Reported by EN World, the update from Wick said “After reviewing the company finances in August, I discovered JWP was not making enough to sustain its current work force. And so, in the ugliest and hardest day of my life, I had to lay off all the JWP employees.
What this means is the 7th Sea lines are going to slow down. I cannot maintain the release schedule we promised before Gen Con. That doesn’t mean books aren’t going to happen, it just means they’re going to be slower than expected."
In March 2016, the 7th Sea Second Edition Kickstarter raised more than $1.3 million from over 11,000 backers (see “'7th Sea' RPG Kickstarter Makes $250K”). The ambitious project involved the core book as well as 11 sourcebooks, many accessories (decks, GM Screen, Maps) and novels. JWP has delivered the core book, 6 sourcebooks, most of the accessories, and two novels. The company keeps an up-to-date production schedule on its website.
The company Kickstarted a companion role playing game 7th Sea: Khitai in November 2017 (see “John Wick's '7th Sea' Expands into Pacific Rim of Theah”). That campaign raised more than $207,000 from more than 2,500 backers. In a campaign update that didn’t reference the layoffs, Wick acknowledged delays and said “For Khitai, I anticipate a May-June release. This may be sooner depending on a lot of factors. As soon as those projects are done, I can let you know where everything else stands. I'll have a better idea of the entire release schedule once negotiations are done with our potential publishing partners.”
According to Linked In profile information Creative Director and Chief Executive Officer Leonard Balsera worked for JWP through September. He joined the company in 2016 (see “John Wick Presents Hires Leonard Balsera”). Melissa Lewis-Gentry, JWP Marketing and Sales Director, also lists her employment with the company through September.
Evil Hat Productions, another RPG publisher that uses Kickstarter, also had to scale back its projects and staff recently (see “Evil Hat Dials Back New Publishing for 2019”).