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Monsterpocalypse» Forums » News

Subject: Another Nail In The Coffin rss

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Peter O'Connor
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Privateer Press recently restructured its forums, and when it did so, the only game that was removed from the forum list was Monsterpocalypse. Go and see for yourself if you doubt me!
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Martin Gallo
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I thought the game was canceled years ago. What is the argument about?
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John "Omega" Williams
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As if it needed any more?

But yeah. Does look like the MP section is DOA now.

Also...

Their forums are a total mess. Thats some of the most broken and vexing to use forum I've seen in a while.
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Craig Thompson-Wood
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But if we keep it alive in our hearts, then it can never truly die.

heartheartheart
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Louis Brenton
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Sad. This is one of the best games I ever played, & to this day I don't have a real explanation for why they abandoned it so abruptly.
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Andrew Brannan
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superman829 wrote:
Sad. This is one of the best games I ever played, & to this day I don't have a real explanation for why they abandoned it so abruptly.


Largely speculation, here, but the running theory goes: Dreamworks picked up the rights to MonPoc when studios were buying up the rights to Kaiju related properties. This often happens where studios get wind of some new trend in films and they want to make sure they get their piece of the pie. So they'll go buy up some IP and hope that they can license the rights to another studio or possibly make the movie themselves. Cloverfield had done reasonably well at the box office, and there were rumblings about another film that would become Pacific Rim.

Anyway, Dreamworks approaches Privateer Press and buys up the rights to the property. They spin some fancy mumbo-jumbo about how Tim Burton is on board to direct, yadda-yadda, and just sign here and you'll be rich. So PP, being primarily artists and writers and not MBAs or lawyers, goes ahead and signs the paperwork. Only to discover that what they signed basically locks them into only putting out whatever Dreamworks comes up with for the movie, rights are locked for X years and only revert when Y years pass without a film being made. (see the 1990s Roger Corman Fantastic Four to see how studios hold onto the rights to properties)
In a nutshell, they're screwed. They didn't negotiate the rights properly (only film rights, etc) and found themselves only able to repackage what they'd already (re)printed. Fighting the contract is too expensive from a legal standpoint, as is buying back the rights. So, they close up shop on MonPoc, learn a lesson, and move on.

Like I said, pure theory, but not a far fetched one.
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John "Omega" Williams
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If you know how movie rights work then actually it is far fetched and this "movie rights killed it!" tale really needs to die in hell.

This isnt a board game company buying a design so they can bury it. (And that has happened more than once) Movie deals dont work that way. That would be like Disney buying up Marvel and then stopping all production of the comics. Or Paramont stopping all production of Battleship.

Killing a product you are making a movie off of is a great way to bomb your movie or garner a lawsuit for illegal breach of contract.

At this point more likely some exec at Privateer just decided that the game wasnt selling enough or was competing with their other product and gave it the axe. This happens fairly often.

Star Frontiers was killed off to make room for Buck Rogers MCIXX for example on the RPG side. Or SJG pretty much killing everything that wasnt Munchkin for quite a long time and effectively still are.

It may also have been a move to consolidate resources. Privateer was spread out and those minis are not cheap to get sculpted and those sculptors could be better used for their bigger selling products.

More and more publishers are adopting that damn media blackout stance.
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Paul Chamberland
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Around the time the battle boxes released, one of the designers mentioned in a podcast that they had the option of either producing series 6, and that would be the last Monsterpocalypse release, or they could do the battle boxes and try to bring more people into the game. They chose the latter. Based on this, and the ridiculous amount of product Miniature Market had on clearance after getting it cheap from Privateer, it makes sense the line was killed due to weak sales.

Disappointing, as MonPoc is a great game that couldn't find a good sales method in either random boosters or battle boxes. It's also a little depressing to think how well the game would likely have done if it had debuted in today's environment as a Kickstarter.
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Bwian, just
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Omega2064 wrote:
If you know how movie rights work then actually it is far fetched and this "movie rights killed it!" tale really needs to die in hell.

At the risk of braving Dante's Inferno...

The trick is, there have been no leaks to the player community. No comments from designers or artists about how much they miss the game, or liked the variety. No anonymous postings of playtest stats. That just doesn't strike me as normal: I don't see how you can go from building this game up to ignoring it, practically overnight. Games that die due to weak sales don't inspire that kind of message discipline.

Maybe you're right, and PP has just decided to not say anything about anything. But I'm pretty sure I've seen leaked stats for WarmaHordes floating around, and I don't particularly follow those games. If they can't stop leaks about their flagship product, I'm not sure how they are holding the line on a side project that slowly died in its sleep five years ago.
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Joe Huff
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Around this time last year there were reports that four studios were in a bidding war for the rights to Monsterpocalypse with filmmaker Fede Alvarez, who directed 2013’s Evil Dead remake, set to direct. Many of the articles noted that Pacific Rim's release caused the project to stall while a new script was being written. Sometimes movie rights shift between studios and directors get dropped and picked up repeatedly before a movie is made. The case with Monsterpocalypse seems to be an "all of the above" scenario.

If I was Privateer Press, even if there was nothing contractually keeping the company from making new Monsterpocalypse products, I would save the money and wait to reboot the game when a movie was going to be released, especially if the game was not selling well before. The boost in sales that would coincide with a major motion picture release would make the game worth producing for them.
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John "Omega" Williams
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Problem with those claims of a "bidding war" is that that is all they ever were. Claims. These get tossed around ALOT and more and more often its being done by outside sources for whatever reasons. The usual tip off is mention of some big name director is working on it. Yeah right.

