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Subject: Publisher on Tilt!? rss

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Pete

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I backed the game as a late pledge via a link on Instagram so unfortunately cannot join in on the KS comments section.

But... Holy Heck! How can any publisher speak to it's crowdfunding community this way... apparently there's a disgruntled employee at Golden Bell Games who is upset the majority of the organization is cavorting at Origins while they stay behind to manage the delayed shipping process.









Someone needs to get their priorities straight.
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Sakari Lindhen
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to be fair, that has been their tone throughout the latter stages of the campaign, so it has nothing to do with Origins. They just don't believe in customer service as the rest of us know it...
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Nicholas Kotelensky
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Agreed. I've been reading the comments from Golden Bell on the Kickstarter page, and this matches their typical tone. Artem has been nothing but professional, but Golden Bell has been strikingly opposite.
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Andy Olp

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Definitely glad I ended up passing on this game. I can't image ever need to talk to customer service about something after delivery. Wow.
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Jason S
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What I think is hilarious is they think most people are mad about the delay. I know some are. But most people care more about how they are treating thier costomers.
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René
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I fully agree on that Jason. I won't never complain about a reasonable delay. But acting like this in a comment section makes me angry. I hope this gets not reflected to other kickstarter projects.
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Derek Bowen
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I highly doubt it is a disgruntled employee.

Given the emails some BGG users posted of the Golden Bell's CEO's responses to them directly, and BGG postings from the Golden Bell account and another dummy account that seemed to obviously be the Golden Bell CEO, I would strongly suspect these comments come from the same person.

Go read the thread(s) about them asking late backers to pay more to cover shipping. The tone is unmistakably similar.
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Ian the Inexorable
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Rayzorn wrote:
What I think is hilarious is they think most people are mad about the delay. I know some are. But most people care more about how they are treating thier costomers.

Indeed. When it originally started, many weeks ago, I was pretty supportive to Golden Bell. Generally doing what some others are doing, "I understand this is difficult. Being harsh won't help, so try to keep above the fray." I held out hope for awhile, but now I see it was an intentional thing to put people off their product if they don't tow the line.

That, to me, is unacceptable. Couple it with their other examples of unprofessional communication, and I'm out. I'll be avoiding their campaigns in the future. It is too bad, really. I like the game and paid for the advance access to future Unbroken content, but Golden Bell's communication makes it intolerable.
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RyuSora
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Priorities?
This is a ks so they got our money on day one hahha. and considering this is a ks... well, i dont thini many people do read the terms of user of ks.
 
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Eric Wilson
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The shipping for this project has been a disaster- it's the first project I've participated in where they only ship a few products at a time, and wait for 1 region's shipping to be completed before going on to other regions. It's so horribly done that it's just pathetic at this point.

The comment section is filled with people defending Golden Bell and who call other people "trolls" for critiquing the way Golden Bell treats its customers. It's quite frustrating to read that kind of nonsense when GB hasn't been shy of dismissing comments against their management; I'm not sure if it's just blind loyalty, or just stupidity, from those backers.
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Greg Mahler
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EricTheGreat12 wrote:
The shipping for this project has been a disaster- it's the first project I've participated in where they only ship a few products at a time, and wait for 1 region's shipping to be completed before going on to other regions. It's so horribly done that it's just pathetic at this point.

The comment section is filled with people defending Golden Bell and who call other people "trolls" for critiquing the way Golden Bell treats its customers. It's quite frustrating to read that kind of nonsense when GB hasn't been shy of dismissing comments against their management; I'm not sure if it's just blind loyalty, or just stupidity, from those backers.

I think it’s because they like Artem (the designer) who is probably one of the most respectful people I’ve met.

What the publisher is doing is making him look bad by association, which I don’t like either.

Still, this conduct is Trump-ish where the one in power is tweeting against the hate when really they should just ignore it. I think the company seems to have gotten a big head with the success of Unbroken and I’m afraid that that they will come to realize that pride comes before the fall.
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Eric Wilson
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tyk567 wrote:
EricTheGreat12 wrote:
The shipping for this project has been a disaster- it's the first project I've participated in where they only ship a few products at a time, and wait for 1 region's shipping to be completed before going on to other regions. It's so horribly done that it's just pathetic at this point.

The comment section is filled with people defending Golden Bell and who call other people "trolls" for critiquing the way Golden Bell treats its customers. It's quite frustrating to read that kind of nonsense when GB hasn't been shy of dismissing comments against their management; I'm not sure if it's just blind loyalty, or just stupidity, from those backers.

