News & Week In Review – Holy Grail Games Shutting Down reviews

November 3, 2023

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This is the week in review, where we go over videos from the past week, what I’ve played last week, what’s coming up today, some news, and then shove in whatever form of something else that happens to make sense today.

0:00:00 – Introduction

News & Topic
0:01:20 – Holy Grail Games Shutting Down

Week in Review
0:13:35 – 12×12 Challenge Update
0:15:20 – What I Played
0:19:15 – Goblin Vaults Review
0:19:30 – Heat Pedal to the Medal First Impressions
0:20:20 – 12×12 Challenge
0:21:03 – Everrain Unboxing
0:21:40 – To Back or Not To Back
0:21:50 – The Horror Game Preview
0:22:40 – Blazon Review
0:22:57 – Super Fantasy Brawl vs Godtear
0:24:30 – Terraforming Mars Gameplay
0:24:20 – Best 15 Games of 2021
0:24:50 – Where Are They Now?
0:25:35 – Later Today
0:26:00 – Next Week
0:26:50 – Games On The Table

Holy Grail Games Closes –

Video Links:
Goblin Vaults Review –
Heat Pedal to the Medal First Impressions –
12×12 Challenge –
Everrain Unboxing –
To Back or Not To Back –
The Horror Game Preview –
Blazon Review –
Super Fantasy Brawl vs Godtear –
Reboxing Tanares –
Terraforming Mars Gameplay –
Best 15 Games of 2021 –
Where Are They Now? –

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  1. On your issue of them being forward with their backers about the issues… how about just being honest with what you really need to raise? In their last post on Copan, hgg admitted they needed 2 to 3 times the campaigns goal to actually operate.

  2. Ive seen a few of your videos now and you have nuanced takes. seems like you're just apologizing for having nuance.

  3. We REALLY appreciate your take. The vitriol lobbed at people in these companies when really they are losing everything bothers us. Absolutely it sucks to lose the money spent on a kickstarter, and not to get a game you were excited about, but honestly that is a small price compared to the people who lost their jobs and worse, lost their jobs AND dreams. We are sad not to get Tiles of Arabian Nights, and in another case most likely CryptX and Subterra, but it's not worth adding to anyone's misery. Kindness should always be the default position.

  4. I was not backing their games. I almost backed Dirt but had other things going at the time. Just last Christmas I got Rallyman GT and fell in love with it so I was looking forward to Dirt hitting retail.

    The implosion is a really sad thing. As with anything KS people need to remember it is entirely a gamble. If something folds you have no recourse. KS will not do anything, you have squat for legal standing, and even if you are "right" there isn't enough money to be made for the lawyers to pursue anything and the target of any action is already dead as a company. You could line up as one of the many owed money by a defunct business to be partially reimbursed as part of the bankruptcy proceedings but there is simply going to be nothing left by the time they get down to the level of backers.

    I initially felt bad for HGG and was inclined to give them the benefit of a doubt. Some things changed that. That they have had continued issues with Bollore yet continued to work with them hints at incompetence at some level. There may have been a bit of attempting to resolve debts through continued work but that looks to be a pretty flimsy cover for what follows.

    In late 2022 it was clear from their own updates they owed Bollore upwards of 180k euros. That is alot of bills in arrears. At that point they had a clear set of choices.

    1. Sell out to a big name publisher to see if someone like Asmodee would take over, complete the KS and negotiations with Bollore from a stronger position and own everything moving forward. We don't know if someone would take over HGG or not but this was one option but it leaves the old owners basically out of their own company or diminished greatly.

    2. Come clean with backers. Explain the disaster and that getting their rewards out will require an additional influx of cash. Use that cash as negotiation capital with Bollore to get product moving. This is an uncomfortable approach as it involves hitting backers for more money but it is also the most likely to salvage the project as I doubt someone would really choose to bail out HBB as outlined in option number one. Their credibility would be shot for managing projects in the future but they would have done as minimal amount of damage as possible.

    3. Run another KS. This is what they did. Knowing they were already well underwater they ran another KS to try and bring in money to get the first above water, never mind that even if it had worked it wouldn't have then been able to fund itself. I am sorry but this was dishonest to the extreme. Copan was doomed from the start and they were pushing people to complete their pledge manager and get their additional money in during January while it was clear they were never going to finish this. They rand the KS and finished the campaign in December when already knowing they had missed every critical date to financially save themselves as numerous updates pointed out.

