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Robotech® RPG Tactics™ is a fast paced strategy battle game that expands on the popular Palladium role playing game.
Robotech® RPG Tactics™ is a fast paced strategy battle game that expands on the popular Palladium role playing game.
5,342 backers pledged $1,442,312 to help bring this project to life.

Robotech® RPG Tactics™ Announcement from Kevin Siembieda, President of Palladium Books®

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When the Robotech® RPG Tactics (RRT) Kickstarter funded in May 2013, we cheered, hugged and actually danced down the halls at the Palladium office. Not just because of the amount of money raised thanks to your pledges, but because it meant the realization of our dreams for Robotech®. For Palladium Books, it signified bringing Robotech fans – ourselves among them – something new and exciting to the beloved Robotech® universe.

So it is with sadness and tremendous heartbreak that I announce that, despite our best efforts, we are unable to produce the Robotech® RPG Tactics Wave Two rewards. Moreover, after proudly carrying the legacy of Robotech® in the role-playing games medium for 30 years, our license has expired and is not being renewed.

Palladium’s Business Manager, Scott Gibbons, intended to write this post, but I thought it should come from me. I have spent the better part of a week trying to find the words to explain what happened and express to you how sorry we are that it has come to this. In the end, we decided it best to keep it simple and share with you the broad strokes of how things unfolded without getting too deep into the weeds or violating any Non-Disclosure Agreements.

Pre-Kickstarter

When Palladium saw the opportunity to do Robotech® miniatures as game pieces, we knew the fans would love it. Even cooler, we wanted to create a whole new RPG with an emphasis on the miniatures, combat and tactics. Something different and exciting.

So, we decided to contract with another company with a good reputation and experience in all the areas where we lacked direct experience ourselves. We considered a few companies, and decided upon Ninja Division/Soda Pop Miniatures. We liked what they had to say, they were knowledgeable, enthusiastic and confident, had been working with Cool Mini or Not, Games Workshop and other top-flight companies, and had been involved in 8 or 9 successful Kickstarters. Plus, they had a hit game of their own, Super Dungeon Explore, as well as having been involved with the creation of other games. When we inquired about the company, industry people spoke very highly of them and the products they had worked on.

Ninja Division was brought on to do the heavy lifting: Build and run the Kickstarter, select the manufacturer/broker in China, choose the manufacturing process, choose the type of plastic, provide Palladium with the cost estimates, handle logistics and deal with all the ins and outs and many, many nuisances of manufacturing in China. Ninja Division was also to create the game and hire talented sculptors and artists to create the 3D sculpts, cards, design elements, packaging, and essentially create the game and the Kickstarter from the ground up, or as they liked to say in those early days, “handle 90% of everything.”

At Palladium Books, our primary role was using our extensive knowledge of the Robotech® I.P. to ensure the accuracy of the 3D sculpts, artwork, design elements, and overall look and feel of the game. Palladium provided Ninja Division’s sculptors and artists with all kinds of reference materials, artwork, model sheets, screen shots, and copious notes and communications to get it all just right. This was no small task, as there were many game pieces and most required a vast amount of our time and input to capture all the proper details we knew fans expected. We also handled the approval process with Harmony Gold.

Palladium eventually became more directly involved in the creative process in terms of developing the game rules. We brought in a long-time Palladium freelance writer, Robotech® uber-fan and game designer to assist. We approached it as if we were looking at Robotech® with fresh eyes, re-watched all of Robotech®: Macross, and set out to simulate the action, speed and power of the mecha as seen in the TV show. We used some of Ninja Division’s material as a starting point and built on it from there. Then we worked with them to help with the fine-tuning and number crunching. Ninja Division managed and oversaw the widespread play-testing, and the response from our scores of play-testers was overwhelmingly positive.

The Kickstarter was raw excitement. You know, you were part of it.

