INTO THE MOTHERLANDS Publisher Cancels Plans

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Andrews McMeel Publishing, which also publishes Daniel Fox's Zweihander tabletop RPG, and was going to publish the Afrofuturist game Into the Motherlands, is apparently no longer going ahead with plans to produce that game.

AMP also publishes the OZ and Neverland campaign settings (which will continue to be published by them).

While Andrews McMeel itself has not made any kind of announcement, the Into the Motherlands creators confirmed the news on Twitter:

We come bearing some disappointing news for you all. Despite keeping up our end of the bargain and doing all of our work in good faith to get AMU a final manuscript by their deadline; they informed us they are no longer publishing RPG's despite having a contract with us; and terminated it during a meeting to inform us of shutting down the RPG division. We've been searching for a new publisher, and have another meeting this Thursday.

Pending the outcome of that meeting we will either have an announcement soon or we may have to turn to self publishing. It's unclear what this means for delivery of the printed books but a PDF should be in hand before the end of the year. We had budgeted for self-publishing from the beginning and have the money set aside, but our goal for working with a publisher has been to make the game available far and wide, in as many locations and outlets as possible.

This is not news we'd hoped to give, but we wanted to keep you all up to date with as much info as we can provide at this time. Thanks for understanding.

Andrew McMeel was announced as publisher for the game in May 2022. The game itself funded successfully on Kickstarter, making over $360,000, in June 2021.

Daniel Fox, creator of Zweihander, announced his departure from Andrews McMeel in December but indicated that AMP would continue to publish Zweihander. This week, Fox indicated that "my former employer wound down RPGs", so reports right now appear to be conflicting. The company is currently advertising Blackbirds, a Zweihander powered game, on its front page.
 
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EthanSental

Legend
Supporter
I didn’t remember seeing this in a crowdfunding article and saw the campaign date of June 2021. Another example of why I like the Enworld approach to the PDFs available as soon as the crowdfunding portion has ended.

Looks like some entertaining people involved in the creation, hopefully they find an outlet for the game. A non 5e rule set with 5k backers and $360k in pledges is one to keep track of in the future Enworld article of non 5e games under Orc before/after orc relates game release :)
 

I didn’t remember seeing this in a crowdfunding article and saw the campaign date of June 2021. Another example of why I like the Enworld approach to the PDFs available as soon as the crowdfunding portion has ended.

Looks like some entertaining people involved in the creation, hopefully they find an outlet for the game. A non 5e rule set with 5k backers and $360k in pledges is one to keep track of in the future Enworld article of non 5e games under Orc before/after orc relates game release :)

So far it's not actually that late for Kickstarter—they had said PDFs would go out August 2022, and the physical book September 2022. But as I've griped about in the main thread about this campaign, those dates were before they decided to go with their own system, which they hadn't even started developing until mid-campaign.

I think it's a pretty bogus and unprofessional campaign, to be honest. Poor planning, weirdly defensive updates, offering dice as an add-on when they didn't even know what system or dice it would use! I hope everyone who backed gets something, of course, but to get this much funding and be flailing from the start is a bad sign.
 

EthanSental

Legend
Supporter
Didn’t know that and hate to hear that @Grendel_Khan. The defensive update part seems to be the norm for how many struggling kickstarters respond.

With that nugget and not that I think the Andrew McMeel rpg side folded as far as making rpgs but if AMP was asking for updates as well for book publishing and other timelines, I would be frustrated as well on their end.

Hopefully the creative team pulls things together and fulfills the Kickstarter cause the art pieces look great as far as catching the eye to want to read more…like a good comic or game cover at least gets you to pick it up and check it out.
 

Cergorach

The Laughing One
I think it's a pretty bogus and unprofessional campaign, to be honest. Poor planning, weirdly defensive updates, offering dice as an add-on when they didn't even know what system or dice it would use! I hope everyone who backed gets something, of course, but to get this much funding and be flailing from the start is a bad sign.
They had an idea, a story and some art. Not a product. That's not unique to this KS, I would say that this is pretty much the rule and not the exception for RPGs on KS. People knew before backing this KS that a rulesset was not yet decided on, it wouldn't be D20/5E (that was all they knew). They should have been more clear with the dice (and not add an image of a specific dice set composition). But overall, if you didn't understand what you were getting into from the main campaign page, then you must not have read it. This was a risky KS to back, not because of the material, but because it's their first RPG on KS, they have one other KS and that was pins.

There are many things I find extremely risky on KS: Electronics, software, and big RPG projects from unknown entities without a track record. This RPG looks interesting from an art/setting perspective, I think this would have been far more interesting as a setting book, instead much of the book will be dedicated to another new rules set...
 


They had an idea, a story and some art. Not a product. That's not unique to this KS, I would say that this is pretty much the rule and not the exception for RPGs on KS.

Totally disagree. I look at Kickstarter RPG campaigns obsessively, and with the exception of people posting their first-ever campaign, it's incredibly rare for someone to start seeking funding without a system. That's absolute amateur-hour stuff.

They should have been more clear with the dice (and not add an image of a specific dice set composition).

They did post a picture, and it was just a generic full set (d4 through d20). Super misleading.

But overall, if you didn't understand what you were getting into from the main campaign page, then you must not have read it. This was a risky KS to back, not because of the material, but because it's their first RPG on KS, they have one other KS and that was pins.

There are many things I find extremely risky on KS: Electronics, software, and big RPG projects from unknown entities without a track record.

Kickstarter is full of terrible projects, including tons that never happen, or are just repackaging products (usually gadgets) already for sale elsewhere. That's just how the platform is, and everyone should know by now how to weigh these risks for themselves. I'm not saying this campaign is that sort of scam, or that it was tricking people. They were very clear about not knowing what they were doing, and trading 100% on the visibility and success of their stream. People who backed definitely should have known what they were getting into. But that doesn't change the fact that it was a hot mess from jump.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I would say that this is pretty much the rule and not the exception for RPGs on KS.
Having backed an OMG number of RPG products on Kickstarter, I categorically disagree. The overwhelming majority of campaigns fulfill their orders and, pandemic supply chain issues aside, almost always on time.

That said, hazy explanations of what the campaign is about, incredibly ambitious campaigns from a first-time publisher, huge add-ons thought-up mid-campaign (or after the campaign closes) are all red flags to avoid. If something seems too good to be true -- if they're promising you far more content than you could get for the same price at retail, plus a bunch of miniatures, plus a bespoke app, plus a pony, DON'T BACK THEM. Children cannot and should not be backing Kickstarter campaigns, so it's on the backer as much as the people behind the campaign to make sure you don't end up pouring money into a project that, realistically, you know is never going to come to fruition.
 

I'm the kind of person that really wants to see alternative world settings (one reason I'm a backer of Kalymba) rather than a rehash of some faux western feudal europe society, but I saw the red flags immediately.

That they didn't even decide what system they would use or develop by time of announcing the kickstarter was amateurish and a huge red flag. Even the theme of the game was not clear. What they had was nice artwork and developed ideas for the cultures in the game.

But that's not a full game, it's not even a prototype. It's very well established what is expected of a successful kickstsrter these days and while I'm sad at the state it's in now, I am not surprised.
 

Aldarc

Legend
Yeah, even if Andrews McNeel didn't cancel this project, there were definitely a number of red flags with this project that I remember at the time. If I am backing a TTRPG, I would like to know what system it uses or at least a basic explanation of the core system if it's a new system; however, they were defensive and non-committal about what system the game would use. It felt like they only had a vague sense of the product. The Kickstarter had less "here's our band's demo" vibes and more "hey, we should totally start a band" vibes.
 

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