I think it’s because they like Artem (the designer) who is probably one of the most respectful people I’ve met.

Some of the comments that I've been reading mention sympathy for Artem AND Golden Bell Studios, which is rather unfortunate (unfortunate not for Artem, but for people having sympathy for Golden Bell Studios).

Part of me is wondering what is going on with Artem though: he obviously can't say anything bad about his publisher since they pretty much control the project at this point, but he's still fighting tooth and nail so that they're put into high regard. Quite sad if you ask me
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Joe Martineau
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I feel bad for the Unbroken designer. I guess Golden Bell owns this property now? Really unfortunate.

I'm still looking forward to the game, and I'm not particularly bothered by the delays. I doubt I'll give Golden Bell any more money for anything, though.
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Chris Heffernan
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EasyJ wrote:
I dig it. Read just about any comment section on just about any Kickstarter and all you see is whining and entitlement. About time someone calls some backers out on their BS.

GB talks like this and treats backers poorly on EVERY project they have. They basically told backers of Westbrooke: Out Last that we were idiots who didn't know what we were talking about (when we questioned them on some very strange copyright policies), and they then stated they will not be creating or shipping the game (that successfully funded) unless they get interest from other gaming companies.

As stated by someone above, some backers of Unbroken are upset at the delay in shipping, but most dislike GB's unprofessionalism. No company can have this many lawsuits, this many problems with KS projects, and this many bad word of mouth reviews without there being a lot of truth behind it.
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Jason S
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@easyj sorry I don't agree with you. Yes their are some people being to destructive on their comments. But you are talking about a company that is looking for investors, this is not going to be their last project. They will need future investors. The way golden bell responds To their investors is bad. I WILL NOT BE ONE and I am sure a lot of others will not be either.

I was not an investor i preordered the game after kickstarter. They said it would deliver in april. I ordered in March I had off 3 months for surgery I backed cause I would of had it when I was recovering. I'm going back next week and I have not yet recieved. But I'm still excited for the game.

Not sure the work golden bell all did on the game. Artem makes it sound like they did a lot and the work was good. But a lot of companies do a lot of the work without them acting like they are saints. And anyone who questions them or asks a question gets berated.(yes they called themselves saints on kickstarter for thier work).
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Eric Wilson
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EasyJ wrote:
EricTheGreat12 wrote:
The shipping for this project has been a disaster- it's the first project I've participated in where they only ship a few products at a time, and wait for 1 region's shipping to be completed before going on to other regions. It's so horribly done that it's just pathetic at this point.

The comment section is filled with people defending Golden Bell and who call other people "trolls" for critiquing the way Golden Bell treats its customers. It's quite frustrating to read that kind of nonsense when GB hasn't been shy of dismissing comments against their management; I'm not sure if it's just blind loyalty, or just stupidity, from those backers.

It's not loyalty OR stupidity. It's consumers versus investors. People REALLY need to read the ToS/Accountability section on Kickstarter. There would be so much less drama.

I don't think that you understand my point. To clarify: up until a few months ago, the comment section was quite normal and civilized. Artem was the person in charge, we had good updates, and everyone was getting along with one-another, excited to get their games.

But then Golden Bell Studios started to reply to posts about shipping, they started to insult backers, and now we are in the mess that we are in today: the Kickstarter comment section is a crapfest of loyalists who call everyone else trolls, and we've got a couple threads going on this site full of complaints about GB. This has nothing to do with "Investors" versus "Consumers"
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Ian the Inexorable
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EasyJ wrote:
EricTheGreat12 wrote:
The shipping for this project has been a disaster- it's the first project I've participated in where they only ship a few products at a time, and wait for 1 region's shipping to be completed before going on to other regions. It's so horribly done that it's just pathetic at this point.

The comment section is filled with people defending Golden Bell and who call other people "trolls" for critiquing the way Golden Bell treats its customers. It's quite frustrating to read that kind of nonsense when GB hasn't been shy of dismissing comments against their management; I'm not sure if it's just blind loyalty, or just stupidity, from those backers.

It's not loyalty OR stupidity. It's consumers versus investors. People REALLY need to read the ToS/Accountability section on Kickstarter. There would be so much less drama.

Consumer and investor mentalities are polar opposites, which is why consumers playing pretend investor on Kickstarter cause the most amount of drama in comments, forums... Whatever. 16,500 peopled back that damn game. The same 20 names are showing up raising a fuss.

Investors in a specific project or venture, particularly one with a defined end or completion, generally get to question decisions. They especially get to question decisions when the operating entity comes back for more money or makes claims that the venture is in financial distress. The specific method for receiving that feedback in KS is the comment section and, to a lesser extent, direct messaging to the creator.