After the Kickstarter successfully funded, Palladium announced a Fall 2013 release and said that the game was 98% done, because in the minds of all of us here, it was 98% done. The rest was easy ... or so we thought. You take the 3D sculpts, do physical 3D prints, make the molds, run the plastic figures, dice and tokens, print the rule book, cards, and cartons, box it all up, shrinkwrap it, ship it to the USA, and we ship it to you and the stores. Easy, right? Wrong. But, because this is what we thought and because we were so anxious to bring the game to you and the gaming community, we advertised in print and online that the game would be a Fall 2013 release. In retrospect, we probably should have waited until RRT was on the boat heading to America; but we were excited, so we moved ahead.

Plastics and manufacturing

After delay after delay that we, like you, did not understand, we learned the problem stemmed from the fact that STL files, the 3D sculpts from the sculptors, were not compatible with the tooling process the manufacturer would be using.

The 3D sculpts we had all worked so hard on, and that Palladium had paid $35,000 for, and looked gorgeous, had to be completely recreated – from scratch – by the manufacturer. And Palladium and Ninja Division had to go through the creation, correction and approval process a second time for ALL of the Wave One and most of the Wave Two game pieces. A process that took MONTHS. Each delay compounding your frustration, and ours, as we would announce one revised release date – and miss it – after another.

Tooling is the engineering and making of the molds. The hard plastic used in Wave One was chosen to preserve the detail and crispness of the game pieces. Using that material requires expensive metal molds. Moreover, the plastic and the molds do not allow for undercuts, requiring the manufacturer to break the miniatures down into many, many pieces in order to manufacture them. Hence, the many parts required to build the miniatures.

The high cost of tooling/molds – $75,000 for what would become just the Wave One rewards – was unexpected. And that was in addition to the nearly $21,000 for the 3D file corrections and prototypes by the manufacturer.

Shipping. The next big cost increase came with the announcement that all freight carriers from UPS and FedEx to the United States Postal Service were implementing Dimensional Weight. In the recent past, a shipper paid by the pound to send a package. Then someone in the shipping industry came up with the idea that shippers of large but lightweight packages should pay by the size of the package, not just the weight. A formula based upon size (volume), not weight, was made standard so now you have to pay by “Dimensional Weight” after a certain point. And that point is not a very large package. Thus, you now pay by the actual weight or by “dimensional weight,” whichever is greater.

Dimensional Weight dramatically increased the anticipated shipping cost to backers. $131,843.74 for just Wave One. Another $9,016.80 for the boxes alone to ship your rewards in. And $76,401.20 to import Wave One from China into the USA.

Costs were soaring beyond the original cost projections. Ninja Division suggested splitting the Kickstarter rewards into two waves. We were reluctant at first, but ultimately came around to the idea.

 

The effort to make Wave Two

In theory, by making and releasing the Wave One products to the retail market, we could sell enough of them to produce Wave Two rewards. Even if Palladium saw little or no initial profit from it, we figured we would make up for it with later sales as the game line grew and found its place in the market. Not ideal, but it seemed like our best choice at the time.

But after the initial release of Wave One products, for a variety of reasons, including the high piece count to make each miniature and the delay of Wave Two which would have improved the gaming experience, sales stalled. And with sales stagnating, our ability to produce Wave Two stalled with it.

The Kickstarter money was gone with Wave One, but Palladium never gave up on Robotech® RPG Tactics. We explored every available option in order to secure more funding or bring in business partners and investors. We solicited multiple quotes and explored different manufacturing options and new production technologies for these potential partners. As you know, there was a period when we felt very confident Wave Two would see production and release. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we came up short. But we were so committed, even that did not stop us. We reached out to others. Even Harmony Gold and Palladium’s licensing agent tried to help us put deals together with third parties. We made a Herculean effort and did everything we could, right through this past Christmas and into the New Year, but without success.

The cost to produce Wave Two, estimated at $300,000-$400,000 for tooling and manufacturing, plus $65,000 to import to the USA, plus $120,000-$160,000 to ship rewards to the backers, was more than any potential investor was willing to risk.

Whenever anyone pledges support to a Kickstarter project, you never know if it will be successful or not. It is a gamble. This is true of any business venture. We are sincerely sorry this one fell short. We gave it our all, but that’s the rub about life and business, sometimes your all is not good enough. Sometimes you miss the mark despite your best efforts, good intentions, and the money you pour into it. I’m sorry that was the case with RRT.

