The Split Between Fantasy Flight and Games Workshop Means the End For Some Board Games

ffronw

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Oct 24, 2013
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The Split Between Fantasy Flight and Games Workshop Means the End For Some Board Games

The end of the long-running partnership between Fantasy Flight and Games Workshop means some beloved board games will no longer be sold come February.

If you're a serious board gamer, you are probably at least passingly familiar with Fantasy Flight Games. Well known for making high quality games across a number of genres, Fantasy Flight has enjoyed a partnership with Games Workshop for the past eight years. In that time, they made a number of popular board and card games. Unfortunately, their partnership is coming to an end.

The announcement actually came a little over a week ago. In a post [https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2016/9/9/a-new-path-forward/] on their website, Fantasy Flight said,

"Games Workshop has been a fantastic partner for the past eight years, and we're thrilled that we had the opportunity to work together and bring so many new and exciting games into the world. As much as we have enjoyed creating these games, our current licensing term is coming to an end."

//cdn.themis-media.com/media/global/images/library/deriv/1350/1350503.jpg

The end of the licensing agreement means that effective February 28, 2017, Fantasy Flight will no longer be selling any of the games produced in conjunction with Games Workshop. There will be no announcements of any new products, and any products already announced will be released before that date. Furthermore, any existing product lines from the partnership will no longer be sold after Feb. 28. Those lines include:

Black Crusade
Blood Bowl: Team Manager
Chaos in the Old World
Chaos Marauders
Dark Heresy
Dark Heresy Second Edition
Deathwatch
Forbidden Stars
Fury of Dracula
Only War
Relic
Rogue Trader
Space Hulk: Death Angel
Talisman
Warhammer: Diskwars
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game
Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game
Warhammer 40,000: Conquest
All Fantasy Flight Supply products showing imagery licensed to Games Workshop

Fans are already snapping up copies of these titles, and you can bet that you'll be seeing them on eBay and similar sites soon for a substantial markup.

This is honestly the end of an era. Although Fantasy Flight will certainly continue to be successful - heck, Twilight Imperium took over The Escapist's offices for quite some time, and the company still has a deal to make Star Wars games - that's a huge list of games and products to lose. Hopefully, Games Workshop has plans to do something with them all.

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09philj

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Apr 3, 2020
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You should buy Chaos in the Old World. Yeah, you. It's by far the best board game I've ever played.
 

SlumlordThanatos

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Aug 25, 2014
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Well...shit.

I've been wanting to play Dark Heresy for a while now, but I couldn't find a copy at my local stores, and I didn't want to order it.

Now I have to, and I really can't afford it right now.

GW, why u do dis?
 

Tireseas_v1legacy

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Sep 28, 2009
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SlumlordThanatos said:
GW, why u do dis?
It might have been a mutual issue, related to sales, or just a disagreement between the management over continuing forward.

FF may have been the one to opt to discontinue if the profit margins on their Warhammer properties were barely breaking even or even in the red. Game design isn't cheep and if they can't turn a profit, then they can't sustain their business.

All in all, we may never know what happened, whether that be due to management or to the accountants. We might get a leak, but expect radio silence for the foreseeable future.
 

Erttheking

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None of the 40k RPGs will be available anymore? GOD! FUCKING! DAMN IT!
 

Gorrath

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Feb 22, 2013
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This is awful, I friggin' love FF's GW stuff. The baord games are fun and Rogue Trader is a blast!
 

Czann

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It seems GW is shrinking more and more.

With such an amazing IP I can't understand how they can mismanage it so much!
 
Jan 12, 2012
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erttheking said:
None of the 40k RPGs will be available anymore? GOD! FUCKING! DAMN IT!
Czann said:
It seems GW is shrinking more and more.

With such an amazing IP I can't understand how they can mismanage it so much!
SlumlordThanatos said:
Well...shit.

I've been wanting to play Dark Heresy for a while now, but I couldn't find a copy at my local stores, and I didn't want to order it.

Now I have to, and I really can't afford it right now.

GW, why u do dis?
A couple weeks back, GW made an appearance at a licensing convention in Las Vegas. An expensive show to attend, and they were hawking licenses to everything in every concievable format, from tabletop games and toys to video games and clothes. http://www.belloflostsouls.net/2016/06/breaking-gw-licencing-in-vegas.html

Not only were they selling rights for the big brands, but they were also pushing back-bench stuff they haven't touched in forever like Dark Future (which they already plan to return via in-house Specialist Games), Talisman and Mordheim. Further, licensing is a huge cash cow for GW, you don't build 30+ years of brands and game lines to let them sit in the dark.

This isn't GW shrinking, this is them expanding away from FFG. It's not a bad business decision, because letting one external company hold the rights to all the most popular brands (and probably picked them up for a song back in the day) is not in GW's best interest. It also means we'll get new takes on it. Instead of FFG's "here's a thousand tiny pieces and special dice to keep track of, a generic system for 40K, and an absolute shitshow of WFRP 3e (and ruining WFRP 2e with crappy reprints)", we can see different designers take a crack at it. With the growth of indie RPG studios, it's the smart move for GW to shop around and see how much they can get out this seller's market.
 