It’s ironic. If what they want is a set of professional investors who don’t question operating decisions, perhaps KS isn’t the place for them.
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Fuzzy Llama Reviews
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I mean I see where GB is coming from. It can't be pleasant being stuck in a garage packing thousands and thousands of packages in the summer heat, especially when you have backers basically griping at them complaining about wanting their package.

THAT SAID, I do view it as incredibly unprofessional for Golden Bell themselves to berate backers regardless. I completely understand wanting and feeling the need to defend yourself, yes. BUT in today's world that can very much mean business suicide considering the amount of coverage the internet provides.

Artem has been doing to great job with the PR side of things from what i've seen but fighting back towards backers that are being toxic is just going to create more toxicity AND give the company a bad name in the process.
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Eric Wilson
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Wickdawg01 wrote:
It can't be pleasant being stuck in a garage packing thousands and thousands of packages in the summer heat, especially when you have backers basically griping at them complaining about wanting their package.

I think the problem with that is the way that they have organized their shipping schedule from the beginning until now: why ship a few products every day one region at a time, while making other countries wait?

If manpower is a problem, why not employ another company to help with shipping? Delays are reasonable, but it makes no sense that I've backed projects from smaller companies on Kickstarter and yet they were more organized than GB, and they even had a smaller distribution network than the company in charge of this project.
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Mr Suitcase
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EricTheGreat12 wrote:

If manpower is a problem, why not employ another company to help with shipping? Delays are reasonable, but it makes no sense that I've backed projects from smaller companies on Kickstarter and yet they were more organized than GB, and they even had a smaller distribution network than the company in charge of this project.

The answer to this one is easy - money. If you're looking at the project numbers and you're going to start losing money, you've got to do everything you can to cut corners and save whatever you can.

This explains them shipping and packaging themselves (in a shipping containing in the heat). You will save if you get friends and family (or direct employees) to help you out for a few weeks to do this, rather than subcontracting out to a fulfillment service. This explains the shift to media mail in bubble mailers as well. A couple extra dollars saved per package could mean the difference between breaking even or losing several thousand dollars on the project. Lastly, is the offer to have folks pickup wherever and whenever they can. More shipping money saved (though, at the expense of more manpower effort to enable these pickups to happen).

Because of this conclusion, they are likely going to package and label the Canadian orders at GBS prior to moving them over the border, where they can just do a mail-drop. I suspect one man - Artem - will be doing the mail-drop thing on the Canadian side, where volume is less important than packaging and labelling. Makes sense because GBS has more people, so I'd expect them to pack them first State-side.

Do I mind? Well, I don't like getting my game late, that's for sure. But I also understand that if they are going to end up losing money (for whatever reason and for whoever's fault - I don't care), then Artem might not be back to make expansions or more games. And for THAT, I do care! If I like this game and want more, I would like them to be successful. For me, that trumps the package being late.

How GBS interacts with their customers is another matter. I think it could be put in a college business course as an example of everything you shouldn't do when talking to your customers, but really... if you can personally ignore it, do so.

I'd suggest you ignore the KS comments and the BGG comments if you can (obviously, by posting here I couldn't follow my own advice).

All that matters, if you really think about it, is IF you get your game in the end, and it appears by all means and measures that you will.


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Eric Wilson
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mrsuitcase wrote:
Do I mind? Well, I don't like getting my game late, that's for sure. But I also understand that if they are going to end up losing money (for whatever reason and for whoever's fault - I don't care), then Artem might not be back to make expansions or more games. And for THAT, I do care! If I like this game and want more, I would like them to be successful. For me, that trumps the package being late.

Why would that prohibit Artem from making new expansions? If Golden Bell Studios and Altema Games aren't able to turn a profit on the project then they lose money. But Golden Bell won't be bankrupted simply because of this project; there is a possibility that Altema Games, as it isn't that big a company, may have to fold. But that doesn't mean that Artem can't continue on working with GB to make the expansion.

Golden Bell Studios is making the expansion, no matter if people give them 10$ or not. The only company legitimately having a chance at losing a big amount of money and being in trouble is Altema Games, and Artem can still help create the expansion. We don't even know if Artem will have control on the upcoming project, since his contract might differ for expansion packs.


mrsuitcase wrote:
All that matters, if you really think about it, is IF you get your game in the end, and it appears by all means and measures that you will.

