The following article is a guest post written by Alexandra Yaverbaum (aka Sasha) and Dina Ramse from Dina Said So Studio and originally published on LinkedIn.

In light of the recent announcement that CMON have acquired some of Mythic Games’ projects, it brought into clear contrast just how well, (or indeed how poorly) these can be handled.  I have been involved in previous mergers and acquisitions and most recently worked with Naylor Games to help consider their communication during their acquisition of ITB‘s assets, which parallels the situation very closely.

As a marketeer one of the most important considerations is how a message is voiced. With these two examples in mind, it seems that one conveys (a rather condescending) “I am a hero. Like me!” and the other conveys (a much more empathetic) “I am one of you and I understand.”

Let’s compare how the sensitive issues were covered in their press releases. To put into context, CMON announced the acquisition of  Mythic Games’ IP on January 24th 2024 in the update section of the Mythic GamesKickstarter campaign HEL: The Last Saga. Note that this crowdfunding campaign gained 17,757 backers who pledged $2,215,842, which is not a small project(!).

The announcement was preceded by an update on the same day from Mythic Games themselves, stating that for them to successfully fulfil their previous projects, without asking backers for more financial contribution, they are handing over the IP to another undisclosed publisher who will announce the next steps of the fulfilment process.

As you can see, this resulted in an outbreak of negative reactions in the comment section under the updates and on social media. Let’s break down the message and the particular wording they used that the backers found particularly provoking.

CMON‘s Approach

CMON announces the acquisition starting with a bland “We hope this message finds you well” right after the Mythic Games’ statement, which does seem like a slap to the face, they continue stating that the games they’re taking over are not ready, as in non-playable and need to re-develop them. The hero complex is very well presented. CMON states that extensive redevelopment and substantial effort are required to complete the process and is expecting understanding and support from the backers.

In light of this, they are generously offering a free copy of their version of HEL: The Last Saga. Free, as in backers that already paid for the game are finally getting their copies??? Not only that, all of the backers that are eligible for a copy of the game, will receive a BASE game. Yes, let’s ignore the fact that the original campaign included a deluxe-level pledge. The deluxe tier backers are not even eligible for future expansions as compensation for getting only the base game. And of course, bakers who are going to get the “free” game will also have to cover the shipping and VAT fees. The latter statement just erases the previous message by Mythic Games not wanting to ask bakers for more financial contributions. “Please note, this offer is not a settlement taken on behalf of Mythic Games – it is simply a gift from CMON.” They end their update.

The humble bragging in this update by CMON is dropping all the responsibility on the unfulfilled backers and gives no option for an exit and refund to the wronged customers. How can CMON continue being so condescending in their tone of voice and negative wording and expect people to be happy about this acquisition? Considering this is their third acquisition with a backlash, you would think that the company should learn from their previous mistakes in choosing the right words. What is striking in this communication is that their press release is inconsistent with the announcement in the update and does not cover the issues Mythic Games’ campaigns had in the first place and no mention of how CMON is going to rectify the wrongs. They just stated that there was an acquisition and a brief mention of backers handling the “third-party expenses”.

Photo courtesy of Inside The Box Board Games

Naylor Games‘ Approach

Now that we’ve looked at the CMON case let’s explore Naylor Games’ acquisition of ITB IPs and how they handled the sensitive topic of financial implications for the backers while leaving a positive perception.

Naylor Games made sure their announcement appeared both in a press release and the outstanding ITB Kickstarter updates. They open the statement by setting realistic expectations about the fulfilment process and take over. Naylor Games is a small company with limited resources and they made sure to state it clearly. The press release continues to ensure the communication is as transparent as possible by mentioning that some of the assets from ITB are being used to pay the original creators of the games.

As for the financial burden for the backers, Naylor Games makes sure to be seen as “one of them” and that the company is levelling with the wronged backers by using empathy in their wording and stating that the burden is shared with customers.

The backers are acknowledged and seen by the new owner of the ITB titles and are given the option to choose whether to contribute once more to the project (i.e. cover the shipping expenses) or to donate the already printed stock. The proceeds from the donation will cover the costs of storage and go to charities. Should the customers decide to keep the games, they will not pay for them again but rather contribute to breaking even at the economic cost of getting the games.


Naylor Games is also transparent on the issues with the Alba project (the book is NOT printed and unsure when it will be delivered/made) and does apologise for this unfortunate circumstance. They communicated with the community and even asked for help to share the already available digital version of the book. The new owner also indicated that they had already made contact with the original creative team and were excited to explore what they could do about the project.

Positioning them in a mitigating position when announcing sensitive topics, Naylor Games made sure to be clear. They conveyed that their number one priority upon acquisition is to set this straight, thus minimising the potential backlash and resulting in praise and “thank yous” from the backers.

Understanding these differences is crucial, yet navigating such situations effectively requires adept communication strategies. By tailoring messages to specific audiences, acknowledging concerns with empathy and offering creative solutions, companies can minimise negative impacts and even build trust.

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Audio Version

Intro Music: Bomber (Sting) by Riot (

Background Music: Easy by Mixaund (

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