Last night the American publisher of Adventures in the East Mark, X-D Publishing, released a Kickstarter statement that they were no long a Licensee. This is a bummer right at the end of the year, but what can you do, right? Here’s the full statement.
This is the update that I’ve not wanted to write but I want to be open with you, our fantastic backers.
Due to a number of factors, the relationship with X-D and our Spanish partners will not continue. I am sad about that, especially as that means that the East Mark product line will not continue in the US, at least in the near future and under the eXtra-Dimensional banner. This does also include the Walkure license too, but fortunately this severing of our licence may mean you see that product in the US sooner than if it had remained with us.
So what happened? Our greatest folly, it seems, was to overprint box sets, in hopes for the future of the line. To do so we got additional investment to take advantage of the better price per set we’d get from a bigger order. But distributors in our industry have thus far not been interested in carrying the product, due largely to the size of the box and what that means for shipping.
Our focus currently is on getting our backers the last of what we owe you. That means Tony’s Lovecraftian adventure, which, while now finished, is not laid out in a module format. I’m working on that and have plans to get it out before the end January. This is and has always been planned as a digital only release.
That also means releasing the Beta of the Blue Box set for those who chose that add-on and our Titan backers. We have about 100 unedited pages translated and I am releasing that compilation before the end of this week. I don’t know that we’ll be able to get more translated or any of it edited and laid out, but we have some options we are exploring. This is perhaps the thing I am most sad about as I’ve often stressed that the quality of the setting is what sets it apart from just being another OSR product. I am looking at any means possible to at the very least get the translation finished with hopes to have it fully laid out at some point.
We made some mistakes, but we learned from them and any future campaign would have been more successful from it. But I am proud of what we accomplished, proud of the product we produced, and proud of the enjoyment the fans seem to have gotten out of the game.
Thank you so much for your trust, your faith, and your support. X-D will live on, but certainly in a different form. If you want to help, please encourage friends to buy a set from our remaining stock direct from us at our online store (http://xdpublishing.com/product/adventures-in-the-east-mark-red-box-basic-rule-set/) or from any other retailer selling the set.
I have my own thoughts on why this never took off on the retail market. First, David, makes good points about the distribution channels. The box, while beautiful, is too large and square in shape. This makes shipping a challenge when you stock certain size boxes for shipping the product you sell. Hence, the reluctance by the distributors and retailers. Anyways, I digress.
The biggest factor I see is the quality. Believe it or not! The production quality is too high, but contains too little for today’s consumers. The contents of the box set are amazing, but when one compares similar “starter sets” that are on the market today, the cost for Adventures in the East Mark is just too high to compete. Starter box sets are selling on average for between
$20-$30 these days. Most contain a similar amount of product in the box as well. For those that don’t know, the box set includes the Basic Rule Book, Narrator’s Screen, Pencil, Dice Set, and White Crayon. Now they are not up to the same quality standard as Adventures in the East Mark, but the bottom line is that they are available for half the cost! Secondly, as much as some of us love the OSR, it is not as mainstream as one might think. The OSR resides as a niche within the slightly larger niche of roleplaying.
While this may end X-D Publishing’s relationship with the Spanish company that originally wrote and published this game, I am hopeful that there is still a future for the Adventures in the East Mark product line in English. Time will only tell if another company will take up the license and continue to develop and translate the existing game books into English.
I wish X-D Publishing well with future projects and endeavors. I believe they publish quality products and work very hard to ensure a high standard is set and realized. I will be looking to see what’s on their horizon and I will be sure to support their efforts! Now, it’s still not too late to score yourself one the remaining box sets directly from the company. Grab one now before they are all gone (link is above). It is well worth having in your collection! Or you could at least purchase the PDFs at DriveThruRPG.