Thoughts on Games Workshop-WizKids Signs Deal

Gaming company, WizKids, has announced a multi-year partnership with Games Workshop.

WizKids announced on Thursday that they have signed a multi-year partnership with Games Workshop to extend the Warhammer 40K universe into multiple new tabletop categories.  The announcement specifically mentions Dice Building Games and board games, but mentions they have plans for other genres of game as well. WizKids is well versed in the tabletop miniatures genre, publishing such games as HeroClix and the woefully underappreciated Crimson Skies clix game. They also produced one of my personal favorite board games, Mage Knight. So with WizKids having the experience to tackle expansive games like Mage Knight as well and beautifully simple and elegant games like Tsuro, I’m excited to see how they will add to the grim dark’s selections in the board game genre.

Pictured: Not Simplicity

Justin Ziran, president of WizKids, had this to say, “We’re thrilled to be working with Games Workshop and the Warhammer 40,000 license. This beloved franchise is known the world over and our partnership will allow us to create amazing products and experiences for fans everywhere.” As of right now, WizKids has plans to make two new board games as well as dice games based within the Warhammer 40k universe.

WizKids has many games in what they call the Dice Building Games genre. These are entries like Quarriors and the Dice Masters series of games. Dice Masters has covered Marvel, DC, Dungeons and Dragons, Yu-Gi-Oh and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles already and it seems Warhammer 40k will be the next addition to that list.

The one thing Warhammer was lacking was more dice.

Additionally, WizKids announced plans to republish two other games, Fury of Dracula and Relic. Fury of Dracula is one of a select few excellently implemented asymmetrical team games out there. Unless you were lucky enough to grab one last printing, you missed your chance. Fortunately, WizKids heard the call and are stepping up. Relic makes sense to be added to this republishing, considering it is a Warhammer 40k board game.

There are a great many games that were produced under the old GW-FFG license such a Talisman, Horus Heresy, Chaos in the Old World and many others.  The new product lines will begin rolling out in mid 2018, and we will have to wait to see exactly what titles it covers – but I have high hopes.

~What games do you hope they bring back?

 

  • Richard Mitchell

    Played their Marvel dice game. It was pretty boss.

  • Pete

    Very interesting. So THIS might explain why Fantasy Flight Games mysteriously got its divorce papers from Games Workshop. Maybe Games Workshop had a better arrangement with WizKids brewing on the sidelines.

    I don’t have any issues with WizKidz, they’ve made great products I’ve bought over the years. Fantasy Flight truly did right by the Games Workshop IPs though. WizKidz will have a LOT to live up to when it comes to putting out quality products.

    • I_am_Alpharius

      More likely the Licence deal with FFG was coming to the end of the contract’s term, and for whatever reason FFG choose not to renew (or GW choose not to renew). If I were to guess I would say it was FFG that choose not to renew. They’ve been dropping a several licences over the last few years ever since they got the deal with Disney for Star Wars – a deal which won’t of be cheap for FFG.

      • Pete

        That’s a very good point. Maybe with Star Wars they couldn’t afford the GW license anymore, or couldn’t afford to renew at the prices GW wanted. Still, when I read between the lines of Fantasy Flight’s “goodbye” letter: https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2016/9/9/a-new-path-forward/ to me it doesn’t sound like leaving the GW license was the choice they wanted to make. It sounds very much that they wanted / intended to keep producing GW products.

        • Cergorach

          I think it’s not a case of not able to afford the license, but it not being as profitable as other licenses. FFG has a reputation of milk and drop with licenses or even their own properties. The WFB/40k license was milked out for FFG and starting a new contract term would just not be in FFGs best interest.

