuming they even handled, for a good number of people who ordered from them.

Just a thought that amuses me, but will likely not get anyone anywhere.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What, it's 2019, we're after gods know how many failed KS and people are still acting like their KS pledge was equivalent to purchasing a Celine Dion anthology CD on Amazon?


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Looks like IDW dropped Ninja Division after some fans warned them...
HERE


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Gorbacz wrote:
What, it's 2019, we're after gods know how many failed KS and people are still acting like their KS pledge was equivalent to purchasing a Celine Dion anthology CD on Amazon?

Look, I think most folks are fairly reasonable if your factory burns down, the place you were having them manufactured has a revolution, the boat they were being shipped on sank, or there's some other unforeseen problem. Those are legitimate risks of business and they do happen.

But this kickstarter played out to the tune of take the money and run. The money that was supposed to go to the factory and the shipping went instead to fund ninjadivisions "overhead" (paying ninja division to exist) and "project development" (which is... paying sodapop miniatures which is also ninja division.. or something?). It was irresponsible if not bordering on criminal. There was never a remotely viable plan for producing miniatures and getting them into peoples hands.

And people warned paizo about this. They told paizo that ND aka sodapop minutures was a hole into which money is thrown and nothing comes out. People are annoyed that paizo claimed it had assurances that it apparently has absolutely no reason to have had. Those assurances from paizo are why they're out upwards of 600 bucks.


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kadance wrote:

Looks like IDW dropped Ninja Division after some fans warned them...

HERE

I emailed IDW and told them that I would not purchase any games from them that was associated with ND.

Sounds like I wasn't the only one.

Liberty's Edge

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I'm really disappointed at all of these folks who are misdirecting their anger at Paizo, but really not at all surprised.

They hyperbole and venom being slung around here is only going to do 1 thing folks; Discourage REAL communication.

Repeat after me: Paizo is NOT LIABLE for Ninja Divisions problems. They licensed their IP to them so there could be some minis for the system. Paizo doesn't own ND, they don't have an "inside-man" and they're not making money off this Kickstarter with the exception of the one-time payment that was made when they sold the IP rights to the named and likenesses of the creatures to be made.

Additionally, I find is SERIOUSLY ironic that so many folks seem determined to utter destroy NDs reputation and business but at the same time they expect them to be able to follow through with actually delivering the miniatures. It's like trying to burn down the Bakery and picketing/boycotting their flour supplier and at the same time demanding that they fill your order, it just doesn't make a lick of sense.


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Themetricsystem wrote:


Repeat after me: Paizo is NOT LIABLE for Ninja Divisions problems.

Legally. No.

Morally? Telling fans -no no we know they're a problem we got it covered-

In this thread alone how many people looked askance and NDs record but changed their mind on paizos say so?

Quote:
Paizo doesn't own ND, they don't have an "inside-man"

... and to all appearances doesn't have any mechanism to oversee ninja division at all. Which is the kind of thing you SHOULD have if you're going to deal with a company with that track record and tell your fans its all going to be ok.

Quote:
Additionally, I find is SERIOUSLY ironic that so many folks seem determined to utter destroy NDs reputation and business but at the same time they expect them to be able to follow through with actually delivering the miniatures.

If your "business" model relies on Person B losing money so person A can actually get the stuff they've paid for you might have a point. It would be better For A to be quiet, let person B pay, Let person C kick into the project, and maybe things level out by person F or maybe person F gets hosed.

But we're on A pays and gets nothing. B pays and gets nothing. C pays and gets nothing. D pays and gets nothing....

On a practical level Why on earth do you think that E paying into the company is suddenly going to be different?

On a moral level, why would you let someone else get hosed so you can get yours rather than warning them ?

Liberty's Edge

Your hypothetical A B C nonsense does nothing to change the fact that some people are simultaneously trying to make it harder for ND to fulfill their obligations by trying to run them out of business with bad reviews and by LITERALLY reaching out to their existing business partners demanding they cut ties and also screaming at the top of their lungs when more problems arise precisely BECAUSE of the problems made by their crumbling reputation and networks, saying that the folks running ND deserve to be hanged and chased out of the industry.... but they still want their minis....

You can either burn the bakery down or get bread, not both.


Themetricsystem wrote:
Your hypothetical A B C nonsense

It's neither hypothetical nor nonsense. It's what happened.

A: Super dungeon explorer. People paid got nothing
B: Relic Knights. People paid got nothing
C: Starfinder master class. People paid got nothing
D: Way of the fighter. People paid got nothing.

