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Dan Ridge
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With FFG and GW terminating their licensing agreements there are a significant amount of games that will be lost to time. Has there ever been such a sweeping removal of licensed content like this before? If it were any other publisher it might mean certain death..
 
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Matt D
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dice roll wrote:
With FFG and GW terminating their licensing agreements there are a significant amount of games that will be lost to time. Has there ever been such a sweeping removal of licensed content like this before? If it were any other publisher it might mean certain death..


The first that comes to mind for me was when Rio Grande Games lost the Hans im Gluck games to Zman (Carcassonne, Stone Age, etc).

A lot of the HiG games dropped out of English production/distribution.
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Dan Ridge
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Null Field wrote:
dice roll wrote:
With FFG and GW terminating their licensing agreements there are a significant amount of games that will be lost to time. Has there ever been such a sweeping removal of licensed content like this before? If it were any other publisher it might mean certain death..


"Lost to time"? Used copies will still be around and readily available. Also, I dont think FFG makes nearly as much money off of GW titles as it does Cthulhu titles.


The licensed content is a pretty deep cut of their sales..

Quote:
The full list of product lines leaving the Fantasy Flight Games catalog is:

• Black Crusade
• Blood Bowl: Team Manager
• Chaos in the Old World
• Chaos Marauders
• Dark Heresy
• Dark Heresy Second Edition
• Deathwatch
• Forbidden Stars
• Fury of Dracula
• Only War
• Relic
• Rogue Trader
• Space Hulk: Death Angel
• Talisman
• Warhammer: Diskwars
• Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
• Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game
• Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game
• Warhammer 40,000: Conquest
• All Fantasy Flight Supply products showing imagery licensed to Games Workshop


Granted they are making a killing with Cthulhu AND their Star Wars licenses it's never good to see other good games disappear because of licensing issues.
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Time for a repost. Depending on who owns the rights to the mechanics, FFG can just reskin -- or, better yet, revise -- many of these games to the Terrinoth setting.

Quote:
Inside scoop, Source is on first name basis with Christian Petersen:

FFG was aware that they would lose the license "more than a year ago", the way it was said made it seem like it was more like 2+, though it wasnt an "official" thing so much as it was "were probably not going to be renewing it".

FFG developed a game for a GW IP and reskinned it to another setting and released it, source wouldnt reveal what game but I *think* he subtley implied that Armada started out as a Battlefleet Gothic game.

It was more of a mutual decision than anything else, as FFG and GW couldnt find agreeable terms. GW was unhappy with the success of FFGs XWing and Imperial Assault, and began to view FFG as a direct competitor in the marketplace. Word is that GW demanded that FFG cease production of those product lines with the threat that they wouldnt renew the license if FFG did not comply. FFG, naturally, said "hell no". This was quite some time ago and is the reason why FFG "knew" they would be losing the license, further work on all unannounced GW products was halted at this time, with the exception of those that were well into the development and/or production process, such as Conquest, they didnt want to leave the last cycle incomplete. They also didnt want to take the chance that GW would relent when the terms came up for renegotiation (sometime in the past 3 months), so they felt it better to continue work on something that was viewed as low cost and low risk in the event that the license was pulled.

FFG is going to be taking a bit of a hit as a result of the loss of the license, or would have if they werent now part of Asmodee. Prior to acquisition, GW IP accounted for something like 10-20% of FFGs revenue (possible hyperbole?).

Believed Rune Wars was developed in part to spite GW, not so much because there is resentment, but more because of incredulity over GWs demands that FFG drop some of its biggest sellers and GWs belief that FFG was now a competitor. Something like "We'll shoe them what competition really looks like."


http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/180/701613.p...
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Sam and Max wrote:
Time for a repost. Depending on who owns the rights to the mechanics, FFG can just reskin -- or, better yet, revise -- many of these games to the Terrinoth setting.

Quote:
Inside scoop, Source is on first name basis with Christian Petersen:

FFG was aware that they would lose the license "more than a year ago", the way it was said made it seem like it was more like 2+, though it wasnt an "official" thing so much as it was "were probably not going to be renewing it".

FFG developed a game for a GW IP and reskinned it to another setting and released it, source wouldnt reveal what game but I *think* he subtley implied that Armada started out as a Battlefleet Gothic game.

