Well, all I can say by way of reply is thanks for all the support over the years, and we hope that what we make in the future is something you're interested in playing.
Let's all be honest: this isn't the easiest or the most lucrative gig on the planet. If it were, a lot more people would be doing it. People don't just sit down at a keyboard and magically cobble together roleplaying game products that deserve to sit on game store shelves. There's talent involved, and sweat, and sacrifice, and yes, money - and in the end most projects fail (even the professional ones). That's a statistical fact. Most game products fail. To be honest we've done a pretty remarkable job staying in the black for 9 years, and making products that are sold and played all over the world. Most companies don't get that far. Most games don't survive that long. So by my math it's pretty hard to be unhappy with what we've accomplished.
Are we up there with the big boys? No, we're not. We know that, and we don't ask ourselves to compete with them - not anymore. There was a long time when Alex and I agonized about how to break through to the next level, and every year the company would grow just this much
, leaving us hungry and demoralized. Then we figured out that in the end what was important was that we could pay the bills and be proud of what we've actually built and made. That's why we started Crafty Games in the first place.
Now, we've made a lot of mistakes over the years. All small business owners do - even the ones that are well-informed. It's a law of the process - you can't just
learn from the mistakes of others. Even if you do manage to avoid all the mistakes you watch other folks struggle with, you'll make a ton of new ones yourself. You can fret about all those mistakes you actually do make, or you can learn from them as well - do something to improve and move on. Well, one of the biggest mistakes we've made over the years - repeatedly, in fact - is allowing ourselves to be driven by obligation and guilt - and we've paid a hefty price for that.
By all rights Spellbound should have been canceled ages ago. Retailers and most players expect that it's already been canceled, and that we just haven't bothered to mention it. This is a product that's been literally years in the making, and that's consistently failed to materialize despite the best efforts of everyone at our company, alone and together, and more false starts than I care to consider. There's a point where you just have to face facts and accept that something you wanted, no matter how much, may simply not be possible.
As I've said, we're not quite there yet (but yes, in the interest of transparency, we are dangerously close). We think there's another try in this, and we are hoping it will succeed. If it does, the Mysterious Stranger will deserve mad props, and we will be the first to offer them up at his feet. But if it doesn't, you know, that's OK. We'll make good with everyone who's invested in the book, and we'll do what we do - we'll move on - because otherwise we'd never get to make the next thing, and the thing after that - and for Alex and I, that's what it's all about.
If that's not enough for anyone else, we get it. No harm, no foul. We're not going to ask anyone to stick around when they feel there are greener pastures for them elsewhere. As I say, if we wind up making something else down the line that you really dig, you'll always be welcome to come sit at our table again.
And yes, for anyone keeping score, there will be a lot more stuff for you to maybe (hopefully) dig. What and when? Well, best to just get it out and see what you like, right? How about that Terris book? Alex, Logan, and Co. did a bang up job there, I think.