What's hypothetical is your idea that if Ninja division can just do one more kickstarter or business deal somehow this will be different despite NDs own projections about how much money they'd need to complete the project. The job was to get sculpts, manufacture minis, ship minis. Money that was collected didn't go to making minis or shipping minis. So... how is another project going to make up for that shortfall?

Name calling is neither an argument nor a legitimate point.

Quote:
You can either burn the bakery down or get bread, not both.

First of all, the torch and pitchfork mob isn't a singular entity. There's going to be some different ideas that won't work with each other. Its not a contradiction.

Secondly, some people are convinced there is bread inside. They want to go in, get the bread, and THEN run them out of business so that no one else needs to form a torch and pitchfork mob to get the bread they paid for. I don't think that's realistic but it's not a contradiction.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Look, I am a DIE HARD Starfinder fan and I am seriously pissed I don't have minis for this game but I'm also not yet willing to put all this on Paizo. Ninja Division was a s@#~ty, s~!&ty company and I blame them for this mess. I didn't take part in this kickstarter entirely because of Ninja's involvement and it did puzzle me why a company like Paizo would work with them.

That was before I found out about their trouble finding support from WizKids and Reaper. That upset me. It upset me because it sounds like this is keeping me from getting a real Starfinder Miniature line. It's keeping Paizo from getting the product out there and it's keeping me from getting a chance to buy a product I want.

I don't blame Paizo for that, they took a risk, all businesses do, it went south. Sad. Now more than ever I think it's time for mid level corporations like Paizo and Reaper to acknowledge that Kickstarter is generally awful and that the minute Ninja Division mentioned a Kickstarter in that board room, they should've waited on letting ND from paying the license. But again, I don't blame Paizo for that. Ninja Division is either incompetent or dishonest and Paizo either got desperate or got played. I'm not blaming Paizo.

What I DO blame Paizo for is their absolutely terrible response to this issue. Erik Mona could've written a blog post or Sara could've updated this thread with an official response, inclement weather doesn't stop you from updating the website. I should know, I worked in Web Publishing. There are people who are straight up pissed because they bought into that Kickstarter entirely on the strength of Paizo's endorsement. Do I agree with the whole "I'm burning/selling my Paizo products and never playing Starfinder again!" thing? No. Why deny yourself something you obviously enjoyed? That seems counter productive.

But while I disagree with their response, I agree with the sentiment. People are pissed. I'm pissed because I was looking forward to a miniature line for a game that I very much love, they're pissed because they paid money to support a project that will never get made, and some people are REALLY pissed about those "all in" tiers that probably came from money they worked hard for.

Paizo has a real morale obligation to be much more transparent and clear about how they are handling this situation and how they will prevent this sort of thing from happening in the future. Paizo's executives need to be a lot stronger in how they address this issue and they need to put out this fire now before it hurts the product line I love. I have heard people say they don't want to play Starfinder without a mini line and that frustrates me because Starfinder is already unpopular where I live and asking some people to play it with me is already really effing hard.

I BEG of Paizo to get some kind of serious message out there, not a bunch of piece meal forum posts.

Themetricsystem wrote:
You can either burn the bakery down or get bread, not both.

With respect, this is more like "The Bakery never paid to ship the bread and a large portion of the bread is sitting in some warehouse."


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Themetricsystem wrote:

I'm really disappointed at all of these folks who are misdirecting their anger at Paizo, but really not at all surprised.

They hyperbole and venom being slung around here is only going to do 1 thing folks; Discourage REAL communication.

Repeat after me: Paizo is NOT LIABLE for Ninja Divisions problems. They licensed their IP to them so there could be some minis for the system. Paizo doesn't own ND, they don't have an "inside-man" and they're not making money off this Kickstarter with the exception of the one-time payment that was made when they sold the IP rights to the named and likenesses of the creatures to be made.

Additionally, I find is SERIOUSLY ironic that so many folks seem determined to utter destroy NDs reputation and business but at the same time they expect them to be able to follow through with actually delivering the miniatures. It's like trying to burn down the Bakery and picketing/boycotting their flour supplier and at the same time demanding that they fill your order, it just doesn't make a lick of sense.

I love how the pro ND argument is don’t use hyperbole then use it themselves in the same post

Dataphiles

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I've spent the past few hours reading through various publicly available sources to try and bring as complete a story of what has been going on, summarised as to not be too long.

