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Subject: Donald X.: The contract expires if they haven't published the expansion by June 30 2015 rss

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Mathue Faulkner
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As astrostasis said, it's not just Donald...

https://boardgamegeek.com/article/19557596#19557596

BaBang wrote:
On Reddit...

http://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/3adts6/queen_gam...

Quote:
Sen-Foong Lim and I have not been paid by Queen for 2014 - for our game, Tortuga (which didn't sell 1/10th of what Kingdom Builder probably sold - but still). Queen pays once per year - which is way less frequent than every other publisher we deal with (usually twice per year or once per quarter). Then they have 90 days after the end of the year to pay up - which means March 31st. It's now June 19th and we still haven't been paid. We've sent them numerous emails - with hardly any responses.

Now they say they are trying to deposit the money into our bank accounts (they don't send checks for some odd reason) - and when a European company tries to deposit into a North American bank - it is not so straight forward. When we got our advance we had some issues with the information that they needed - and there was a lot of back and forth - but eventually we got our advance.

Now they're claiming that the bank info we gave them is not working. This seems shady since they have already used our bank info to give us our advance - and nothing has changed on our end (I even double checked with my bank). So it's been a couple weeks since their last email and I'm getting quite frustrated. I'm glad Donald expressed his frustration and I hope karma happens...(and we get paid!)!
Posted by bamboozlebros.
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KG79
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astrostasis wrote:
This was also revealed from the creators of Tortuga

VIA @bamboozlebros - "@NakedMeeple Wow. @SenFoongLim and I haven't been paid by Queen yet either for our game, Tortuga. Very frustrating."
Here's a little more context around that. It explains how and when Queen Games usually pays designers.

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Will Moller
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Is this about to become a 'le reddit army' thing? I'm not sure how I feel about that in this context.
 
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KG79
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I think information like this is nice to have for anyone thinking of backing Queen Games' kickstarter campaigns, specifically the fact that Queen Games is running a kickstarter campaign for a design they might lose the publishing rights for. It’s also good to have more information than just a general comment of “Queen Games hasn’t paid Donald X. Vaccarino for 2014”. It appears that Queen Games is not paying multiple designers their royalty fees, at least not by the usual timeframes they have paid in the past. This certainly points to the fact that possibly a) Queen Games is in financial trouble or b) Queen Games is engaging in shady business practices or both. All of this is information I would like to have on hand prior to backing a Queen Games kickstarter.

I’m guessing that backers of the Up Front kickstarter campaign from Valley Games/Radiant Gaming would have appreciated having information on hand that later came about as to the legal entanglement the company(ies) were involved in. Additionally, I’m sure the backers of the Dust: Operation Babylon kickstarter campaign would have liked to have known a significant portion of the funds collected by the kickstarter would pay outstanding debt rather than production costs on the products the backers were supposed to receive.

So, I don’t think this is a witch hunt as much as an information sharing exercise.
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Aside from the dubious business practices alluded to ... why doesn't everyone just ignore the hype and wait until the inevitable heavy discounting after every Queen kick-starter (apart from being 12 and needing to have the new thing first)? ....
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enoon wrote:
Aside from the dubious business practices alluded to ... why doesn't everyone just ignore the hype and wait until the inevitable heavy discounting after every Queen kick-starter (apart from being 12 and needing to have the new thing first)? ....
I love me some DonnyX and KB, and yes, absolutely, I will buy this when it comes to retail.
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Donny Behne
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Tineren wrote:
Tzer wrote:

That, and their kickstarters are apparently still successfull enough to keep going.
I wouldn't really regard a continual reliance on Kickstarter as a sign of a healthy company.
It's just a different distribution method that shares the risk with the consumer. "If you want this game, put up the capital to make it".
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Mc Jarvis
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kelann08 wrote:
Tineren wrote:
Tzer wrote:

