Fantasy Flight Games and Games Workshop Parting Ways

By Polar_Bear
In Fantasy Flight Games
Sep 9th, 2016
39 Comments
5486 Views
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There’s been a few rumors floating around about this. Now we’ve got official confirmation. Fantasy Flight Games and Games Workshop are concluding their business relationship with one-another. The agreement, which started back in 2008 will officially come to an end on February 28th, 2017.

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What does that mean for Games Workshop products that Fantasy Flight makes? Well, they won’t be available for sale in the Fantasy Flight store anymore. Also, no new releases will be coming out for them (obviously). Everything that has been announced will still be made and distributed, but that’ll be it for those product lines.

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  • Wow. I wonder why that is? I, along with many others, really love the RPG series and I think it’s done a lot to deepen familiarity of and respect for the IP.

  • Digimortal

    Based on the latest White Dwarf release and trend in smaller self contained board game releases, I expect they wish to take their favourite concepts and produce those in house.

    • I’m a pretty optimistic person, but I can’t imagine GW will do the RPG series justice and this is the biggest item on the docket. I get the board games. That makes sense.

      • odinsgrandson

        Yeah, I can see GW wanting to cut out the middle man with this.

        I wonder if they have rights to the game mechanics of any of the games they didn’t originally make. I sort of expect FF to own the rules sets, so GW probably won’t be able to reproduce most of these anyway- at least without re-writing the rulebook completely.

        Especially the RPG. I’m a bit sad at that too.

        • That’s a good question about the rules, but IIRC the first Dark Heresy game was published ‘in-house’ under Black Library, and they’ve all used variations on that same 2D10 system. So GW might well own that as well.

          • odinsgrandson

            So maybe the RPG will live?

            As I understand it, FFG sometimes reskins their rules sets as well, so that is a likely fate for some of the games.

          • I guess we’ll have to see. If they reskin them I probably won’t care anymore. The system itself wasn’t that great, it was the deep fluff and character of the 40K stuff for me.

          • crazytuco

            Yeah, the rules system for these games wasn’t anything really groudbreaking and was based on what was developed long ago for the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay if I remember. The real reason to play the RPG was for the setting.

          • odinsgrandson

            Oh, I doubt that they’d re-skin the RPG.

            But I think they might re-skin the board games. Chaos in the Old World might work with a different skin, right?

        • Ramone

          Can’t copyright game mechanics. But they would need to rewrite the rules in their own language, as the FFG version is under copyright.

          • BDUB

            FFG had a similar arrangement with the Dust Warfare. The IP was Paolo’s but the ruleset was FFG’s hence why no materials could be made for sale to support Warfare, after the split. So the theory might have some merit in this case.

          • odinsgrandson

            I’ve heard that before, but I don’t believe it.

            In the ’90s, Wizards won an infringement case that was all game mechanics.

            IP law is still far from the clearest thing in the world.

  • Davos Seaworth

    Quite a few decent board/card games will disappear come March 1st:

    Blood Bowl: Team Manager
    Chaos in the Old World
    Forbidden Stars
    Fury of Dracula
    Relic
    Space Hulk: Death Angel
    Talisman
    Warhammer: Disk Wars
    Warhammer Quest Adventure Card Game
    WH40k Conquest

    FFG’s yearly Holiday sale just got a lot more interesting.

    • Meri

      Ah, but what day will the sale start this year?

      • Davos Seaworth

        It used to be the Wednesday of Thanksgiving week, but last year FFG kicked it off the Wednesday of the week before T-Day. So my guess is either Nov 16th or Nov 23rd.

        • Don’t worry. I’ll let you know when I find out. 😉

    • BDUB

      Fury of Dracula? Thats not GW. What’s up with FoD?

      • Davos Seaworth

        FoD originally published by GW in 1987. FFG has released new editions under license ever since.

        • BDUB

          Well, learn something new everyday. Glad I have an FFG copy.

          • odinsgrandson

            Yeah- GW’ isn’t going to be publishing Fury of Dracula again (mostly because Dracula is public domain).

            If they did remake the game, they’d rename it “Fury of Manfred von Carstein” or something.

  • Haptic Vulpex

    i think we can say good bye to the RPGs and Card Games in the W40k Universe. i don’t see GW starting making that sort of games when they never did before. Quite Sad, i really liked conquest, and i think it worked well.

    • odinsgrandson

      They did way back in the day.

      • crazytuco

        It wasn’t that far back in the day for the RPG. My copy of Dark Heresy was published by Black Industries.

        • odinsgrandson

          I stand corrected. That wasn’t so long ago after all.

          Maybe they’ll go back to that? It would fit in with some other recent GW moves.

    • DB

      They could always bring back the Warhammer Fantasy RPG…oh yeah. Never mind.

      • odinsgrandson

        As I understand it, they actually sold all rights to Warhammer Fantasy RPG a while ago. From what I heard, it wasn’t a license- the whole property was sold away.

        But that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t make a new RPG in their new setting.

        I think it would be a good move for them to make an Age of Sigmar RPG- mostly because it would require them to fill out the setting in all the ways it needs.

    • Chaotic Shaman

      GW started with RPG games (D&D to be precise) and card games….i guess you are new to GW…..less than 20 years ago they very well made CCG’s….so “they never did before” is false.

      • Haptic Vulpex

        Yeap, you re right, my bad.
        Still i don’t see them , reediting new ccg and rpgs by themselve, so i really don’t understand that move. i doubt they were losing money over those licenses….

        • Chaotic Shaman

          you are right also. i don’t see GW returning to CCG’s etc. but then again the new guy in charge is going back to what made geedubs the powerhouse and the entry many of us enjoyed into their game universes.

          • odinsgrandson

            Now that I think about it, it would be a very good move for GW to start up with the CCGs and RPGs.

            It could potentially diversify their audience (which is something GW really needs right now, since it looks like the overal game market is expanding, but Warhammer players aren’t).

            It is possible that this is something they’ve been considering for a while, and kept it close to the chest.

            Their current staff hasn’t been doing those things, but it isn’t like GW lacks the funds to hire on an RPG or CCG game designer.

            Here’s hoping the games can continue on.

  • BDUB

    Well this opens the way for FFG Tabletop Miniatures Games, since their gentlemen’s agreement with GW is off the table-top (hehe). I expect to see a 28mm Star Wars game in the future (Imperial Assault gave us a peek already).

    • crazytuco

      Like the tabletop miniature game set in Terrinoth they announced at GenCon?

      • odinsgrandson

        Didn’t they use to publish two tabletop minis games (Dust and Anima Tactics)?

        I thought the agreement about minis only went as far as the GW license (ie. Relic uses Busts).

        • BDUB

          Perhaps.
          @Crazytuco – got a link to the announcement?

          • Davos Seaworth

            RuneWars: The Miniatures Game.

            https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2016/8/5/runewars-the-miniatures-game/

            Imagine the X-Wing rules applied to a fantasy mass-battles game.

          • BDUB

            Ah yes, I looked over this before. It seems promising. For a minute I thought you were suggesting they had announced a Star Wars table-top battle game.

          • Ghool

            I’m almost certain that’s in the pipes too.

  • Chaotic Shaman

    sad but not unexpected to see this eventually happen. the new guy at GW is really making waves….both good and bad. but it is what it is.

    • odinsgrandson

      Yeah, I’ve mostly liked his recent moves- Blood Bowl and Warhammer Quest deserve to live!

      But this is a shame. Here’s hoping the games find a home.