Hello, Trailblazers of the Unknown,
This is the post we didn’t want to do, this is the post that mortifies us most of all, but our very existence as a company is in danger. Let’s get right to the point by saying that we have to ask you for an increase in shipping costs in order to receive the game. Here, we wrote it, and we’re sorry, you can’t imagine how much. Not just for the money we must ask, but for our image as a studio, because we want to make other games, and we are afraid that you will feel this post as a betrayal, as a blackmail, to receive Sheol.
You know we have always been transparent, and we want to be transparent this time too. In the next paragraph we explain the situation with the numbers in hand. We hope you can understand our state of mind and our bitterness.
A few days ago we received the estimate for loading the containers to get Sheol to leave. As many of you know, it is not possible to know this price in advance, only to estimate it. We used sites like this to estimate it:
https://fbx.freightos.com (from the graphs you can see how prices have risen over time)
and we were expecting a certain amount, very high, but that we would have absorbed as a studio. However, 3 facts coincided:
- 1) The accumulation of ships in the Ningbo area to compensate for the closures of other ports that has caused prices to rise even more. You can see the situation here: https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:122.2/centery:30.1/zoom:8
- 2) The Factory’s erroneous estimate of how many games there would be on a pallet. There was an estimated 54 all-in up until a week ago, but then that figure dropped to 30, resulting in a doubling of the pallets. This means doubling the number of containers needed.
- 3) The growing impact of the war in Ukraine, which has raised the cost of oil, and therefore of transport: https://www.machinedesign.com/news/article/21239685/russias-war-against-ukraine-continues -to-impact-global-supply-chains
At this point in the past few days, we have received the cost estimate of the containers:
Which amounts to approximately € 70,000. To this must be added:
- administrative fees;
- packing costs in logistic hubs;
- road shipping costs to your homes.
This last one has gone up 15-20% every year for both of the years that have passed since we did the Kickstarter and posted the shipping costs on the campaign page. Furthermore, the war in Ukraine has further increased costs both in the EU and in the USA which are at historic highs and are showing no sign of decreasing for now.
The current estimate of the costs of sending from the hubs to your homes is around € 90,000 (we are waiting for the final calculation), compared to an estimated € 55,000 at the time of the KS. Added to the containers we reach around 160,000 euros, against a figure we collected through the pledge manager of 65,000 euros (around 30 euros per backer for 2000 backer).
Also keep in mind that:
- As we said above, customs and administrative services must be added to the costs.
- Unlike many KS, we have not added the taxes (VAT) in the pledge manager that are at our expense.
So, by absorbing the above costs as a studio, subtracting 65,000 from 160,000 we get 95,000. Of these we can absorb another 25,000 with our reserves, but for the remaining 70,000 it is impossible. This is why we need your help.
How to do it now?
With Sheol we wanted to work hard and not skimp on the components or our efforts to create the best possible game. Content-wise, we believe Sheol rivals productions that have raised millions on KS, and we’re proud of that.
Our studio is small, made up of only 5 people and many freelancers who orbit around to provide us with those skills that we are unable to satisfy internally. We haven’t used KS as a pre-sale platform like other companies do, Sheol has meant future or death as a studio to us, and it won’t go into retail.
At the moment we are working on our new project (in which we strongly believe and which we think has a character of uniqueness comparable if not superior to Sheol himself), and we plan to launch it on KS in Q4 2022 (we will reveal info about it in the next weeks).
With all possible humility and sadness, we therefore ask you for a contribution to collect the 70’000 € needed. This would be:
- € 30 per All-in / Scout Pledge backer
- € 20 per core box backer.
With that we will be able to reach our target and have the funds we need to get the game to you.
This is the situation; it was not possible to predict it 2 years ago and it is the darkest hour since the foundation of our studio.
At the same time, we are afraid that we cannot make refunds. As mentioned, Sheol will not go into retail, and refunding now would mean worsening the problem, as well as sending some copies to pulp now that production is complete.
What we can do, however, is to offer all of you a LIFETIME DISCOUNT of 10% on all the products that our study will do, both on the next KS, and on all the other products that we will sell online.
Crowdfunding for us is not marketing, or pre-ordering products, or getting rich, for us it is chasing a dream, creating worlds, creating communities and, we hope, also entertaining. Crowdfunding is team work and you are the only people we can ask and who can help us.
Please preserve the light of Lunar Oak Studio!
How to integrate costs
It is urgent for us to collect the missing amount as soon as possible. Here you will find the links to proceed with the payment (via Stripe):
In addition, each of you will receive a personal reminder email containing the links above based on your pledge level.
Every 3 days we will update you on the calculation of the amount collected.
The good news
In such a sad post, there is also some good news. Production is finally complete. By the way during the final inspection of the boxes, the factory found a problem in the core box card count.
So they need a week to fully inspect all the core boxes and solve the problem. Then we can ship.
Already tomorrow we have a final call with the shippers to sign the last papers and arrange the cargo on the containers. We will constantly update you on this, and you will be able to monitor the ships in real time once they have departed.
In recent days we have posted some photos of the Big box on discord (we had to have it redone by the factory because the quality did not satisfy us). We hope you like it.
For any questions, for changes of address, still possible if within the same continent, remember that you can always write to email@example.com. We always try to reply as soon as possible.
Thanks in advance for everything
Preserve the light
Lunar Oak Studio Team