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Death of MC: what do YOU think?! A no holds barred discussion.


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#1 Ruvion

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 05:46 AM

Some mentions scale. Some prices. Some delays, which led to loss of steam. Some says launch conflict from tough competitors (ie: WoW and MonPoc). Others, collectability: I for one dismissed this game out of hand when it was first announced that it would be a blind boostin' collectable game. Only when it died, I found that it was fixed distribution.

Maybe it all comes down to many little factors synergizing to create one soured experience for MC CMG. One too many straws for that camel's back kinda thing.

What are them real reasons? Don't pull punches. Tell me what you really think went down.



#2 Morphology

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 07:52 AM

I'm a latecomer to the game.  I noticed what was going on when Miniature Market added the boxed set and some boosters to their clearance section.  I waited and waited to see what the trend would be.  Not having played a game of 54 mm scale, I was only interested in the minis as sculptures.  For some reason, call it a demiurge, I bought the starter set and four boosters literally a day before FFG made the announcement of the cancellation.  I then went back and bought a second starter set and have picked up a couple of the "Lost Legion" sets and extra dice.

I read the rules, looked at some samples of play (haven't played yet) and find that this is a nice easy to pick up game that doesn't get bogged down in excessive detail.  It's the only game on this scale that looks approachable from a non-Warhammer player.  However, the market leans towards greater detail and larger armies and, thus, smaller figures.

I believe FFG when they said that they could not make a profit off of this game.  A quick google search yields a mere -half-dozen support and fan sites.  Without the community involvement, this game could never have survived. 

I'm glad I discovered it even during the endgame and I think that I will continue to play it for a long time.  One thing is simplified, I'll never need to worry about spending more on boosters.



#3 Tri3

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 08:27 AM

You want answers?
Fantasy Flight Games : I think I'm entitled to them.

You want answers?
Fantasy Flight Games : I want the truth!

You can't handle the truth! Fantasy Flight, we live in a world that has games. And those games have to be good with thought towards miniature scale.. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Fantasy Flight Games? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for the Death of Mutant Chronicles. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that the death of the Mutant Chronicles, while tragic, probably saved gamers. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves gamers...You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me to help you make decisions on scale. You need me to help you out during those meetings.

We use words like scale, playability, cost...we use these words as the backbone to a life spent gaming. You use 'em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a company who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very games I play, then questions the manner in which I play them! I'd rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a new game and a new scale. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to!

Actually the game IMO was a failure from the beginning. 54mm just doesn't fit into most gamers styles of play or type of miniatures collected. I would say at least 90% of the gamers that heard about a new Mutant Chronicles were initially excited but then became extremely disappointed when information about scale came out. I am not exactly sure what and how much time went into pre-marketing, but I can tell you that it wasn't enough. If more research had been done on the miniature scale alone, it should have been evident that 54mm is not the best selling scale to do. By far the best scale would have been either 15mm or 28/30mm. Since Warzone had already used those scales in the past, IMO, it should have been a no-brainer as to what scale to continue with. IMO more consulting of previous Mutant Chronicle gamers should have been utilized.

Even if the game/ruleset was a flop and the figures were in 28/30mm scale, you would have people buying the figures, just so they could have used them in other gaming systems. That alone probably would have helped sales.



#4 Dominik

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 09:58 AM

- long delays ...

- maybe the "scale-racism" ...

- maybe to high expectations about the paint-job in 54 mm ...

- even more long delays ...

- maybe the redesign of some "old scool" miniatures (Venusian Rangers for example)

- delays of Wave 1 - 3 between the US an europe (about 2 - 3 months for some warpacks)

- a little bit disappointing league kit

- no "real" mutant chronicles backround. just some miniatures and a ruleset.

- hard competitors (Monsterpocalypse, WoW Miniatures ...)

- overall: a worse selling

- maybe wrong combination of miniatures in the starter an warpacks (nearly no cool characters ... because MC IS character driven ...)

- no additional maps (only a "do it yourself" map pack)

- maybe the overall problem with whole franchise

- maybe the economy crisis

- maybe all of it above ...

 



#5 Mutant2089

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 10:33 AM

Morphology said:

I then went back and bought a second starter set and have picked up a couple of the "Lost Legion" sets

Hey, you who allready own the Lost Legion pack, what is the stuff that comes with it????