What we can offer – Wave One Rewards for Wave Two

We know it is not what you expected, but we would like to offer you Wave One rewards in exchange for the unrealized Wave Two rewards – but you will have to pay for shipping. We estimate shipping to all 5,000+ backers around the world will cost $120,000-$160,000; and, at this point, Palladium Books just does not have the resources to cover that expense.

We will do our best to ship as inexpensively as possible, and we will only pass along our actual costs – with Palladium covering the cost of labor.

We will post the details about the reward exchange in the following update.

I would like to state that the people at Harmony Gold USA, Inc., have been wonderful partners to work with these many years. They went above and beyond the call of duty when it came to their assistance with trying to keep RRT alive. Our thanks to everyone involved.

My thanks and humble appreciation to everyone who supported Robotech® RPG Tactics. First and foremost, that includes you, our Kickstarter backers, followed by others who bought and loved RRT, everyone who had a direct hand in its creation, to play-testers, freelancers, Game Masters, and many, many others — far too many people to try to list. Literally, thousands of you. Thank you for sharing our dream. We tried our very best.

With Sincere Appreciation,
Kevin SiembiedaPresident, Palladium Books, Inc.

Juan Davila, James Scott, and 23 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Robert J. Finamore on

      For those wishing to file a complaint with the FTC or Michigan Attorney General about this Kickstarter, I have posted up some examples text to use in those forms.

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/3ur3qdnezq0fgwy/Example%20RRT%20FTC%20Submission.txt…

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/ghayqrokuxu1rmw/Example%20RRT%20MI%20AG%20Submission.txt…

    2. Missing avatar

      Alucard on

      Still waiting for estimate on postage. Made request on 2nd.

    3. Missing avatar

      Alucard on

      Still waiting for estimate on postage. Made request on 2nd.

    4. Missing avatar

      Lee on

      @all backers that have applied to join the legal action facebook group. If your application is still pending, please check your facebook messages. You will have received a pm as to what is holding up your application process.

      Thank you.

    5. Jason R. Anderson on

      I've supported Palladium Books since the mis-80's, with their Robotech and Rifts books. While their books were almost always late/delayed, they did indeed release them. I went into this Kickstarter expecting the same: late, but eventually released. Knowing this was a new area for them, I even expected them to be up to two years late to release everything. I never expected them to take so long just to release the first wave, and I am shocked at their admission that they won't follow through on ANYTHING of Wave 2, not even ONE item. I can only wonder if they truly did spend everything on Wave 1, and if so, why were we told often and repeatedly that Wave 2 was still happening? This was a record-breaking Kickstarter, and Palladium Books and Kevin managed to piss it all away and forever tarnish their reputation. And these offers of "good faith" replacements are just damn insulting. I have no need, want, nor desire for redundant Wave 1 product. And you want to charge Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) along with shipping for them? What arrogance. After 30+ years, I will never buy another Palladium Books product. What I want now is what Kevin and Palladium Books refuse to offer: a refund for failure to deliver Wave 2.
      "We share your frustration and apologize for the unfortunate delay. Palladium Books has been working tirelessly to bring Robotech® fans a superior product. Progress is being made and we are moving toward manufacturing of the First Wave of releases.

      Please understand, as a Kickstarter backer, you have not purchased or pre-ordered a product. You have “supported a project” in exchange for a promise of a reward. That reward had an original estimated delivery date which has passed, but that date was always an estimate, not a guaranteed deadline.

      By Kickstarter’s terms of service, we are obligated to deliver on the rewards we have promised, and we will do that. We are currently working toward doing just that.

      As such, we cannot offer you a refund at this time. If the time should ever come that Palladium Books cannot fulfill the terms of our Kickstarter project, we will of course offer refunds, as we would be required to do by Kickstarter.

      In the meantime, please be patient. We appreciate your support of the project, and your pledge will help us to produce a fantastic product that we think everyone will enjoy.

      With Appreciation,
      The Palladium Books Team"
      Again, I want a refund for the Wave 2 portion of this failure of a Kickstarter. Not apologies, not excuses, not unwanted replacement product. A refund. Thank you.

