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License does not include Board Games?


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#1 Otakuon

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 07:20 AM

 This point has really been bugging me since the announcement.  At first, like many of you, my instant reaction to the announcement was "awesome...can't wait for an FFG styled Star Wars board game.". But when I go back and re-read the license terms, it looks like FFG was not granted a license to produce Star Wars board games.  Their announcement specifically mentions "card games, RPGs and miniatures" with board games be suspiciously absent. This is the exact same product range that WotC's SW license covered. I am afraid that the board game license was retained by Hasbro, which is a major shame for us hobby game enthusiasts. Hopefully someone from FFG will clarify what the terms are regarding board games. Still, as a long time Star Wars RPG fan and a big BIG FFG fan, I am tickled pink that they will have a chance to work on a new Star Wars RPG. Also, I found the LotR LCG to be quite enjoyable to I am looking forward to the Star Wars LCG as well. 



#2 MarthWMaster

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 07:32 AM

Everyone here has a cooler username than me. *sigh*

On-topic, I think I speak for everyone when I say I'd be onboard with a Star Wars board game. It seems like a glaring omission, given FFG's renown when it comes to board games. I have not played any of their RPGs, but would be curious to give their interpretation a try. So far, whenever I played a Star Wars rippage it was always because of the "Star Wars" part, not because I had any particular love for Wizards' d20 setup. A game that is built from the ground up to capture the flavor of Star Wars is something I would love to see.


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#3 spirit

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 07:57 AM

Yeah I'm pretty sure Hasbro still have the board game rights and therefor we wont *sadly* be seeing an FFG interpretation of Star Wars as a tabletop board game. We'll have to settle for their miniatures game, RPG and any card games they come up with. 



#4 Otakuon

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 08:24 AM

 Yeap...got a reply back from FFG.  Hasbro does indeed still have the license for making Star Wars board games.  Guess that means we are stuck with Star Wars trivia pursuit, Monopoly and Risk for the time being.  Quite a shame as I am sure we all agree that we were really looking forward to FFG producing Star Wars board games with their trademark style and high quality.  Hopefully, when the license expires, FFG will be able to obtain that portion of it as well.  Even so, I am still looking forward to what FFG has in store for us...especially with regards to the RPG.



#5 PWBrian

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 09:19 AM

 That it, indeed, sad news.  I would really have liked to see some SW boardgames.



#6 Armydillo978

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 09:28 AM

 Blast....I was hoping for a SW type game similiar in nature to FFGs Doom/Gears of War/Descent. :(  That's ok...at least I'll get a mini's and card game..that alone makes me happy as a SW-fanboy.



#7 MarthWMaster

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 09:49 AM

It's difficult to really know what Lucas Licensing is thinking at any given time, but the way I see it, the best way for FFG to guarantee themselves a shot at the board game license when Hasbro's license expires, is by having success with the games it is already putting together. I'm a card gamer at heart, so this doesn't bother me as much, but I would very much like to see a board game sometime down the road.

Does anyone know when Hasbro's license is due to expire?


"To play a wrong note is insignificant. To play without passion is inexcusable."
– Beethoven

#8 Adam

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 11:35 AM

Maybe instead of a board, they could print a map on a giant card, and you could maneuver around the card using minis.  That should be covered.



#9 jhaelen

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 09:16 PM

Adam said:

Maybe instead of a board, they could print a map on a giant card, and you could maneuver around the card using minis.  That should be covered.

Extremely unlikely. They'd have Hasbro's lawyers on their backs in no time at all.



#10 Klaen

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 01:26 AM

Well what is this X-Wing project they are advertising? That looks like some kind of board-game type thing?

I'm sure of the Star Wars LCG is a success (and if LOTR is anything to go by it freaking well will be...) So that might encourage them to duplicate lisence or obtain some kind of project lisence from Lucasarts...

It's not like 'ole georgie boy has demonstrated any kind of 'holding back' when it comes to making money outta his franchise.

 



#11 Hellfury

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 01:36 AM

X-Wing is in all likelyhood, a Wings of War clone/rebrabding/retheming/whatever. The designers of WoW commented on BGG how they were approached awhile back to create a sci-fi version of that game.

Wings of war is more miniature game than board game. More likely to get around Hasbro's hold on the SW boardgame license this way.



#12 jhaelen

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 09:01 PM

Klaen said:

Well what is this X-Wing project they are advertising? That looks like some kind of board-game type thing?

 

No it doesn't. Didn't you notice that it lacks a board?

In the Gen-Con demo they use a play mat. But it's not required for playing the game. Distances aren't measured in squares or hexes, they use a ribbon.



#13 Hellfury

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 10:38 PM

MarthWMaster said:

It's difficult to really know what Lucas Licensing is thinking at any given time, but the way I see it, the best way for FFG to guarantee themselves a shot at the board game license when Hasbro's license expires, is by having success with the games it is already putting together. I'm a card gamer at heart, so this doesn't bother me as much, but I would very much like to see a board game sometime down the road.

Does anyone know when Hasbro's license is due to expire?

I have no clue when it expires, Joshua.

But I will say that this is a sticky situation even when viewed at its most basic and we will likely not see a SW boardgame produced by FFG.

Hasbro has a tight hold on it for one thing. and the entire SW IP value revolves around how successful each company is with it. If FFG are outrageously successful with the IP in their card/miniature and roleplaying games, then it will be that much less likely that FFG will get it because Hasbro will likely hold it just to keep someone else from being too successful.

