‘Mystery fan’ bails out troubled Cthulhu Wars Kickstarter, pays $143,000 shipping costs

An ‘anonymous fan’ has provided troubled Cthulhu Wars publisher Petersen Games with more than $140,000 to get the game into the hands of frustrated Kickstarter backers – some of whom were facing a four-and-a-half year delay in receiving their orders.

Petersen Games raised more than $300,000 for the fourth printing of Cthulhu Wars and a new playable faction in May 2019, telling backers – who had each paid up to $199 plus shipping – that it expected the game to be with them by June 2020.

The company has since blamed a string of delays and funding issues on the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw Petersen Games shrink to a “skeleton crew”. Company founder Sandy Petersen said last July he had personally “plunged the bulk of my private funds into the effort” to get the company’s multiple outstanding Kickstarters out of the door.

Matters reached a new low earlier this month when the company told Cthulhu Wars Kickstarter backers for a second time that it was short on money to transport US copies of the game, which have sat in a warehouse since late April ready to be sent to backers.

The company launched what backers have been describing as ‘Pallet Wars’ – adding all of the pallets to its web store as individual items, and allowing customers to find their own and pay part of each one’s overall $1,640 shipping contribution in $10 increments.

Only 10% of that total is understood to have been raised from backers as of last week – but an update from Petersen Games project director Arthur Petersen today said a fan, who wished to remain anonymous, had provided funds to allow the company to fulfil “all remaining backer orders for Cthulhu Wars Onslaught 4”.

He added that backers who had contributed extra to the ‘Pallet Wars’ shipping scheme would get a full refund, and that more than 90% of US backers should receive their games by the third week of August.

The update said Asia and Australia-based backers will see orders go into the mail by the start of next week, although Canada and Europe copies of the game are still waiting for misprint corrections to arrive before they will be sent out.

Arthur Petersen added, “It has been a very turbulent few years at Petersen Games. Everyone has an opinion on everything we’ve said and done, and we’ve certainly made our fair share of mistakes (perhaps more than our fair share!).

“Fortunately, we anticipate that these years of turbulence are happily coming to an end very soon.

“In addition to securing funding for backer fulfillment, we are penning an agreement that would mean the biggest shift ever to transpire for us.”

He said more news would be released in the coming weeks that would “paint a clearer picture regarding our other outstanding Kickstarter projects, as well as future game releases (and keeping product lines like Cthulhu Wars™ in stock!)”.

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