Golem Arcana Discontinued by Harebrained Schemes


The Game’s remaining stock is being sold at 50% off until the end of February. Here are the details.

Harebrained Schemes has become a fairly big player in the indie PC gaming scene over the last few years. This small company of FASA veterans is behind the recent Shadowrun Returns games and recently raised just shy of $2.8 million on Kickstarter for a new Battletech PC game. Between all those PC games though, they successfully Kickstarted a miniatures game called Golem Arcana back in 2013. Unfortunately, the game has failed to gain the traction required for Harebrained Schemes to keep supporting it and has officially been discontinued.

Golem Arcana BaseGameSet

via GolemArcana.com

Golem Arcana’s final expansion

The release of Durani: Champions of the Western Wind on Jan 27th is the final product in the Golem Arcana line. After 17 retail expansions, 14 web exclusive products, two Living World scenario arcs, numerous short stories, a Lore Book, two League Play seasons, and expanded functionality of the core game — we have no future releases planned.

We here at HBS are devastated that we can’t continue to expand this ground-breaking game. We poured our hearts and souls, as well as millions of our dollars, into a landmark development in tabletop hybrid games. We’re very proud of this game, with glowing reviews by everyone from Penny Arcade to Game Informer, and an Origins Award for Best Miniature Figure Rules. Unfortunately, sales have not recouped our extensive investment in software and manufacturing.

The most recent code-update from the end of 2015 is the final state of the App, representing our best foot forward for supporting as many iOS and Android devices and operating systems as possible at that time. We recognize that there are still many minor bugs and sometimes unexpected behavior, and that future devices or OS updates may create additional bugs.

We appreciate your support of Golem Arcana and trust that you understand the financial reasons why we cannot continue to develop the game. Starting on Jan 27th, we will be running a sale on our web-store until the end of February, while supplies last at our warehouse. We’re also moving up the release date of the newest Durani expansion so it can be included in the sale. Afterwards, we’ll be shutting down the web store.

We’ve enjoyed pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in tabletop gaming, and thank-you again for your support.

Golem Arcana is a miniatures game with pre-painted models played on tile-based maps. The standout feature of the game is it’s integration with a mobile app that handles all the stat-tracking and rules-referencing that comes with wargaming. Using a proprietarily stylus, you could easily check damage, upgrades, rules information, stats, special abilities, and so forth by tapping on a model’s base. The setting revolved around warring nations that use magically-infused constructs called golems, each of which is piloted by a knight. These knights were represented in the game as digital cards that bestowed different bonuses onto whatever golem the rode into battle. I always found the app integration intriguing and liked the design of some of the models, but never got around to actually trying the game for myself.


To coincide with this unfortunate news, Harebrained Schemes is selling all their Golem Arcana stock at 50% off, and have even pushed up the release date of the final expansion pack so that its included in the sale. The sale will last until the end of February, or until supplies last, before their online store is shuttered for good. You’ll still be able to use the mobile app just fine, but it will no longer receive updates. If you ever wanted to get into Golem Arcana, this will be your last chance outside of eBay and other third-parties. Luckily this isn’t the end of Harebrained Schemes like with previous examples of a miniatures line going under since they are primarily a PC game developer, so hopefully they can revisit the concept later on down the road, or maybe even revive Golem Arcana as a fully digital experience.


Did anyone here play Golem Arcana? What do you think of the hybrid miniatures-digital game concept?

  • Alhazred TheMad

    Sad to see any game fail, but I think I only heard of this game once before on here. Love to see a spin on a Shadowrun minis game, but it’s probably be too complicated (between Matrix runs, astral combat, never mind the actual material world).

    • Sebastien Bazinet

      There is one coming up it’s called Sprawl Gangers I think

      • Chris. K Cook

        Nice. Who by?

        • Sebastien Bazinet

          Catalyst although not a lot of info as trickled down so far

  • Dave

    I think we’re moving in the direction of tabletop-digital hybrids. That’s inevitable. I’d never heard of this game until now though. I have to question the inclusion of the the pen gadget. Seems that sort of thing could have been done using the tech already in any mobile device, no need for a pen. That had to add cost and hurt the bottom line.

    • euansmith

      Those square barcode things (that is the technical name I believe) could have been a good solution.

      The pen put me off when this game was first released. It is a shame to see it die the death.

    • Porty1119

      I’ve recently started fiddling with Excel spreadsheet calculators and databases to include some seriously in-depth probability calculations. It requires four or five drop-down menus, then Excel does all math and rolls dice for you.

  • frankelee

    Make 32mm miniatures of hot women and replacement space marines if you want to succeed. Don’t get all clever. /not really sarcasm

    • greenskin

      sad, but probably true.

  • Matthew Pomeroy

    played this a couple times, it was a strong challenge to AoS for worst game ever.

    • Chris Handley

      What was so bad about the gameplay. From my own viewing of the rules, the minis, and the general setup, there seemed to be a lot of going back and forth between mini and tablet, and the rules were buried in the app. The rules though are available online to read, but come off as just a derivation of Battletech. And of course, GA was claiming it made it easy to get into wargaming without having to read huge tomes of rules. Well that might be true for old school wargames, but even Warmachine fits its core rules compactly onto a poster. So I GA claim about solving this issue is more them solving their own self created problem by using a crappy percentile ruleset that has modifiers here there and everywhere (just like Battletech).

  • joetwocrows

    FIrst I’ve heard of it. To me, that translates to missed marketing,

  • ImAlpharius

    I have it and it was really a struggle to enjoy the game. Too clunky and not very fun.

  • James Hall

    I had heard of the game, but the prepainted minis were an instant no for me. X-Wing is about the only game with prepainted minis I don’t mind.

  • Chris. K Cook

    I play table top to get away from tech, not use more of it…