D&D General What happened to Sasquatch Game Studios?

A2Z

Explorer
Does anyone know what happened to Sasquatch Game Studios? Their website hasn't been updated since 2018 . Their last Kickstarter for Alternity seems to have fizzled out without delivering everything that was promised. There's lots of complaints in the comments and no one from the company has posted there on over a year. The last update was May of this year. And finally Richard Baker left the company in February 2020.

From his blog;
What about Sasquatch Game Studio?

I’m stepping away from active participation in Sasquatch. We’ve got some work to do on one more sourcebook for our Alternity RPG Kickstarter campaign, and I’ve arranged some freelance help to get that book finished. Going forward, Dave Noonan and Steve Schubert will handle all Sasquatch business decisions and product development. I wish them the best!

I really enjoyed Primeval Thule and I was kind of excited for the return of Alternity, though their new version doesn't seem to have too much in common with the original. These were some big names to have just dropped the ball on things like that. Especially considering they even created one of the official adventure for WotC.

So yeah, what happened? I'm kind of surprised I haven't seen anything about it.
 

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Their last Kickstarter for Alternity seems to have fizzled out without delivering everything that was promised.
My guess would be (as someone who was in the kickstarter) they set the KS minimum too low to create Alternity, promised expansions with good intentions, and then realized it's not enough money to pay people for the work. Stuck in a terrible loss-limbo.
I've only backed a handful of Kickstarters since 2010. I always got what was promised. But are there no repercussions for companies/projects that don't deliver what was promised? If I'm understanding this they over promised, ran out of money, and then disappeared without any explanation? Good intentions aside, how are companies allowed to get away with this or KS not on the hook to make sure the project is completely fulfilled. This will just make me even more cautious and selective next time I consider backing another. Really what's stopping a company that list a project with no intentions of ever creating the product and just taking people's money?
 


DarkCrisis

Legend
it happens. Rarely, luckily. I think I’ve been ghosted on 2-3 projects. Video game based, though.

Only almost ghosted I had was the Evil Dead board game but another investor stepped in or something and saved the project after they said they could afford to complete it.
 


Fanaelialae

Legend
I've only backed a handful of Kickstarters since 2010. I always got what was promised. But are there no repercussions for companies/projects that don't deliver what was promised? If I'm understanding this they over promised, ran out of money, and then disappeared without any explanation? Good intentions aside, how are companies allowed to get away with this or KS not on the hook to make sure the project is completely fulfilled. This will just make me even more cautious and selective next time I consider backing another. Really what's stopping a company that list a project with no intentions of ever creating the product and just taking people's money?
KS actually says in their terms that they're not responsible for and don't guarantee fulfillment.

It's unfortunate, but it does happen. I've pledged to a lot of KS over the years and most fulfilled. A few didn't but did offer explanations and apologized. And a couple (Hunter's Mark, ZNAPS, Dragonheim) simply ghosted. I saw some folks discussing the possibility of a class action lawsuit in the comments of at least one of those projects, but I'm not sure if anything ever came of it.

The simple fact is, if you pledge on a KS you should accept that it's possible that you're simply throwing your money away. The good news is that the majority of the time, you won't be and it will fulfill, though odds are extremely good that the fulfillment will be past the original deadline.
 

dave2008

Legend
I've only backed a handful of Kickstarters since 2010. I always got what was promised. But are there no repercussions for companies/projects that don't deliver what was promised? If I'm understanding this they over promised, ran out of money, and then disappeared without any explanation? Good intentions aside, how are companies allowed to get away with this or KS not on the hook to make sure the project is completely fulfilled. This will just make me even more cautious and selective next time I consider backing another. Really what's stopping a company that list a project with no intentions of ever creating the product and just taking people's money?
As others have said, KS is a gamble as nothing is guaranteed. I ran a Kickstarter that funded and then I couldn't deliver. I offered everyone refunds, but that was my choice. Kickstarter didn't require it.
 
