News for December 2011
A Message From Christian T. Petersen 73
An important announcement about Forbidden Alchemy
Mansions of Madness | Published 21 December 2011

Dear Mansions of Madness Player,

It has come to my attention that certain components and information in our recently released Mansions of Madness expansion, Forbidden Alchemy, have serious playability issues.

I am sorry and very embarrassed by this issue. Any issues with Forbidden Alchemy are especially egregious as the Mansion of Madness core game was similarly afflicted. While FFG's work on Forbidden Alchemy was well intended, its content and scenarios both novel and exciting, it's obviously not acceptable for players to receive a product with serious mistakes.

We are currently undergoing a comprehensive audit of Forbidden Alchemy, not only to affirm and understand the issues that have been identified by players, but to be completely sure that it does not have yet-to-be-identified issues.

Once we have completed this audit (which we estimate will be sometime early next week), FFG will manufacture any replacement materials necessary. When printed and received by FFG, we will send such replacement materials to affected Forbidden Alchemy owners via mail at no charge. In addition, as further apology, we will include a free copy of our new Arkham Horror novel Dance of the Damned to those players.

Retailers with copies of Forbidden Alchemy on their shelves should contact their FFG sales rep so they may be sent replacement materials directly. FFG has frozen all sales of Forbidden Alchemy for the time being, as we will be replacing the affected parts in our current inventory before resuming shipments of this product. Distribution customers should similarly contact their FFG sales rep.

We will post another article here next week with the details, errata, and information on how affected players can receive their replacement materials and a copy of Dance of the Damned.

Again, on behalf of FFG, I apologize for this unacceptable issue. FFG must do better and FFG will do better.

Happy Holidays,

Christian T. Petersen
Fantasy Flight Games

Mansions of Madness is a macabre game of horror, insanity, and mystery for two to five players. Based on the beloved fiction of H.P. Lovecraft, Mansions of Madness tells a story in which one player takes on the role of the keeper, a malevolent force working to complete a sinister plot, and all other players take on the roles of investigators, the unlikely heroes who gather to oppose him.

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Comments (73)

Published: 12/26/2011 5:24:46 PM

shit happens, that`s it.

no more, no less. life is unperfect as it is. ffg remains a strong solid game company. there is more important stuff going on in the world right now to worry on.... greetings & have a nice holiday! :-)

Published: 12/26/2011 4:19:15 PM

Dear Mr. Petersen:

Having worked in the printing, publishing and game business for many years, I know that mistakes happen. Human beings are imperfect, and no resonable people should ever expect the products of human beings to always be perfect.

It doesn't matter how much time one spends trying to get it rght, there will always be flaws; sometimes they will be minor, and sometimes disastrous. Sometimes HUGE flaws and misstakes hide in plain sight, because minor details take up so much of the developers' time that they literally forget to step back and take a long view, and never see the forest for the trees.

The difference between a good (or great) company and a poor (or lousy) one is what they do about such imperfections when they are identified. I have personally seen company executives brush off problems with games with the comment: "Fix it in the supplement, then they'll have to buy it to play the core game the right way."

That's a verbatim quote.

Creative integrity and customer appreciation like this is why I remain a loyal FFG player and customer.

Thank you very much!

Yours truly,

Don Hawthorne

Published: 12/26/2011 1:38:23 PM

 How can I, an European(Portuguese) customer who bought the game from my local retailer, expect the replacement to be made?

Published: 12/24/2011 12:04:08 PM

I am a huge fan of FFG. This company is one of the main reasons why i'm in the boardgame community at all. When they release something that interests me, I buy it (sometimes without waiting for proper reviews).

However, FFG, you are not the only ones that release products that interest me. As you can imagine, I WILL buy Descent 2.0 (mainly because I don't have the 1st edition and is now very hard to find it), but my hard earned money is better invested in non-defective products and if I have the oportunity to buy something I want from another company that doesn't have mistakes, errors or isn't just plain defective, I will jump at it without a second thought and your products will sit in the store shelf while I earn more money to spend in games. This is a luxury product, not a necessity, and, as costumer, if I don't like something, I don't buy and that's final.

As you can see, myself and a lot of people are ready to remain loyal costumers as long as mistakes like this DON'T HAPPEN. And, there are a lot more that have just given up on you. If you need playtesters that badly, just send me the damned thing before releasing it, in prototype form. I organize gaming events in my country in a national scale, it shouldn't be too hard to find people to playtest it and give you a proper review. But please, please, please, don't mess up Descent, because I can assure you that will be unforgivable.

Anyway, kudos for coming clean. A lot of thumbs up for that. But also a lot of thumbs down for the mistakes.

Published: 12/24/2011 11:24:21 AM

I like bananas. Does FFG make banana games?

Published: 12/24/2011 11:23:21 AM

I like bananas. Does FFG make banana games?

Published: 12/24/2011 5:32:36 AM

 Yeah I'd like to know that as well!

Published: 12/23/2011 10:49:14 PM

 Pls, I buy it (first day avalaible:) in gameshop in Europe - when replacements are ready, its better to ask shopowner for them, or bother directly ffg?

Published: 12/23/2011 5:46:24 PM

 When you dabble in forbidden alchemy, expect bad things to happen.

David Spangler
Published: 12/23/2011 3:54:24 PM

I appreciate what Christian has done here, though as others have said, it's really only good business practice.  But Christian didn't have to write us personally.

I'm a huge fan of FFG and have been since they published their very first game.  I've been loyal through thick and thin, and I've seen the company lose much of its community-feel as it became larger and more productive.  Sorry about that.

I work as a volunteer for another game company. I do playtesting, proofreading, editing and some writing of game text.  Every game goes through intensive testing with in-house testers, alpha playtesters that are out of house and beta playtesters that are also out of house checking up on the work of the alpha testers.  We solicit volunteers from among our customers, and we never lack for good playtesters.  Then everything is scrutinized by several pairs of eyes, both in the company and outside for typos, grammar, spelling, clarity of rules, etc.  Even then, with all this work, something may still slip through, but it's pretty rare.  And this is a company that's putting out a new game every two weeks!  It's not on the level of FFG, but every game gets lavish care and testing before it's printed.  I simply don't see why FFG cannot do the same thing.  God knows there would be a willing cadre of dedicated people to provide extra hands and eyes to make sure everything works.

Even with the best help and editors in the world, mistakes can still be made (after all, printers can screw up, too).  But a company can certainly do its best to make sure those mistakes are minimized.  No excuses, FFG!

And I still love you.


Published: 12/23/2011 12:26:03 PM

 6 playtesters? that all !!!

Published: 12/23/2011 8:23:19 AM


Check this review at BGG for a more detailed discussion.

The highlights seem to be a map that is impossible to setup, scenarios that are unwinnable for one side and infinite threat combos. Additionally, the new content itself (alchemy, byahkees, time travel)  has been described has being a little lackluster and disappointing.




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