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Links – Warcraft Disappears, Schmidt Makes Millions & More

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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• On February 9, 2011, U.S. publisher Fantasy Flight Games posted the following news item:

After nearly ten years of publishing best-selling board games based in Blizzard Entertainment's popular fantasy realm, we at Fantasy Flight Games must announce that our licensing agreement for all Warcraft products has expired. We are immensely proud of Warcraft: The Board Game, World of Warcraft: The Board Game, and World of Warcraft: The Adventure Game. Each of these product lines presented its own unique perspective on Blizzard's beloved setting, and offered countless hours of enjoyment to our loyal fans.

We'd like to thank Blizzard Entertainment for conceiving the rich lore of Warcraft; the vibrant world of Azeroth provided acres of fertile creative ground to our eager designers. We'd also like to thank them for such a long and fruitful partnership. It was our honor to have been even a small part of Warcraft's impact on our culture, and along with millions of other fans, we at FFG look forward to Blizzard's future endeavors.

Finally, our deepest thanks go to the players, whose dedication to these three board games helped make them some of our most popular titles ever. We're confident that their engaging stories of adventure and warfare will continue to entertain fans for years to come. Thanks again for your continued support!

Now, the end of a licensing agreement is something that businesses go through all the time. The licensor decides it wants more money, or wants to release products itself, or take the property in some other direction. So the announcement itself isn't strange or out of the ordinary.

What is strange, though, is that the FFG website has been scrubbed of these Warcraft products: The games aren't listed in the FFG catalog; they are no longer included in the community forums or the FFG store; and they've disappeared from the collections of registered users of the FFG website. Poof.

• French website Jeux sur un Plateau interviewed Rio Grande Games' Jay Tummelson at Nürnberg 2011 in which he talks about Dominion without revealing much in the way of future releases.

• At The Opinionated Gamers, Patrick Korner has published an interesting two-part series (Part I and Part II) called "A Guide to German Publishers". In the articles, Korner summarizes the history of German game publishers – small, medium and large – with more articles to come in the future about publishers in other countries.

• In a related item, this press release notes that Schmidt Spiele GmbH had sales of roughly €38 million in 2009, with (if I'm reading this correctly) more than €9 million of that due to Schmidt handling sales for both the Spiel des Jahres – Dominion – and Kinderspiel des Jahres – Das Magische Labyrinth – in 2009. (Drei Magier Spiele is a brand within Schmidt Spiele, while Hans im Glück titles are distributed by Schmidt.)

• The Play 2011 Game Festival in Modena, Italy will host a conference/brainstorming session for journalists, gamers and game designers on "the different ways in which digital and traditional games can resonate with the practices of journalism, social criticism and the preservation of historical memory". More details on the conference in this post from Andrea Ligabue.

Campaign Manager 2008 (Z-Man Games) is now playable online at

The Resistance is now available in a second printing from Indie Boards & Cards.

• Need more shelf space for your games? Take a cue from Kazuya Morita Architecture Studio in Osaka, Japan and put those shelves everywhere...
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