    6. Missing avatar

      Jmacq1 on

      Per the Kickstarter terms of service and your own previous statements (which have been reproduced in several of the comments here), I want a refund for all undelivered product.

    7. Carl on

      STILL haven't heard a reply to either my PMs or Emails. For a company in damage control mode I would have thought for a timely reply so that those of us who MIGHT take you up on this can make an INFORMED decision. Particularly with a rapidly approaching deadline.

    8. Brandon Clark on

      I refuse your offer of exchange, and there is no accord nor satisfaction between us. I demand my refund as per the kickstarter terms of service. Thank you.

    9. Brandon Clark on

      I refuse your offer of exchange, and there is no accord nor satisfaction between us. I demand my refund as per the kickstarter terms of service. Thank you.

    10. Brandon Clark on

      I refuse your offer of exchange, and there is no accord nor satisfaction between us. I demand my refund as per the kickstarter terms of service. Thank you.

    11. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    12. TwoGunBob on

      @Marek Don't expect an answer to what he's right about. He told us so by not tolding us so.

    13. Marek Wiernikowski on

      @Christopher - if you're right about what, exactly?

    14. Christopher Ings on

      @Carl I live local. Went in person and had a long conversation along with picking up settlement.

    15. Carl on

      @Christopher Ings They got back in touch with you already? What was the shipping like?

    16. Khyron's Eye on

      The only thing surprising about this update is that it is completely unsurprising. There isn't anything here we haven't speculated on or deduced (other than the pie chart that doesn't add up). I can't help but wonder if Kevin is just repeating our speculation back to us as fact in order to further obscure the truth.
      Not like he hasn't lied before...

    17. Christopher Ings on

      Good luck litigators. You’re going to need it. Took my settlement and wrote off the rest as failed investment. I admire your frothing apoplectic hatred, if I am right, I will avoid saying I told you so.

    18. Robert "The Madness" Dixon
      Superbacker
      on

      @James Edwards with the robotech license revoked, there's a better chance of getting some better *cough macross cough* products in the US.

    19. Missing avatar

      James Edwards
      Superbacker
      on

      @Matthew are you kidding? PB losing the Robotech license is the only good thing to come out of this mess.

      Here's hoping and praying a real company, not a shitshow group of scammers, lairs and incompetent fraudsters (that would be Palladium if I haven;t made it obvious enough for you).

      Look at Runewars, Imperial Assault, X-Wing, Armada from Fantasy Flight and tell me the wouldn't do a better job then this shit company has ever done?

    20. Matthew Williams on

      That stinks. Also sucks that Palladium lost the Robotech license! Will take a look at my numbers and follow up. Good luck surviving this storm guys.

    21. Pedwidge on

      I wonder how much of the manufacturing budget went into overbuying wave 1 to sell. They had a ton at the Gencon the year after they shipped to backer. How much went to making con exclusives in metal that were not a part of this Kickstarter? How much did they waste on battle foam bags? I just assumed that was a partnership, but it looks like they commissioned them and are stuck with them. Total mismanagement just in this one area.

    22. Mark Johnson
      Superbacker
      on

      @Jeff Neely our payments all got sorted through backerkit through which we assigned and added specific amounts for specific items. We did not give an arbitrary amount for some unknown reward. This IS a pre-order, no matter how you look at it.

    23. Missing avatar

      Andrew on

      Refund for non-delivery please. Thanks

    24. Missing avatar

      Alucard on

      As per your previous statement copied below I request a refund as per ToS of Kickstarter. The Invoice has been sent to your Paypal account

      "We share your frustration and apologize for the unfortunate delay. Palladium Books has been working tirelessly to bring Robotech® fans a superior product. Progress is being made and we are moving toward manufacturing of the First Wave of releases.

      Please understand, as a Kickstarter backer, you have not purchased or pre-ordered a product. You have “supported a project” in exchange for a promise of a reward. That reward had an original estimated delivery date which has passed, but that date was always an estimate, not a guaranteed deadline.

      By Kickstarter’s terms of service, we are obligated to deliver on the rewards we have promised, and we will do that. We are currently working toward doing just that.