Xorph

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Does this mean that stuff like the Talisman game on Steam will be removed at the same time, or was that just the same IP being liscensed out by GW to a third, unrelated company?
 

RaikuFA

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Jun 12, 2009
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Isn't GW the company that says you can't play their games unless it's at their store?
 

Xorph

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RaikuFA said:
Isn't GW the company that says you can't play their games unless it's at their store?
It's not that, I'm pretty sure it's that you can't post -any- rule information for their games online (compare to D&D which normally allows individual monster/spell stats and the like to help out people looking up a specific thing, and just disallows large chunks of rules), so you're basically required to buy a few hundred bucks worth of resources from those stores to properly play the game, even if you're buying a $40 rulebook for a single unit's stats.
 
Aug 31, 2012
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RaikuFA said:
Isn't GW the company that says you can't play their games unless it's at their store?
No,they say you can't play other people's games in their store. How on earth would they stop people playing their games elsewhere?


OT: Mixed feelings on this one. While I was glad that FFG were making the games, none of them really appealed to me that much and I was never really a fan of the RPGs they developed. The change to 3rd ed WHFRP was a pile of shit. I get why they did it commercially, but fuck em all the same.

Anyway, as said above, time for someone else to have a go with it. Not that I trust GW to give it to anyone good, given their scattershot approach to video game licencing, but whatever.
 

RaikuFA

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Zykon TheLich said:
No,they say you can't play other people's games in their store. How on earth would they stop people playing their games elsewhere?
I don't know. Hidden cameras in each figure?

Xorph said:
RaikuFA said:
Isn't GW the company that says you can't play their games unless it's at their store?
It's not that, I'm pretty sure it's that you can't post -any- rule information for their games online (compare to D&D which normally allows individual monster/spell stats and the like to help out people looking up a specific thing, and just disallows large chunks of rules), so you're basically required to buy a few hundred bucks worth of resources from those stores to properly play the game, even if you're buying a $40 rulebook for a single unit's stats.
Wow. Fuck them. At least I can play DnD by myself with online help. Good thing there's no GW near me. Closest one is in NY.
 

gigastar

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Sep 13, 2010
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They wont stay down for long. I can almost hear Focus Home Interactive mobilizing to snap up publishing rights to thier video game adaptations.
 

InsanityRequiem

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Nov 9, 2009
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If anything, I suspect it?s more something happened in the discussions between GW and Asmodee. Asmodee is the French board gaming company that bought FFG, and has taken control of all contract negotiations for them.
 

karloss01

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Jul 5, 2009
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09philj said:
You should buy Chaos in the Old World. Yeah, you. It's by far the best board game I've ever played.
Already got it and Forbidden Stars; though it's rare for either of them to be played as my game night has doubled in attendees so eight player games are what we need.
 

karloss01

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Jul 5, 2009
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RaikuFA said:
Isn't GW the company that says you can't play their games unless it's at their store?
No they don't allow people to play other companies' games in their stores; so no Star Wars Armada in a GW store.
 

Quellist

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Oct 7, 2010
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Wow, i'm glad i got Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader when i did. I really hope it isnt the end of these games
 

MerlinCross

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Thunderous Cacophony said:
A couple weeks back, GW made an appearance at a licensing convention in Las Vegas. An expensive show to attend, and they were hawking licenses to everything in every concievable format, from tabletop games and toys to video games and clothes. http://www.belloflostsouls.net/2016/06/breaking-gw-licencing-in-vegas.html

Not only were they selling rights for the big brands, but they were also pushing back-bench stuff they haven't touched in forever like Dark Future (which they already plan to return via in-house Specialist Games), Talisman and Mordheim. Further, licensing is a huge cash cow for GW, you don't build 30+ years of brands and game lines to let them sit in the dark.

This isn't GW shrinking, this is them expanding away from FFG. It's not a bad business decision, because letting one external company hold the rights to all the most popular brands (and probably picked them up for a song back in the day) is not in GW's best interest. It also means we'll get new takes on it. Instead of FFG's "here's a thousand tiny pieces and special dice to keep track of, a generic system for 40K, and an absolute shitshow of WFRP 3e (and ruining WFRP 2e with crappy reprints)", we can see different designers take a crack at it. With the growth of indie RPG studios, it's the smart move for GW to shop around and see how much they can get out this seller's market.
I mean the problem is tha FFG is Competent, even if you would like to see a different take. GW opening the flood gates sounds great on paper but look to their video game practices as of late. Huge selection of different titles, game play, and platforms. But God the quality suffers, it's all over the place. Very hit and miss on what is actually good.

And now it might happen with the tabletop sector. Companies too new to the IP, unpracticed in the style, or those just looking for a quick buck. And this could hurt GW more than the video games. A bad game is meh but the setting might interest people into looking into it. A bad tabletop game when their main focus is said sector however...