The creator of the upcoming Darkest Dungeon board game is asking for extra cash in order to ship the game. Mythic Games wants an extra payment from backers by next week if they want their game in a timely fashion, or else they're going to have to wait an indeterminate amount of time.
Why do the Darkest Dungeon board game creators want more cash?
It's been over two years since Mythic Games' Darkest Dungeon board game was originally announced. The game was successfully Kickstarted to the tune of $5.6 million, so you'd think it would be reasonable for backers to expect their games to be delivered on time. However, in a new update posted by Mythic Games on Wednesday, the company says it needs an "additional contribution" in order to "bring the Darkest Dungeon board game to life". In essence, Mythic Games wants you to pony up some extra cash if you want your game delivered soon. Mythic says that it and Red Hook are coughing up half of the cash needed to cover unexpected extra shipping costs; the studio estimates extra costs of about $1.75 million, and it's contributing $775,000 towards that, with Darkest Dungeon developer Red Hook contributing the remaining $100,000.
In the update, Mythic Games says that "Wave 1" of the Darkest Dungeon board game is ready to be shipped and that "Wave 2" should start printing in early 2023. However, due to a "significant increase in costs" which Mythic Games attributes to both COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine, the developer says shipping has increased "by an average of 600%". As such, Mythic is asking players who want their Darkest Dungeon board game Wave 1 content to pay extra in order to receive their games in a timely fashion. Depending on your level of pledge, this could be anything from $18 through to $69. Mythic says it wants your contribution by August 1st in order to start shipping by mid-August, but that if you don't pay, your game will be "added to containers as payments are made". Here's a breakdown of how Mythic Games is calculating the contribution you need to make if you're a Darkest Dungeon board game backer.
Naturally, this has some backers displeased. Redditor AussiesOnTheRocks describes this request as "extorting KS backers", and many commenters on that Reddit post agree with them. Some fans are suggesting that this extra cost is being requested in order to "cover massive failures in production" on Mythic Games' other Kickstarter projects, although naturally, we don't have any proof that that's what's happening, and it seems unlikely other than that other profits Mythical has are unable to sufficiently fund Mythical for this cost. AussiesOnTheRocks says that Mythic Games' explanation of why it needs this extra amount is "a mixture of truth, bullshit and bad business practices/internal structure". It's worth saying that Mythic Games doesn't give off a vibe of trying to scam people here. International shipping is becoming more expensive owing to the pandemic and to the Ukraine war, which is also what led the developers of Street Fighter: The Miniatures Game to pass on shipping costs to customers back in April last year. The industry as a whole has had to deal with large increases to material costs, and even more to shipping costs over the past couple of years.
With that said, there are a few things to point out. Mythic Games states in its post that it knew it would need to increase shipping costs when the Ukraine war broke out, but it chose to remain silent until it had accurate figures for backers. It's hard to imagine that backers wouldn't have preferred an update sooner, with Mythic saying it was still making calculations to avoid looking like it's springing a brand new cost on backers out of the blue. Kickstarter backers have also been frustrated that the Darkest Dungeon board game has been delayed since its original launch date, and that's part of why the shipping costs are higher now; the game should already have launched. Part of that delay can be attributed to the developers making changes to the game's box and minis (to reduce shipping costs and footprint), but it hasn't exactly won over backers, and that's also partly why many are upset that Mythic Games is choosing to introduce this extra cost now.
What happens if you don't pay the extra Mythic Games is asking for?
To put it simply, we just don't know. Broadly speaking, Mythic Games says that if you don't pony up the extra cash, you'll have "to wait", but the studio doesn't specify exactly how long you'll have to wait. Rather ominously, Mythic Games says your game will be "stored in our factory" and added to containers as payments are made, which somewhat makes it sound like they're holding your game to ransom. There's also no option to have both Wave 1 and Wave 2 content shipped together; instead, Mythic wants a contribution for the total backing pledge you made, but it won't let you decide how to ship your game in return.
It's fair to say that Mythic Games really isn't trying to scam people here, but the fact that this cost looks like it's coming out of nowhere, and that the company is only giving players a little over a week to respond to its demands, isn't a good look. Of course, you could always refuse to pay, but that just means you won't be getting your game on time. It's certainly true that causing your players stress and uncertainty is in keeping with the source material, but I can't imagine this is what Red Hook had in mind when they were working with Mythic Games on the game. We've reached out to Mythic Games for comment on this story and will bring you more as soon as we get it.