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Lockdown in China: the consequences

First we have to say thar this article is gloomier than usual, it talks about the worst accident that has ever happened to Post Scriptum in 17 years of career, which is only the latest of a long series of accidents that have hit all the supply chains in the world. Nevertheless, in the end you’ll find a sparkle of hope which confirms that we are determined not to give up or get discouraged, we will continue to do our work, which we love very much.

Here we go again.
The finish line was in sight: Shogun no Katana’s launch seemed near, it could even be possible for Modena Play fair, that takes place at the end of May. Everything was planned for the delivery of the boxes, and we were looking forward to touching our years’ worth of work, admiring the miniatures, get a whiff of the freshly printed cards smell…
When this happened –> https://edition.cnn.com/2022/04/19/china/shanghai-covid-lockdown-nightmare-intl-dst-hnk/index.html
As you can imagine we had entrusted the production of most of Katana’s materials to a Chinese company, with their offices in Shanghai, the region that is now in complete lockdown.
Obviously, we are first and foremost devastated for the drama that our Chinese colleagues are living, who are being forced to live in fenced houses to prevent them from going out, but even though we can’t compare our situation with theirs, we are also experiencing serious problems.
First of all, we have no clue about when this situation is going to be over. Then, even if they reopened shortly, we can’t predict neither when the production is going to be back at normal pace, nor when our games will be produced or when they will actually be shipped (you won’t be surprised to hear that Katana is not the only game that is in queue to be printed).
It is not sure if we will manage to publish it by Essen 2022, and this is some horrible news for us, as we had already planned a great stand and we now must completely change our plans.

We are sorry about this situation and we completely understand how frustrating it is for our backers and for those who are looking forward to buying it in their favourite shop. We, as boardgames enthusiastic and as Katana’s “parents” couldn’t wait to play with a game for which we have worked so hard and so passionately, from game development to the obsessively thorough care for the materials.

For us as entrepreneurs, this unforeseeable delay gave a serious blow to our business, which relies a lot on this game. We can keep going thanks to a diversified strategy and many collaborations, but we must admit that we are living a time of discouragement and worry for our business.
As we already mentioned in this article, games that are launched on Kickstarter are almost exclusively produced by Chinese companies, for almost all boardgame publishers in the world, and not only because it is more affordable: the companies that we work with have a highly structured business, specifically thought for board games production, with high-tech solutions, especially for the creation of miniatures.
The downside is, as you probably already understood, is that we rely completely on one or two suppliers (for Katana we have one for the miniatures and one for the rest) and when something like this happens there’s nothing you can do.

But here’s the sparkle of hope: as you know, Post Scriptum is the dream of a lifetime, and we won’t let a production delay, no matter how serious, bring us down. We know that the delivery is guaranteed: the advance payments have been paid and the funds for the balance are secured. We only need to be more patient.
It is time for us to find more sustainable alternative solutions, such as new European (or why not American) suppliers, even for more complex materials in our games.
It is not an easy choice, because the costs are higher, the technology is less advanced, and because our Chinese colleagues have proven to be extremely professional, and we have built a relationship of mutual respect and trust.
This is also part of managing a business: predicting how the wind is going to change, unfurl the sails in the right direction to expeditiously sail towards future projects.

We would like to ask you a question: in order to produce somewhere else, we have to use fewer plastic miniatures and more cardboard and wood. What do you expect from our games in this sense? What entices you in a game that doesn’t have miniatures? Printed meeples, paper goods, many boards on the table? We would like to hear your opinion in order to create your ideal game, with the highest quality in reasonable times.
Hit us up on our social media, we can’t wait to hear from you.
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