This post is still very long, but It should be informative to those who are confused:

November 2015 - a little over 3 years ago

Ninja Division fund Super Dungeon Explorers

They get $1.2m (1500% of their goal) and set out to make the product they advertised. This consists of:
Super Dungeon: Legends - a story-building game based off their brand
Super Dungeon: Explore: 2nd Edition - an update to their first successful game
3 expansions to Super Dungeon Explorers

===========================================

April 2016 - a little under 3 years ago

Ninja Division fund Rail Raiders Infinite

Due to the way Ninja Division run their company, several other games are being pitched for Kickstarting. Rail Raiders Infinite is the first of these. They make use of similar stretch goals, but this time make $340k-ish (about 1000% their goal)

This is the point where Super Dungeon Explorers Decides to remake itself, which you can read the statement here

In short. They decide that the additions the expansion promised break the game, and decide to start again, now the product is split into 3 or 4 products:
Super Dungeon: Explore - sometimes called Classic, akin to just the dungeon crawl of a tabletop RPG
Super Dungeon: Arcade - adjusted rulesets so that the game can be played without a game master
Super Dungeon: Legends - re-using the existing products to be more akin to a true tabletop RPG
Super Dungeon: Pvp Arena - a different version that allows people to play against each other.

Over the next 17 months, Rail Raiders Infinite is Produced and shipped. majority of people get full order (not everyone, but nearly everyone)

===================================================

July 2016 - about 2 and a half years ago

Super Dungeon Explorers is in a bit of trouble

Since April, they have been working with backers to make this new, better version of the game. Except they now realise, it was bad. They've promised the moon, and now have too much workload. They hire on new designers full time and expand themselves as a company

Extrapolation: at this point, they've basically scrapped everything they promised originally, and can't deliver now. Their choice to expand is not a financially viable choice, but they are still passionate about the product and genuinely want to get it into the fans hands. One of their employees seems to know this, and has posted that they should have stuck to a smaller product before making an RPG, but at this point, they think they can do it still, as Rail Raiders has broadly been a success

On the side of Rail Raiders Infinite, things are apparently on schedule and they are wrapping up Pledge Manager for numbers of what product for who.

================================================

October 2016 - a little over 2 years ago

Rise of the third Kickstarter

After a wobble where they fail to fund Way Of The fighters, Ninja Division decide that people weren't spending due to the US Elections happening, and relaunch. This time Way Of The Fighters is successful with $90k (450% of asking)

over the course of 12 months, they ship the base game, but the miniatures cause problems

Extrapolation: ND have employees doing nothing, but they also need money quick. I can only assume that there are outside deals going on

During this time, backers of Super Dungeon Explorers and Rail Raiders Infinite are starting to loose faith, and are getting impatient.

Super Dungeon: Explore has been through more redesigning and redesigning, despite promises that it's nearly done new core elements are being added such as a change to the main objective of the game. We've gone from 1.4 to 1.9, with pretty significant changes.

Rail Raiders Infinite have sent off print files and scuplts to a manufacturer in China. Due to the distance, communication regarding print tests takes an exceptionally long time, They've missed their estimate window, but it does appear things are proceeding.

It appears that ND are currently NOT dealing with Archon, who are based in Poland, and themselves owned by a company in the UK. However, I haven't been able to find out much about them

======================================

March 2017 - about 2 years ago

The fourth concurrent kickstarter

Relic Knights 2nd Edition is successfully funded with $365K (770% asked for).
Relic Knights is a sad story, as it'd fall behind other commitments. It's a reprise of the SDE story, but this time created by the Rail Raiders team. So far, nothing has materialised for backers, although it is likely that production of materials is done as of the present.

Lets start with SDE again:

Super Dungeon: Explore (the classic version) seems to be broadly done. in terms of design, and a beta version of Super Dungeon: Arcade goes though several versions, along with playtests for the expansion ruleset involving pets. No news about Super Dungeon: Legends or PVP yet. Nothing has been manufactured at all yet.

Rail Raiders Infinite have been continuing back and forth with their unnamed production company in China, having production proofs being shipped slowly. some updates show off "blue" enemies with grey bases. It seems ND are seeking to avoid spending too much, as the grey bases are the same for the hero models. ND do explain why the project is off target for delay but does seem to be making progress. As the team who would be working on Gameplay and Sculpts have no part for this process, they have moved to working on creating Relic Knights 2nd

Way Of The Fighter Is producing quickly. They send gameplay proofs off, while other members continue to sculpt the miniatures.

