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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Kickstarter - HeroQuest 25th Anniversary Edition - It Will Fund, But Will It Succeed?



I remember Heroquest. I had a copy that never got played, and in the end I looted it for dice and minis and chucked the rest. My group had absolutely no inclination to play it when we had choices such as Talisman, Lonely Mountain, Chaos Marauders and the like to choose from. Heroquest was aimed at kids. Whether that's a true statement or no, it was our perception.

Gamezone Miniatures of Spain are the ones running the new Heroquest 25th Anniversary Edition Kickstarter. Apparently, they have the license to produce Heroquest within Spain - so they can distribute within Spain and sell direct anywhere in the world.

Strangely enough, the Kickstarter is priced in Canadian Dollars, not Euros. Not sure what's up with that, and I wouldnt be surprised to see Hasbro, parent company of Milton Bradley, challenge the new edition's legality, and it certainly seems strange to watch a third party produce another company's product, apparently without permission - or at least, under a method not planned on under the deal made 25 years or so ago.

All that being said, the Kickstarter launched yesterday with a goal of $58k CAD and has already surpassed $309K CAD. Heck, this may give the Reaper 1 Kickstarter a run for it's money.

Can someone sell me on the game's appeal? I mean besides nostalgia, which I obviously don't have, as I looted the box and threw out the remainders...


22 comments:

  1. Unfortunately, nostalgia is a big part of the appeal here... at least it was for me. I picked up the set a while back and was shocked to see how... simple... the game is. Its like basic d&d lite. I play with my 11 year old son every once in a while, but mostly it sits on the shelf. :(

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  2. Well it also appealed to a fair number of people outside hardcore gaming, so there's that. I originally got a copy for the parts, but we did use it as an alternative to Talisman (which can take all night, esp. with the expansions) when we didn't have "quorum". Advanced HeroQuest (which I'm thinking was GW only, no MB) was a lot better, with better solo/DM-less options and more chances for character development. We played AHQ for several months, maybe a year, when we couldn't get a "regular" gaming together but could get enough people to game. Also it required no prep, so that was a plus.
    Now why HQ instead of another board game? I guess because it is very D&Dish, you can carry over improvements to you piece from game to game, and the components are so fun.
    For me & my brother, it was actually a sort of nostalgia for the Heritage Paint&Play sets that made us love HQ! Also I'm really into minis so it gave us a way to incorporate the less-frequently used minis into a game...

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  3. Seems like it might be as legit as the Rolex that guy offered me in Nashville for 25 pesos.

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  4. HeroQuest was a simple boardgame full of RPG dungeon-craw trappings that worked. It was certainly playable. I think it's a good monopoly/clue scale of D&D style game. I myself certainly pillaged the box for parts as well as they were darned useful for full D&D if you used minis. I can't fathom why it went out of print as long as it has myself as it doesn't require deep immersion and study to play but gives some room for continuing characters and campaign style play.

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  5. Games Workshop was behind many games like this back when I was growing up. I played HeroQuest to death, mostly with my cousins, who were not really interested in RPGs, but loved board games.

    It certainly has a lot of potential for simple roleplaying - more so than Talisman, in my experience. It has an ongoing story and RPG-style equipment upgrades that equate to levels. Of course it has no true character advancement, so it definitely fizzles out after a while, but it's a fun game.

    The other games I remember playing a lot from around that time are Space Crusade and Mighty Empires. We really enjoyed both of those...

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  6. For me, and I still have my copy, it's mostly nostalgia. It was a neat game, had cool components, a lot of potential... and was something I could get away with in a house where D&D was forbidden.

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  7. It was a very clever product. Games Workshop and Milton Bradley managed to capitalise on the then popularity of fantasy games by getting something into the high street shops that parents could understand; it's much easier to buy everything in a single box than to know the difference between basic and advanced, or a player's handbook and a dungeon master's guide, and so on.

    It was also a high quality product. We take this sort of board game for granted nowadays but there was nothing quite like it in 1990; I still use the miniatures in other games to this day and I'd probably use the other bits too if I still had them.

