INTO THE MOTHERLANDS Publisher Cancels Plans

Andrews McMeel Publishing, which also publishes Daniel Fox's Zweihander tabletop RPG, and was...

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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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I've rarely seen a Kickstarter I backed arrive on time yet, the vast majority are late. Although delays have usually only been a matter of months.
I would rate everything that delivers with less than a quarter delay as still on time, or at least, mostly on time. But a surprising amount of projects (even including first time creators in Zinequest) still deliver eventually.

That being said, not having the system for your game defined at least in broad strokes is definitely a red flag, second probably only to unrealistic goals and overpromising with stretch goals when it comes to failed campaigns.
 

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timbannock

Adventurer
Supporter
Basically everyone involved in Into the Motherlands has been professionally involved in gaming for quite some time now. Even if they aren't all game designers and publishers by trade, they've been very close with people that are, and several of them have plenty of credits to their own names that are professionally produced things, whether podcasts, live streams, gaming events, and so on. I really feel like they are a team that has proven themselves in other ways already, so this being a first published RPG shouldn't be seen as that big of a hurdle for them.

Andrews McMeel, however, also planned to publish Swordsfall, and noticeably (but quietly) backed down once that became vaporware. I think that shows a couple things, among them that they aren't hiding what's happened up to this point with Into the Motherlands, which suggests that it truly is a "hey, this was a good thing, we just aren't in that line of business anymore." As opposed to SF, which was "oh no, this is a huge debacle, let's never speak of it again."

I was quite avidly following both Swordsfall and Into the Motherlands from day one, and Into the Motherlands has been better in every way about communication, in addition to being made up of people with a substantial body of work behind them. Just my 2cents.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I've rarely seen a Kickstarter I backed arrive on time yet, the vast majority are late. Although delays have usually only been a matter of months.

Some examples.

Starforged - Campaign claimed March 22, Arrival Nov 22.
The Expanse - Campaign claimed Jan 2019, July 2019.

Only seen one completely fail (and it was on gameontabletop, Dark Conspiracy which seemed like they took the money and disappeared), I have one I'm losing hope for although it still gets occasional updates. The shipping cost surprise has pretty much stopped me backing Kickstarters recently.
And were those supply chain issues or had they promised you a pony?

Everyone in manufacturing and publishing, on Kickstarter or off, had supply chain issues.
 

Bagpuss

Legend
Various reason for delay, clearly The Expanse wasn't pandemic related. Generally I find unless they already have the product virtually ready to go and the Kickstarter is really a pre-order in disguise they are over optimistic in when they can deliver. Usually only by a matter of a few months though.
 

Anon Adderlan

Explorer
Would ENWorld Publishing be able to step up and help I wonder?

It's sad that Andrews McNeel dropped its RPG division, because they were able to get RPGs into spaces that are traditionally difficult for small presses.
More concerningly is they didn't consider it worth doing so despite the opportunities left in the wake of #WotC's mistakes.

I can't imagine a big time publisher making much if any money on games where the underlying rules engine is a more fiddly WFRP retroclone.
Yet they're still publishing those.

Basically everyone involved in Into the Motherlands has been professionally involved in gaming for quite some time now.
That makes their lack of system and setting even more damning though.

Andrews McMeel, however, also planned to publish Swordsfall, and noticeably (but quietly) backed down once that became vaporware.
Well there's also that #MeToo thing which the designer blamed on Autism.
 

Dustin_00

Explorer
System Shock launched in June 2016... maybe someday it'll be finished.

But I only pledged $30. Software is risky.

But a book... I suspect the production prices jumped with the Covid supply/demand chaos and there are plenty of publishers, but they're all coming in so high, the Kickstarter creators would eat a big loss. Feels really bad seeing how many pledged $200+ for the project.
 

timbannock

Adventurer
Supporter
That makes their lack of system and setting even more damning though.


Well there's also that #MeToo thing which the designer blamed on Autism.
Yeah, that's probably the biggest reason why Swordsfall became vaporware.

How is "we're looking at systems, and because we're unsure of the status of Cortex Prime at this moment, we've got people on the team that can do game design" damning? Since it's Kickstarter, the point is that you hand them money by choice to do the thing they are saying they will do, and in this case, "possibly designing a game system" was on the table from the jump. Also, rather importantly, the latest updates are that the system their designing uses dice pools...which is what Cortex Prime uses. So it looks like they aren't exactly straying terribly far from what their show includes.

They weren't sneaky about this stuff. Anyone that backed it should be critically reading what they are backing.
 



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