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Sunday, December 1, 2013

More on the HeroQuest 25th Anniversary Fiasco, Now From GameZone

Did they really expect to NOT have these issues?

GAMEZONE Communiqué, Saturday 30

We would like to inform you all about the present situation, after the pause of our Kickstarter project by Moon Design P. during the thanksgiving holiday, which is an administrative petition within Kickstarter.

Yesterday, Friday, at the start of the day, U.S. east coast time, we sent a letter to Kickstarter, LINK invoking our legitimate trademark rights so they would deactivate the pause and let us progress in the fund raising campaign. We are waiting for Kickstarter’s reply on this matter.

Simultaneously we, Gamezone and Moon Design P., had a reunion to discuss this issue face to face as and not email exchange as was what was happening up till now.

Moon Design P. solicited the pause in Kickstarter because of fear that Hasbro could act against Gamezone in our crowed funding because we are using an American company on American soil. Their argument was that Hasbro could act against them as well for not impeding us in this project. Even thought they are not in any way included in this project or affiliated with it.

If Kickstarter does not reactivate the pause taking into account our letter ( indicated above in the link), then it can only be reactivated if Moon Design P. asks them to. For Moon Design P. to do so they are asking for two things: An official letter from Hasbro in which it states that they, Hasbro, will neither act against our HQ25th nor Moon Design P. They, Moon Design P., have also demanded a considerable sum and percentages from the Kickstarter project.

If we wait for Hasbro to make a declaration, which we can solicit, weeks or even months could pass. With that our production and creation calendar would be severely affected, as not having the funding to continue the campaign.

If the Campaign does not restart soon, the HQ25th will not be ready for Christmas 2014. It will not be ready to celebrate its anniversary.

There exist 3 possible solutions to this conundrum.

    1.    Kickstarter reactivates the project attending to our petition
    2.    Wait for Hasbro to declare that they are not against this crowed funding campaign of HQ25th en Kickstarter (an American Company).
    3.    Immediately move the crowed funning to a platform within Europe, where no risks of legal repercussions exist.

Option one; we can only wait, we cannot be sure that Kickstarter will lift the pause. We cannot influence their decision any more than we have already.

Option two; Hasbro is not obligated to do anything at all.

Option three; here there is no risk, except of course we will raise less funds, no other platform out there at this moment has the same public pull as  Kickstarter.

Why are we telling you this? As our backers, what would you like us to do?

24 comments:

  1. Hero Quest
    Hero-Quest
    Heroic Quest

    Do these infringe the Moon Design trademark?

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    Replies
    1. The first two at least are similar to the TM, so they can be possible grounds for liability.

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  2. I definitely don't want Moon Design or Hasbro to extort funds from this project. Hopefully that can be avoided while sticking with Kickstarter, but if it can't, they should switch platforms.

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  3. Extort is a loaded word. Moon Design are only protecting their trademark.

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    1. All that would need would be prominent disclaimers "Not associated with or authorised by Moon Design Ltd"

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  4. Extort is a loaded word. Moon Design are only protecting their trademark.

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  5. @Stu - Yes, those would also infringe. When determining if a trademark has been infringed, the courts are looking for something substantially similar, not an exact character-by-character match. It's what keeps someone from starting Applet computers, or selling Pepsie cola beverage.

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  6. Regardless, Game Zone does not own the rights to the Intellectual Property of the game - none of the story, background, names, art - all they have is the name Heroquest in Spain. This is exactly the same thing MD has, the name Heroquest in the US.

    Hasbro still owns all the IP. This game cannot be made without Hasbro endorsing it. Especially if you claim it as a 25th Anniv. Edition and use the past games legacy as a advertising point.


    The more this shakes out, the more and more it looks like GZ was hoping to skate a KS by under the radar.

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  7. Looks like Moon Design really is the villian in this scenario. It's a shame. I own a bunch of their reprints and had RQ 6 on my christmas list.