================================

September 2017 - about a year and a half ago

Before our Humble Starfinder tale

Okay, so before we start the story that involves the people in this thread, lets wrap up what is currently happening.

Ninja Division has 4 kickstaters with nothing for backers to see. A fair amount of backers aren't aware of the others existence, but the comments in all four of them are showing that people are strained and impatient. GenCon 2017 also has copies of at least Rail Raiders being sold before Backers have received their copies, leading to more animosity.

Super Dungeon Explorers A news post talking about Super Dungeon: Legends has shown that behind closed doors, SDE has been becoming even more ambitious, not less. SD:L is now a Multi-book fully fledged tabletop RPG.
The post also goes into how Ninja Division works. Multiple teams all work independently from each other, and money is not transferred between projects.

Extrapolation: the questions are answers to the backers demanding to know where SDE is, and why are other kickstarters being made if SDE isn't finished. I am inclined to believe these answers. at least at this point. However, thanks to evidence from this year, it seems 2017 is when that $1.2m(+whatever else) was exhausted from bad business decisions

Rail Raiders Infinite is actually finished and shipping directly to backers. It takes a long time, but most backers do get their products. However, some backers have received broken or missing parts. These backers weren't able get replacements, although the number of such people seems to be rather low.
By now. it's about 64 weeks over estimate, but it is actually successfully finished.

Unverified extrapolation: Now, recent news says that Archon were involved with production of these miniatures. I have no idea what level of involvement they have, as all news given continues to direct to an unnamed Chinese manufacturer, but I can imagine Archon took up the load as Ninja Division wanted to manufacture more in a shorter time.

Way Of The Fighter Due to the way they sent the core game off early, the game is actually ready to be shipped. (the core game had cardboard cutouts, or you could pay for a version with Miniatures) What is not ready, are the miniatures. Apparently working with the same production company as Rail Raiders, WotF miniatures are only now being sent for production proofs.

Relic Knights 2nd is not ready. Unlike the past Kickstarters, where the product was basically done and the crowdfunding was mostly for finalising and production, Relic Knights 2nd Edition is funding to start work.

I'm not actually sure what happened here, but it seems like it was advertised as being a minor upgrade to the original game, but in the end, Relic Knights 2nd has turned into a massive project which needs too much money to make a reality (my own experience of game dev makes out that $1m about right for the promised content)

A final word. At this point, Ninja Division have been unreliable and shown that they make a lot of mistakes, but everything up until now shows they genuinely care about getting these projects into people's hands.
However. They have no money right now. It's been eaten by all the mistakes and problems caused from these projects.
What they need now is a guaranteed hit which they can start putting the profits from back into the other projects.

===========================

October 2017 - About a year and a half ago still

Enter Paizo

Up until now, All the information has been taken from the Kickstarter News Posts. Now, I need to make use of information from all over the place, a lot of this is hearsay from people in comments

lets start with Humble Bundle.

From what I can gather from reading comments, Paizo have wanted to start up a Miniature Line for a long while, but their previous partnerships were fully loaded up with work, and unable to fullfil the intended order size.

Ninja Division on the other hand came up, ready to go.

I will not pretend to know what the actual deal was

There could be any number of possible reasons, but NDA means we will not know the details.

What we do know is what was produced.

Ninja Division would be responsible for providing the miniature side of the $45+, consisting of 5 minis including one Starfinder Iconic Envoy.

It has also been stated many times that the Iconic Miniatures were produced as a separate order from before the Starfinder Kickstarter.

So As of this time, Ninja Division has these projects:

Super Dungeon Explore 2nd Edition + things
Way of the Fighter Miniature Edition
Relic Knights
Humble Bundle Worldscape Miniatures
Starfinder Iconic Miniatures
Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures

SDE Backers are upset at this, and try to warn Paizo that Ninja Division have a history of being unable to deliver projects. But the response was That Paizo had trust in Ninja Division.

Extrapolation: with everything I've said so far. These Miniatures should have been a sure thing. Except... Ninja Division doesn't have the money at this point, and they are promising a lot of deliverables.

==============================================

March 2018 - About a year ago

Where is XXXX, Ninja Division?

At this point, 6 different projects are awaiting orders to be filled:

Super Dungeon: Explore starts off with an apology, basically saying they messed up again. while Super Dungeon Explore game is now massively over estimate, it's basically now ready to start production, and enters the proofing stage. However "Production Problems" lead to them requiring they change their manufacturer. Legends, however, is a massive mess and no sign of being fixed without yet another expensive rework.