    I can understand a KS failing and company going under from bad luck or poor business and cash flow management. I cannot accept the idea of a company running another KS when their failure was clear to them internally. That is where the line between bad luck / business management crosses over into fraud. It doesn't matter that the path to it was paved with good intentions, when push came to shove they were more comfortable with fraud than they were with bad news and taking their medicine to make people whole.

    As for Rallyman Dirt, I managed to grab one of the few copies in the USA through Tractor Supply Company online, crazy I know. It is great and I am sad to see this great game get hammered by bad this. The creator of the original game deserves better for his creation.

  5. I consume a lot of board game media, but I support you, not because you are perfect, but because you try to be empathetic and balanced in your discussions. You are very thoughtful and considerate; not quick to judge and understand many topics are nuanced and willing to admit that you don't have all the perspectives.

  6. Dang… this is partly why I don’t really back Games on KS anymore. It stinks

  7. Just wanted to add that I as well as many others here actually love your channel for the balanced stance you take and how you always take care to cover all sides of a story, whether it's news, a debate, pluses and minuses of games, or trends/opinions in the hobby. It always makes me think about my own opinion or experience and often teaches me new things which is very valuable. Hope you'll keep it up for a long time!

  8. As someone who also tries to see all sides I get what your saying. I also get their point though. I am pretty new to modern board games. I think maybe about 5 years now. So back when I first got into it all I joined a bunch of fb groups, you tube channels, and a few pod casts. They all seemed like they knew and would not steer me wrong. I totally understood what paid preview and adds were but I also figured that as a board game group/channel they would not take a paid preview from a struggling or problematic creator…..I was very very very wrong. I saw Chi high tea plastered all over the place in these. They just said it was their second campaign. I was like "Okay if all these board game groups are not seeing an issue then cool". Then after I had backed it, I hear one single pod cast mention the problems their first one had! I was like "well maybe they learned". Ya they learned how to get peoples money and ghost them. Petersen games cat faction was my next one and I am pretty sure everyone knows how well that shit is going. I guess my point is we look to you to let us know of any warning signs, especially new people. I will NEVER back another KS. The funny part is I was a tad tempted by Encyclopedia but decided to stick to my zero crowd funding stance. I did pick it up retail and feel for the backers who never got theirs but it reinforced my decision.

  9. It's not what happened as much as how they have handled it. I have sympathy for the people who will loose their jobs, but no sympathy for those who made the decisions.

  10. Alex if more people tried to see both sides the world wouldn’t have nearly as many of the problems it has. Thank you for being you. Don’t apologize for doing that. It can be so much better than the alternatives. In the end i believe it shows that you just care about people. Maybe I’m being idealistic, but it’s what I believe.

  11. Yeah I got Rally Man Dirt as well. Its very sad. It is also only my first kickstarter that failed like this. I also stupidly bought premium Metal cars before even getting the kickstarter, honestly wasn't expecting them to fail like that.

  12. I backed Tiles of Arabian Nights. My opinion on it is: c'est la vie. I'm someone who always considers crowdfunding money as a gamble. It's mildly annoying, but will happen from time to time. Though I'm sure the employees are not happy at all, we can only hope they land on their feet as soon as possible.

  13. Thank you so much Alex for your kind words towards HGG 🤟

  14. Thanks Alex for your fair and balanced approach to hard conversations. I’m sure it’s tempting as a content creator to be one way or another (or a hard line as you put it), but I really appreciate your honesty, which helps me enjoy your content more.

    Your weekly news videos are one of my favorites that you put out. I really like your personal/history videos because they usually come with a great lesson or takeaway. My favorites are probably when you have Rina guess which crowdfunding projects you backed (and to see which ones I backed that are similar).

    Also I played Heat for the first time this week with three other people (and 2 AI) and I won! Since that was the only game I’ve won with a group so far this year, I feel like I should stick with racing games…

  15. > This might be on the shorter side
    > 27 minute runtime

  16. I remember in the old days of KS it was common knowledge that you might not get what you backed. You understood going in that you were giving to money to someone with a dream, not necessarily the means the complete it. Probably why it became a preorder system it is being used for today.

  17. I own a Rallyman GT, passed on Dirt. Systems are compatible so You might be fine with first one if want to try. Personally it's more appealing to me than Heat, however there's Dice and push your luck involved.

  18. Do you have any news regarding the shipment of Dominations Deluxe, Alex? Thanks.

  19. Ty for this video!

  20. awesome review of Holy Grail games… I consider myself lucky, I received my Encyclopedia pledge and all add ons a few weeks ago… had no idea at the time HGG would be shutting down and really surprised as their games are fantastic.. really sorry to see them shutter.

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