Archive for May, 2008

CCG crunch continues with a vengeance

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Couple of news bits coming hot-ish on the heels of the Upper Deck layoffs: Tenacious Games has folded – apparently The Spoils were too meager. Also, and this one’s a bit more surprising, the publisher of the former Fullmetal Alchemist and 24 CCGs has formally closed its game-publishing arm.

Maybe now, would-be new entrants into the CCG space will pause for a minute to rethink their business plans? Yeah, I know, never happen, but it’s a nice thought.

Catching up with Asmodee

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Fresh from last month’s release of Cash ‘n Guns: Yakuza (which we mentioned in our GTS ’08 wrap-up podcast recently), Asmodée is preparing to ship the strategic diplomacy boardgame Senji this July. I just looked over the game at KublaCon today – it was one of the few titles I failed to get a closer look at in Vegas – and liked what I saw. As a Daimyo in feudal Japan, each player attempts to reach 60 honor points and become Shogun. Alliances will be crucial for survival, as players must rely on neighbors to defend their borders. With tricky bits like that, diplomatic negotiations could take quite a while, if it weren’t for the hourglass that limits your pleading time – something I’ve wished for in Settlers games, at times. Expect Senji to clock in at a price of about $70.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the other bit of Asmodée news I missed at GTS: the return of Formula De in time for Essen in October. This version will have rules for street racing while avoiding police pursuers. The game will also have prepainted figures and as few rules changes as possible. In all, great news for folks like me, who only just tried the previous sold-out version for the first time a few weeks ago.

Other tantalizing Asmodée news:

  • Dungeon Twister may see an enhanced edition with larger boards and prepainted character miniatures. This would be next year, though, well after the Mercenaries and Fire & Water expansions (the former being at the show in limited supply).
  • The card game Hero: Immortal King should be along next month, for 1-2 players right out of the box.
  • Bringing back the murder-mystery-in-a-box, Death Wears White has been scheduled for later this year. The one-shot party game will sell for $29.99.

It was great to catch up with Asmodée at KublaCon, and get some time to make up for the hectic nature of GTS.

Wizards to attend Gen Con Indy 2008

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

The question on everyone’s mind, and making many folks nervous lately – will Wizards of the Coast attend Gen Con 2008 – has been answered, finally, with a resounding “yes”. As gamers and industry members hoped, the details seem to have been sorted out, and Wizards will indeed attend, and be a co-sponsor of, Gen Con’s 41st year this August. The press release (below) mentions that WotC will be “celebrating the newly released D&D 4th Edition by debuting the new Living Forgotten Realms campaign”, as well as enjoying the 20th anniversary of R.A. Salvatore’s Drizzt stories. Now the question becomes, once the WotC events are finally posted for prereg (they’re promised later this week), will they fill instantly, or just crash the website entirely? Either way, this is great news for the show that hasn’t had much to smile about for a while. Update: the Gen Con schedule will be updated tomorrow. See the comments below for details. – ed

Yog-Sothoth opens Casting Call of Cthulhu

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Our buddies over at recently presented a funny little flick to the interweb world at large, Casting Call of Cthulhu. This short film on the perils of casting a Lovecraftian film first showed up at the Riofan Film Festival. Even if you’re just a casual Cthulhu fan, this is worth taking a look – ’tis very well done.

New sourcebook targeted for Delta Green

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Delta Green fans already know – Arc Dream Publishing and Pagan Publishing are doing the fundraising round for the next Delta Green sourcebook, Delta Green: Targets of Opportunity. Written by such notables as Dennis Detwiller, Greg Stolze, Kenneth Hite, and Shane Ivey, the book will touch on a number of unknowable evils, lurking in regions from Alaska to New Orleans. This sourcebook follows on the heels of Delta Green: Eyes Only, which is a finalist for this year’s Origins Awards. For as little as a $50 pledge, fans can help make Targets of Opportunity a reality – the pledge drive is rapidly closing in on its $20k goal.

