Bit of a moot point right now, but there were multiple people who had a lot of thoughts on the Dziobak company culture. Your best bet would be asking Nicole Winchester who worked at Dziobak for a while.
Yeah, this sucks. I'm currently holding a ticket to CoW20 in April, as well as Fairweather Manor in November, and it's still up in the air whether either one of those is going to happen. There is some sort of Hail Mary pass in the works regarding CoW, but we'll see. If it comes to naught, I'll have a long weekend in Berlin with other larpers who got nonrefundable flights.
But the beautiful thing about a co-creative medium is that a company can only own it to a certain extent. Regardless of what happens to College of Wizardry, I expect to waltz through the doors of some castle somewhere with a wand in my belt a year or two from now.
Sounds like the College of Wizardry games may be saved:
We have some really good news!
Currently we are finalizing an agreement with someone who can take on CoW and who we think would be a perfect new owner. So while Dziobak Larp Studios is no longer in any way involved in the future of CoW, we know it will be in the best of hands.
For starters, they are willing to make a twenty thousand Euro non-refundable down payment on the castle to make sure it is available and reserved for College of Wizardry in April. And together with some people from the community they are racing to make a crowdfunding campaign to make the events happen on the original dates.
More on this in the next few days, once all details are sorted, but if you can hold on a little longer....
My prediction is that CoW and Fairweather Manor will probably be saved. Convention of Thorns, while excellent was struggling to fill and while it brought in a bunch of Vampire LARPers, it doesnt have the same replayability.
I have to confess my sympathy for Dziobak just took a hit when I was lambasted for 6 paragraphs by Claus for using the credit card dispute mechanism to try to reclaim my 500 euro ticket price from the payment processor. His payment processor is giving refunds to credit card payments but this was announced after we'd initiated the dispute, and apparently that's just going to add extra work and cost to both them and him. I'm not sure I'm really the villain of this piece given his initial email saying he was broke, there was no money but he hoped to refund us in several years.
EDIT - apparently it wasnt Claus behind the Dziobak LARP Studios post to me, but rather a couple of ex-employees helping in winding up the company and processing some refunds for those who paid by card (apparently funded by their payment processor) and working the weekend and unpaid. That's some loyalty.
The short version of the story is that Company P from Sweden bought the IP from Dziobak Larp Studios. They're now seeking 89K€ to run the scheduled games for this year, but are committed to bring it back in some form eventually. There's backer perks that are pretty cool.
It's actually better than I expected. Company P has a good reputation and track record, I like the selection of backer perks, and it seems to be chugging along nicely. I'm still not entirely optimistic that we'll get our CoW, but I'll be throwing money at this once I have some.
I wouldn't recommend for anyone to back it, unless they just want to throw their money at hope. What's more, this is largely aimed at people who have outstanding tickets, and is just a way of asking them to pay more money in the hope the events run, it's pretty blatantly unethical and disreputable.
Legally and financially, there are some serious open questions that could bring both Company P and Claus into question, and cause a stop on those events the moment any debtor wishes to push the issue.
Starting afresh would be a far better move than the one they're taking, and that they're deliberately taking on the often poisonous and terribly mismanaged nature of the events means I have serious doubts about their project management or business strategy skills.