First Announced Game Shipment Delay Due to Hanjin Bankruptcy”), and now tiny Florida start-up Atheris Games’ entire print run of the card game Cul-De-Sac Conquest is caught in limbo.
Atheris Games Kickstarted its first card game Cul-De-Sac Conquest in November 2015. The campaign raised $20,049 from 355 backers ($56.48 / backer average). According to the campaign page, backers have already received their copies direct from China, but the trade print run is now stuck on several Hanjin ships. “For a small company like ours this is a kiss of death,” CEO Andrew Birkett told ICv2 via email. “We're already struggling financially and now this means our loans cannot be paid with the revenue from our game, which we expected to have arrived weeks ago.”
Cul-De-Sac Conquest was solicited by Hit Point Sales for a September 16 release. In the game, players take the role of various neighbors living in an unhappy neighborhood full of hoarders, grumpy old men, cat ladies, and overly protective parents. Players attempt to annoy their neighbors enough to make them move out, while also upgrading their own homes and preventing the neighbors from annoying them back.
Atheris Games took out a high-interest loan to fund the final manufacturing and shipping of the games, counting on having the game released before their first payment came due. “For us essentially if we don't launch another Kickstarter within the next month or two we will likely be out of business,” Birkett said. “Now there is talk that they might port and charge any company with goods on their ships up to quadruple the original shipping prices, which we are also unable to do.”
“Our Kickstarter backers for Cul-De-Sac have showed incredible support and want to help us,” Birkett continued. “Our artists are working on our next game without immediate payment so we can get it on Kickstarter sooner than we planned as well. Despite how horrible all of this is we are astounded by how amazing the community is. We are so lucky to be in the business we're in and we hope we're able to stick around.”