It was Friday, October 26th 2018, a couple of hours before the Essen Spiel fair would close for the day. People were enjoying our games at our booth. Our new game for this year, A Thief's Fortune was well received and there was almost always people waiting for a demo table to open up. Little did we know of the irony that was about to happen... Our cash register containing all the day's earnings was about to get stolen.
Our cashier mentioned 3 people involved in the theft: Two men, one after the other swarmed our cashier asking questions upon questions to shift his attention from the cash register creating an opening for the third member of their team, who actually stole the entire cash register. At that time our booth was full of people. Thankfully nobody was hurt.
As soon as our cashier realized there was something wrong with all those meaningless questions he was being asked, he immediately turned his attention back to the cash register but it was already too late. He immediately alarmed the rest of our booth staff and managed to prevent one of the two men from leaving the booth. Security was brought in shortly after and one of our booth assistants called the police who also arrived very quickly. The suspect was carrying a bag that got searched by the police officers. They found a taser gun in it. Unfortunately no money was found since that man's role was only to cause the distraction. The suspect was taken away hand-cuffed by the police. We haven't receive any information or news since then...
Our shock and financial loss left a very sour taste in our mouth. Artipia Games is a family indie game publishing business and the sales we make at the Essen fair play an important role in our survival.
This is why we decided to run this campaign in an attempt to cut on our losses and in exchange offer you some new game material as a thank you for your support.
Unfortunately we were not the only ones with such an experience at the fair this year. Here are the stories of other publishers who experienced theft this year.
We've created 5 promos for 5 of our games, all thematically related to the event. All of these are included in the $10 pledge. Shipping is also included.
There is no plan of ever reprinting these cards at they were all created for this specific KS campaign. Any remaining quantities will be available from our online store.
If you want to further support us, you can consider getting some of our games.
To add any of them to your pledge, just increase your amount by the specified amount.
By the end of the campaign you will be asked to fill a survey where you will inform us which add-ons you have added in your order.
Please note that all the prices below include worldwide shipping and are discounted compared to the prices found on our online store.
A Thief’s Fortune? Yes please, but not this way!
It’s unbelievable, but this year the SPIEL convention has been the target of a group of tricksters and thieves, robbing especially small to medium sized publishers of their hard-earned money. I met Konstantinos in the SPIEL halls only minutes after the robbery, and he told me the story about the holdup. He was rather devastated, because the lost money means quite a setback for ARTIPIA GAMES, losing them much of the profits which Konstantinos had hoped to generate with the sales during the SPIEL.
Of course publishers who have been victim to such a criminal act hopefully will adjust their booth organization in the future, but nonetheless especially small publishers like ARTIPIA now have to face the immediate problem of a severe cutback of their current budget. Due to the tight financial situation of small game publishers, it’s obvious that the lost money needs to be recovered somehow, and so this Kickstarter seems a good way in order to mitigate at least part of ARTIPIA’s losses.
I personally approve of this project, because in the past the ARTIPIA crew had taken a lot of efforts to supply the boardgaming community with challenging and interesting games. Sticking together as a community, we gamers can now thank them for their efforts, helping them to deal with a rather unexpected financial loss. As indicated above, this doesn’t mean that Konstantinos will not have to think about securing his cash desk in the future, but nonetheless the more immediate problem for the moment is the lost SPIEL income.
Here we gamers can help!
Publisher of Kulkmann's G@mebox
Below you can find the stories of other publishers who got robbed this year in Essen. We encourage you to follow them and also show them your support.
Eric Price, President of Japanime Games:
"On Sunday 10/29 at around 9:10pm, as we were breaking down and going back and forth throughout our booth, a clean cut man who was ~ 6’2” and thin came up the aisle and asked if I had change for a 20€. Our 2 backpacks were in our office. It seemed a strange request, since the show was over, but not wanting to be rude, I complied, and went into the office to get change out of my backpack. I felt strange enough, to check and see if he had watched me get into my backpack, but I did not see him from inside the office. I gave him the change and he thanked me and walked away quickly. I returned to our breakdown but felt suspicious. I returned to the office A few minutes later and our bags were both gone. In retrospect, I would create a booth arrangement where the office door is visible from everywhere in the booth. It was only the 2 of us in the booth which I felt made us an easy target as well.
In our backpacks we had somewhere between 6000€~7000€, a laptop, an iPad Pro, an iPhone X, and various other things of lesser value. While this was a huge blow to us, luckily we had left our passports in our apartment that day. We immediately finished up and then went to file a report with security and Essen Police after that.
We have set up at hundreds of conventions through in our time in this industry, and this has never happened to us before. The fact that Essen Spiel has no badges to check (only paper tickets), means that when the show is over, there is no “sweep” to get the non-exhibitors out of the hall. Anyone can walk in the building. And anyone can be targeted. I never thought this would happen to us. Again, the office created a false sense of security for our situation, and we felt our bags were safe in there while we were breaking down. We were wrong. "
"We are shocked to report that thieves targeted our booth at the Spiel Essen yesterday managing to get away with all the income generated during the fair.
The incident happened after closing time when the booth was manned by two staff. Taking advantage of a long tiring day, one guy came to us for a small chat while another sneaked behind and stole a trolley containing money, ID documents, credit cards and many other important personal belongings.
We were even more shocked to learn that other publishers were targeted during the day as well as the other days of the fair losing significant amounts of money. I wonder why the Messe Essen or Merz Verlag did not circulate warnings to exhibitors about the situation and why members of the public were free to walk the halls well after the closing time. When speaking to security they showed me at least other 5 offences reported on that day but, apart filling paperwork, I could not see any proactive initiative aimed to protect us exhibitors.
It is inevitable now to think of all the long hours spent preparing our games, organising our booth, of all the sacrifices we pass onto our families so that we can spend one week in Germany to pay respect to our beloved hobby and meet this great community of gamers. This year we made enough to recover our costs and continue with our projects. All taken away in the space of a few minutes. Sad. "
"So, we had around €3000 stolen from our booth today. Even though we were careful. Even though we had the money locked away. Even though we were aware this happens EVERY YEAR.
And we reported it. And the police told us we should 'be more careful'. That's not good enough. Other exhibitors, please watch out. And if you get hit, kick up as much of a fuss as we did.
The good thing is, we're all fine. We're angry. We're disappointed. But we're fine. But we're sick of hearing that this goes on every year, and we just get shrugs as a response. "
We want to thank each and everyone of you for your support.
We really appreciate it.
Risks and challenges
PLEASE READ THIS SECTION CAREFULLY BEFORE PLEDGING ON THIS CAMPAIGN.
Artipia Games is a family indie publisher and this campaign was unplanned. We are a very reliable publisher in Kickstarter having already successfully fulfilled 18 Kickstarter campaigns in the past 7 years. We always work hard to deliver you a great game, in the shortest time frame possible. This is always one of our top priorities, alongside high quality and safe delivery. Some of our previous campaigns are still undergoing fulfillment, so here is an update:
PAST CAMPAIGN STATUS
All our previous games, Fields of Green: Grand Fair, Kitchen Rush: Piece of Cake expansions and A Thief's Fortune have been produced and those who had chosen Essen pick-up as a collection method already have their games. The rest are on their way to our warehouse and fulfillment will start shortly,
Estimated delivery is April 2019. However third parties involved with the production of items needed to fulfill the campaign may cause unpredictable delays. Also, after sending the packages, further delays may occur due to your local customs and postal services traffic that are out of Artipia Games control. Please note that delivery dates that involve shipping refer to the month we expect to dispatch the items.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter