Cubicle 7 bids farewell to Qin, Rocket Age, Yggdrasill and more…
  • Cubicle 7 bids farewell to Qin, Rocket Age, Yggdrasill and more…


    Cubicle 7 Entertainment has announced that several of its licensed properties are moving on to pastures new. Five games in all are affected : Ken Spencer’s Rocket Age, and the 7eme Cercle translations Qin: The Warring States, Kuro, Yggdrasill and Keltia. June 30th 2017 is the last day you will be able to order any of these books in print or PDF through Cubicle 7.


    Rocket Age
    is returning to designer Ken Spencer and apparently an announcement about a new publisher for the game will be made shortly. There were apparently books in development (at what stage is unclear), including a rumoured Jupiter book, so it sounds like these will see the light of day with a new company. Rocket Age had been with published by Cubicle 7, using their Vortex house system designed originally by Dave Chapman for Doctor Who: Adventures in Time & Space for the last five years.


    Cubicle 7’s range of translated games are also leaving after ten years with the company. The games are all reverting back to French publisher 7eme Cercle who have started making some translations of their other games into English themselves through their sister company AKA Games. Some of the games may go out of print in English as lines such as Qin: The Warring States was a finite number of books which have all been available for some time so they might not be worth reprinting in the near term.

    So today (Friday 30th June) is the last chance to complete your gaps or grab one of the games that you’ve been wanting but haven’t gotten around to buying yet!

    The PDFs of all titles are currently available on DriveThruRPG whilst the physical titles are available on the Cubicle 7 webstore. Any stock currently in distribution and retail stores is not affected but will obviously only be available whilst stocks last.
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. Lord_Blacksteel's Avatar
      Lord_Blacksteel -
      I was going to say something about an extreme lack of notice about this and express some surprise then I realized there was no link to the actual announcement anywhere in this article. I went to Cubicle 7's website - nothing. I went into their forums and the Cubicle 7 news sub-forum and there it is - originally announced April 7th.

      When we get these kinds of news posts could we include a link to the actual announcement?
    1. Doctor Futurity -
      I don't understand this sentence: "Some of the games may go out of print in English as lines such as Qin: The Warring States was a finite number of books which have all been available for some time so they might not be worth reprinting in the near term."

      I would interpret that as a really good case for why they should be reprinted. Trying to find any of these books has been an ordeal, and I finally found a used copy of Qin which was an amazing tome....but getting buy in from my group who cannot find a copy is hard.

      I didn't know about Kuro until it was already sold out. I've been waiting ever since for a copy to appear that wasn't being sold for a mint on Ebay. So....yeah, I think these are all worth reprinting.
    1. AngusA's Avatar
      AngusA -
      Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Futurity View Post
      I don't understand this sentence: "Some of the games may go out of print in English as lines such as Qin: The Warring States was a finite number of books which have all been available for some time so they might not be worth reprinting in the near term."

      I would interpret that as a really good case for why they should be reprinted. Trying to find any of these books has been an ordeal, and I finally found a used copy of Qin which was an amazing tome....but getting buy in from my group who cannot find a copy is hard.

      I didn't know about Kuro until it was already sold out. I've been waiting ever since for a copy to appear that wasn't being sold for a mint on Ebay. So....yeah, I think these are all worth reprinting.
      The problem is that books that have a finite number of titles will be considered 'dead lines' by many distributors and retailers as no new material is coming out to support them. Thus they are less likely to restock the line unless it is a great seller (and after ten years of availability you might not be seeing very many sales). Whenever a new book is released for a line the company will generally see a 'bump' in orders from distributors/retailers of the back catalog of products in that line - as they have confidence the line is alive and so restock the older books to go alongside the new release.

      Qin hasn't had a new book for years and no further books are planned (as far as I'm aware). Doing a print run for a hardcover book with colour templates (if not entirely full colour) is expensive and you really need a minimum quantity to make it economically practical. If you could downgrade the books to black and white then it becomes a lot more viable - and of course with the softcovers you can mitigate risk by printing off smaller runs through some of the print-on-demand services as opposed to printing higher quantities through traditional full-run printers.

      Maybe a possible solution is to run a Kickstarter to reprint each line. That way the demand can be seen before reprinting and, if enough demand exists, maybe even persuade the publisher to look at bringing out some brand new material for it too.

      All the books should be available in PDF though - which is always an option until physical copies can be found. I'd actually suggest making the PDFs also available to buy as print-on-demand through drivetrhu/RPGNow like the older long out of print White Wolf and TSR/WotC titles so people can still access them if they'd like without the publisher having to risk a large inventory sitting in a warehouse.
    1. Doctor Futurity -
      Quote Originally Posted by AngusA View Post
      The problem is that books that have a finite number of titles will be considered 'dead lines' by many distributors and retailers as no new material is coming out to support them. Thus they are less likely to restock the line unless it is a great seller (and after ten years of availability you might not be seeing very many sales). Whenever a new book is released for a line the company will generally see a 'bump' in orders from distributors/retailers of the back catalog of products in that line - as they have confidence the line is alive and so restock the older books to go alongside the new release.

      Qin hasn't had a new book for years and no further books are planned (as far as I'm aware). Doing a print run for a hardcover book with colour templates (if not entirely full colour) is expensive and you really need a minimum quantity to make it economically practical. If you could downgrade the books to black and white then it becomes a lot more viable - and of course with the softcovers you can mitigate risk by printing off smaller runs through some of the print-on-demand services as opposed to printing higher quantities through traditional full-run printers.

      Maybe a possible solution is to run a Kickstarter to reprint each line. That way the demand can be seen before reprinting and, if enough demand exists, maybe even persuade the publisher to look at bringing out some brand new material for it too.

