As the unjustified war continues in the Ukraine, we have found ourselves in precarious position. Over the years Arcane Wonders has built some great partnerships with our publishing peers in Russia. And we have been blessed to bring some incredible games to English-speaking gamers all over the world from these partnerships. One of the most important of those relationships has been with our friends at Cosmodrome Games. Through this cooperation we have brought Smartphone Inc and Aquatica to market, as well as the upcoming title Mobile Markets. It is in this that we were in the process of helping them bring their next big title to Kickstarter: Frozen Frontier.
We were all set with preparations to launch the game on Kickstarter on March 28th when the world watched in disbelief as the news came in that Russia was invading Ukraine. A senseless act of aggression that we here at Arcane Wonders unilaterally condemn. As a general rule we don’t say anything about world events here at Arcane Wonders as a company. It isn’t that we don’t have feelings and stances as a team, but that we recognize that we make board game and our knowledge of things outside of that is limited at best. (that said – those who know me, know that I can be vocal at times about a wide-range of issues personally!)
This war however has put us in a position where we do need to say something as it does affect our day to day. In no way does this compare to the suffering happening for those directly involved in this. I cannot begin to imagine what those people are going through. And all of our hearts here at Arcane Wonders goes out to the victims.
This put us in a position we did not expect to find ourselves in. We have been working hard at Arcane Wonders for more than 8 months getting things ready for the launch of Frozen Frontier, and our friends at Cosmodrome have been working even longer on it. Developing a board game and getting it market ready is not a short process, nor it is particularly cheap one. Both of our companies have invested a great deal of time, resources and money into Frozen Frontier.
However once the news broke about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine we knew that we would need to discuss how this would affect not only our existing partnerships, but Frozen Frontier’s launch. For Frozen Frontier we met with our partners at Cosmodrome Games, who first began in Russia, but do operate as a business outside of Russia as well. We both agreed that launching the game now would be a bad decision.
Frozen Frontier will launch in the future, but we have not decided when this will be as of yet. We appreciate all of the fans of Arcane Wonders and Cosmodrome Games.
On a personal note from me:
Over the years I have gotten to know the folks over at Cosmodrome and they are some of the most wonderful and caring humans I have ever met in this industry. And I won’t lie — I wasn’t expecting that. I grew up in the 1980’s and I had always heard about how cold Russians were. Yet when I met their team, they were warm and full of life. Each member of their team was so full of passion, not only for board games, but for friendships and fostering a spirit of partnership between everyone. I will call out Ivan Lashin especially in this as not only do I have great respect for him as a game designer, but also now as a friend.
I believe that we can condemn the acts of the Russian government and their military, while not forgetting about the friendships we have made with some of the great people who just happen to be from Russia themselves. I have spoken to many of our friends and partners there who do not support the war and are greatly saddened by it, and it breaks my heart to hear how scared they are. Not only of what is happening, but for their friends and families as well. They did not ask for this, nor do they support it, but they feel powerless to do anything on their own for many reasons including fear of their own government. This is something I can understand. I have had friends in Russia ask me if I would be willing to donate to the Ukraine on their behalf anonymously because they wish to send support, but are unable to do so due to financial restrictions on them and restrictions placed on them by their own government.
I feel that we can do all we can to help the Ukraine break free of this aggression while still standing by the good people we call friends and partners.
I want to share the message that our friends at Cosmodrome Games shared on the BGG page for Frozen Frontier as well:
There is no secret Cosmodrome Games was born in Russia. For more than ten years we have been working hard on developing board games culture among Russian speaking community — and not only in our country — creating and localizing games that we love. Our games are presented in many different countries, including Germany, France, Poland and other European countries, South Korea, China and Japan, USA and UAE.
In 2018 we opened the USA entity and became an international company. This step allowed us to expand our business, pushing forward the international distribution and Kickstarter launches — running almost half of our business outside Russia. We have always been proud of our origin, however, nowadays Cosmodrome employees live and work in different countries, and we have strong relationships with international publishers and distributors, such as Arcane Wonders, Hydra Games, Gigamic, Portal Games, and others.
Growing local talents has always been one of Cosmodrome Games missions, and we are proud to say that with our strong support a number of Russian authors and game designers became known all over the world — their games have been recognized and got awards during major board games events, such as Essen.
Being a small company of enthusiasts with less than 50 people on board, we are focusing on having fun, cooperative and peaceful games in our portfolio. Competition is a part of every board game, but respect for the opponents and fair play are even more important for us.
For the last two years we have been working on a new game for the Kickstarter launch — Frozen Frontier. The game where players need to compete through collaboration on a distant planet with the common aim to restore and aid all life on Earth. Developing science and engineering are keys for success. In the recent decades, more and more environmental and ecological problems have been discovered on our planet, and as a team of creators we feel the need to draw attention to these problems. The launch was initially planned for late March 2022.
These days the world is facing a terrible situation that we were unable to predict and that has shaken our beliefs. Every member of our team, regardless of the location, prays for it to end as soon as possible. We feel it is unfair to launch Frozen Frontier at this time, while these unbelievable things are happening. Therefore, we decided to postpone the launch of the game, hoping that those who are guilty will be punished — and good and justice will prevail.
Our hearts and souls are with all the people affected by what is happening right now. Despite the delay having an impact on our team, the designers, our partners, and all of our families, we know this in no way compares to the suffering of those affected right now in the world. Our prayers are with them. Gaming is a hobby that has a unique ability to bring us all together, no matter where we live or who we are. It has always been our goal to continue fostering that within the gaming community and the world, and in some time we hope to launch Frozen Frontier for our fans.