Audio Report – Once more unto the GTS 2008

Monday, May 12th, 2008

We had a couple of summary posts up from this year’s GAMA Trade Show (see part 1 and part 2 if you missed ’em), but for a slightly more detailed account of the show’s announcements, we recorded this episode of the OgreCave Audio Report. Steve and I go over the products that caught our attention, while Mike asks questions and tries to maintain order. Have a listen, and hear what game goodies to expect over the coming year.

Monte Cook to help with Pathfinder RPG

Monday, May 12th, 2008

The title pretty much says it all – Monte Cook, possibly the most respected name in the d20 System industry, will be lending his advice and developmental assistance to Paizo Publishing’s Pathfinder RPG as a Rules Consultant. Now technically, Cook is going back on his decision to retire from the RPG field by signing on to help with Pathfinder, but I doubt anyone will mind. Paizo and Malhavoc Press, Cook’s d20 company, have worked together in the past, so it seems logical they’d come together for something as potentially-major as the next “bedrock for the Open Game movement” (as Erik Mona of Paizo put it in our recent Audio Report interview). Click through to the full announcement, which makes it sound like Cook has been involved for a while now.

Gen Con bankruptcy filing unearthed

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

It had to happen eventually: the actual Gencon bankruptcy filing PDF is online for all to see. Wondering why Wizards still hasn’t committed to being at this year’s Gen Con Indy? Well, it might have to do with the debt of just over $431K owed to Hasbro – quite a bit more than Gen Con owes Lucasfilm. That, and Hasbro has a policy of not dealing with companies undergoing bankruptcy. This seems like a list of all creditors, even long outstanding debts. When did Gen Con LLC have time to rack up a $29K bill with the Walt Disney company?

Layoffs at Upper Deck

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Though details are sketchy still, we’ve learned that Upper Deck has just had a significant company-wide layoff, affecting most divisions. This comes after the big showing at GTS ’08 just a couple weeks ago, where Upper Deck held a special luncheon to preview its World of Warcraft Miniatures Game and generally get retailers excited about the products to come. If anyone’s out there with details, post here and let us know how things are going. The staff of wishes the best of luck to everyone affected by this layoff.

Fantasy Flight schedules more 2008 boardgame releases

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Fantasy Flight obviously doesn’t have enough to do. I mean, we’ve already declared FFG the overachiever of GTS ’08 and gone down the list of planned releases. But the company obviously isn’t content to go ahead with its already impressive release schedule, and has added more to its plate: ICv2 reports an agreement with Italian game manufacturer Stratelibri to publish and distribute boardgame titles like Constantinople and recent Origins Award nominee Kingsburg. One begins to wonder how much of the increasingly ambitious schedule FFG can pull off – on time, at least.

Audio Report – GTS, Goodman, and Paizo

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

Joseph Goodman of Goodman Games joins us for the latest episode of the OgreCave Audio Report. Having mostly recovered from last week’s GAMA Trade Show ’08, we offer some initial thoughts on the event, mostly with an emphasis on the developing Game System License situation for D&D4e. We learn more about Joseph’s plans for the coming year, and also play our interview with Erik Mona of Paizo Publishing. Finally, we have an exclusive preview of the first three Dungeon Crawl Classics covers from when the line goes 4th Edition. Have a look, have a listen, share and enjoy.

34th Annual Origins Award nominees announced

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Retailers attending GTS got to vote on the final set of nominees, and now the final list of Origins Award nominees is announced (see below). Several notable nominations made the list, including Classic Battletech (Catalyst Game Labs) for Best Miniatures Rules, Paizo’s Pathfinder: Rise of the Runelords for Best Roleplaying Supplement, and Battue going head-to-head against StarCraft for Best Boardgame. Since the winners are being determined by Origins attendees this summer, is there anyone that doesn’t believe Zombie Fluxx has its category all wrapped up? I mean, the Looney Lab rabbits are all over Origins. (more…)