So again the "The movie killed it!" excuse falls apart again and again. Its just fans blindly flailing for something to lay the blame on because they have no clue how these deals are laid out.

And if there was a "bidding war" later as was claimed then that means there was not a movie deal to kill the game to begin with.

Failing sales though could well be the culprit. Collectible anything is a doomed prospect that not even juggernauts like Magic have survived intact. The resistance to them is ever increasing and more retailers are refusing them flat out.

The (mostly) non-Random battle boxes and pseudo-random two player starters came out a bit too late.

As for the news blackout. Note that "leaks" were for stuff coming out and as ever in business. May not be accidental.

Though I still lean to an executive decision. I know for a fact that PP and at least two other companies have placed gag orders on their employees about posting on forums. Not just BGG. You want to keep your job. You stay quiet.

And it may be that no one in the lower echelons actually knows what really happened.
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Joe Huff
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When all is said and done, all we can do is take what we read, and what decisions have (or have not) been made by Privateer Press regarding the Monsterpocalypse franchise, and analyze that information for what it is. Regardless, without a movie hitting the box office, there will likely be no revival of the game. The longer the game is out of print, the less likely it becomes that that game will be re-released without a movie to back it up.

BTW, I was not implying that "The movie killed it", I was merely stating that Privateer Press pulled the plug for what they probably figured was temporary, partly because the game was not selling well. They were then going to put resources back into the game when the movie was released. Obviously the movie is not being produced by any studio, as far as we are aware, so we have not heard anything from Privateer Press (for years) on the matter. My speculation is that if the movie ever gets greenlit and is released, Privateer Press will fire up the presses and we will have Monsterpocalypse back in stores once again (hopefully non-collectable).

So, in a roundabout way, I agree with you. It was likely an executive decision, but a decision based on some of the items mentioned above. My speculation for the company not even talking about the game is that they don't want to be bothered regularly about a game that they may choose to never release if a movie never comes to fruition.

Honestly though, if they would just repackage the game as a non-collectable game, it would probably do very well, but well enough to warrant the effort on their part, I do not know...
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John "Omega" Williams
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Whos going to pick up the movie rights on a dead game? You need the product out there (or soon to be in the Micronauts case) maintaining the fanbase otherwise whats the point? Might as well just make your own setting since the fans will over time evaporate or become hostile.

More likely it was just the inevitible failure of collectible games and Monsterpocalypse feeling the axe first to free up resources for Warmachine/whatever. And the usual media blackout as to why.

PP pulling employees off the forums was probably the sign this was imminent.

 
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Paul Chamberland
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Omega2064 wrote:
More likely it was just the inevitible failure of collectible games and Monsterpocalypse feeling the axe first to free up resources for Warmachine/whatever. And the usual media blackout as to why.

While the collectible format likely wasn't the best way to sell Monsterpocalypse, it did work very well for WotC's D&D and Star Wars Miniatures games until Hasbro decided the profits from both lines were not enough for a company of their size. Wizkids is using the collectible format successfully for their D&D and Pathfinder lines and heroclix is still going strong after 15 years.
 
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Joe Huff
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Omega2064 wrote:
Whos going to pick up the movie rights on a dead game?


I guess time will tell if you are right.
 
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John "Omega" Williams
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geekhype wrote:
Omega2064 wrote:
Whos going to pick up the movie rights on a dead game?


I guess time will tell if you are right.


Time did tell. Its been years now.
 
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John "Omega" Williams
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Mandor wrote:
Omega2064 wrote:
More likely it was just the inevitible failure of collectible games and Monsterpocalypse feeling the axe first to free up resources for Warmachine/whatever. And the usual media blackout as to why.

While the collectible format likely wasn't the best way to sell Monsterpocalypse, it did work very well for WotC's D&D and Star Wars Miniatures games until Hasbro decided the profits from both lines were not enough for a company of their size. Wizkids is using the collectible format successfully for their D&D and Pathfinder lines and heroclix is still going strong after 15 years.


Actually the CMG path hasnt worked as well as people think. It tends to start strong, or at least ok. and then either sputter and die, or kinda limp along carried by the momentum of the initial fans and die hards.
 
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John "Omega" Williams
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On a less heartening note than before. Some background checking shows that Privateer has been following in the footsteps in the last year or so of Asmodee and Games Workshop. and Asmodee just recently acquired another publisher and promptly dropped a media blackout on a line thats been abruptly stopped mid-swing.

As said. This media blackout tactic is being used more and more.
 
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Daniel Barrett
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Omega2064 wrote:
Whos going to pick up the movie rights on a dead game? You need the product out there (or soon to be in the Micronauts case) maintaining the fanbase otherwise whats the point? Might as well just make your own setting since the fans will over time evaporate or become hostile.

More likely it was just the inevitible failure of collectible games and Monsterpocalypse feeling the axe first to free up resources for Warmachine/whatever. And the usual media blackout as to why.

PP pulling employees off the forums was probably the sign this was imminent.



Maybe they only want rights to the name "Monsterpocalpse" and some aspects of the IP.

Look what the studios did to World War Z, they pretty much paid for the title and cherry picked parts of the book.
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