          FFG currently has stronger licensed IPs then WFB/40k (Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones), they have old and newly acquired IP they own that is probably selling better then the equivalent WFB/40k versions. L5R for card game and RPG, Netrunner for cardgame. Both have or will have boardgames. The Runebound universe has some pretty strong boardgames, and the Twilight Imperium is the big bad space opera game that never had a 40k equivalent…

          There comes a point that your only poisoning your own pool with more licensed products…

          • LankTank

            No their 40k licensing range was doing really well with their RPG variants, Conquest, Relic and Forbidden Stars still having decent sales. Obviously Star Wars has been alot more lucrative, especially with the new Star Wars Destiny game and their new skirmish mini game

          • Cergorach

            Sorry, but ‘decent’ sales generally isn’t good enough for FFG. And from a business case perspective I can’t disagree. Most of the hard core WFB/40k fans already bought everything they wanted, the rest were either new fans of the property or folks wanting to play good games. And FFG makes other good games with similar ‘feel’, so customers would be happy to buy those if left with no other option… Just making an expensive licensed property for new fans of that licensed property is not going to make you a lot of money for a property on the scale of 40k/WFB…

          • LankTank

            They had 2 forbidden stars expansions being designrd and a conquest 4th wave already designed and entering pre-production when the licensing issue was raised. This would suggest they were definately still wanting to contunue. Also their rpg range continued to have new products. So no, they did not WANT to remove the license.

        • LankTank

          They did not want to relinquish it. It was due to Asmodee Group purchasing FFG.
          That is also why only Fury of Dracula and Relic are being reprinted as these are games that GW owned prior to FFG licensing deal.
          It does suggest no continuation of Forbidden Stars or Conquest as these were promising to be strong products but were designed by FFG, so GW cannot carry them over to WIzzkids =(

          • Pete

            That’s really good info! I’m not familiar with Asmodee Group. Why are they such a stiff competitor of GW? I did some brief googling, but they just look like a Euro-game company. Nothing jumped out at me that would make them direct competitors with GW.

          • LankTank

            Asmodee Group is initially a European supplier (French or German???) and have been aggressively consolidating alot of the other board game designers and distributors across the world including Plaid Hat Games, Days of Wonder, Whoever did Catan, FFG etc. In the board game industry these are big players. The board game industry is exploding, especially compared to the mini market which is why lately we see GW taking a strong internal focus on permanent board game products again. Asmodee in 2016 had about 350m Euro revenue which I think out strips GW? (if anyone can confirm that would be great but I think they are about 150 million?) This is mostly due to capturing a lot of these companies.

          • LankTank

            The FFG director became the director of Asmodee North America as well I think. That’s just something I saw from another comment though so can’t back it up

          • Munn

            They own basically everything. Pretty much every board game not made by GW or kickstarter is Asmodee.

        • I_am_Alpharius

          Formal press statements for business deals are always going to polite, positive and civil. It would not look good on any business to start complaining or taking swipes are the other party.

      • LankTank

        The license deal could not be renewed/was voided when Asmodee Group bought over FFG.

    • LankTank

      No FFG was bought by Asmodee which is a major GW rival. Their was no way GW could allow a large competitor benefit of their license.

      • ZeeLobby

        Yeah. I dunno why people point to FFG. Of all companies, GW has always been the most protective of their IP. I mean is it really that shocking to hear that GW might have ended the contract?

        • LankTank

          Id imagine they were both tiffed when it all happened. FFG was nailing it

  • I_am_Alpharius

    Huh…was expecting some thoughts, given the title of the article…not just a re-explaining what the press release already said…

    • dave long island

      lol…

  • Strategery.

    i wonder if GW just wants pre painted models to be available

  • dinodoc

    Battlefleet Gothic Attack Wing, we all know it is coming.

  • Andrew Howell

    Meh. WizKids is not FFG and so I really doubt the games they produce will be a quality that will sell. I cannot see GW producing pre-painted minis and I’m not sure a collectible dice game will sell well either. Still, I like to see GW trying to spread their IP’s into boardgames.

  • Mike X (Official)

    Fingers crossed for 40K HeroClix.

  • Honestly don’t care. Just seems like a bad idea to me.

  • Huntard

    I reticent about this news due to issues with WizKids and fun/fair design they have. There’s a few gems in their lineup, the Mage Knight board game being a big example. But there’s lots and lots of failures too.