It was more of a mutual decision than anything else, as FFG and GW couldnt find agreeable terms. GW was unhappy with the success of FFGs XWing and Imperial Assault, and began to view FFG as a direct competitor in the marketplace. Word is that GW demanded that FFG cease production of those product lines with the threat that they wouldnt renew the license if FFG did not comply. FFG, naturally, said "hell no". This was quite some time ago and is the reason why FFG "knew" they would be losing the license, further work on all unannounced GW products was halted at this time, with the exception of those that were well into the development and/or production process, such as Conquest, they didnt want to leave the last cycle incomplete. They also didnt want to take the chance that GW would relent when the terms came up for renegotiation (sometime in the past 3 months), so they felt it better to continue work on something that was viewed as low cost and low risk in the event that the license was pulled.

FFG is going to be taking a bit of a hit as a result of the loss of the license, or would have if they werent now part of Asmodee. Prior to acquisition, GW IP accounted for something like 10-20% of FFGs revenue (possible hyperbole?).

Believed Rune Wars was developed in part to spite GW, not so much because there is resentment, but more because of incredulity over GWs demands that FFG drop some of its biggest sellers and GWs belief that FFG was now a competitor. Something like "We'll shoe them what competition really looks like."


http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/180/701613.p...


FFG does have quite a long history of re-releasing games with a new theme. But otherwise being exactly the same. Descent and Doom, Rex and Dune, etc.

For what it's worth, the above article even taken without the anonymous claim of insider info presents the most plausible explanation I've seen for why this happened. GW has always had an over-inflated sense of the importance and value of their IP, so it is unsurprising to me that if this is accurate FFG just got tired of dealing with their crap and decided to move on.
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I don't know much about the specifics of GW/FFG, but surely 'Fury of Dracula' won't be a major issue, given that Dracula itself is now in the public domain. At worst, a rename is all that would be required.
 
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hestiansun wrote:
FFG does have quite a long history of re-releasing games with a new theme. But otherwise being exactly the same. Descent and Doom, Rex and Dune, etc.


Well with Rex they didn't have any choice. The Herbert estate wouldn't grant the rights to the Dune IP, so FFG had to re-theme it.
 
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If the above is true then it's just another reason to hate on GW. FFG are a company that just seems to understand what people want, even if the way they go about releasing their products definitely follows a strict profit model. GW seem increasingly out of touch with the hobby they are selling for, and I find it worrying that they are still so prevalent in the industry. To me it comes across largely as a nostalgia thing, rather than them having any solid games.

Does anyone else worry that FFG are eventually going to go the same way? With them becoming THE leading games giant now, I do wonder what direction we are going to see them heading. More fantastic releases, or more cash ins and slow decline of innovation?
 
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Hmmm... I wonder if knowing the GW license was on its way out was one of the reasons they bought Legend of the Five Rings.

I mean, I know it is not as popular as WH/WH40K, but it seems plausible.


Also GW demanding they stop with X-Wing/Armada. If that is true just. AHAHAHAHA HA HAHA HAHAHA, if they truly thought that would happen they were insane.
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Touchfuzzy wrote:
Also GW demanding they stop with X-Wing/Armada. If that is true just. AHAHAHAHA HA HAHA HAHAHA, if they truly thought that would happen they were insane.


Yep, the Star Wars concept shits all over anything GW has on offer any day of the week and I like the old world and 40k themes but man it's Star Wars, Star Wars.
It's a license to print money.
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DavidSL wrote:

Does anyone else worry that FFG are eventually going to go the same way? With them becoming THE leading games giant now, I do wonder what direction we are going to see them heading. More fantastic releases, or more cash ins and slow decline of innovation?

Interesting that you think there's a difference. I've always seen FFG as already being in this mold - their games have long been driven more by specific license appeal (Cthulhu! Star Wars! GoT! BSG!) than by design innovation, and many have been quite pedestrian (repetitive, dice driven) in their mechanics.
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Tim RTC wrote:
I don't know much about the specifics of GW/FFG, but surely 'Fury of Dracula' won't be a major issue, given that Dracula itself is now in the public domain. At worst, a rename is all that would be required.

While there would be no copyright issue, I find it hard to imagine there wasn't a non-compete clause built into the licensing contract. Besides, would you licence a property to a company that pulled that move on an ex-partner?
 
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Tim RTC wrote:
I don't know much about the specifics of GW/FFG, but surely 'Fury of Dracula' won't be a major issue, given that Dracula itself is now in the public domain. At worst, a rename is all that would be required.


