The sudden and violent dissolution of Spartan Games is not a subject I have spoken about on this blog, and not one I like to dwell on in Real Life either. As you might guess from looking at this site, I was rather invested in the Dystopian Wars setting, and had paid a good amount of money toward their Kickstarter at the end of last year. I have somewhere approaching fifteen full fleets, terrain, boards and a huge pile of conversions and potential future projects, currently sitting in various boxes in my workshop.
Losing any future for that was a blow. I still had the models and the old rulebooks and statistics saved over the years, but when a system and parent company is dead, it becomes an uphill struggle to build interest, find new opponents, and generally get excited. The loss of cash on the Kickstarter was unfortunate, but the loss of potential was heartbreaking.
So I did not write about it. I put my hobby efforts into other, living systems like Dropfleet Commander and Infinity.
Now, when all hope was forgotten, a friend messaged me. Beasts of War had a big announcement, and hilariously, my models were featuring as one of the banner images. I don't recall giving any permission for that...
Here's the statement.
“Warcradle Studios is proud to announce it has acquired all rights and materials relating to the Dystopian Wars, Firestorm Armada and Uncharted Seas settings.
Dystopian Wars, Dystopian Legions, Armoured Clash, Firestorm Armada, Firestorm Planetfall and Uncharted Seas were created by the team at Spartan Games and we are excited to now be able to explore those settings further. We will also be developing and expanding on a large number of exciting scenic products to support those ranges.
Who are Warcradle Studios?
Warcradle Studios has already successfully developed Wild West Exodus and is the creative studio for Wayland Games Limited, the largest independent tabletop hobby retailer in Europe. Warcradle Studios is able to draw on their considerable experience in the industry and partner that with a passionate and focused creative team keen to develop quality, innovative and exciting tabletop hobby experiences for a global audience.
Warcradle Studios are continuing to look for future exciting settings and ranges to develop.
Have Wayland Games purchased Rebel Publishing, the company that owned Spartan Games?
No, Rebel Publishing remains the company responsible for any Kickstarter or retail/trade activities that took place prior when they ceased trading.
I am owed products from Rebel Publishing. How can I get them or my money back?
Backers or customers of Rebel Publishing should get in contact with the Administrators for any issues relating to Kickstarters or purchases. Contacting Paypal or your credit card companies would be our recommendation for trying to getting any money back from anything relating to a transaction you may have had with Rebel Publishing.
While we are not liable to do so, if there are any Kickstarter custom items that have been produced (such as personalised rulebooks) we will endeavour to look at how best to pass these on to the relevant backer. We will contact the Kickstarter backers directly regarding any developments on this. However it is important to be clear that there are no miniatures to be sent out for backers and that the Kickstarter was by Rebel Publishing and any liability or queries relating to it remains with Rebel Publishing.
What about stock that Rebel Publishing held?
There has been very little stock given over to us by Rebel Publishing. We are not able to fulfil any pledges or orders given to Rebel Publishing.
Will you be making any of the exclusive miniatures from the Kickstarter available?
We believe that customers should have the chance to get all the miniatures for our games. Even if a miniature is made as a show exclusive (such as the Captain Nimue we released last year) we intend to then make it available at retail the following year. Miniatures such as the Ice Maiden and others will be released as part of the relaunched game in the new year.
Why purchase Dystopian Wars, Firestorm and Uncharted Seas?
We are huge fans of the games and settings. Early in our relationship with Spartan Games our MD Richard Lawford was keen to buy an entire print run of Dystopian Wars to give away to every gaming club in the world (that we could find!). We are thrilled to be able to help shape and secure an exciting future for these games.
What is going to happen to the Dystopian, Firestorm and Uncharted games?
We are actively looking to bring the games to a wide audience from next year. Through Warcradle Studios, Wayland Games is investing in all aspects of the design, development and supply. Retailers can look forward to an easy to use ordering system, clear communication on the availability of stock and direct support from Warcradle Studios to ensure they can make the most of these exciting ranges and deliver the same to their customers.
Warcradle Studios are committed to producing an exciting range of new plastic and resin miniatures to support the growth of our games. These will build on the established releases as well as introduce new narrative and competitive gaming opportunities.
Warcradle Studios are planning in-store organised play support for their games as well as a range of exciting events planned throughout 2018 and beyond.
Look out for our announcements of new products and show attendance in the coming weeks.”
Great news! I'm not big on Wild West Exodus, but Wayland Games have some capital behind them, and frankly anything is better than nothing! No hope for my Kickstarter shipment is... well, I'd given up on that anyway.
So I'm looking forward to the future, and not selling everything off just yet. Cautious optimism certainly beats nihilistic despair.
Thanks for reading,