Well, I am no longer getting my game because my pledge has been cancelled; and so, it appears by all means and measures that I won't receive the game.
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Trevor Heshka
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Please stop using the term investors. We’re not investing in a project when we make a pledge.
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Yeah Golden Bell can go scratch as far as I am concerned. Never seen such unprofessional behavior. I’m a super backer on KS and I’ll never back anything in the future that even has a whiff of Golden Bell associated with it. There are plenty of other non-aholes that I can give my money too.
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Flatline42
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EasyJ wrote:

It's not loyalty OR stupidity. It's consumers versus investors. People REALLY need to read the ToS/Accountability section on Kickstarter. There would be so much less drama.

Consumer and investor mentalities are polar opposites, which is why consumers playing pretend investor on Kickstarter cause the most amount of drama in comments, forums... Whatever. 16,500 peopled back that damn game. The same 20 names are showing up raising a fuss.

Oh please. I know the Kickstarter obligations.

GBS doesn't communicate well with their backers. They wait until after delays are known about or after they even occur and say things like "oh yeah we took 2 weeks off to get better envelopes".

Which, if you had said in advance "hey guys, we're taking 10 days to secure better shipping packages" the amount of complaints would be lower.

Same with Origins. They said that 1. You'd be getting a notification when they printed your shipping label and 2. all packages would be *out* by today.

Yesterday/day before I said I hadn't even gotten the printing slip print notification yet and I was a little concerned. Later Artem had to make a comment in the comments section and not the official update section where everyone would get an email saying that GBS had been gone for like 2-3 days by that point for Origins. He said an official post would come out Monday when GBS got back explaining Origins and shipping status.

So once again GBS misses a deadline and misses their own instructions and can't be bothered to let people know what's going on. It'd only take 5 minutes a week ago to say "Hey, we're going to try hard but there's a good chance we're missing our 14th deadline. We'll be leaving for Origins on the 12th/11th/whatever and if you haven't heard anything by then, don't worry, we'll be back Monday!"

Instead we have snark and anger and snotty behavior. GBS has *terrible* communication skills and is not professional at all. I wish Artem all the best, he seems like a great guy and a decent game designer, but at this point I have no interest in any GBS product any more.
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David
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Flatline42 wrote:
EasyJ wrote:

It's not loyalty OR stupidity. It's consumers versus investors. People REALLY need to read the ToS/Accountability section on Kickstarter. There would be so much less drama.

Consumer and investor mentalities are polar opposites, which is why consumers playing pretend investor on Kickstarter cause the most amount of drama in comments, forums... Whatever. 16,500 peopled back that damn game. The same 20 names are showing up raising a fuss.

Oh please. I know the Kickstarter obligations.

GBS doesn't communicate well with their backers. They wait until after delays are known about or after they even occur and say things like "oh yeah we took 2 weeks off to get better envelopes".

Which, if you had said in advance "hey guys, we're taking 10 days to secure better shipping packages" the amount of complaints would be lower.

Same with Origins. They said that 1. You'd be getting a notification when they printed your shipping label and 2. all packages would be *out* by today.

Yesterday/day before I said I hadn't even gotten the printing slip print notification yet and I was a little concerned. Later Artem had to make a comment in the comments section and not the official update section where everyone would get an email saying that GBS had been gone for like 2-3 days by that point for Origins. He said an official post would come out Monday when GBS got back explaining Origins and shipping status.

So once again GBS misses a deadline and misses their own instructions and can't be bothered to let people know what's going on. It'd only take 5 minutes a week ago to say "Hey, we're going to try hard but there's a good chance we're missing our 14th deadline. We'll be leaving for Origins on the 12th/11th/whatever and if you haven't heard anything by then, don't worry, we'll be back Monday!"

Instead we have snark and anger and snotty behavior. GBS has *terrible* communication skills and is not professional at all. I wish Artem all the best, he seems like a great guy and a decent game designer, but at this point I have no interest in any GBS product any more.

Spot on.

A lot of us are just staying silent in the KS comments. There is no point wasting time/finger energy to type when it comes to GBS. I have way better things to do in life than argue with a publisher that comes across as been run by total selfish childish idiots. I for one will never buy (retail) or back a game that has GBS involved. The three LFGS I buy from won’t even order games that are GBS, so there is clearly a bigger issue here with that publisher.

If Kickstarter enforced its TOS on “creators” to the letter, probably 50% of campaigns would be in breach of “campaign” terms. GBS is one publisher kickstarter should be keeping a close eye cause there is a clear pattern across any campaign they have some involvement in.

It’s Artem I feel for here, If I was him I would be looking into legality of how I could break ties with GBS.
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