The product description mentioned a poster map, and promo cards. Is the map a new paper map that you can play on? Is the promo card the same cards as the downloadable stuff pdf-cards released??

And, the article about cancelation mentioned that you would get a Mutant Chronicles patch - what is that patch, if you got it??? Is it new rules???

 

Thx



#6 tHe_MaN

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 10:48 AM

 As a Mutant Chronicles licence old timer, I feel it my duty to tell you the rumors saying that the licence is cursed.

Hear! Hear! Ol' tHe_MaN's gonna tell you all the tale of the rise and fall of the MC licence.

Once upon a time, Mutant Chronicles was a compelling universe which first got to be known through a roleplaying game, soon thereafter through a miniature game (Warzone) and a CCG (Doomtrooper). That was in the mid-90s, and to the Swedish company behind it everything seemed possible, even to take on the mighty Warhammer licences. At the image of the drawings from Paul Bonner displayed everywhere, it was a time of hubris.

Proof that everything seemed to be destined to glory, MC RPG got a second edition in the late 90s, as well as Warzone, which also received enhanced minis. Three novels and four comics in the MC universe went to the market. There were even talks of a Hollywood movie.

But then it all crashed down. In 1998, Target Games was closed. All games on the MC licences were abandonned. The licence was purchased by Paradox, another Swedish company, which was known only to a handful of hardcore computer-wargame players. To many in the MC community, this is when the curse fell on our beloved game.

Paradox first tried to relaunch the licence through video games. There was first Mortificator, an infiltration game quickly cancelled. Then Warzone Online, a massively multiplayer tactical game, which was shown through gorgeous screenshots at the time, to be later cancelled. And last but not least, Mutant Chronicles Online, a MMORPG developed by a small team in Dubai, which also got to be cancelled.

In parallel to Mutant Chronicles Online, Paradox handed the rights to the Warzone miniature game to a small American company named Excelsior. With its CEO a big fan of the MC universe, they undertook with their very limited means to first issue the missing army books for the Second Edition, and ultimately to build a whole new edition. The project was huge, and after 3 years of delay it lead to a huge book, called Ultimate Warzone, which also came to be the downfall of Excelsior. Too big was the task at hand, especially since 90% of the work was done by Excelsior CEO, who simply could not keep up with the community expectations - and worst of all, with his own commitments. Excelsior lost the rights to Warzone in early 2005, and closed soon thereafter.

Where it should have been a new time of grief for the MC universe, the community actually got the excitment of three almost simultaneous announcements in 2005: first, a successful professionnal gaming company, Fantasy Flight Games, was to publish a MC collectible miniature game. Second, an unknown Swedish company, COG Games, was to develop and release a new edition of the RPG. And, last but not least, a full scale Hollywood movie was on track, with a 22M$ budget, and starring heavy weights such as Ron Perlman and John Malkovitch. Once again, hope was in the heart of the MC fans. Once again, these hopes were to be dashed.

The movie was completed in 2007, released in some countries in 2008, leaked to peer-to-peer networks the same year, and was one of the worst sci-fi-horror movie on earth. And with only the remotest link to the MC universe of the original RPG. Release in the US finally planned in late April 2009... in only two cinemas. A disaster.

The third edition of the RPG is, as of today, officially still on track. However, it has already been delayed several times, and the development team does not seem to be willing to announce a release date any more. Some rumors say that, as with Excelsior, the project undertaken was too big for the company, and that they got completely overwhelmed by the task. If anything is ever released one day, it is very likely to be the swan's song of COG.

As for the collectible miniature game, after several delays and a change in distribution mode, it is widely acknowledged as a great min game, original, fun to play and tactically deep. But still, it came to naught. The game was quickly stopped. The curse had striken again.

 

So now what? This short summary proves one thing: even if all projects based in the MC universe came to be failures after the original ones, the Mutant Chronicles licence is surprisingly resilient. There is no doubt others will, in the future, undertake to propose new games in the world of the Cardinal and the Dark Apostles. That most will fail, there is little doubt. But each project, even when it fails, is a tribute to the undying love of some for a universe that is both deep and catching. For despite all those failures and dashed hopes, if individual games fail and are forgotten, in the end the Mutant Chronicles live and even thrive!

