Wednesday, 27 February 2019
A farewell to alms
There's been talk recently of financial trouble at Megara Entertainment. The founder, Mikaël Louys, launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to pay company bills, noting that if the money wasn't raised then Megara would shut down at the end of February. The crowdfunding was cancelled today some way short of its target. Based on what Mikaël has said on Facebook and on the Megara site, that implies the company may now close unless a new investor comes along in the next few days.
Why this particularly matters to Fabled Lands players is that five hundred of you pledged for hardback copies of The Serpent King's Domain. I don't know what's going to happen about those. Were they ever printed? If so, at least one other games company based in Cannes has offered to take the stock and arrange to ship them to the backers, though they report that they haven't been able to get Mikaël on Skype yet to discuss it. And if the books weren't printed -- well, it seems that the Kickstarter money has gone, and that Megara now doesn't have the means to fulfil those orders.
Jamie and Paul Gresty and I signed a couple of hundred bookplates which we sent to Megara a while ago -- but if Megara has no funds left then presumably neither the hardbacks nor the bookplates will get sent to the backers. It's a bad situation.
I wish I had better news. I wish I had any news. Unfortunately Jamie and I don't even have access to backers' contact details, so we can't let them know if any solution is found. Michael J Ward, creator of Destiny Quest, has had to do some ducking and diving to get DQ4 to backers, I believe, so Fabled Lands wasn't the only project to get hurt by the fallout. If I'm able to find out more, or if I learn of any chance of a solution, you'll hear it right here.
But in the midst of all that, and despite the public slurs Mikaël has directed at me and Jamie, and the fact that I'm not at all thrilled to see he has put works by me and Jamie, Gary Chalk, Russ Nicholson and others on Megara's Patreon page without our permission, I'll say goodbye to Megara (if indeed it does close down at the end of the month) with some faint sadness. The gamebook world is tiny enough without a publishing company going out of business. And to give Mikaël his due, if he hadn't reached out to Fabled Lands LLP several years ago it's unlikely there would have been Kickstarters for The Way of the Tiger or Fabled Lands book 7. So it's a shame it all went sour, and it's particularly a blow for those backers who never got the books they pledged for, and for the creators whose work is being used on Megara's Patreon page -- but let's also remember the better times. C'est la vie.