The way I see it, Hasbro is investing up to $20 Million this year on Boardgame R&D in an attempt to play "catch-up" after a fairly major loss this year because the consumers wised up and realized that there was more to boardgaming than starwars monopoly and trivial pursuit.

They want back into the 'game' so to speak. They wont let that SW IP pass quietly into the night so someone else can do it better and cut even more into the market share that Hasbro has so long enjoyed dominance in.

Meanwhile, we get more Star Wars monopoly. Not even a reprint of fun ameritrash games such as Queens Gambit.

Our only hope is that when the license does expire, that Lucas decides to not renew it so another company (likely FFG) can actually do something with the board game license. But since ol' Lucas owns shares in Hasbro (and why wouldnt he? SW actions figs were a HUGE money maker) I doubt that it will leave The Great Assimilator known as "Hasborg" anytime soon, if ever.



#14 jhaelen

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 11:21 AM

Hellfury said:

Hasbro has a tight hold on it for one thing. and the entire SW IP value revolves around how successful each company is with it. If FFG are outrageously successful with the IP in their card/miniature and roleplaying games, then it will be that much less likely that FFG will get it because Hasbro will likely hold it just to keep someone else from being too successful.

The way I see it, Hasbro is investing up to $20 Million this year on Boardgame R&D in an attempt to play "catch-up" after a fairly major loss this year because the consumers wised up and realized that there was more to boardgaming than starwars monopoly and trivial pursuit.

Following your link I noticed it doesn't say anywhere that this 'center of excellence' has anything to do with board games. It only mentions 'games' which could refer to anything. Is there anywhere more info to be found about this center and its purpose?

Imho, Hasbro is only interested in maximizing their profit. If they don't make enough profit with their Star Wars board game license, they'll happily release it. Keeping it out of spite would be unrational and doesn't make any business sense. They happily stopped to renew their license for card games, minis, and rpgs after all.

I understand that every financially successful company eventually draws a following of haters, but really, Hasbro is neither good nor evil. All Hasbro cares about is making big profits. If that means dropping licenses, they'll do it. If it means acquring licenses, they'll do that instead. They don't have any hidden agenda; it's quite easy to see what they care about (hint: it's not creating 'great' boardgames!).

The only 'danger' to other gaming companies is that Hasbro may get interested in buying them. But they've shown time and again that they're very good at estimating the value of a brand and exploiting it to the fullest by concentrating on key products, polishing them, and opening new markets for them.



#15 Adam

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 03:46 PM

 I didn't think they had the license for card games, minis, or RPGs.  I have never even heard of a Hasbro RPG, not so sure about minis or card games either.



#16 I. J. Thompson

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 03:54 PM

Adam said:

 I didn't think they had the license for card games, minis, or RPGs.  I have never even heard of a Hasbro RPG, not so sure about minis or card games either.

It's because Wizards of the Coast is owned by Hasbro.


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#17 Adam

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 02:01 AM

 Ah, duh.  Forgot about that.



#18 Hellfury

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 07:14 AM

jhaelen said:

Following your link I noticed it doesn't say anywhere that this 'center of excellence' has anything to do with board games. It only mentions 'games' which could refer to anything. Is there anywhere more info to be found about this center and its purpose?

 

Sure. It's in the second link in the post actually, but here it is again:

www.boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/2604

Here is the full press release:

phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml

 



#19 Spike1382

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 11:25 AM

We just need to ask a few questions:


1) What is Hasbro doing with the board game licence?


2) Do they have any future plans for the licence?


3) Is what they are currently producing generating enough income to justify the licence?


4) Is Lucasfilm happy with how the licence is being used?


My answers would be:
1) Not much. Not sure they are even selling many Star Wars Monopoly games right now. Plus they are redesigning a bunch of their games and seem focused on simplification. The only way it seems to be put to use right now is a game you can use your Clone Wars action figures for.


2) Star Wars isn't as big a brand as it was five or six years ago since the new movies ended. Hasbro is refocusing on their core products and I wouldn't be surprised if they have no specific plans for Star Wars.


3) Having WoTC drop their licence makes me think it is not, especially when it comes up for renewal and there are other companies actively looking to bid on it.


4) It seems unlikely that they would be if they care about pleasing their fans. I don’t know if that is the case. They can be a peripheral licence (board game wise, not counting toys here) with a huge company or a core brand with a smaller one.

Will someone other than Hasbro get the board game licence? Not sure anyone outside of these two companies can say. Maybe there has been some back room discussion about it but we’re even less likely to hear that.

I would say the outlook is decent unless Hasbro makes a big push with Star Wars board games in the near future. Of course all this depends on when the board game licence comes up and if that is tied in to the toy licence it will be a cold day in hell before anyone other than Hasbro makes a Star Wars board game.

 



#20 MarthWMaster

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 02:35 PM

Spike1382 said:

2) Star Wars isn't as big a brand as it was five or six years ago since the new movies ended. Hasbro is refocusing on their core products and I wouldn't be surprised if they have no specific plans for Star Wars.

 

On the other hand, Star Wars: The Card Game is explicitly an Original Trilogy product, and those movies still have commanding recognition even now, almost 30 years since Return of the Jedi first came out in theaters. Too bad we still have at least a year or two yet before the live-action TV series comes around. That is expected to cater more towards a more mature audience than Clone Wars CGI and is closer to the era this card game is depicting.


"To play a wrong note is insignificant. To play without passion is inexcusable."
– Beethoven




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