 

As a conclusion, it appears quite obvious that as for most politicians and generals, hubris was the main reason why most MC projects failed. And while "official" licenced games rose and fell, slowly but surely a mind was at work, with small ambitions but sure results. Indeed, unknown to the large majority of humans, between 2005 and 2007 was released "Mutant Chronicles 2.5", an updated version of the RPG, in French, correcting most shortwoming of the second edition and proposing a slight evolution of the background. Then, after Excelsior failure, the same mind offered to the world "Warzone 3", a French translation of Ultimate Warzone also correcting most bugs. And now, rumor says the supernatural being behind those productions is working on a new project... This "being" (because no one knows for sure how much of him - it? - is human and how much is machine) is well-known of both US and French forums, under the nickname Coral Beach.

Whatever can be said about the contested background evolutions proposed in MC 2.5, Coral Beach work has achieved something no recent "official" MC project has: to deliver clean, professional products in the timeline committed on. And to keep working on improving and animating the MC licence. This is the best lesson for the next companies to try to take on the MC licence: better to aim for the top of the hill and eventually reach the sky, than the other way around.

Long live the Mutant Chronicles licence!



#7 Danann

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 11:06 AM

Good summary, but do not forget that much of the sinking was due to Games Workshop to win a legal battle that ended in a lawsuit that forced the destruction of  Warzone molds minis

 


Games Workshop die!! 

 

 



#8 SerAndrew

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 01:31 PM

I'm probably making things too simple here, but... why didn't they wait until the movie release? Surely someone would have seen the movie, googled mutant chronicles, then came across the minis. Maybe not.



#9 Ruvion

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 01:51 PM

Thank you tHe_MaN for the brief(?) down memory lane on the history of the MC curse!
 



#10 tHe_MaN

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 04:50 AM

Danann said:

do not forget that much of the sinking was due to Games Workshop to win a legal battle that ended in a lawsuit that forced the destruction of  Warzone molds minis

This is the first time I hear about this. Are you sure of it? Can you give us your source?

From what I know, the Warzone mini molds were destroyed in 2005 by Excelsior, at the request of Paradox. At this time, Warzone was played by only a handful of players around the world, its past glory long behind it. I cannot see what would have pushed Games Workshop to sue Paradox over a game with this very limited player base. At that time, Confrontation or Helldorado must have been far tougher competitors than Warzone.



#11 Ruvion

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 05:06 AM

You stamp out any challenges to the throne while they are either young or weak or both. Out of the 3 miniature lines, Warzone was the easy pickings for a legal battle.

Just throwing my 2 cents into the discussion pool...

 

 



#12 Mutant2089

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 10:37 AM

the-man, you are a wice man.

I can see the old 90s stuff as the original, and the ulitmate warzone as the last stuff out of the original setting.

This CMG game, the movie, and the Cog RPG are three different initiatives trying to reshape the concept of MC. See them as the son of the original, trying to be loyal to it's father yet come up with something different and new, making the 90s MC up-to-date. This will ofc meet alot of trouble, making people sad, angry, affected positivly in perplex ways and so forth... but in the bright future, when a thrid wave of MC stuff comes - it will stand on the shoulder(-pads) of BOTH the original setting and this altered, broaden campain setting of FFG, COG and the movie. I beleive in MC being a license who in the next generation deals with the curse the-man talks about - and by that, letting this generation take all the risks and blame that come with bravery and pure heroism.

I salute FFG for their bravery.



#13 Lars

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 05:35 AM

Is it me or is there more people and more discussion about the game since it died?!?



#14 Dominik

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 08:32 AM

Yes, a lot is going on in the forum, since the message from ffg. strange ...

 



#15 Ruvion

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 11:19 AM

Maybe the MC players are a quiet bunch, but will not keep silent against the dying light.

I hope another company does pick this line up and keep the torch burning, 'cause it's a great system! Best incarnation of the Doom engine in fact.



#16 Sergey

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:47 PM

Yes, I also wish that some company to take the license from FFG and continue to produce this game (without any changes in minis size, card and maps design etc.). FFG could even stop for some time producing MC but not to abandon it totally. Really, it lived only 6 month!- this is very short period of time for such a cool game. May be all fans should gather and to write a kind of letter to FFG regarding future of MC CMG?



#17 Svavelvinter

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 03:13 AM

The long lasting trouble behind MC already visible when the launched the Role-playing game was that they developed a wonderful world with a ton of cool features and depth but no one has managed to use the world and make it into a game that take advantage of the world. There already exist dousins of games involving soldiers in huge armour and with huge rifles. The greatness with MC lies beyond this and to make something that captures the common players is a really hard task.

