Recently Tabletop Spirit Magazine featured Part 1, and their current issue #12 features Part 2 of their interview with Sandy. In it Sandy provides insight into business, ‘big plastic’ and Planet Apocalypse. Here is an excerpt:
After many years of seeming ‘Cthulhu hiatus’ in the computer games industry, you returned to board gaming circa 2013/14 with the expansive Cthulhu Wars board game. What possessed you to return to an industry you all but deserted a decade or so previously?
Sandy: I was tricked into it by my then-partners.They thought that a board game about Cthulhu would be a small success and urged me to design one. I finally got talked into developing one. My former company had basically gone down the tubes and I needed a source of income, I actually accepted a job to work for a game company in Hyderabad to teach their Hindu staff how to make games fun and to develop their projects for at least a year. It was going to be a great gig — high salary, my own company car and driver, a share of the company, etc. I and my wife were excited for the adventure. But in the meantime, I decided to create this crazy Cthulhu Wars board game with my partners. My idea was that the board game would earn maybe $200-300k and create a nice income stream while I went off to my new life in Hyderabad.
Well, it was obvious to me that Cthulhu Wars would be the very last game I would ever design (from then on, I’d be developing other people’s ideas), so it would be my swan song. My last opus. For this reason, I pulled out all the stops. I made this the single most Lovecraftian game possible, with huge awesome 28mm scale figures, and went whole hog.
Well, to my amazement it didn’t gain me and my partners $200k, it was $1.4 million! I had to call up India and tell them I couldn’t take the job. I had to stay here and produce this board game. It was clear that board games were in fact a legit industry today, and I founded Petersen Games.