Project Update: Insight on the UK/EU Situation
Hi again, everyone. This is another update for UK/EU backers, so please disregard if you are outside of those regions. We’ve brought in the whole Greater Than Games team for this update, as it’s important that you know we’re all working together to provide the best service possible to our community.
After our previous community updates regarding the revised timeline to UK/EU fulfillment, we spent time reading through all of your valuable feedback. It is clear that many of you are confused, concerned, and upset — and rightfully so. You participated in this campaign because the expectations we set at launch were worth committing your money and trust upfront. However, we have not been able to meet those expectations. Today, we’d like to share more context and background on the current situation, and also answer some of the common questions we’ve received in the comments.
Why did you change the fulfillment process for Nature Incarnate, when your past campaigns weren’t affected by VAT?
For our past campaigns, we shipped all pledges, including those by international backers, directly from our US-based warehouse. As you know, we outlined a different process for this campaign, with the understanding that shipping from within the EU itself would help backers in those regions receive their pledges faster and easier. That understanding is still true, but as we all know now, the process required more action and information on our side than we initially expected.
Some of you have also asked why we aren’t able to ship Nature Incarnate pledges from the US, since shipping from the EU is so delayed. Unfortunately, rerouting the shipment to the US, as some have suggested, is not a viable solution in this case. It would take longer to reach North America; our warehouses were not expecting to handle this fulfillment, so would need time to prepare; and some packages would likely be lost in transit on their way over the Atlantic, causing even more headache for you all. Maintaining our current course of fulfilling the games through Poland is still the fastest and most secure plan that allows us to provide the best customer service when shipping the games to you (the reason we partnered with them in the first place!).
Why didn’t you register for a VAT number until now?
Our UK/EU fulfillment partners are some of the best in the business and are ready to get your games out the door, but we first need to get the games to their door. And since we are the company who produced, printed, and sold the games, we learned that we cannot use our international partners’ VAT and EORI (similar to the VAT, but for the UK) numbers. This is where the misunderstanding occurred and why we didn’t realize the issue until very recently.
Our team leapt into action as soon as we got the facts straight, but unfortunately our options are limited. Our only way forward to book the shipment to the Polish warehouse is to register for our own VAT. Fortunately the registration process is already in progress and we hope to have an update from our finance team soon. Our previous timeline of 12 weeks until fulfillment completion is still our best estimate, but we are limited in how much we can advance while the government processes the necessary paperwork.
What is Greater Than Games going to do to fix this situation for UK/EU backers AND prevent it from happening in future campaigns?
For the immediate future, see below for the overview on how to request and receive a refund. If you are opting to wait for fulfillment, please know we are actively looking into solutions that arrive sooner than our current estimations. We will share an update as we gather more information so you can pick the best solution for you.
Suffice it to say, we have learned some important lessons with this fulfillment process that we will be carrying forward into future campaigns. Not having a registered VAT number ahead of the campaign was the biggest challenge here, so once the registration process is complete, we will have that in-hand for all future campaigns. We are confident partnering with European fulfillment partners is still the easiest option, and we plan to use this structure moving forward.
What is the new, revised timeline for UK/EU backers?
As of today, here is our best estimate on the timeline for all UK/EU backers to receive their pledge, and other important dates. We will continue to publish regular updates as we receive more information, so you remain informed every step of the way.
- Monthly, starting in August: Update published with current progress
- Beg-Q4 2023: Deadline to request refund / change delivery address
- Q4 2023 (updated once we have VAT): Container departs from China to Poland
- Q4 2023 (updated once we have VAT): UK/EU fulfillment started
- Q4 2023 (updated once we have VAT): UK/EU fulfillment completed
It will take up to 12 weeks to receive our VAT and EORI numbers. This is the piece of the puzzle we have the least amount of control over, but have completed everything on our side. The required paperwork is submitted and now it is in the hands of the government.
Once we have these numbers, we will be able to book the shipment of the games from the factory in China to the warehouse in Poland. This will take approximately 7 weeks to arrive and pass through customs. Then it will take 2-3 weeks for fulfillment to complete. We are still on track to finish UK/EU fulfillment by the end of the year, but we will update the timeline as soon as we have concrete updates on the process.
We will also send out another update with the exact deadline to submit requests for refunds and/or delivery address changes. Those deadlines will also be finalized once the shipment is on the move and we have a more precise timeline for fulfillment.
If I don’t want to wait, how do I get a refund?
Please email [email protected] to request either a full or partial refund. Full refunds include 100% of what you paid. We will process the refund in two transactions: one for your pledge and a second for your shipping. Partial refunds include the cost of Nature Incarnate in a single transaction. The process may take up to 5-10 business days to reflect on your original payment method.
Please note that the entire Greater Than Games is exhibiting at Gen Con next week. While we will be checking our inbox, refund requests may be delayed between July 31 and August 7. Refunds will resume as normal once we are back in the office, in the order of time received.
Further questions? Let us know!
We acknowledge this situation isn’t ideal, for our community or our team, but we are working to our fullest extent to provide satisfactory solutions. We would have loved for all backers to receive their games around the same time, as we know it’s frustrating to see players in other regions begin enjoying the games you are so looking forward to. However, we are glad to see that, even with these delays, we aren’t too far off from our original fulfillment target of November 2023. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but fortunately we are able to take these lessons (and our VAT number) with us in future campaigns.
If you have any further questions about UK/EU fulfillment, please leave a comment here or email [email protected]. We’ll do our best to provide an answer!
~Greater Than Games team