      As such, we cannot offer you a refund at this time. If the time should ever come that Palladium Books cannot fulfill the terms of our Kickstarter project, we will of course offer refunds, as we would be required to do by Kickstarter.

      In the meantime, please be patient. We appreciate your support of the project, and your pledge will help us to produce a fantastic product that we think everyone will enjoy.

      With Appreciation,
      The Palladium Books Team"

    25. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    26. Jeff N
      Superbacker
      on

      I guess I knew this was coming... it's just been too long to have been recoverable for Wave 2.

      I find it kind of funny (and sad) that people posting here are asking for refunds. I mean, I totally understand that sentiment, but it ain't happening. This is Kickstarter. This isn't a store. You haven't made a purchase. You pledged an investment for a reward. We've all risked our money on an investment that has now failed.

      So- yell, scream, do whatever you need to express your anger and frustration. But, then move on and think about happier things.

      In summary: You will not get a refund.

      A) I'm sure Palladium doesn't have the money.
      B) Kickstarter doesn't offer this kind of protection to backers.
      C) Your credit card company will NOT reverse these charges after 3+ years (unless you have a WAY better bank behind your card than mine).
      D) Litigation hasn't proven very fruitful (thus far) for backers in these situations. Especially when rewards have been partially delivered.

      My recommendation (having backed about 10 projects that have failed in some way) is to get as much value out of whatever Palladium is offering as you can. For me, that'll mean weighing the shipping costs against what I perceive to be the value of the $100-140 of duplicate Wave 1 items I might be able to choose from.

    27. Joseph Prozinski
      Superbacker
      on

      @Jason S. Cope

      Go to this URL.

      https://robotech-rpg-tacticstm.backerkit.com

      Log in with the same email address you originally used. Click View confirmation after you are logged in. That will list everything you picked as your pledge level and your add-ons.

    28. Missing avatar

      Sean O'Connor on

      So here's something I'm having trouble understanding.

      With your numbers, Wave One cost about $340,000, including shipping. You say producing Wave Two would have cost $400,000, plus $65,000 to import it all, and another $160,000 to ship it.

      Here's the thing. Add it all up, and that's just about $965,000. And you say that " was more than any potential investor was willing to risk."

      EXCEPT WE ALREADY DID, YOU THIEF. WE INVESTED ALL OF THAT, PLUS ANOTHER $500,000! YOU HAD ALL THE MONEY AND THEN SOME! YOU'RE STILL LYING TO US!

    29. Missing avatar

      Greg Cummings on

      I will take a full refund for product not delivered to me.

    30. Steve (Smoth) Smith on

      I don't care about my wave, I just want to order models!

    31. michael chumley on

      I do not think I want much with this, I want one of two things 1) my wave two as promised, or 2) my money back.

      Is there any way to find out more about the possible class action with out going to FB? I do not have and will not have a FB account, but would like to know more.

    32. Missing avatar

      Jeremy Gray on

      Refund please. As per the Kickstarter terms of service.

    33. Missing avatar

      woodchuck on

      So, does this mean Robotech won't be a part of your open house?

    34. Jason S. Cope on

      Is there a way to access the Backer Kit for the original project to see what you added after the initial backing was finished.
      It listed my project backing at $275. But, I know I added at least another $100-$200 in the Backer Kit after the initial Kickstarter ended.

    35. Missing avatar

      Andrew Gil on

      I would like a refund, as required by the Kickstarter Terms and Conditions for unfulfilled projects. Since you are losing the license to Robotech IP, you cannot legally fulfill your promises to backers, and you have already admitted you're not going to try. Also, you cannot make us pay to access an alternative for something you already owe us, shipping included. Prepare for a bankruptcy-inducing class-action lawsuit from your backers if you don't offer refunds.

    36. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    37. Missing avatar

      Justin-Rei Kurosawa on

      Kickstarter Terms of service: “Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill.”

      I expect palladium to declare bankruptcy before anyone sees a refund though...

    38. Missing avatar

      Nestor A. Medina Jr on

      I request a full refund for what i paid for not more of the same!

    39. Chris McMillen on

      No, I want my money back for all those add on pieces I ordered. If I can't get that, I plus many others I'm sure with be looking into a lawsuit against you.

