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Subject: Statement from Stronghold Games Regarding "Richard Hamblen's Merchant of Venus" rss

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Stephen Buonocore
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It has come to our attention that Fantasy Flight Games has laid claim to the license for the reprint of "Richard Hamblen's Merchant of Venus".

First and foremost, Stronghold Games bears no ill will towards Fantasy Flight Games over what can only be deemed as an unfortunate situation. In fact, we remain fans of Fantasy Flight's work within the game industry.

However, over 18 months ago, we began negotiations with Mr Hamblen for the license to his game design, Merchant of Venus, finally signing an agreement recently. After much research, Stronghold Games feels very strongly that the license is solely Mr. Hamblen's to offer, and he has selected Stronghold Games for the reprint.

In our opinion, the party that has sold the license to Fantasy Flight Games does not own the rights to this license. Mr Hamblen has also expressed to us his firm belief that the license is his alone to offer.

At this time, we are intent upon defending our and Mr Hamblen's claim to this license, noting once again that we view Fantasy Flight in the highest regard and regret that they have been put into this position.

Kevin Nesbitt and Stephen Buonocore
Managing Directors
Stronghold Games LLC
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Aaron Riggan
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Re: Statement from Stronghold Games Regarding Merchant of Venus
I don't envy anyone for having to go through this sort of legal process.
That said, I think if anyone should remake MoV, it's stronghold games! We've seen within the very short times that Stronghold has been part of the hobby gaming community the quality and care that they put into their products, both in components and in truly holding fast to the original IP.
Here's hoping it goes to Stronghold, preferably without this whole thing getting too ugly...
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Kevin Whitmore
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Re: Statement from Stronghold Games Regarding Merchant of Venus
I want to just voice my support for your endeavor. I applaud your working with the original author, and hope this works out for you all, including Richard Hamblen.
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Reaper Steve
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Re: Statement from Stronghold Games Regarding Merchant of Venus
Thank you for making your position clear. I hope all parties can resolve this situation speedily and amicably.

I don't want to pick sides as I hold both publishers in high regard. I am interested to see which party's position is upheld, and why.
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Tim Seitz
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Re: Statement from Stronghold Games Regarding Merchant of Venus
I hope this works out.
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Tyler McLaughlin
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Re: Statement from Stronghold Games Regarding Merchant of Venus
Good luck fellas.

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Re: Statement from Stronghold Games Regarding Merchant of Venus
blacktrainyellowtrain----MOV----------------bluetrainblacktrain
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Paul M
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Re: Statement from Stronghold Games Regarding Merchant of Venus
These can't be coincidence:

A) After over a decade of being out of print, sometime in 2010, Stronghold/Richard Hamblen begin negotiating a reprint to Merchant of Venus.

B) After over a decade of being out of print, sometime in 2010, FFG/Hasbro begin negotiating a reprint to Merchant of Venus.

This is fascinating.

I hope everybody wins.

But I doubt everybody wins.
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Re: Statement from Stronghold Games Regarding Merchant of Venus
Good luck. I hope that Hamblen actually does own the rights. I hope that, if anything, FFG has legal grounds for complaint against Hasbro for negotiating a license which is not theirs to negotiate. I hope that FFG does not, ultimately, publish Merchant of Venus; they simply aren't the right publisher for the game, no matter what else they bring to the hobby.
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Rick Schryer
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Re: Statement from Stronghold Games Regarding Merchant of Venus
Venus: Rockets to Riches

Good luck Stronghold, you make awesome games and I really hope this works out as you and the designer intend.
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Chris Miller
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Re: Statement from Stronghold Games Regarding Merchant of Venus
Uh oh Hope everything works out in an amicable way!
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Rob Rob
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Quote:
In our opinion, the party that has sold the license to Fantasy Flight Games does not own the rights to this license.
So who is the party who sold the license to FFG?
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Christopher Paul
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JohnRayJr wrote:
Good luck. I hope that Hamblen actually does own the rights. I hope that, if anything, FFG has legal grounds for complaint against Hasbro for negotiating a license which is not theirs to negotiate. I hope that FFG does not, ultimately, publish Merchant of Venus; they simply aren't the right publisher for the game, no matter what else they bring to the hobby.