That, and their kickstarters are apparently still successfull enough to keep going.
I wouldn't really regard a continual reliance on Kickstarter as a sign of a healthy company.
It's just a different distribution method that shares the risk with the consumer. "If you want this game, put up the capital to make it".
Right. A healthy company wouldn't have to continuously put their cuStomers in a risk- taking position.
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Donald X.
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johnneh wrote:
From Donald X., the designer of kingdom builder,
"The contract expires if they haven't published the expansion by June 30 2015, and given that they haven't paid me yet for 2014, I'm not feeling inclined to give them more time. But I mean, who knows, maybe they will quickly get a German copy on a store shelf somewhere."
That post, or maybe the crosspost to the kickstarter, appears to have motivated them; they are very apologetic and in fact have offered to pay me an advance on next year's royalties. And they fixed the royalty statement to include the missing stuff (also there was missing stuff on the royalty statement, but that could totally be an honest mistake; RGG for example recently accidentally overpaid me for online Dominion, in one of their quarterly payments).

So next year they could be just as late but a hunk of it would be early instead. What about the year after that, you may be saying. It's a question isn't it.

I haven't signed a new contract yet; it seems only prudent to wait to see if the money shows up before making any rash decisions.

Obv. the expansion's existence depends on this; I mean if you ever want the expansion and I want to be nice to fans of KB, I should give them an extension. They have of course helpfully pointed this out.
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Donald X.
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kelann08 wrote:
Tineren wrote:
Tzer wrote:

That, and their kickstarters are apparently still successfull enough to keep going.
I wouldn't really regard a continual reliance on Kickstarter as a sign of a healthy company.
It's just a different distribution method that shares the risk with the consumer. "If you want this game, put up the capital to make it".
For some game companies I think it's strictly just a pre-order system that lets them sell some copies directly to customers for a bigger cut.

It would be nice if Kickstarter split that stuff up - here are things really being kickstarted, here are things just being pre-ordered.
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Rick Teverbaugh
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donaldx wrote:
johnneh wrote:
From Donald X., the designer of kingdom builder,
"The contract expires if they haven't published the expansion by June 30 2015, and given that they haven't paid me yet for 2014, I'm not feeling inclined to give them more time. But I mean, who knows, maybe they will quickly get a German copy on a store shelf somewhere."
That post, or maybe the crosspost to the kickstarter, appears to have motivated them; they are very apologetic and in fact have offered to pay me an advance on next year's royalties. And they fixed the royalty statement to include the missing stuff (also there was missing stuff on the royalty statement, but that could totally be an honest mistake; RGG for example recently accidentally overpaid me for online Dominion, in one of their quarterly payments).

So next year they could be just as late but a hunk of it would be early instead. What about the year after that, you may be saying. It's a question isn't it.

I haven't signed a new contract yet; it seems only prudent to wait to see if the money shows up before making any rash decisions.

Obv. the expansion's existence depends on this; I mean if you ever want the expansion and I want to be nice to fans of KB, I should give them an extension. They have of course helpfully pointed this out.
I have my fingers crossed for you and for us. Thanks for keeping us informed.
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Clyde W
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donaldx wrote:
kelann08 wrote:
Tineren wrote:
Tzer wrote:

That, and their kickstarters are apparently still successfull enough to keep going.
I wouldn't really regard a continual reliance on Kickstarter as a sign of a healthy company.
It's just a different distribution method that shares the risk with the consumer. "If you want this game, put up the capital to make it".
For some game companies I think it's strictly just a pre-order system that lets them sell some copies directly to customers for a bigger cut.

It would be nice if Kickstarter split that stuff up - here are things really being kickstarted, here are things just being pre-ordered.
The weird thing is that any company can take preorders on their website. But they I think enjoy their customers also doing social media advetising for them for free in order to make the imaginary stretch goals. The whole thing is just a sham that gamers have bought without thinking.
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Matt E
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clydeiii wrote:
donaldx wrote:
kelann08 wrote:
Tineren wrote:
Tzer wrote:

That, and their kickstarters are apparently still successfull enough to keep going.
I wouldn't really regard a continual reliance on Kickstarter as a sign of a healthy company.
It's just a different distribution method that shares the risk with the consumer. "If you want this game, put up the capital to make it".
For some game companies I think it's strictly just a pre-order system that lets them sell some copies directly to customers for a bigger cut.