Way Of The Fighter is still trying to produce miniatures, potentially adding to the production problems.

Relic Knights 2nd while the game itself needs designers to work on it, the model parts are actually coming along pretty well. apparently the 2-player starter set and the Cartels are already in production.

Humble Worldscape is behind schedule as well. Paizo CCO states that they are waiting on ND to produce them, but are aware of Problems with their original manufacturer, so have been looking for a new one.

Starfinder Iconic Miniatures Pre-orders for these minis are due now, but are no where to be seen.

Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures has mostly been going through Ninja Division working closely with Paizo to make sure the sculpts are good enough for the starfinder licence, and they begin the first batch of models to be Produced.

At this point, we are not aware of what potential problems are with Manufacturing, but goodwill towards Ninja Division is crashing and burning right now.

===============================

November 2018 - a few months ago

Radio Silence

By this point, Ninja Division has stopped communicating on their kickstarters. most of them had a last post in Aug/Sept before no warning lack of information.

It's revealed that Justin, aka the Designer for Super Dungeon: Explore, has left the company, followed rapidly by Ninja Scott, aka the main contact for Starfinder Masterclass.

It is also revealed via a separate kickstarter from Archon the following:

"It won't be an official statement as we need to wait until Thursday when CEO of Archon will be holding a meeting with Ninja Division about this situation.

However, the fact is that we are on hold with all Ninja Division projects due to lack of payment (Starfider, Relic Knights as well as Humble Bundle - Paizo is still not paid). This should not, however, affect what we are doing, as external contracts are about 15% of total Archons turnover. The worst-case scenario is that Archon will have to cover all the manufacturing losses, and this could mean that some of our FUTURE internal projects could be delayed, but that's nothing major. Anyway, please wait for an official statement. We are all hoping that ND will find some solution. Thanks."

The status of the 6 projects before updates stop:

Super Dungeon Explore Gave several updates talking about various characters and characters from the game

Way Of The Fighter Showed off the status of the Miniatures as they were being produced and shipped to ND

Relic Knights 2nd has changed focus and completed the 2-player starter set. This version is now the core set of Relic Knights 2nd and it's ready to be sent out to people. Most of this is left in production at Archon, however.

Humble Worldscape Humble order is at long last fulfilled.

Starfinder Iconic Miniatures Appears to be done in full now.

Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures had several updates claiming that more miniatures are being produced, and they are slowly being shipped out as they arrive.

Comments on every post are hostile now. Most people want refunds, many people are looking to sue. Rumours are flying all over the place.

IDW games announced a partnership where Ninja Division would provide 5 miniatures for a Men in Black/Ghost Busters crossover. This has since been changed

===============================================

February 2019 - Now

Legal troubles

I will be linking mostly to the Idaho Statesman for this section, as they have been the biggest reference when it comes to the legal issues that have arisen.

The lack of answers to why these projects have been delayed have not helped calm backers. Some backers worked to file a criminal charges complete against ninja division.

Ninja Divisions response was that they hadn't enacted in a Ponzi scheme, but had genuinely just messed up development scope.
This was accepted by the Idaho Attorney General.

And finally, at long last, we arrive at the most recent post, where Ninja Division try to explain what they can on each of the remaining projects.

In short, between these two documents, the current situation summed up is:

Ninja Division has let everyone except company owners go.
Ninja Division needs way more money than it has to finish the projects.
The owners haven't taken the money and run, they are still trying to get the projects finished.

==============================================

I have tried to keep this mostly factual, with some hopefully educated guesses clearly marked out.

About me: I backed RailRaiders at the "Raider" complete level, and Starfinder as a Late pledge for All In


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Themetricsystem wrote:
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.


Summersnow wrote:
Themetricsystem wrote:
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.

In that light, does that not make them indictable for accessory to fraud should the nd investigations go ahead since they both helped sell the scam and profited from it?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thecursor wrote:


Do I agree with the whole "I'm burning/selling my Paizo products and never playing Starfinder again!" thing? No. Why deny yourself something you obviously enjoyed? That seems counter productive.

Obviously since Erik double-downed against all the warnings, now is completely silent on the issue, they dont care (to me) about their reputation with their players.

If you cant vote with your words to make change at a company, then you vote with your dollars, as hard as it might be. Unfortunately thats how businesses work now days.


Robert Gooding wrote:
Summersnow wrote:
Themetricsystem wrote:
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.

In that light, does that not make them indictable for accessory to fraud should the nd investigations go ahead since they both helped sell the scam and profited from it?