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  8. Starting a Kickstarter project is only available to US, UK, and Canadian residents, so that's probably why it's priced in CAD instead of Euros: they've partnered with a Canadian outfit to run the Kickstarter for them, similar to how James Maliszewski partnered with a US company (Autarch) to run the Dwimmermount Kickstarter back when KS was US-only. That they don't mention this partnership in the KS details is somewhat odd, though.

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  9. My understanding is that the HeroQuest TM lapsed. Rules as such are not copyright protected. The result is that they can legally produce a game with the same rules and call it HeroQuest. They can't reproduce the text of the old versions, but they're free to restate the rules in their own words. (I teach IP law).

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  10. Regarding using Canadian Dollars, Kickstarter projects can currently only be funded in the US, UK and Canada. Perhaps, of the three, Canada might have the best rate of exchange with Spain, or some similar ease-of-transition between Spanish and Canadian funds.

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  11. I've never been fond of the more complicated board games, but I also never got into HeroQuest when it was in print. This, however, looks like something I'd buy and stash on the high shelf for when my son's old enough. I won't back the KS but if there's a way to get a physical copy later I'll go for it.

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  12. O.K. so just plain Heroquest kinda sucked although it did fill my armies with plastic minis. Advanced HeroQuest (from GW) was much cooler. Although MB let the Heroquest trademark lapse it was picked up by Issaries for their re-release of Herowars, and is still in use by Moon Design Productions (the successor to Issaries).

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  13. Beyond nostalgia, I'd say the appeal to me is something I can potentially play with the non-hardcore gamers in the family quite easily, and will be a great starting point when any kids reach the age that they can start grasping games like Clue or Monopoly, as someone stated above.

    Plus, for my regular gaming group the appeal of something we can easily still play while properly drunk is strong.

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  14. There is a substantial amount of doubt that this game will actually get published.

    The IP argument does not stand since they are very clearly tying it into the previously published game with the 25th Anniv. bit.

    This company has produced only minis in the past and has a very spotty shipping record. Their website is filled with "Are you still in business" posts. They have never produced a boardgame.

    I see the Canadian dollar thing as another way to skirt the legal issue of selling directly to the US. This whole thing has all sorts of red flags all over it.

    There is a reason that FFG has not bothered to reprint HeroQuest, since they currently publish both Games Workshop licensed games and many Hasbro licensed games. And the reason probably does not included competing with Descent.

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  15. Wondering through the web reading about this kickstarter campaing that has got my attention despite not being a RPG gamer, but i used to play Heroquest when i was like 10, and i am Spanish (so i am curious about something like this coming from Spain), i found your comments: i would like to add that Gamezone has the rights to Heroquest for Spain, rights that bought from Hasbro. So he can produce the game and sell it in Spain (even in stores). If there is any problem with sending it to other countries, it's something i don't know, but they say there isn't. They have also stated that they are in talks with Hasbro for selling the game in stores outside Spain. Just to let you know.

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    1. Rights to produce and sell a Spanish Language print of the original game and the rights to produce a new, reworked game for worldwide release are two entirely different things.

      I think they are in talks for right period.

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    2. I am not into legal issues at all, but the thing is that the person from outside Spain is buying it IN Spain, and paying the shipping costs, importing it on his own. I see it this way: i can buy a book through the US Amazon store in its American edition, a book whose rights in Spain are in hands of a completely different publisher. And nothing happens. Dunno. If they have the branf, Heroquest, they can rework the game. About the translation issue, i suppose there is a legal hole there. This is going to be interesting...

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    3. Except, the foreign book is not being directly marketed to the US. These guys are going out of their way to translate to English and create a Kickstarter to sell to Americans.

      They are blatantly attempting to skirt the law via a loophole

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  16. Latest news concerning the legal stuff:
    "This is a message from Kickstarter Support. We're writing to inform you that a project you backed, Heroquest 25th Anniversary, is the subject of an intellectual property dispute.

    The project has been removed from public view until the dispute is resolved, which can take up to 30 days. The project’s funding and the countdown to its deadline have been stopped. If the project becomes available again, the countdown will continue and the new deadline will extend past the original deadline for as much time as the project was unavailable. You can find out more by reading our Copyright Policy and our Trademark Policy."

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  17. So things were not clear at all...

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    1. Yeah shady fucks are never clear about the real law.

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