One of the leading designer games companies, Tasty Minstrel Games (aka TMG) is reportedly on the brink of demise. Working closely with the Reiner Stockhausen’s dlp Games, they have been responsible for the US editions of Orléans, Yokohama, Citrus and Bohemian Villages. Well known for their “Deluxified” editions of games, they’ve also collaborated extensively with many other European companies leading to US editions of Village, Belfort , Gùgōng, Gentes, Guilds of London, Eminent Domain and The Oracle of Delphi, and re-releases of popular games like Luna, Colosseum and At the Gates of Loyang. They have not been simply “partners” reproducing other games, developing Scoville, Captains of Industry, and Crusaders: Thy Will Be Done.
|– Image by boardGOATS|
A few years ago, TMG controversially raised over $150,000 selling shares online, but it seems these funds have now run out. According to an email sent out by TMG to stock holders discussed on a recent Dice Tower News, their “book value is in the negative” which they describe as “virtual bankruptcy”. As a result, in an attempt to save the company they are laying off staff and have called a halt to game development for the next “two to three years”. The most recent KickStarter campaign is also being abandoned with backers receiving a refunds. In the immediate future, the company will be focusing on selling its existing stock hoping that they will “eventually being able to start up again”.
|-Video by the Dice Tower|
Indications that TMG have been struggling have been there for a while, with allegations they delayed payment to some of their designers and most recently when they failed to renew the publishing rights to their highest rated game, Orléans. The question is, why has this happened? Of course, the global pandemic will have played its part, as will the recent sudden increase in shipping costs. However, these are probably only another nail in the coffin. The underlying cause is almost certainly the increased pressure caused by a market saturated with high quality games and a lot of noise generated by a conveyor-belt of crowd-funded products. Sadly, it looks like TMG simply ran out of road, and money.
|– Image from playtmg.com|