Struggling Cthulhu Wars maker Petersen Games has been bailed out by newly-launched US board game maker Quimbley’s Toys & Games

Petersen Games, the Cthulhu Wars publisher left struggling to fulfill more than $2m of Kickstarter projects after hitting severe financial issues during the coronavirus pandemic, has been bailed out by fledgling board game publisher and manufacturer Quimbley’s Toys and Games.

Quimbley’s, which was launched out of Salt Lake City last year, has agreed to manufacture and fulfill all of Petersen’s outstanding Kickstarter projects, starting with Hyperspace before moving on to Glorantha: The Gods War 2.

Petersen Games will cease to be a publisher and manufacturer of games following the deal, instead transitioning into solely a design studio.

The move potentially brings to an end years of chaos at Petersen, which has enraged backers of its multiple outstanding Kickstarter projects with constantly shifting promises and sparse and contradictory communications about fulfillment of their games.

Things reached a nadir in early July last year when the company posted personal details of some of its Kickstarter backers online while asking them to contribute more money to get a campaign shipped.

Last summer backers of projects including Hyperspace, Glorantha and the fourth printing of Cthulhu Wars were still facing years of potential delays before receiving their games, with many resigned to the fact that they had probably handed over money for a product which would never actually arrive.

The situation began to change in late July, however, when Petersen revealed an ‘anonymous fan’ had provided more than $140,000 to fund the shortfall in money to ship Cthulhu Wars.

A month later Petersen and Catalyst Game Labs revealed they were working on a deal which would see Catalyst bring Cthulhu Wars and Planet Apocalypse back into production, as well as potentially assisting in accelerating fulfillment of the open Kickstarters.

That deal fell through, but months of further posts about a mysterious benefactor has culminated in official confirmation from Quimbley’s that it would be taking on responsibility for Petersen’s outstanding crowdfunding projects, in exchange for it being able to manufacture and sell Petersen Games titles.

Sandy Petersen explains the deal with Quimbley’s — Image credit: Quimbley’s Toys and Games

Petersen Games founder and Cthulhu Wars creator Sandy Petersen said in a video announcement on the Quimbley’s website, “As you know, we at Petersen Games are really good at designing games. We’re not quite as good at publishing and manufacturing and distributing these games.

“…we’re going to become a design house – we’re not going to manufacture, we’re not going to distribute, we’re not going to market… it means I’ll be able to design more games, more often, and have them delivered to you more reliably and faster.”

Quimbley’s said it is also working on its own pipeline of games, toys, books, stories and interactive experiences, and has set up a Utah-based manufacturing factory for prototyping and producing its own games.

Paul Halley, the president of Quimbley’s since December last year, is a long-time web developer according to his LinkedIn page, and also owns Salt Lake City-based Impulse Power Wash.

In a blog post on the Quimbley’s site, he said the company had acquired a large warehouse space in Salt Lake City, as well as printers and laser cutters, in order to be able to manufacture its own games without being reliant on long supply chains and international factories.

He added that as well as rapid turnaround of prototyping, manufacturing on-site would provide a huge boost to quality control.

He said in the blog post, “I know a lot of you have received sub-standard products and games from other companies in the past. Often, those problems are not the fault of the gaming or toy company itself, but rather the factory they’ve hired for manufacturing.

“Petersen Games, one of our game partners, approved high quality final products on multiple occasions, only for the factory to then produce mass quantities of less-than-stellar pieces. Petersen Games only then found out about it when customers started complaining.

“When you see the approved figures and games held up next to what the factory ended up making, you’d be shocked that anyone let those products ever leave the plant in the first place.”

In an update to Kickstarter backers, Sandy Petersen said, “You’ve read about our woes with working with China in the past – that may all be like a bad dream which just goes away.

“I will be directly able to walk into the factory, here in America, and look at the product as it comes off the machines. We will be able to make prototypes much faster.”

Quimbley’s said it expects to deliver the first outstanding Kickstarter after Cthulhu Wars, Hyperspace, in April 2025.

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