Decipher was once a major force in the tabletop game industry, with nearly 100 employees and some of the most popular CCGs and RPGs on the market. It didn’t last, though, due primarily to a massive amount of embezzlement. The embezzlement lawsuit against Rick Eddleman, former VP of Finance for Decipher, has continued, and now a verdict has been reached. Eddleman, who has been convicted of stealing $8.9 million from Decipher over a ten year period, has been sentenced to 36 years in prison, of which he will actually serve just over 6 years. Upon release, Eddleman has been ordered to pay $910,000 to Decipher, but since Eddleman hasn’t accumulated any obvious signs of wealth that could be repossessed, repayment will take time. WKTR News out of Norfolk, VA has video interviews with both Decipher CEO Warren Holland (Eddleman’s brother-in-law) and now-convicted embezzler Rick Eddleman.
Archive for July, 2009
Variety.com reports that Convergence Entertainment has secured the rights for a live action Lone Wolf feature film. Joe Dever’s classic fantasy gamebook series has already made the transition to full roleplaying game through Mongoose Publishing, but the leap to the movies is a big step. Convergence also secured the rights to produce a Gungrave film, based on the anime series which has already spawned two PlayStation games. According to the story, Convergence plans each film to have “budgets in the $30 million-$35 million range”. If the project comes to fruition, this could be interesting – or another good idea mangled by Hollywood. We’ll see.
Reports are trickling out of San Diego Comic Con of NECA Toys selling an exclusive HeroClix figure at the show. Yes, I said HeroClix – NECA is selling a Marvel HeroClix: Hammer of Thor figure called Thor’s Mighty Chariot, which depicts exactly that. NECA is also offering preorders of the figure through Amazon, where a shipping date of August 15 is listed. The convention exclusive itself isn’t particularly newsworthy – these sorts of big show releases serve to anger retailers on a regular basis – but the fact that NECA seems to have bought HeroClix and still hasn’t officially announced said purchase is certainly worth noting.
Gamasutra reports that Mind Control Software is joining with Magic: The Gathering‘s creator Richard Garfield and Skaff Elias to produce a new game called Mind Twist. The game will be playable on iPhones and as a Flash application on Facebook. Apparently this will be a wargame playable in 10 minutes or so. A free army will be offered to beginners, with more armies being made available for purchase as time goes on.
For a while, GamingReport.com was a go-to site for tabletop game news. After the site was purchased by F&W Media, Gaming Report became the online home of Scrye magazine. Ever since Scrye was cancelled back in April, there’s been speculation the languishing news site might be headed for the same fate. Today, the website no longer leads to the GamingReport.com page, but to cbgxtra.com instead (also owned by F&W). A mistake, perhaps? Or the first steps toward being off the web?
So this is interesting: Bob Harris, who designed Talisman for Games Workshop in 1983, has published a short-run limited edition of Mythgardia, a new fantasy adventure game that, at first glance, both does and doesn’t remind one of Talisman. It is self-published and seems to straddle the line between handmade prototype and “real” product (although it is professionally printed), but for bragging rights and a first glimpse at the evolution of a classic, who cares? Small editions like this one from legendary designers generally get scarfed up at Essen or something, never to be seen again; here’s a rare chance to buy one online (for a bit less than collector’s prices).
Though it may still be working its way to stores near you, we already have a review of Kachina by Bucephalus Games. Demian had a look at this tile-laying strategy game, and gives us his verdict. (‘Tis rather favorable – oops, I spoiled it, didn’t I?) Proceed to his review, or peruse our other game write-ups in the review index.
Though voting isn’t open yet, the ENnies Awards have posted the current list of 2009 nominees. These selections will be put to the online vote starting July 24, so get your research done beforehand if you plan to chime in. Winners will be announced at Gen Con, as always.
Some games generate a lot of buzz even before hitting store shelves, and Small World from Days of Wonder is such a game. With its mysterious previews and its current race/power design contest (which is still going on right now!), this area-control fantasy board game hasn’t been shy. Now Lee gives us a full write-up of the game, including all its quirks and best traits, in his review.
According to rumblings on the web, Revolution from Steve Jackson Games is on track to arrive from the printer a bit early. If my talk with SJ Games’ Will Schoonover at GTS ’09 is any indication, this is good news for Eurogame fans. By all reports, Revolution is a solid game, with multiple paths to victory if I’m not mistaken. Though I didn’t get a chance to try Revolution at the show (I spent the evening trying to align planetary bodies in The Stars Are Right), I’ll certainly be awaiting the game’s August (or earlier?) release.
There have been hints and rumblings over at Fantasy Flight about another Living Card Game, and today FFG finally spilled the beans. The next LCG property we can expect is the Warhammer: Invasion LCG, which is based on the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay setting and continues to take advantage of FFG’s licensing arrangement with Games Workshop. Just in case Warhammer fans aren’t excited enough by this announcement yet, FFG also announced the Core Set would also contain codes for two exclusive items for the Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning MMO.
GAMA made this year’s official Origins attendance announcement earlier today, and the verdict is about what we expected. Though “over 10 thousand gaming enthusiasts” attended the convention, the overall attendee total was down by about 18% from 2008. You may recall GAMA gave a similar report for GTS ’09 – identical, in fact. Sales of day-pass tickets at Origins were up by nearly 16%, showing either that “more people were introduced to the hobby this year than ever before” (as GAMA insists), or more gamers are cutting convention costs down by making single-day, hit-and-fade operations. In any case, it will be interesting to see how Gen Con’s attendance compares this year.
The folks at Gamer Dome noticed recently that Fantasy Flight Games has pulled materials from its award-winning Midnight RPG series from its website. This probably has something to do with the upcoming U.S. DVD debut of the Midnight Chronicles, a film set in the dark world of the Midnight RPG setting. The Midnight Chronicles blog reported the release of the French version of the DVD on June 10, 2009. ICv2 reports that the U.S. version of the DVD will be available in September with an MSRP of $14.95.
In case you’re looking for something to do this holiday weekend, you might be interested to know that the second year of the Windhammer Prize was announced last month and will be accepting entries this fall. The contest is designed to encourage creativity within the realm of solo gamebook writing, and there is a cash prize. To check out some of last year’s entries and get a better idea of what this is all about, visit this link.