      All the books should be available in PDF though - which is always an option until physical copies can be found. I'd actually suggest making the PDFs also available to buy as print-on-demand through drivetrhu/RPGNow like the older long out of print White Wolf and TSR/WotC titles so people can still access them if they'd like without the publisher having to risk a large inventory sitting in a warehouse.
      True, but perhaps I am finally coming around to the idea that an RPG should not define its health by the brick-and-mortar distribution system's limited needs. Online sales and POD may be the best way to go for books like these. Both were so slight in their actual impact on the hobby due to the limits of the conventional distribution system that my knowledge of either system came well after the fact of their release, and via more obscure references at rpg.net and elsewhere. Kickstarter is even worse...it will cater to the closed loop of fans but without sufficient marketing (a difficult prospect) it won't reach potential buyers like myself who aren't in that loop (unless they advertise on ENWorld, I suppose).

      I suppose what I am saying is that no game like Kuro or Qin need fade away simply because the old school distribution method suggests they have run out of life. Yes...and apologies as I go anecdotal here.....I live in a state where neither of these books would ever be sold or stocked by the FLGSs anyway, unfortunately, so online options remain my only best bet anyway.

      (All I'm really saying is that I agree with your last comment: whoever owns/continues with Qin and Kuro, making these available in POD format somewhere couldn't possibly hurt. There's still a long tail for sales on both books, I think.)

      EDIT: was checking again at ebay. Kuro is around $200 for a copy there. Sigh.
    1. AngusA's Avatar
      AngusA -
      Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Futurity View Post
      True, but perhaps I am finally coming around to the idea that an RPG should not define its health by the brick-and-mortar distribution system's limited needs. Online sales and POD may be the best way to go for books like these. Both were so slight in their actual impact on the hobby due to the limits of the conventional distribution system that my knowledge of either system came well after the fact of their release, and via more obscure references at rpg.net and elsewhere. Kickstarter is even worse...it will cater to the closed loop of fans but without sufficient marketing (a difficult prospect) it won't reach potential buyers like myself who aren't in that loop (unless they advertise on ENWorld, I suppose).

      I suppose what I am saying is that no game like Kuro or Qin need fade away simply because the old school distribution method suggests they have run out of life. Yes...and apologies as I go anecdotal here.....I live in a state where neither of these books would ever be sold or stocked by the FLGSs anyway, unfortunately, so online options remain my only best bet anyway.

      (All I'm really saying is that I agree with your last comment: whoever owns/continues with Qin and Kuro, making these available in POD format somewhere couldn't possibly hurt. There's still a long tail for sales on both books, I think.)

      EDIT: was checking again at ebay. Kuro is around $200 for a copy there. Sigh.
      I agree. A RPGs health shouldn't be down to how well it does through Bricks & Mortar stores. Especially as on one hand the RPG Industry is currently doing better than it has in decades with a lot of financial growth and variety of games but on the other hand many companies are struggling to get into distribution and retail stores. Kickstarter has been a game changer in some ways, not least because it's showing that there is actually quite a lot of demand for RPGs and by using KS and other crowdfunding platforms many companies are actually seeing more money than they'd have gotten by releasing the book through traditional means and also getting that money upfront so they don't have to take the risk (or try and find the money) to print the book(s). PDFs and POD have also both further helped gaming companies and there are actually a few PDF (and/or POD) only publishers who do it fulltime these days which once upon a time would have been unheard of.

      It is harder for a lot of companies to do traditional runs though - especially if they're looking at full colour books - due to the initial outlay in costs (if they haven't raised the money via crowdfunding platforms and thus covered the print costs from the outset). With a game like Qin - a full color Hardcover book - the non-crowdfunding options look like being either making the game available as a POD through DriveThru/RPGNow as a full colour premium book (which will sadly mean it's almost certainly going to have too expensive a base print cost to allow a distributor margin and keep it at a reasonable MSRP so they just sell direct to the customer and bypass distribution to keep the end user cost down) or to change the format and go black & white as you can still get some very good prices on black & white books with low print runs (Hardcover as well as Softcover) and take those into retail as well as direct sales.

      I personally think they should be able to fund a new full colour hardcover print run through Kickstarter though if they wanted to as they can also offer all the lines PDFs and the other books as POD versions in the campaign too which should help raise the total.
    1. trancejeremy's Avatar
      trancejeremy -
      I think it's probably hard to do licensed properties as POD and digital sales. You have to do extra accounting to make sure the license owners are paid exactly, rather than having it written out ahead of time and it's probably not worth the effort
    1. AngusA's Avatar
      AngusA -
      Quote Originally Posted by trancejeremy View Post
      I think it's probably hard to do licensed properties as POD and digital sales. You have to do extra accounting to make sure the license owners are paid exactly, rather than having it written out ahead of time and it's probably not worth the effort
      For licensed properties you need a strong and correct paper trail. Accurate reporting is a must for accounts and royalties. You can get monthly sales reports off DriveThru/RPGNow for digital sales so that's easy enough - just an extra line on the royalty report that you'd need to cover anyway. For POD it's a case of recording and keeping every print invoice. If it's POD through DriveThru/RPGNow then that's one line on a monthly sales report showing you the details (nice and easy) if you're doing your own POD then you'd need to keep copies of all the print invoices and tally them up into a sales lines on your royalty report (and record each order on your own accounts).

      But 7eme Cercle own Qin, Kuro, etc, so would just need to do their own accounts and not worry about having to do a quarterly royalty report to a licensor.
    1. Ken Spencer's Avatar
      Ken Spencer -
      Why Not Games will be publishing Rocket Age from here on out. Once this (hopefully short) transition period is over the existing product line as well as new material will be up for sale. Check us out for more information: http://www.whynotgames.com
    Comments Leave Comment