Really, lets avoid discussing criminal stuff and the 'f' word. I think Summersnow was thinking more of a civil cause of action such as negligent referral.

Personally, not sold as others that Paizo has no civil liability under the basic Kickstarter, but I covered that in an earlier post. Why Paizo didn't demand changes to how the Kickstarter was presented is beyond me.


Ninja have just started responding to comments:

Ninja profile.

I've posted them below for ease

NinjaDivision wrote:
"Thank you Taylor - We are indeed still alive, This snowball is terrible, but we are working on solutions for everyone. The rampant speculation is why we are only engaging with specific information - fighting this is exactly what the online bullies want"
NinjaDivision wrote:
"We are not a Ponzie scheme. A company that relies on other outside sources of income to plan and execute business can have a bad sales slump that puts things in jeopardy, that is not a Ponzie scheme, that is terrible economics for the company pulling the projects together, labeling us as "co-conspirators" or suggesting that we are breaking laws and committing fraud is not true or helpful in our efforts to get this delivered"
NinjaDivision wrote:
"Our business side hit a wall, and things are on pause so we can build up and get some financing to get your minis out - ... I think that is the most succinct answer I can give, thank you for hanging in there with us"
NinjaDivision wrote:
"Starting a new KS would be horridly irresponsible, we are, as stated in our documents, restructuring to secure more funding to delivery your delayed products."
NinjaDivision wrote:
"We are working through a financial process to loosen and deliver all outstanding KS products. We fell on hard times in the middle of a huge burst of growth for us, it squashed things and for a host of macro-economic reasons, as well as paltry sales on a few bad bets, things snowballed. This is NOT a ponzie scheme, no ones gotten rich, bought an island in the Camans or is driving around luxury cars trying to pull this together. Being side-swiped by a massively congested games market is NOT fraud."
NinjaDivision wrote:
"Rhyme and Reason We had to split shipments for all manner of global fans and backers, stocking and shipping full and complete orders to international distribution for groups, so that they werent sent out piecemeal. A chunk goes to Asia, Austrialia, UK, etc.. Quality of incoming products was in question frequently, and we had to remanufacture goods, and lots of them, interrupting some shipments when cash flow was not heavily interrupted. Lack of communications, visibility of process, shifting priorities, and undelivered promises on quality and volumes has been a monkey wrench in our planning as our reliance on the manufacturer took too long to show it was not working. We have our problems, and notated them. So did they. Our initial planning was 1) group by release wave, manufacture and release - move to wave 2. We eventually moved to "ship everything we can" and that meant, once the more manageable international shipping groupings were out the door, to start the bigger groups of US and UK backers with as much product as we could send, while we waited on more minis to arrive."


Interestingly they haven't posted anything on their other projects; at the time of this post anyway


I would normally suggest going to the Starfinder Masterclass Kickstarter comments to read these responses in context, but they really do not give any additional information when put into context with the question asked. These responses are just more vague statements without detail or timelines that have now been coupled with some half hearted defenses.

It is nice to see Ninja Division recognize that starting a new kickstarter would be horribly irresponsible. I wish they would have come to that conclusion after the continuing fiasco with Super Dungeon: Explore rather than starting three new kickstarters that now all have problems.

I am very curious what they mean by 'restructuring to secure more funding to deliver your delayed products.' My understanding is that they are down to the owners and one employee. Not much left to restructure.

I am really curious on how Ninja Division was: "Being side-swiped by a massively congested games market is NOT fraud." As Realo Foxtrot was kind enough to point out above, each of these four kickstarter projects that Ninja Division set forth well exceeded the funding levels that Ninja Division determined were necessary to make the project viable. This was sold product, not creating product and hope it sells in the market place. The projects were already successful in the market place. Heck, the market was better than Ninja Division said it needed to be. So, I'm curious as to what this one means.

Also, apparently pointing out Ninja Division's failures, demanding they fulfill their obligations and communicate with their backers is on-line bullying now. Go figure.


Silas Stadatilas wrote:
Robert Gooding wrote:
Summersnow wrote:
Themetricsystem wrote:
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.

In that light, does that not make them indictable for accessory to fraud should the nd investigations go ahead since they both helped sell the scam and profited from it?

Really, lets avoid discussing criminal stuff and the 'f' word. I think Summersnow was thinking more of a civil cause of action such as negligent referral.

