14 May 2019
‘Changes to the market, as well as several unsuccessful projects, have left us in a position where we are unable to continue’
Australian tabletop publisher Rule & Make has closed its doors after six years.
The studio was founded in 2013 by Alistair Kearney and Allen Chang, who released their debut game under the label, city-building card game Rise to Power, the following year.
In 2015, Rule & Make released Chang and Kearney’s Entropy, a competitive card game involving multiple realities and an initiative-based action-selection system, where all the players reveal a numbered card at the same time and resolve the actions from low to high – but matching cards cancel each other out.
Entropy was followed by a 2017 remake, Entropy: Worlds Collide, while the basic game system was also adapted for microgame Ninja Dojo Fight!
2016 saw the release of designer Matthew Parkes’ Burger Up, a card game about creating burgers to fulfil customer orders that was Kickstarted in late 2015.
The following year, Rule & Make attempted to raise funds for a Terminator 2: Judgment Day board game titled T2029 but struggled, making just over half its £27,000 target before cancelling the Kickstarter campaign. In January 2018, the publisher announced that the game had been put into ‘limbo’, with members of the team moving onto other projects.
More successfully, Rule & Make crowdfunded a physical adaptation of digital card game Hand of Fate last spring, gathering more than £260,000 from 4,000-plus backers. Hand of Fate: Ordeals was released this year to warm reviews – including one in the upcoming June issue of Tabletop Gaming magazine.
Despite Hand of Fate: Ordeals’ success on Kickstarter, Chang announced that Rule & Make would be shutting down as the result of being “no longer financially viable”.
“Changes to the market, as well as several unsuccessful projects, have left us in a position where we are unable to continue,” he wrote in an update to the Ordeals Kickstarter campaign.
Acknowledging that some backers of Hand of Fate were yet to receive their games, Chang said that Defiant Development would be stepping in to complete fulfilment. Rule & Make’s own website has since been taken offline.
“I couldn't be more proud of the games that have made along the way, and I'm sad that we've not been able to build a business that can give them the support they need,” Chang concluded.