It wouldn't surprise me to see GW trying to claim a copyright to Dracula (the character not the game).

This is the same company that tried to claim a copyright on skulls and wings afterall.
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Touchfuzzy wrote:
Hmmm... I wonder if knowing the GW license was on its way out was one of the reasons they bought Legend of the Five Rings.


My friend and I already have talked about how getting L5R opens up for other games with the license. Knowing FFG spams the hell out of a license and even on FFG's site they list the LCG as "the first L5R product" it is rather obvious what is going to happen. L5R is an amazing license for FFG to have. No, it might not be really that big of a name, but that's vastly AEG's fault. It is a lesser used theme with a huge history.
 
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jeffcuetis wrote:
Tim RTC wrote:
I don't know much about the specifics of GW/FFG, but surely 'Fury of Dracula' won't be a major issue, given that Dracula itself is now in the public domain. At worst, a rename is all that would be required.


It wouldn't surprise me to see GW trying to claim a copyright to Dracula (the character not the game).

This is the same company that tried to claim a copyright on skulls and wings afterall.


My understanding is that FoD may be a special case. The first edition was published by GW in 1987, FFG licensed and does not own the game mechanics. I suspect FoD will be back but as a GW game.
 
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DailyRich wrote:
hestiansun wrote:
FFG does have quite a long history of re-releasing games with a new theme. But otherwise being exactly the same. Descent and Doom, Rex and Dune, etc.


Well with Rex they didn't have any choice. The Herbert estate wouldn't grant the rights to the Dune IP, so FFG had to re-theme it.


They didn't have a choice with Descent either. iD pulled the license for Doom, for reasons that were never entirely clear to us plebes, so they had to stop production of the original game. (Evidently those reasons have been resolved more recently, as FFG has once again announced Doom 2E.) The larger point here being that FFG is not shy about reskinning a game's theme so they can continue to make a profit on the mechanics they developed, whether or not they were forced to do so for legal reasons.

I'm sure more than a few of these titles will reappear with new themes. Probably not all of them, but the ones that were making a decent profit, at least.


Tim RTC wrote:
I don't know much about the specifics of GW/FFG, but surely 'Fury of Dracula' won't be a major issue, given that Dracula itself is now in the public domain. At worst, a rename is all that would be required.


I wouldn't take that bet, myself.

I mean, if FFG were to publish a "new" Dracula game that is clearly their FoD 3E game with a different name, that at least shows some sort of malicious intent. GW may not be able to sue for "copyright infringement," but I'm sure there are other legalities they could use as a basis for a lawsuit. Just because none of the individual parts are protected doesn't mean the product as a whole is free and clear.

I mean, by that logic, you could take a copy of Arkham Horror, change the name (and the artwork), and start selling it as your own game. You might need a KickStarter to put together the cash for mass production, but the rules aren't copyrightable and the theme is fully public domain, right? Do you honestly think FFG wouldn't come after you for that? Or that they'd have no chance of winning if (when) they did?
 
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No, they'd have no chance of winning a copyright suit. See the recent Bang lawsuit.

http://www.strebecklaw.com/court-rules-favor-cloned-tabletop...
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Touchfuzzy wrote:
Also GW demanding they stop with X-Wing/Armada. If that is true just. AHAHAHAHA HA HAHA HAHAHA, if they truly thought that would happen they were insane.


While the notion that any of GW's properties even come remotely close to Star Wars in terms of mind share / profitablity / bargaining strength is exactly as risible as you imply, it does make a little more sense when you bear in mind that FFG only have the license to produce miniatures for Star Wars -- not the board game license (which is owned by Hasbro). As I understand it, FFG are having to be very careful in terms of exactly what they produce under the Star Wars license as, if it looks too much like a board game, Hasbro are legally entitled to a healthy slice (rumours and comment abound of Hasbro being [semi-forcibly?] cut in on Rebellion and Imperial Assault for this reason, but not X-wing or Armada [as they're sufficiently non-board-based as to be legally less clear-cut]).

That being the case, I can see why GW might have increasingly started to see FFG as a miniatures company, not solely a board game company -- especially as their license from Lucasfilm/Disney is exactly that -- which does bring them more into direct competition in the market segment -- which is why GW might have objected. That is: they might not have been objecting to the SW stuff directly, but to what the SW stuff represented: a move to predominance in miniatures.