It would be nice if Kickstarter split that stuff up - here are things really being kickstarted, here are things just being pre-ordered.
The weird thing is that any company can take preorders on their website. But they I think enjoy their customers also doing social media advetising for them for free in order to make the imaginary stretch goals. The whole thing is just a sham that gamers have bought without thinking.
To their credit, the Queen kickstarters I've seen do not have stretch goals. They do have lots of different "reward" levels, but that's actually a nice advantage of Kickstarter. For instance (assuming Donald's money comes through), I will be ordering Marshlands, an empty Big Box, and all three promos, which is close to exactly what I want.
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Paul D
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Yes, but what does THIS mean for Up Front?


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John T
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Updated first post.
 
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I think its highly unethical that game designers do not get paid for their hard work while they reap the profits. I hope Donald takes his games elsewhere.

I'm officially out of the Kickstarter regardless of them solving the issue.
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Steve Ames
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donaldx wrote:
johnneh wrote:
From Donald X., the designer of kingdom builder,
"The contract expires if they haven't published the expansion by June 30 2015, and given that they haven't paid me yet for 2014, I'm not feeling inclined to give them more time. But I mean, who knows, maybe they will quickly get a German copy on a store shelf somewhere."
That post, or maybe the crosspost to the kickstarter, appears to have motivated them; they are very apologetic and in fact have offered to pay me an advance on next year's royalties. And they fixed the royalty statement to include the missing stuff (also there was missing stuff on the royalty statement, but that could totally be an honest mistake; RGG for example recently accidentally overpaid me for online Dominion, in one of their quarterly payments).

So next year they could be just as late but a hunk of it would be early instead. What about the year after that, you may be saying. It's a question isn't it.

I haven't signed a new contract yet; it seems only prudent to wait to see if the money shows up before making any rash decisions.

Obv. the expansion's existence depends on this; I mean if you ever want the expansion and I want to be nice to fans of KB, I should give them an extension. They have of course helpfully pointed this out.
I can't really agree that the expansion rides on this KS unless you have no plans to turn to a different publisher for it after the current contract ends. All it will mean is that it will be delayed. You obviously have the support to make it, as seen on these threads and the KS itself. I doubt anyone will blame you for not extending the contract to remove yourself from the bad situation. If legally allowed, if you already know that you won't be extending the contract and thus knowing that they won't be able to make the game after collecting the KS money, I'd back the KS a dollar, post a comment that they won't be able to make the game and that people should withdraw their pledges before the 24 hr mark and include a link to a post saying the same thing on these boards to kind of authenticate it. Then be sure to get your dollar pledge back. That way, you could use the thread here to let people know when the expansion will be coming out under a new publisher and link a KS campaign, if they go that route. Anyway, I hope this tired post helps.
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Donald X.
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WeaponXI wrote:
I can't really agree that the expansion rides on this KS unless you have no plans to turn to a different publisher for it after the current contract ends.
Perhaps I was unclear. The contract for Kingdom Builder: Marshlands, as it stands, expires if they haven't published it by June 30. The contract for Kingdom Builder does not; it too had a publishing deadline but they published it in time. It lasts roughly forever: until they stop printing it or a similar end-of-Queen scenario. I cannot take the expansion to another publisher.
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donaldx wrote:
WeaponXI wrote:
I can't really agree that the expansion rides on this KS unless you have no plans to turn to a different publisher for it after the current contract ends.
Perhaps I was unclear. The contract for Kingdom Builder: Marshlands, as it stands, expires if they haven't published it by June 30. The contract for Kingdom Builder does not; it too had a publishing deadline but they published it in time. It lasts roughly forever: until they stop printing it or a similar end-of-Queen scenario. I cannot take the expansion to another publisher.
I'm obviously not a designer nor a publisher, but isn't the license to print Kingdom Builder, the base game, restricted to a stipulated period as per contract? What defines a stop in printing?
 
