Saturday, December 14, 2013

Lamentations on a Forgotten Heroquest

So, there was a kickstarter for Heroquest 25th Anniversary Edition by by a company called Gamezone.

Was being the operative word.

Then after it was shutdown over IP violation it reappeared on a Spanish crowdfunding site... for 4 hours.

My first thought on seeing the site way back before the kickstarter launched was it looked a little dodgy. Nice graphics, but the site as in Spanish, not English, (which is odd as Heroquest in my mind is a British game) I got a vague sense this was not a legit organisation.

Later English additions to the site did little to dissuade my feeling of dread, especially the logo "Everything you will ever wait is here". When you spend your life reading emails and reports written in pigeon-English, you dread seeing it on an actual product. I was only vaguely tempted to pledge to the campaign - the proposed miniatures looked great, but the lack of proper English really put me off. I was also therefore dreading any tinkering with the game - especially since they were proposing to add 15 new heroes. I just doubted their ability to not affect the game balance.

Lastly there were going to be no fimirs.

Sadly this was a render of the final product, rather than an
actual prototype. One of the main critiques of the KS was the
lack of any real groundwork prior to launch.
Odds were the kickstarter was going to be shutdown, most likely by Games Workshop who in lieu of making games these days litigate at the first hint of encroachment on their property. As they made the minis this seemed inevitable.

However the Kickstarter was shutdown at the request of smaller company Moon Design, a company that owns the Heroquest trademark in America as part of the Glorantha RPG range. They had been approached by GameZone and had asked to see a letter from MB Games allowing GameZone to remake Heroquest. GameZone would not produce one and it came to light they own the Heroquest trademark applied to toys in Spain but do not actually have any rights to the game itself.

To be honest I'd almost overlook the IP violation as it is pretty clear as far as Games Workshop and MB are concerned this game is dead in the water. However GZ seems to a bit of a fly-by-night outfit. It is a real shame HQ died out the way it did.

Now excuse me while I kickstart Advanced Heroquest in Kazakhstan.

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