It still doesn't mean there's an icicle's chance in hell of FFG dropping the SW stuff, though; more that GW might have seen the writing on the wall and wondered why they were aiding what was increasingly a direct competitor; including being a competitor for license tenders.
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FritzBraun wrote:
No, they'd have no chance of winning a copyright suit. See the recent Bang lawsuit.

http://www.strebecklaw.com/court-rules-favor-cloned-tabletop...


Assuming the legal teams and budgets are similarly sized, mind...
 
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Stewi wrote:
I mean, by that logic, you could take a copy of Arkham Horror, change the name (and the artwork), and start selling it as your own game. You might need a KickStarter to put together the cash for mass production, but the rules aren't copyrightable and the theme is fully public domain, right? Do you honestly think FFG wouldn't come after you for that? Or that they'd have no chance of winning if (when) they did?


Actually I has been mentioned many times on this forum, even before the recent law case, that aspects of a gameplay mechanic cannot be copyrighted. The main 'protection' that the games industry has, comes from the loyalty of its customers. A game seen as a simple duplication of another is unlikely to earn any followers or many buyers, particularly if it is a copy of a popular game.

Gizensha wrote:
Assuming the legal teams and budgets are similarly sized, mind...


Given the precedence set by this case, I doubt even a big firm would try their luck. However there would be potential to try in, say, a European court if the games are being sold there too, laws and interpretations can differ considerably.
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Tim RTC wrote:
Stewi wrote:
I mean, by that logic, you could take a copy of Arkham Horror, change the name (and the artwork), and start selling it as your own game. You might need a KickStarter to put together the cash for mass production, but the rules aren't copyrightable and the theme is fully public domain, right? Do you honestly think FFG wouldn't come after you for that? Or that they'd have no chance of winning if (when) they did?


Actually I has been mentioned many times on this forum, even before the recent law case, that aspects of a gameplay mechanic cannot be copyrighted. The main 'protection' that the games industry has, comes from the loyalty of its customers. A game seen as a simple duplication of another is unlikely to earn any followers or many buyers, particularly if it is a copy of a popular game.

Gizensha wrote:
Assuming the legal teams and budgets are similarly sized, mind...


Given the precedence set by this case, I doubt even a big firm would try their luck. However there would be potential to try in, say, a European court if the games are being sold there too, laws and interpretations can differ considerably.


Fair point, and Games Workshop is a UK based company, or at least a UK founded one...
 
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Sam and Max wrote:
Time for a repost. Depending on who owns the rights to the mechanics, FFG can just reskin -- or, better yet, revise -- many of these games to the Terrinoth setting.

Actually nobody has the rights to mechanics, game mechanics and rules cannot be copyrighted, so all of the game could be used a basis of games with a different settings.
 
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Stewi wrote:
DailyRich wrote:
hestiansun wrote:
FFG does have quite a long history of re-releasing games with a new theme. But otherwise being exactly the same. Descent and Doom, Rex and Dune, etc.


Well with Rex they didn't have any choice. The Herbert estate wouldn't grant the rights to the Dune IP, so FFG had to re-theme it.


They didn't have a choice with Descent either. iD pulled the license for Doom, for reasons that were never entirely clear to us plebes, so they had to stop production of the original game.


Yeah, this was the point I was making -- two examples where FFG lost the license in different ways, and then just reskinned the game and moved onward with it. At least in one case they did way better with it -- not sure how Rex compared to Dune, but Descent did way better than Doom did, and I think having the room to build out the theme helped in a way that having to stick to the Doom IP would have hindered.

I wasn't trying to compare the why's here, just showing how they respond to the situation.

Personally, I think it makes sense -- if you've taken all the time to develop a game, balanced it, and gotten people to like it, having an artist do new art and a designer rework graphics is pretty cheap.
 
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dice roll wrote:
With FFG and GW terminating their licensing agreements there are a significant amount of games that will be lost to time. Has there ever been such a sweeping removal of licensed content like this before? If it were any other publisher it might mean certain death..


This is just typical. I'm getting Talisman for Christmas and now I won't be able to buy expansions at a decent price...
 
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Triboluminous wrote:
It still doesn't mean there's an icicle's chance in hell of FFG dropping the SW stuff, though; more that GW might have seen the writing on the wall and wondered why they were aiding what was increasingly a direct competitor; including being a competitor for license tenders.


SW will wane, probably in 10 years or so. The shark-jumping is coming, mark my words.
 
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