Siege of the Citadel is probably the best attempt www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/1621 but there is not much about that game that really captures the core of MC anyhow.

When the PRG was released there were a bunch of books explaining the world behind the game but they only made 1-2 books with actual adventures. No wonder things went from worse to bad.

And yes the movie sucked big time and the only thing left from the original game was a couple of names and the title of the film.



#18 Paragrin

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 06:33 AM

There are several theories on this board of why Mutant Chronicles failed, some of which have merit, and others are pure speculation.

From my perspective, it is all about cost.

Since I haven't posted much on these boards, I'll give you a little background about myself. First, I do not have a history with Mutant Chronicles. Because of this, my perspective is different than many people on this discussion board. Also, I have enjoyed many ccg/cmg games over the years and spent way to much money on this hobby.  This product was designed to target the collectible market, and failed to do so properly.

My first exposure to the Mutant Chronicles CMG was at GAMA last year. Like many others who attended the show, I was given a free copy of the starter. After my return, my friends and I cracked it open, and were disappointed to learn (as many of you realize) that it is unplayable without proxies. You can't even put together the example skirmish armies in the rules.

A good starter for any ccg/cmg needs to include enough components to be playable, and allow for a few variants outside the recommend builds in the rule book. Personally, I hate one player starters. This market is competitive, and all starters should be 2 player. It is difficult to get 1 person to put down their hard earned money try and new game, even harder to convince two players. If I was in charge of brand development at Fantasy Flight for this product, it would have been a 2 faction starter with ~ 10 figures. If the launch budget allowed for it, there would have been 2 different starters featuring 4 factions. The development of the starter was the first major failure in the launch of the game.

The next contributor was the price of the boosters. At $20 a piece this is ~ $5-$7 per figure with some special figures carrying an even higher price. This is the most expensive cmg on the market. It is more expensive than Mage Knight, Heroclix, Lord of the Rings, Heroscape, D&D minis, Star Wars, MonPoc, & WOW minis. Players of these games were the target customers for this product. The average price of a mini for these games is lower than Mutant Chronicles. Over the past few years, price creep has occurred in this segment causing players to be more selective about what they buy. Pricing was mistake number 2.

The third failure was the release process. Collectible gamers expect the play environment to be dynamic. Prior to the Lost Legions release, I think only 41 figures were out. This is barely enough figures to make playing all the factions interesting. All figures needed to be on the shelves, or the cards not included in the starter at release. Only 2 figures (Karak and the Ice Golem) changed the play environment in an unexpected way. For a ccg/cmg to be successful there needs to be a constant source of change for people to discuss and experiment with. This help to generate a “buzz” in the gaming community.

For those of you that keep targeting figure size as a source of failure, please stop. It may have been a small contributor for some, but didn't really create a barrier of interest. As a reader of this and other boards, it appears that a majority of people with this complaint are former Warzone players. From this, it’s safe to assume at least one of the following:

1) You want pre-painted minis to use for other Mutant Chronicles games
2) You want to use your old figures as proxies for this version of Mutant Chronicles

The other common complaint about scale relates to the use of standard terrain. In my opinion, this is a silly argument. Just like Star Wars, Heroclix, WOW, and MonPoc this is a board game. It is not designed for the use of terrain like a miniatures skirmish. Sure some people will use it, but this is not how the game was intended to be played. If you really want terrain, Heroscape has some nice hex based pieces that could be used, and is great for creating custom maps.

Finally, for those of you that are interest on my commitment to the game here is a summary: Including the Lost Legions sets that I received yesterday I have 202 figures, and am just 18 shy of a master play set (4 of each figure). All of these have been purchased in the last 3 months since the prices have dropped. Total spent is ~ $300. That is a price per figure of ~ $1.50. As the prices fell, I bought into the game even though I assumed it would die, because I like the play mechanic and build restrictions. If the entry point for the game had been lower from the start, I would have bought more figures earlier in the launch, and been willing to pay higher than $1.50 a piece.

-Michael

 



#19 Danann

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 06:42 AM



#20 Ruvion

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 10:43 AM

That was a great analysis of the situation at hand Michael.

And you are the better shopper: I spent over $300 in the last week for just 98 figures...you gotta teach me Shop-Fu sometimes.






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