After raising nearly $1m on Kickstarter, the Evil Dead 2 and Terminator board games are in serious trouble
The studio behind board game adaptations of cult movies Evil Dead 2 and The Terminator has insisted that the games aren’t cancelled, despite years of delays and a failed attempt to raise more money to fulfil the projects.
Space Goat Productions raised $722,622 for Evil Dead 2: The Official Board Game in July 2016, following the crowdfunding campaign with another in February 2017 for The Terminator: The Official Board Game, which brought in an additional $220,456 – resulting in almost $1 million raised in total between the two games.
Evil Dead 2 was originally slated for release in November 2016, with The Terminator due in December 2017. However, both games are yet to find their way into the hands of more than 8,000 backers, after being postponed by multiple delays.
Backers’ upset at the postponements were made worse by an apparent lack of communication from the studio, leading to thousands of comments on the games’ Kickstarter pages expressing disappointment and anger, as well as accusations of mismanagement of the pledged money. Multiple calls for refunds appeared to go unanswered, leading to further ire. Space Goat’s Twitter and Facebook pages, meanwhile, appeared to have been abandoned, leading to posts of spam-like advertisements for weight loss products.
In late April, Space Goat founder and CEO Shon C. Bury posted a backer-only update to the Kickstarter pages (reposted to BoardGameGeek) announcing that the company would be launching an equity crowdfunding campaign to raise additional funds to help fulfil the projects, offering some additional insight into the troubled production of the games.
“Even with the massive successes of both our Evil Dead and Terminator campaigns, the financial side of our business has not been easy,” he wrote. “There have been cost overruns, personnel changes, increased tax liability, and generally more growing pains than I ever imagined possible. If a small but growing company could be faced with a problem, that problem was thrown in our face over the last 20 months.
“The biggest hurdle of them all is the simple fact that we had built all our financial projections on backers and retailers getting both the Evil Dead and Terminator games in 2017 – and we had planned to have a third board game Kickstarted and in manufacturing by now. Without the revenue coming in from those three major projects, working capital has simply gotten very, very tight.”
The campaign went live on Wefunder in early May, offering investors equity in the company, which Bury claimed was valued at $5 million despite an apparent financial loss of almost $200,000 in 2017. The campaign ultimately attracted just $3,350 from 13 investors, which wasn’t enough to reach the $250,000 minimum amount required – and was a far cry from the maximum $1.07 million goal targeted.
Bury subsequently acknowledged “the apparent failure of the equity crowdfunding campaign” on the Evil Dead 2 and Terminator Kickstarter pages, saying: “We have taken a step back to regroup and consider a number of options. Some paths forward have been presented to us. We need a few weeks to find the best path forward. As soon as we find that best path forward, you all will be the first to know.”
The update, as well as emails from some retailers stating that the games would no longer be released, led commenters to suggest that development of the games had effectively been stopped and they would not be fulfilled, but Bury has since insisted to Tabletop Gaming in a further statement that “the games have not been cancelled”.
“We are looking at some new funding options,” he said. “Anything stating otherwise is speculation at best. We should have a concrete statement to provide you in the coming weeks.”