And as legal compensation, Hasbro has to give FFG rights to publish HeroScape. Then we all win!
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Rick Baptist
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JohnRayJr wrote:
Good luck. I hope that Hamblen actually does own the rights. I hope that, if anything, FFG has legal grounds for complaint against Hasbro for negotiating a license which is not theirs to negotiate. I hope that FFG does not, ultimately, publish Merchant of Venus; they simply aren't the right publisher for the game, no matter what else they bring to the hobby.

Absolutely. And the best part of this scenario is that the only loser would be Hasbro, which is neat-o!
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So the situation on the rights of old Avalon Hill-games is as unclear as people always said, eh?
Very bad for all involved parties and maybe no one really is to blame.
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I wonder if there's something to read into the subject line using the title: "Richard Hamblen's Merchant of Venus." Could it be an indication that both titles might make it to market, under (slightly) different names? Probably still a confusing trademark issue, and I doubt either company would be thrilled to divide the sales of this title, but anyway... just a thought.
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Rick Baptist
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Grudunza wrote:
I wonder if there's something to read into the subject line using the title: "Richard Hamblen's Merchant of Venus." Could it be an indication that both titles might make it to market, under (slightly) different names?

In re-reading that old post from 2008 on Magic Realm, I wonder if Hasbro just dropped the ball here in selling the rights to FFG without doing any research. I'd put my money on that. If that's the case, Hasbro is going to have to have some make-up with FFG.
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Michael Basil
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Grudunza wrote:
I wonder if there's something to read into the subject line using the title: "Richard Hamblen's Merchant of Venus." Could it be an indication that both titles might make it to market, under (slightly) different names? Probably still a confusing trademark issue, and I doubt either company would be thrilled to divide the sales of this title, but anyway... just a thought.

This would be interesting indeed. I almost hope it happens and that Stronghold does a correct reprint with all 6 players vs 4. I hope then that the Stronghold version sells like hotcakes and shows FFG that they need to stop releasing parts of games. I hate this expansion philosophy, even though I fall prey to it every time..... whistle
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Chris Ferejohn
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Grudunza wrote:
I wonder if there's something to read into the subject line using the title: "Richard Hamblen's Merchant of Venus." Could it be an indication that both titles might make it to market, under (slightly) different names? Probably still a confusing trademark issue, and I doubt either company would be thrilled to divide the sales of this title, but anyway... just a thought.

I thought about that too, but it seems like it would be disastrous for both parties. The hobby market isn't that big, and having to defray the costs of two entirely separate development processes (art, molds, printing, etc.) between two products would probably mean no one would do all that well (to say nothing of the confusion in the market).
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Chris Ferejohn
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Robrob wrote:
Quote:
In our opinion, the party that has sold the license to Fantasy Flight Games does not own the rights to this license.
So who is the party who sold the license to FFG?

In FFGs press release they claimed they got the license from WotC (and by extension Hasbro).
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Steve Schacher

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I'm just happy to hear that Mr. Hamblen is alive and still active in the gaming industry.

I thought he had dropped out of circulation for awhile.

Steve
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Scott Everts
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I really wish you luck on this. Though I also greatly enjoy FFG and have a lot of their games, I feel you are the better choice to offer this game.
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Andy Stout
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You've got my support, primarily by far because of your working with the original designer, which it appears FFG left completely out of the loop. If that is true about FFG, that is inexcusable.

I'm also in favor of you guys because I can trust you to do a faithful reprint, which is not something I can trust FFG with.
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William Baldwin
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Regardless of Avalon Hill going out of business, there has got to be a CONTRACT SOMEWHERE that covers the issue. My guess is that the contract didn't cover this issue in which case the court/lawyers/arbitrators will rule in favor of the length of IP rights given in all other circumstances.

But what do we know, looking from the outside in?
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Matt Davis
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dragonstout wrote:
You've got my support, primarily by far because of your working with the original designer, which it appears FFG left completely out of the loop. If that is true about FFG, that is inexcusable.

I'm also in favor of you guys because I can trust you to do a faithful reprint, which is not something I can trust FFG with.

Inexcusable seems a strong word. They went to the people who they thought owned the rights to the game.
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