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Donald X.
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johnneh wrote:
I'm obviously not a designer nor a publisher, but isn't the license to print Kingdom Builder, the base game, restricted to a stipulated period as per contract? What defines a stop in printing?
Contracts vary. This one is not for a particular number of years. There's a lesson there for all of us.

The stop-in-printing is not a stop in printing, I mean it isn't tied to the act of printing specifically. Really it's some version of, they aren't selling it anymore. They could probably prolong it forever if they wanted to by selling it at a trickle? Not that they would, they would care more about profits than spite, and if the game wasn't selling they would dump it. At the time I didn't know to be wary, and it would have just looked to me like, if they aren't selling it anymore, well why will anyone else want it? And if they are selling it, isn't that good enough for me? That of course assumes they pay you.

I am not here to read these contracts to people. I was young, I just had one game to my name.
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donaldx wrote:


The stop-in-printing is not a stop in printing, I mean it isn't tied to the act of printing specifically. Really it's some version of, they aren't selling it anymore. They could probably prolong it forever if they wanted to by selling it at a trickle? Not that they would, they would care more about profits than spite, and if the game wasn't selling they would dump it. At the time I didn't know to be wary, and it would have just looked to me like, if they aren't selling it anymore, well why will anyone else want it? And if they are selling it, isn't that good enough for me? That of course assumes they pay you.

I am not here to read these contracts to people. I was young, I just had one game to my name.
That's rough. Sincerely hope they pay you then. Regardless, I'm not backing the game anymore. I can't support an unethical business.

Anyway, the designers of tortuga mentioned that Queen Games changed the rules to their game, much to their disagreement. Did it happen to you as well?
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Donald X.
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johnneh wrote:
Anyway, the designers of tortuga mentioned that Queen Games changed the rules to their game, much to their disagreement. Did it happen to you as well?
No; you can see the whole story of their contributions to the main game in the Secret History: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/722955/secret-history-ki...
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Steve Ames
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Geez, sorry to hear there isn't a nonpayment breach of contract clause or something that would end their rights to print the whole game series. I hope something gets figured out without you or the backers getting the shaft. Right now it seems that for you to avoid getting in deeper with these guys, you pretty much have to have the backers give them their money and then they have try to get it back after the failure to publish it. And you're still stuck with them maybe paying you whenever for a host of other games/expansions. I hope the backers wise up before it's over and withdraw early. You'll lose out on the expansion and future expansions, but considering it wasn't a secure source of income, not the worst thing, I guess. I wish you the best.
 
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Quote:
Sen-Foong Lim and I have not been paid by Queen for 2014 - for our game, Tortuga (which didn't sell 1/10th of what Kingdom Builder probably sold - but still). Queen pays once per year - which is way less frequent than every other publisher we deal with (usually twice per year or once per quarter). Then they have 90 days after the end of the year to pay up - which means March 31st. It's now June 19th and we still haven't been paid. We've sent them numerous emails - with hardly any responses.

Now they say they are trying to deposit the money into our bank accounts (they don't send checks for some odd reason) - and when a European company tries to deposit into a North American bank - it is not so straight forward. When we got our advance we had some issues with the information that they needed - and there was a lot of back and forth - but eventually we got our advance.

Now they're claiming that the bank info we gave them is not working. This seems shady since they have already used our bank info to give us our advance - and nothing has changed on our end (I even double checked with my bank). So it's been a couple weeks since their last email and I'm getting quite frustrated. I'm glad Donald expressed his frustration and I hope karma happens...(and we get paid!)!
Whoa. If this is even remotely true, I'll stop buying Queen games now. Let's get this sorted out.

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Donald, couldn't the old contract be considered void due to them not living up to their end of the deal (nonpayment), enabling you to take the expansion to a different publisher?
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