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
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.
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
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
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?
Well, VALHERJAR IS NOT DEAD.
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
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.