    40. Missing avatar

      Johnnie Talamantes on

      We do not any more Wave 1 products at retail price. Your math does not add up, your ability to present an open and fully disclosed production run of these products is in question. Numerous excuses, a muddled time line, and finger pointing has abounded in this kick-starter. Refund the tiers you cannot meet to those who are still waiting for fulfillment. I have regretted since 2013 backing this Kickstarter Project and to this day, your actions have continued to solidify this viewpoint.

    41. BlasterCA on

      *Khyron's Eyeabout 11 hours ago

      As per original terms and conditions I demand a full refund of undelivered product based on the original valuation of items I purchased from the Kickstarter and Backer kit.*

      Agreed!

    42. Missing avatar

      Lee on

      I have sent several messages to various people wanting to join the FB group that is planning a lawsuit against these con-artists but FB has stopped me from using the message function fearing it may be spam. So i am going to post instructions for those wishing to join here. I urge all backers who are already members of said group to re-post this message as often as possible in order to help people join.
      There have been quite a few applications and I have almost been overwhelmed by the number of people wishing to join.
      Please note it is imperative you answer the questions posed to you in the application tab in order to be eligible to join. This is being done for 2 main reasons.
      1st. To protect the group from FB trolls.
      2nd To protect the group from PB white knights and Slimebieda snitches.

      So here goes.

      You have applied to join the group but you haven't answered the questions in your application tab. If you're
      having trouble with uploading a screenshot of your backer page of the RRT kickstarter project then here's a little help...

      You need first to cancel your application and re-apply after you've followed the steps mentioned below.

      1st. Go to your RRT kickstarter pledge page by clicking on the "backed projects" tab on your profile.
      2nd. Click on the RRT project that you will see on the list of your backed projects.
      3rd. Save a screenshot of that page.
      4th Upload said screenshot to a picture sharing site like dropbox, google drive,photobucket etc.
      5th. Copy and paste the link of the uploaded screenshot as your answer to the question "Are you a backer"

      Thank you for your time.

    43. ldjessee on

      I want a refund for my unfulfilled pledge and all the add-ons I ordered.

      Funny how a much smaller company that generated less money in their Kickstarter was able to produce all rewards and ship them all over the world. These were based on 3D sculpts and made into injection molds. They never lied to their customers, they kept them up to date and let them know about delays. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/heavygearblitz/heavy-gear-blitz-war-for-terra-nova-starter-set

      Again, I want a refund for my unfulfilled pledge and all the add-ons I ordered.

    44. Missing avatar

      Mark Hemingway on

      As per the agreements, since you cannot fulfill you must return the money, not offer something else in it’s place. You must give us a refund.

    45. Missing avatar

      Christopher Tosh
      Superbacker
      on

      Refund please.

    46. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    47. I Will Never Grow Up Gaming on

      " We share your frustration and apologize for the unfortunate delay. Palladium Books has been working tirelessly to bring Robotech® fans a superior product. Progress is being made and we are moving toward manufacturing of the First Wave of releases.

      Please understand, as a Kickstarter backer, you have not purchased or pre-ordered a product. You have “supported a project” in exchange for a promise of a reward. That reward had an original estimated delivery date which has passed, but that date was always an estimate, not a guaranteed deadline.

      By Kickstarter’s terms of service, we are obligated to deliver on the rewards we have promised, and we will do that. We are currently working toward doing just that.

      As such, we cannot offer you a refund at this time. If the time should ever come that Palladium Books cannot fulfill the terms of our Kickstarter project, we will of course offer refunds, as we would be required to do by Kickstarter.

      In the meantime, please be patient. We appreciate your support of the project, and your pledge will help us to produce a fantastic product that we think everyone will enjoy.

      With Appreciation,
      The Palladium Books Team"

      REFUND AS PROMISED PLEASE

    48. Thaddeus Ryker
      Superbacker
      on

      If Palladium fails to deliver a partial refund, which they are obligated to give per Kickstarter's terms, I would also be open to signing onto a class action suit.

    49. Thaddeus Ryker
      Superbacker
      on

      I too want a refund for the remaining owed pledge amount. I have zero faith in Palladium these days.