We got to spend some quality time with Catalyst Game Labs‘ art director, Brent Evans (who was absolutely great to interview), this morning in a 30 minute interview that covered quite a bit of ground. The big question on everyone’s mind has got to be: where is Catalyst as a company? You ask, we answer.
We’re not going to rehash the financial irregularities that have recently plagued Catalyst, we’re more interested in where they are now. Right now, the company is putting on a brave face, acknowledging the financial issues and focusing on setting things right. They’ve conducted a full audit of the last three years of business and have been working to make sure freelancers are paid appropriately. They have also started an internal reorganization (which started prior to their issues) and seem to feel genuinely confident about their upcoming bankruptcy hearings. More importantly, they’ve still got the confidence of Topps (the rights-holders for both Shadowrun and Battletech – as evidenced by the recently signed extension of rights to Catalyst (this was a huge outstanding question).
You can’t really talk about Catalyst without talking about Wildfire and Posthuman Studios. The two companies have found a new home at Sandstorm, but the separation isn’t totally clean at this point (Wildfire’s Poo game is up for Origins Award – with Catalyst as the publisher). That said, relations seem to be pretty good (and Catalyst believes that the teams are still friends) – as evidenced by Catalyst providing event support for Cthulhutech at both Origins and Gencon.
Yeah, yeah, but what about the games??? We talked about a bunch of games, so let’s hit ’em:
So where does all of this leave Catalyst? Overall, I think they’re going to pull through. They’ve definitely created some trust issues within the professional hobby community, but they seem genuinely focused on addressing those issues and moving forward. Combined with a strong product line and some of the most popular properties in hobby gaming and I think we’ll see Catalyst emerge from this as a stronger company than when they started (I’ll caveat by saying that I think this prediction depends on some of the organizational restructuring that is currently under way).
Updated to correct dirigibles comment…one day I’ll get that right…
Scooped by our confederates at the Purple Pawn! Awesome article. I hope we can add to it when we finally get CGL on the Paper Money podcast. As a huge Battletech fan I am relieved that the situation seems to be stabilizing. Kudos to Randall and the others at Catalyst (and David and the others at Sandstorm) for keeping the pipeline moving.
Just wanted to take a moment from the show floor to thank you for the mention here! You can expect to see a bunch more of us as we get through convention season. We have a lot on our slate, and we are super excited about it. We think you will be too. Thanks again, hope you are having a great show.
First, thanks for your coverage of Origins 2010 – not a lot of good coverage about, so much appreciated!
Second, as one of the Leviathans mob, thanks for the mention – although I do take objection to the use of ‘dirigibles’. Our flying battleships are not sacks of gas – only me :D
Dint know why I keep doing that! Corrected! I guess it just seems like there should be dirigibles!
Happy to meet all of you, btw – really enjoyed the talks!