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The simple fact is, if you pledge on a KS you should accept that it's possible that you're simply throwing your money away. The good news is that the majority of the time, you won't be and it will fulfill, though odds are extremely good that the fulfillment will be past the original deadline.
As others have said KS is a gamble as nothing is guaranteed. I ran a Kickstarter that funded and then I couldn't deliver. I offered everyone refunds, but that was my choice. Kickstarter didn't require it.
As I said I've been lucky with my pledges being fulfilled, but clearly it's a case of buyer beware. I generally just pledge the minimum for a hard copy, avoid add-ons and stretch goals. I can see how determining the cost of producing a one-off project could be miscalculated leading to project being partially or completely unfulfilled. As long as they were transparent and offered a legitimate explanation why things went awry, I could live with losing out on some money; and if they offered a refund then all the better. I'm just surprised the people at Sasquatch Games who were pretty big, well-respected names in the industry just vanished without giving a reason why.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
As I said I've been lucky with my pledges being fulfilled, but clearly it's a case of buyer beware. I generally just pledge the minimum for a hard copy, avoid add-ons and stretch goals. I can see how determining the cost of producing a one-off project could be miscalculated leading to project being partially or completely unfulfilled. As long as they were transparent and offered a legitimate explanation why things went awry, I could live with losing out on some money; and if they offered a refund then all the better. I'm just surprised the people at Sasquatch Games who were pretty big, well-respected names in the industry just vanished without giving a reason why.
Yeah, I agree. I didn't back the Alternity KS, but I did consider it, and it really seemed like a safe bet to me. There are plenty of projects where I accept non-fulfillment as a possibility, but I wouldn't have expected it of Sasquatch (prior to this). I mean, even a heavy hearted apology about the rising costs of shipping (or whatever happened) and providing PDFs of what they had so far would have been better than simply going dark. I've seen first-time designers on KS handle fulfillment issues more professionally than that.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I've only backed a handful of Kickstarters since 2010. I always got what was promised. But are there no repercussions for companies/projects that don't deliver what was promised?

Well, their reputation takes a hit, which may mean they never get another Kickstarter to run.

If I'm understanding this they over promised, ran out of money, and then disappeared without any explanation?

Not quite. They updated the kickstarter supporters thusly:

"We’ll get to the point: We are suspending work on the Alternity Shipyard book and offering a refund equal to its value for backers whose rewards included a physical copy of the book.

After several attempts, we have reluctantly arrived at the conclusion that we can’t deliver this book in a way that matches the specifications we outlined or the quality bar we established with the rest of the Alternity line."


And then went on to inform people how to get their refunds.

They did deliver on a stack of products, still available on DriveThruRPG. The core rules and several supplements were completed. This last one, however, didn't make it across the line.

Good intentions aside, how are companies allowed to get away with this or KS not on the hook to make sure the project is completely fulfilled.

By telling you, up front, that they might not. Kickstarter makes no bones that there are no guarantees - the original point of the platform was not as "reliable storefront" but as an alternative source of funding for what might be risky projects.
 


Fanaelialae

Legend
Well, their reputation takes a hit, which may mean they never get another Kickstarter to run.



Not quite. They updated the kickstarter supporters thusly:

"We’ll get to the point: We are suspending work on the Alternity Shipyard book and offering a refund equal to its value for backers whose rewards included a physical copy of the book.

After several attempts, we have reluctantly arrived at the conclusion that we can’t deliver this book in a way that matches the specifications we outlined or the quality bar we established with the rest of the Alternity line."


And then went on to inform people how to get their refunds.

They did deliver on a stack of products, still available on DriveThruRPG. The core rules and several supplements were completed. This last one, however, didn't make it across the line.



By telling you, up front, that they might not. Kickstarter makes no bones that there are no guarantees - the original point of the platform was not as "reliable storefront" but as an alternative source of funding for what might be risky projects.
Thanks for clarifying. I was under the mistaken assumption that they hadn't delivered much of what was promised. This doesn't sound nearly as bad as all that. Glad to hear it.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Oh! I wish that post was public. But I get it might contain things that need to be backer only.

And, we can note - they gave (admittedly infrequent) updates on the Shipyard book that failed, so that nobody should have been surprised by it failing. It was supposed to be an art-heavy work, and apparently the first batch of art and such just wasn't up to snuff, so they had to basically do it all from scratch, and that just didn't work out.
 

Well, their reputation takes a hit, which may mean they never get another Kickstarter to run.



Not quite. They updated the kickstarter supporters thusly:

"We’ll get to the point: We are suspending work on the Alternity Shipyard book and offering a refund equal to its value for backers whose rewards included a physical copy of the book.

After several attempts, we have reluctantly arrived at the conclusion that we can’t deliver this book in a way that matches the specifications we outlined or the quality bar we established with the rest of the Alternity line."


And then went on to inform people how to get their refunds.

They did deliver on a stack of products, still available on DriveThruRPG. The core rules and several supplements were completed. This last one, however, didn't make it across the line.



By telling you, up front, that they might not. Kickstarter makes no bones that there are no guarantees - the original point of the platform was not as "reliable storefront" but as an alternative source of funding for what might be risky projects.
This does clear up alot. I didnt back this so I was only privy to what was in this thread. Sounds like they did everything in their power to make things right by being transparent, offering refunds and not putting out a sub-par product. Definitely not as bad as it seemed.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
it happens. Rarely, luckily. I think I’ve been ghosted on 2-3 projects. Video game based, though.

Only almost ghosted I had was the Evil Dead board game but another investor stepped in or something and saved the project after they said they could afford to complete it.
The only unfulfilled KS I’ve backed was welcome to tikor, which luckily I only did a placeholder pledge. It’s almost 3 years past “estimated fulfillment” and the creator has since been plausibly accused of harassment and abuse by another creator.

Dodged a bullet there.
 

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