Why I will never back another Queen Games Kickstarter campaign

I’ve backed two campaigns created by Queen Games (QG): “Chicago Express” and “Escape Big Box”. Both were delayed and in both cases, QG used two strategies towards backers: Utter silence or making promises that were not kept. “Chicago Express” was delayed for three months but this blog post is not about that game. If you want to see what happened, read through the campaign updates and comments on the Chicago Express Kickstarter campaign. So on with the story about “Escape Big Box”.

The short version:

Here’s what was planned to happen:

  • May, 2014: Project funded (i.e. QG takes my money).
  • November, 2014: Delivery of the base game and digital download.
  • March, 2015: Delivery of the “Traps” expansion.

Here’s what did happen:

  • May, 2014: Project funded (i.e. QG took my money).
  • December, 2014: Delivery of most of the base game in the EU (this includes me).
  • April, 2015: Delivery of the missing sand timer (upon request).
  • June 23, 2015: Digital download is available.
  • December, 2015: Delivery of the missing items from the base game.
  • December, 2015: Delivery of the “Traps” expansion.

Conclusion: The complete base game was delayed for more than a year, and the “Traps” expansion was delayed for 9 months.

The long version:

QG seemed very excited about the game and kept posting updates and answering people’s questions on Kickstarter. Right up until the project were funded and they got their money. Then QG stopped answering questions on Kickstarter and the campaign updates were mostly promotions for their other campaigns.

When people received their games, they noticed that some items were missing: A sand timer and a specific stretch goal consisting of two tiles. It took a long time to make QG agree to deliver the missing tiles.

Below I’ll sum up what communication QG communicated in updates in the year after the project was funded. Some info was also given in comments but this can’t be considered public communication as it requires backers to read though hundreds of comments.

  • May 7, 2014 (Rajive): Thanks for backing.
  • [Silence…]
  • September 8, 2014 (Keith): Game is now being printed. Game will be delivered in October, a month early. (promise will be broken).
  • September 29, 2014 (Keith): Game production starts this week (this contradicts previous status). Game will be delivered in October, a month early. (promise will be broken).
  • November 2, 2014 (Keith): Shipping info will change, update will follow shortly (promise will be broken).
  • November 6, 2014 (Keith): Printing error. New print has been received. Game will ship late November.
  • December 3, 2014 (Keith): New print has been received (this contradicts previous status). Game will ship soon (no estimate) (promise will be partly broken).
  • December 24, 2014 (Rajive, CEO): There are missing items in the game. Will ship sand timer and two room tiles ASAP (no estimate, promise will be partly broken). Digital download in February, 2015 (this promise will be broken).
  • January 8, 2014 (Rajive, CEO): New communication team (Peter, Frank, Jörg and Nikki).
  • January 8, 2014 (Peter): We’ll improve communications.
  • January 8, 2014 (Peter): US: Shipping will start next week. Canada: Shipping at end of January (promise will be broken).
  • January 22, 2014 (Peter): US: Shipping. Canada: Shipping next week (promise will be broken).
  • January 30, 2014 (Peter): The promised Queenie #9 and #10 are the two misprints, so backers have received them. (Later we’ll see that this is incorrect).
  • February 20, 2014 (Jörg): Shipping has started in Canada.
  • March 13, 2014 (Jo): “Traps” expansion will now be designed (this should have been done a long time ago). Production will be in June 15 (promise will be broken).
  • [Silence…]
  • June 23, 2015 (QG): “Traps” illustration has now begun (this should have been done a long time ago). Digital download is now available.
  • August 12, 2015 (Jo): Production of “Traps” and two missing tiles will begin in September.
  • October 6, 2015 (QG): “Traps” expansion and two missing tiles have been produced. EU shipping next week (promise will be broken).
  • October 15, 2015 (QG): “Traps” expansion and two missing tiles will ship in 10-12 days (promise will be broken).
  • November 5, 2015 (QG): “Traps” expansion will ship now (promise will be broken).
  • November 11, 2015 (QG): “Traps” expansion will ship now (promise will be partly broken).
  • November 11, 2015 (QG): Two missing tiles will ship now.
  • November 16, 2015 (QG): “Traps” expansion will ship in US/Canada now.

As you can see, lots of silence and lots of promises – most of them broken. This has resulted in frustration for more than a year but now it’s finally over – for me at least.

A few notes supplement this awful experience.

  • As previously mentioned, I got the missing tiles in December, 2015, over a year later than promised.
  • Queenie #9 and #10 ended up being the missing the missing tiles.
  • From reading the comments I can conclude that QG never shipped the missing timer as promised – customers had to ask for it. I had to write the CEO of QG to get through to the company and get the sand timer.
  • Since QG stopped answering people’s questions on Kickstarter, I had to write multiple times through e-mail but I never got an answer until I wrote the CEO (Rajive Gupta). Then I got an answer from Carlotta and the missing sand timer shortly after. The second time I wrote them about the missing tiles I never got an answer.
  • Hundreds of complaints have been made on Kickstarter and QG have ignored most of them.
  • As previously mentioned, I got the missing tiles in December, 2015, over a year later than promised. The backers of the Traps expansion are still receiving their games at the time of writing, 9 months late.

Update December, 2016: Queen Games continue to delay their Kickstarter projects. All current projects that were scheduled to ship in late 2016 have been delayed until March-April, 2017 with no reasonable explanation (“uncontrollable delays” is not a reasonable explanation). The consistent delays back up my suspicion that the company is in huge financial trouble and that they finance their games by creating new Kickstarter projects (a bad financial practice called “ponzi scheme”).

One thought on “Why I will never back another Queen Games Kickstarter campaign

  1. Freddy

    Lucky you! At least you’re done with QG.
    I didn’t pledge the Traps expansion, so I’m still waiting for Queenies #9 and #10. Hope I’ll get my Queenies soon…
    Great post! Nice work 🙂
    This is the sad reality with QG.

    Reply

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