News Collider - Board Game News 25/4/2019 $1 Billion in Kickstarter Games, Critical Role's Success, Kolossal Suspended, Stronghold Sues Plan B, New Wizards of the Coast Studio and Heroes of Balder's Gate

News Collider Board Games Kickstarter Suspends Kolossal Vox Machina Success Stronghold GAmes Sues Plan B 1 Billion New WoC Studion Heroes of Balders Gate
Controversy abounds in our latest little slice of board game news, as we have news of tabletop Kickstarter projects being suspended by Kickstarter themselves and legal shenanigans as Stronghold Games sues Plan B games for taking away a juicy board game printing deal. You could say they re-moo-ved for a reprint.

It’s not all bad news as we find out that table top gaming is the biggest section of Kickstarter (something we’ve long suspected) and that Critical Role have raised a huge portion of that money on their very own, which means we will definitely be getting a Critical Role cartoon (and I now have the CR theme tune in my head) and then there’s all that Balder’s gate stuff too, which we are very excited about.

Kickstarter Games Surpasses $1 Billion

Board Game News Kickstarter Games Take 1 Billion Dollars

Just over $1 billion has now been raised across 17,000 games with 3.2 million backers since the crowd funding platform began in 2009.  This marks the first of Kickstarter’s 15 categories to smash this milestone and there seems to be no stopping it.  

It won’t come as a surprise to board gamers to discover that board games make up almost three quarters of that total.

(The random picture is of Meredith Graves, director of music, and Luke Crane, head of games at the Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands recently)

Critical Role ends with $11 million

Board Game News Vox Machine take 11.3 Million

Even if you don’t read the title of this story I bet you could quite easily guess which Film & Television Kickstarter project is now the most successful of that category.  The goal was to produce one, twenty minute animated special.  Now, with $11.3 million raised they will be doing a lot more.  

So far the new plan is a ten episode series called “he Legend of Vox Machina” and after that...who knows.  The show is slated to hit screens (backers screen first, obviously) in the autumn of 2020.

Kickstarter Suspends Kolossal Games

Board Game News Kickstarter Suspends Kolossal Campaigns

Kickstarter has slammed the breaks on the 3 latest campaigns from Kolossal, Hunt the Ravager, Folding Space and Papillion have all been suspended.

Backers have received this message from Kickstarter’s Trust & Safety team, stating that no monies will be taken and that the reasons for the suspension include one of the following reasons:
“Outstanding fulfillment issues related to a previously successful crowdfunding campaign
Running multiple, simultaneous projects.
Failure or unwillingness to clearly communicate with backers”

Other than a BGG post, Kolossal are yet to release any other type of statement regarding this, which has led to much speculation.  Chief amongst the suspected reasons is that Kolossal Games and Kolossal Miko, who are really one and the same (greyscale me unsurprised), and Maple Games, were running simultaneous projects. 

Second, since launching Western Legends 9th Jan 2018, and a further 12 projects, Kolossal has only delivered 4 of them, which one could argue falls under “outstanding fulfillment issues”.

On the one hand, its very reassuring to see Kickstarter stepping in and enforcing their policies.  However, on the other hand we have Steamforged which, despite a lot of troubles around the fulfillment of the Dark Souls: Board Game have still launched several other projects.  Obviously a one-in-one-out system would significantly hamper the games category reaching the $2 billion milestone - not to mention Kickstarter’s revenue stream, but it does seem to be a little one sided.  We’ll have to wait and see

Stronghold Games Sues Plan B Games

Board Game News Strong Hold Sues Plan B

Great Western Trail was a pretty big when it was first released and so rather smartly Stronghold Games acquired the license to print the English language version from the original publisher, Eggertspiele.  Stronghold released their version in late 2016 and it quickly sold out. However, come June 2017 when they went to order a reprint Eggertspiele had been acquired by Plan B Games.  This acquisition included all assets.

Plan B refused rights for Stronghold to reprint the game as they were clearly going to do so themselves.  So now, Stronghold are suing Plan B under: 
“acts of trademark infringement and unfair competition under the federal Lanham Act, trademark infringement and unfair competition under Indiana common law, and common law conspiracy"
This could very well turn out to be a really interesting story and could mark the most famous, if not the first of its kind in the board game hobby.

Short version: If you’ve ever considered buying Great Western Trail, do so now in case Stronghold win the right to reprint and increase the price by 40%

Former lead Bioware writer heads up new Wizards of the Coast Studio

Board Game News James Ohlen leads new WoC Studio

Earlier this week Wizards of the Coast announced that they would be opening a new studio in Austin, Texas which will be headed up by former lead BioWare writer, James Ohlen (his writing credits include; the Baldur’s Gate series, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire and Dragon Age: Origins).

And the project he’ll be heading a secret.  All we know currently is that the new studio has “freedom to develop different expressions” and will be a “multimedia studio”.  We do, however, know what it won’t be.

Wizards of the Coats have been quite clear that it will not be a D&D project and in fact it will work entirely outside of the established brands of Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: the Gathering.  This could mean it will have something to do with Odyssey of the Dragonlords, the first project from Arcanum Worlds that Ohlen co-founded last year (we’ve mentioned Odyssey a few times recently and it’s currently on Kickstarter now).

If you were hoping for another Balder’s Gate from this news don’t be too disheartened…

Heroes of Baldur’s Gate from Arcanum Worlds 

Board Game News Heroes of Balders Gate

Such a coincidence, right?  As you’ve literally just read, James Ohlen, alongside a bunch of other writers from BioWare (including  Jesse Sky and Drew Karpyshyn) have just released Heroes of Balder’s Gate on the Dungeon Master’s Guild.

The city of Baldur’s Gate is the pride of West Faerûn—a mercantile stronghold ruled by the famous Grand Dukes. One year ago, a powerful merchant leader named Sarevok nearly catapulted the city into war with the neighboring nation of Amn. This crisis was averted, and the remnants of the organization were scattered throughout the Sword Coast.

Now, the city is threatened from within by agents of the nefarious Zhentarim, who seek to fill the power vacuum left behind in the wake of these events. Meanwhile, the Shadow Druids plot to destroy the city by performing terrible rituals, deep within the Cloakwood. Who will rise to oppose them?

This Adventure book is designed to take adventurers from level 1 to 6 and features Epic backgrounds that will provide not only character motivations but once you character’s unique goal is accomplished a new power will be unlocked for you to wield.  Naturally there’s new monsters, new magic items, maps what are you waiting for.  Andy and Steve already have theirs.


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