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    Replies
    1. How do you view it that way? After all "The Degenerate EliteDecember 2, 2013 at 8:47 AM

      Regardless, Game Zone does not own the rights to the Intellectual Property of the game - none of the story, background, names, art - all they have is the name Heroquest in Spain. This is exactly the same thing MD has, the name Heroquest in the US.

      Hasbro still owns all the IP. This game cannot be made without Hasbro endorsing it. Especially if you claim it as a 25th Anniv. Edition and use the past games legacy as a advertising point."

      Moon design are simply asking for proof of the official endorsement that would make the game a true new edition.

      Delete
  8. Looks like Moon Design really is the villian in this scenario. It's a shame. I own a bunch of their reprints and had RQ 6 on my christmas list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just an FYI to preserve your Christmas list: RQ6 is done by Design Mechanism.

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  9. I wonder how many people, much like myself, would have never heard of Moon Design's ::finger quotes::"HeroQuest" if they had not been googling for scans of old HeroQuest expansions that were never released in the US.

    Really, this has been an unfortunate, but expected, disaster. And sadly, we'll probably never see a legit (or even illegit) rerelease of HeroQuest. Thanks name-squatting, MDP!

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    Replies
    1. how is it name squatting if the name is legally in use since 2003?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HeroQuest_(role-playing_game)

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    2. I never meant to imply that name squatting is illegal. It's a pretty common legal practice. I'm just annoyed (admittedly irrationally) that in this case a company chose to take up the discarded name of a product which i preferred.

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    3. It's not so much that name-squatting is legal or illegal, it's that name-squatting isn't what's happening at all.

      Here's the short version. Greg Stafford originally coined the term HeroQuest back in 1978 for a planned supplement to his role-playing game RuneQuest. It would be a long time before he managed to publish it, and by that time Milton Bradley had the trademark on the name; Stafford was forced to use a different name, Hero Wars. When he went to publish a second edition, the trademark had expired, so he registered it and was finally able to fulfill his publishing intent from 25 years prior. That was ten years ago.

      Moon Design get involved because Stafford, wanting to ensure the continuation publication of the fantasy world he started working on in 1966, Glorantha, and the related role-playing game, transferred all IP to Moon Design. Moon Design is running with it, publishing setting material, the HeroQuest role-playing game, and they announced some months ago their intent to publish a boardgame.

      So, that's it in a nutshell. They're not name-squatting or anything of the sort. They're taking perfectly normal steps to protect their trademark, as they are required to.

      Delete
  10. Moon Design doesn't look like a villain at all. Neither does Hasbro.

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  11. Earlier this year, there was a Kickstarter for a new edition of the Supremacy board game. After watching it for a while to determine if I would support it, I asked the question if they had the rights to create the new edition of the game. They answered saying no one owned the rights to the Supremacy game. I laughed as that answer determined that I would not support them. Not long after that the Kickstarter was shut down by the group that started it. They said they would restart it again but I have not seen any progress on that front.

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  12. I think the best way to save this project would be for GameZone to reach out to Winning Moves, who produces a TON of stuff which Hasbro owns (ever hear of Clue and Monopoly?), and see if they can work out a deal with GZ doing the redesign and Winning Moves leveraging their relationship with Hasbro and handling manufacturing and distribution.

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  13. RENAME THE GAME "QUEST FOR GLORY"

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    Replies
    1. Was that a joke? When Sierra released their computer game called Hero Quest, they had to change the name to "Quest for Glory"

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    2. Yes joking LOL. I still have the entire series HerosQuest/Quest for Glory Games. Even backed Hero-U on kickstarter!

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    3. Yes i'm joking. I still own all the Quest for Glory games and am looking forward to their spiritual successor "Hero-U"

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  14. GZ has launched this project again:

    http://www.lanzanos.com/proyectos/heroquest-25-aniversario/necesidades/

    ReplyDelete