Personally, not sold as others that Paizo has no civil liability under the basic Kickstarter, but I covered that in an earlier post. Why Paizo didn't demand changes to how the Kickstarter was presented is beyond me.

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.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Summersnow 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.

I totally agree. Paizo (so far) is fighting an uphill battle in the court of public opinion regarding their reputation. This fiasco will haunt them for a while next time they try to vouch for a 3rd party product. With v2.0 of PF coming out, their reputation ship hit the ND iceberg and so far they are just watching it slowly sink.


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Silas Stadatilas wrote:


As Realo Foxtrot was kind enough to point out above, each of these four kickstarter projects that Ninja Division set forth well exceeded the funding levels that Ninja Division determined were necessary to make the project viable.

Yeah, throughout this whole fiasco, I still can't wrap my head around each of their products being funded hundreds (and at least one case more than 1000?) of % over the asking price, and them still making up pie and bar charts claiming that they didn't get enough money.

I understand that a lot of that extra % will go to supplying the demand, but production costs per unit go down the more you produce (bulk order cost savings) and it's pretty hard to blow that much extra profit unless you go out for blackjack and hookers.


From what's been reported, I think they spent way too much time trying to improve some early products and make them better than originally advertised. That increased development times, leading to increased costs..... and here we are today.


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Archon has a new update. Looks like you might be able to get Starfinder miniatures through Archon now


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Got a link?


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GM Rednal wrote:
From what's been reported, I think they spent way too much time trying to improve some early products and make them better than originally advertised. That increased development times, leading to increased costs..... and here we are today.

How is that true unless you're paying yourself way too much money to run the project?

The sculptor doesn't get extra because the project is taking too long. Even doubling their fee to do it twice when you have 1.5 million on the line is a rounding error.

Shipping costs don't go up 150% in an extra year

And the factory doesn't cost 150% because you tried to take another whack at it out of the blue (and weren't paid anyway)

The factory and shipping costs weren't paid. What was paid was overhead (paying their own salaries) and "development" (which appears to be again, their salaries)

So how did they spend more to manage the project than they spent on the project? For a game book or at one extreme a PDF project that's one thing but on a physical product made in a factory where you have a huge amount of cost in buying raw materials and turning them into a finished product ?

And how did they manage to get 1500% of what they needed to fund a project and still only get 2/3rds of the money they needed on a project that gets vastly more efficient with scale?

Four. Times.

It's not straining credulity it's drawing and quartering it with a drift engine.


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kadance wrote:
Got a link?

Archon choke-slams Ninja Division under a bus

I got an auto-reply from that email within half an hour.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Summersnow wrote:
Silas Stadatilas wrote:
Robert Gooding wrote:
Summersnow wrote:
Themetricsystem wrote:
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.

In that light, does that not make them indictable for accessory to fraud should the nd investigations go ahead since they both helped sell the scam and profited from it?

Really, lets avoid discussing criminal stuff and the 'f' word. I think Summersnow was thinking more of a civil cause of action such as negligent referral.

Personally, not sold as others that Paizo has no civil liability under the basic Kickstarter, but I covered that in an earlier post. Why Paizo didn't demand changes to how the Kickstarter was presented is beyond me.

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.

Paizo are a victim of the ND shenanigans as well as all the Kickstarter backers. ND assured them that the previous setbacks with other projects were not going to be a problem.

They probably still should have paid more attention to the ND red flags people were pointing out.
I the BNW has it right that ND were paying themselves A LOT, that and poor project management of funds.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
technarken wrote:
kadance wrote:
Got a link?

Archon choke-slams Ninja Division under a bus

I got an auto-reply from that email within half an hour.

Has Archon followed up yet - what did they say?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Archon wrote:
... we can not promise you anything, as we are currently still in discussions with third parties, but we may have a little something to compensate you for the loss of the project at our own expense.

Not exactly promising somehow. Loss of the project.


The autoreply said to expect a proper response in 2 days


It looks to me like Archon is taking heat on there own kickstarters and is promising to throw Starfinder Mini backers a bone to try and avoid fallout from Ninja Divisions actions.


Even if it ends up being a nothingburger they're able to send out, it's still the right PR approach and this will buy them enormous good-will. I hope Paizo follows suit.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Sabirwolf wrote:
I understand that a lot of that extra % will go to supplying the demand, but production costs per unit go down the more you produce (bulk order cost savings) and it's pretty hard to blow that much extra profit unless you go out for blackjack and hookers.

