Game Monkey Press Talks temporary hiatus for Valherjar, and long-term plans.

Hi, folks. This release will be long, but it's important and worth the read if you're a fan of the franchise.

Collectively, our team has been in the games industry for a long time--almost half a century. And as any industry veteran will tell you, there is nothing worse than having to let a product-line stagnate. So, rather than simply go dark, we want to give you all a no-BS assessment of what, exactly, is going on.

As anyone with a copy of our books will tell you, we pride ourselves on putting out a solid product. Carefully crafted stories, solid rules, and AAA-level artwork fill everything we do. But all of that work comes at a cost, a high cost, and we just aren't getting a return on it right now.

Specifically, to date we have made a 2% return on our capital investment in the Core Rulebook--and when we say "capital investment" we mean the hard cash we put into its design, distribution, and marketing. That does not include a penny paid back for our time and effort.

So we tried dumping more money into advertising, we tried spamming the press with review copies, we tried releasing a free supplement, we tried giving away the core for free through some high-profile third-party giveaways, we developed and announced new supplements--all in the hopes of generating some buzz and getting the ball rolling.

Nothing worked.

It's not that the reviews were bad; in fact, most of them were great. But there just aren't enough of them to spread the word about Valherjar.

The problem is that the market for indie RPGs sucks right now. The glory of Print-on-Demand, and the purely-digital distribution model, is that it's really easy to get your work out there. The down-side is that there is also no vetting system for separating the wheat from the chaff. Instead a sea of random product of varying quality gets dumped into the mix and, as a publisher, you are given no effective way to differentiate yourself from the pack.

Unless you get lucky and a very high-profile blog falls in love with your work, or a famous web comic decides to tell the world about you, or a celebrity mentions you in their podcast, there's just no way for an unknown publisher to drive people to their game.

So we're very, very sorry, but after dumping tens of thousands into this effort, we have to make some changes.

So, what happens now?

Or maybe a more apropos way of putting it would be, it has died its first death, but has gleefully told the Valkyrie that it's not done yet.

What we are doing instead is exploring other ways of bringing the property to life--Greg's re-written Mortal Fears as a novel, there's a really cool board game in the works, and we've even been talking to some stunt folks about a web series. If any of that happens, it will not only revitalize the franchise, but drive folks to the RPG, which puts us back in production.

Thus, we're putting Valherjar: The Chosen Slain on hiatus for right now. More stuff will be coming, but for right now we all have to be patient.

In the mean time, we will still be here.
If you have rules questions, want to make suggestions, get help figuring out where to take your campaign, or even just to chat, let us know. We will also continue to post cool story-hooks, provide updates when appropriate, and do other stuff to continue to support our player base.

For example, not long after you read this we should be posting-up the AOR NPC Management Tool, a dice-rolling app designed to make managing large-scale encounters much easier on Narrators. It's currently in Beta and it is absolutely awesome.

So, please, keep playing. Stay in touch. Like us on Facebook. And have fun.

Someday soon we'll be walking naked through your local Burh and ready to fight again.



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"Valherjar", "Game Monkeys", "Game Monkey Press"; Trademark: Game Monkey Press- 1999-2004.