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Otakuon

FFG can make Star Wars Board Games now?

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When Lucasfilm transferred the analog gaming rights to FFG, it only covered RPGs, miniatures and card games, while board game rights stayed with Hasbro (as it was when Wizards of the Coast had the Star Wars license).  I see they are calling this a "board game" so does this mean FFG now has the license for making Star Wars board games as well?

 

if so, that is awesome.  I figured FFG would make a game like this, but I thought they would call it a "miniatures" game like DUST in order to avoid the legal situation with "board games".  Guess this clears it up.

 

Bring on some Descent: Star Wars then!

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The original FFG press release announcing they had just acquired the Star Wars licence begins as:

 

"Fantasy Flight Games is pleased to announce that it has entered a comprehensive licensing partnership with Lucasfilm Ltd. for the worldwide rights to publish card, roleplaying, and miniatures games set in the popular Star Wars™ universe!"

 

You can see it here: http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=2528

 

They specifically left out any mention of "board games" because at this time, the license did not give them the right to make board games based on Star Wars games.  I even emailed FFG asking them about this and they confirmed that the license did not give them the rights for board games.  Obviously this has changed, which is good news, but I am surprised FFG didn't announce that they had acquired the board game rights (or I just completely missed that announcement).

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Well, the thing is, this game is currently listed in the Board Game section of their Catalog, not the Miniatures section where X-Wing and Armada are listed, and in the announcement news article, they refer to it as a "Board Game".

 

Guess it is a little odd that I am more surprised by the announcement of a Star Wars "board game" than I am of the actual game itself (which I think all of us assumed FFG would make a game like this in some form or another).

Edited by Otakuon

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I'm not really sure how FFG's internal license agreements matter to us gamers. We are getting an awesome game. Who cares what they worked out with LFL or Hasbro or Disney or Wayne Enterprises.

It's huge news if this is the case, now we can expect some big, heavy Star Wars board games, would love one in the vein of Twilight Imperium.

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I'm guessing that the actual licensing agreement didn't really change, but that they got an exception/variation to the agreement with Hasbro et al. This is prob why we won't see a lot of traditional board games with the Star Wars theme.  I also wouldn't be surprised if we see a re-working or canceling of the licensing agreement after the assumed 5 year period (we are past the midway point from Jan of 2012 - and Disney has announced that EU isn't going to count...) I don't know if FFG has a licensing agreement for the new content generated in the new movies or cartoons or anything going forward...

 

With all the new Star Wars things in the pipe line, it seems like they are trying to cash in while they can - the $100, price tags for both Armada and Assault (though if compared to the descent board game its maybe only $10 more expensive core set if you include 2 $15 expansions...) We have seen this before when companies loose their licensing agreement... they push out a lot of content.
 (FFG was asked this in an interview with Team covenant about over saturation of Star Wars)

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Or, it could be confident on their renewal. I highly doubt FFG would've spent the resources needed (Armada has apparently been in the works for a year) for quick cash ins. The price of the games are more of a reflection of the realities of making plastic miniatures for games nowadays. Especially with FFG's high standards.

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My brother was at the In-Flight report and says C. Petersen was asked this question. His response was basically, "It's complicated and I'm not gonna talk about that right now." So I agree with Bassoon201 that they probably do not own the license for board games, but they got a waver on this game. I believe that the skirmish mode was implemented in part to bring this game closer to a miniatures game rather than a straight-up board game.

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My brother was at the In-Flight report and says C. Petersen was asked this question. His response was basically, "It's complicated and I'm not gonna talk about that right now." So I agree with Bassoon201 that they probably do not own the license for board games, but they got a waver on this game. I believe that the skirmish mode was implemented in part to bring this game closer to a miniatures game rather than a straight-up board game.

 

Well, nice to know there is some sort of a response from FFG, even if it is rather vague.  I have a feeling that they intended this to be a "miniatures" game but because it requires the use of a modular board system (and it is influenced by Descent) they realized they couldn't really get away with calling it a miniatures game and asked for an exception from Lucasfilm/Disney and also probably Hasbro as they are the licensee.  

 

Now part of me wonders if FFG and Hasbro are looking at doing some sort of collaboration on future games.  And, would I dare say, is Hasbro looking at purchasing FFG outright and bringing it into the fold with Wizards of the Coast?  (alright, alright, that is just crazy talk, I know...)

Edited by Otakuon

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I'm wondering if the addition of the skirmish rules are a way to skirt around the license issue, in a mutually beneficial way for all parties.

Hasbro has their own miniature/toy game coming out for younger kids, and fantasy flight has this 'miniature' game for older audiences. By clasifying it as a miniature game Disney gets to get money from FFG, which can sell another game, and lawyers aren't needed to reclasify the liscence.

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It just seems super silly to speculate on internal contract matters between FFG, LFL, Hasbro and whoever else may be involved. They aren't going to tell us anything. We aren't going to know about any new games until they actually announce them. We may as well try reading tea leaves, or tarot cards.

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It just seems super silly to speculate on internal contract matters between FFG, LFL, Hasbro and whoever else may be involved. They aren't going to tell us anything. We aren't going to know about any new games until they actually announce them. We may as well try reading tea leaves, or tarot cards.

This just in: FFG gains license to make Star Wars Tarot cards!!

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I imagine that they could get around it by calling Star Wars Descent a Miniatures game or even an RPG, rather than traditional board game.

Edited by Jay13x

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I agree that this is probably an exception to the rule, due to its primary vehicle being miniatures. It also pairs up well with the X-Wing system, so doesn't really seem that unusual in their development strategy. I think we might expect more games based on other systems, but probably not one entirely board game driven, like Twilight Imperium (as Starcraft was).

 

I do doubt, however, that FFG is "pumping out games" in response to an impending licence expiration. More likely, they are part of the multi platform promotional campaign being undertaken for Episode VII that I've been hearing about. As the gamer demographic, we're being fed on RPGs, two variations of card games, dogfighting miniatures, naval combat miniatures and ground warfare miniatures. We are being drawn into a fascinating universe, and being prepared for the ground shaking release winter of next year. From what I hear the comic book enthusiasts are being similarly drawn in.

 

Additionally, X-Wing is FFG's best selling game OF ALL TIME. Do you seriously think they aren't going to capitalize on that now that its established that X-Wing wasn't just a fad?

Edited by spectre113

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Yeah, i don't think FFG has any worry as to loosing the license to Star Wars.  I have to think Disney must be pleased with how they have handled it and I wouldn't be too surprised if FFG ends up with other Disney licenses in the future (Marvel anyone?).  I think what we are seeing is FFG ramping up it's Star Wars product lines to cash in on the Star Wars craziness that is going to go down in 2015 and the next 5 or 6 years.  

 

I guess, going back to my original question, I am just curious as to if FFG will have the go ahead to make more Star Wars board games in the future or if this really is just a one-off "exception" sort of deal.

 

Either way, It's looking like there will be lots of fun times ahead for any Star Wars Gaming fan...

Edited by Otakuon

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I'm not really sure how FFG's internal license agreements matter to us gamers. We are getting an awesome game. Who cares what they worked out with LFL or Hasbro or Disney or Wayne Enterprises.

Request to replace missing and damaged components:Current request status: ClosedNote: Thank you for submitting a request;however sadly, we only have a license to sell into certain territories for Imperial Assault,as a result of that we are not able to physically service requests in territories wherewe do not have the licensing rights to sell to. Your territory is one such place and with that,we are not able to service your request.If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at CustomerService@FantasyFlightGames.com. 

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