One of the things that clued me into ND not being very business savvy was the fact that at the higher pledge tiers, the price per mini went up, which should disincentivize backers from pledging at the higher tiers. I realized this after creating a spreadsheet with all of the minis and tiers available at the time and doing the calculations. It's just bad business sense to increase the price per mini as someone orders more of them, so that, coupled with warnings from others about ND's past prompted me to not pledge, even though I dearly wanted Starfinder minis. I posted my findings here on the forums but it didn't seem to get much attention, unfortunately, as perhaps it could have helped others avoid throwing their money away.


Fumarole wrote:
Sabirwolf wrote:
I understand that a lot of that extra % will go to supplying the demand, but production costs per unit go down the more you produce (bulk order cost savings) and it's pretty hard to blow that much extra profit unless you go out for blackjack and hookers.
One of the things that clued me into ND not being very business savvy was the fact that at the higher pledge tiers, the price per mini went up, which should disincentivize backers from pledging at the higher tiers. I realized this after creating a spreadsheet with all of the minis and tiers available at the time and doing the calculations. It's just bad business sense to increase the price per mini as someone orders more of them, so that, coupled with warnings from others about ND's past prompted me to not pledge, even though I dearly wanted Starfinder minis. I posted my findings here on the forums but it didn't seem to get much attention, unfortunately, as perhaps it could have helped others avoid throwing their money away.

Well, that thread does further the position of the folks arguing Paizo has a moral obligation as there are another two supportive posts for the kickstarter from the CCO/Publisher and one about the great deal this kickstarter is by the CEO. Both are on page two of the thread, the same page as Fumarole linked to.

So now we have two threads where the CCO/Publisher and the CEO have posted to support the kickstarter campaign prior to conclusion, am I missing more? Is there a thread where either or both the CCO/Publisher and the CEO address this kickstarter in any way after the campaign ended?


technarken wrote:
kadance wrote:
Got a link?

Archon choke-slams Ninja Division under a bus

I got an auto-reply from that email within half an hour.

Here is the portion of update 59 to Chronicle X by Load Board Game that is pertinent to Ninja Division and Starfinder. Below is copied and pasted from the update I was unable to carry over the bolding on some words:

Load Board Game wrote:

But you’ve heard all of this before, so we will now give you the inside scoop on what has been going on over here:

We at Archon regularly provide production to other companies, but due to payment issues with one such company (Ninja Division) our management was forced to work on plan B to secure the business. The potential loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars, brought about by this undertaking, forced us to slow development on several projects, such as “Call of the Void”. Instead we had to focus on the implementation of new technologies that would allow us to create plastic injection (of a top tier quality) This was to provide us with an additional revenue stream via our services to make up for losses incurred from dealing with Ninja Division.

So how has this affected Chronicle X? In order to keep the business running our project manager had to work on Chronicle X and other functions simultaneously. Basically, as we are a small team we were not able to spend as much time on Chronicle X as we had wanted due to the aforementioned setbacks. But we dug in our heels and pushed through it regardless.

The issue has been sorted for the past two months and we were able to relocate resources back to Chronicle X. For future projects we have implemented plans to ensure that this does not happen again.

Concerning The Ninja Division kickstarter project “Starfinder”, for those of you who are Archon studio backers and have backed Starfinder, you can contact us here: SF@archon-studio.com we can not promise you anything, as we are currently still in discussions with third parties, but we may have a little something to compensate you for the loss of the project at our own expense.


Silas Stadatilas wrote:


Well, that thread does further the position of the folks arguing Paizo has a moral obligation as there are another two supportive posts for the kickstarter from the CCO/Publisher and one about the great deal this kickstarter is by the CEO. Both are on page two of the thread, the same page as Fumarole linked to.

So now we have two threads where the CCO/Publisher and the CEO have posted to support the kickstarter campaign prior to conclusion, am I missing more? Is there a thread where either or both the CCO/Publisher and the CEO address this kickstarter in any way after the campaign ended?

There's the discussion in the Paizo Blog about it. Paizo didn't jump to assure backers that all will be fine until after the project ended. There were a lot of warnings posted before the Kickstarter ended though.

https://paizo.com/community/blog/v5748dyo5lk78?Starfinder-Masterclass-Minia tures-Kickstarter#discuss


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I was an all in backer. After receiving my latest Starfinder subscription Adventure Path module this afternoon, something clicked and I realized it was time to give up on ever seeing anything for my money. I've cancelled my Paizo subscription and will be moving on.
There's zero point in investing any more time, money or emotion into this situation.

Good luck to all involved.

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