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Avalon Hill Teases the Return of HeroQuest

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: HeroQuest
At 12:00 EDT (UTC-4) on September 22, 2020, something will happen regarding HeroQuest courtesy of U.S. publisher Avalon Hill, which is a brand of Hasbro, which owns the Milton Bradley brand under which HeroQuest was first published in 1989.

What will that something be? It's a mystery right now as this new page on the Avalon Hill website has only a counter and a single image:

From gallery of W Eric Martin
Paging Donnie Darko...

When HeroQuest was originally published, the title "HeroQuest" was a trademark owned by Games Workshop and HeroQuest was labeled as having been "Developed with Games Workshop". GW is not mentioned on the current HeroQuest web page.

In July 2020, U.S. publisher Restoration Games filed a trademark application for the term "HeroQuest Legacies" for use in the categories:
Board games; Card games; Dice games; Playing pieces in the nature of miniature action figures and toy model vehicles for use with table top hobby battle games in the nature of battle, war and skirmish games, and fantasy games; Tabletop games; Tabletop hobby battle games in the nature of battle, war and skirmish games, and fantasy games, and playing equipment sold as a unit therewith
No action has been taken on this application so far, but Restoration Games also has outstanding trademark applications for the older games The Omega Virus and Keys to the Kingdom, and Restoration's Justin Jacobson has said that such applications are just one of many steps the company takes while investigating whether it could release a game.

RPG Item: HeroQuest Core Rules Book
As far as I know, the most recent owner of the "HeroQuest" trademark was RPG designer Greg Stafford, who acquired the trademark after it originally lapsed and who licensed the trademark to Moon Design Publications for publication of the HeroQuest RPG system, with this trademark ownership being at least one of the causes (via a DMCA takedown) of a failed Kickstarter for GameZone Miniatures' HeroQuest 25th Anniversary Edition — but Stafford died in 2018, so who knows where that trademark has traveled to at this point...

Board Game Publisher: Avalon Hill
One additional news hook for this story is that prior to September 2020, the Avalon Hill brand was controlled by Wizards of the Coast, which oversees the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering and which is itself owned by Hasbro. Robert Hutchins at ToyNews reports that management of Avalon Hill will now be overseen by Hasbro itself, possibly in an effort to broaden its reach among gamers. In Hutchins' words:
While the board gaming market has witnessed a surge in popularity over the last six months, hobbyist retailers have suggested that sales have predominantly arisen from the mid-tier category of games within the £20 to £30 bracket, over the larger, big box £100 and upwards items which are more and more finding their audiences on online platforms and crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, over the brick and mortar retailer.

Hasbro's move to bring Avalon Hill within its own gaming fold may be a move to broaden its more mainstream offering and tap into the growing market.
Finally, a HeroQuest Twitter account was created in August 2020 to highlight this "board game of high adventure in a world of magic". No tweets yet — only anticipation from those who follow...

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