Fantasy Flight Games and Games Workshop Go Separate Ways

Well, after a couple of months of speculation, it’s been announced that Fantasy Flight Games will not retain the Games Workshop license.  This means that FFG will lose access to both the Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 licenses, plus the assorted other properties owned by Games Workshop.

Games Affected

All in all, 19 games will be discontinued.  Namely, these are:

  • ffgrt01Black 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

Implications

The post on Fantasy Flight’s website portrays the whole thing as an amicable parting of ways and reflects on the last 8 years of games based on this license.  That’s all nice, but what does this mean for the players and collectors who love these products?

whk15_coverObviously, you won’t be able to buy these games any more.  From February 2017 FFG will no longer be able to sell these items and will likely be running down their stock as they get nearer this deadline.  Now would be the time to pick up any titles that you particularly want before they become hard to find or prohibitively expensive.  For me, this meant picking up Forbidden Stars and Fury of Dracula.

Speaking of Forbidden Stars, that’s a good example of a game that would benefit from an expansion that it will now not get.  This is a pity, as it would be have been fantastic to build in more events and player races.  Similarly, Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game is a very expandable game that will now not reach the full potential it could have with more cards and options.

The biggest disappointment in terms of having no future expansions is the Living Card Game, Warhammer 40,000 Conquest.  This will receive no more packs, no more cards and the developers won’t get a chance to full balance out the factions.  The competitive scene for the game will also end following the 2016 championships and the Q1 even packs have been cancelled.

Musings

It’s not clear whether it was GW that revoked the license or FFG that decided not to renew it.  It might even have been FFG’s corporate owners, Asmodee.  Perhaps Asmodee looked at the cost vs benefit of this license compared to their bigger ones like A Game of Thrones and Star Wars.  I don’t know, it’s all speculation.

If GW ended the license, it might suggest that they intend to get back into board games themselves.  This could be interesting, as it’s been a while since GW have really diversified their offerings and it would be cool to see them go back to their roots.  Do I think they’ll put out games that will seriously rival the quality we’ve seen from FFG?  No, not in terms of rules.  Any miniatures they include will be fantastic, but they just don’t have that flair for design  that FFG have.

Interesting times, I suppose.  It’s a pity that this fruitful partnership has concluded, but I’m keen to see what happens next from GW and whether any of the Warhammer-themed games from FFG get reskinned in the near future.

2 Comments on "Fantasy Flight Games and Games Workshop Go Separate Ways"

  1. I haven’t played anything Warmhammer since high school. We played the RPG with the 1st edition rulebook in high school, the one that had horrible binding and fell apart so easily. The career path system was extremely innovative at the time.

    I haven’t looked at anything Warhammer in a long time, but as I was once very interested in their product as a kid, I found your article to be a great refresher.

    • The Hogshead books just disintegrated over time – at least the spine of mine did!

      I’ve not played Warhammer itself in a long time, but I have played a lot of the spin-offs from Fantasy Flight and they are just fantastic.

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