Sunday, June 28, 2009

WizKids site is down

While the good news is that there seems to be some movement on the licensing for Heroclix, the bad new is that WizKids has tired of maintaining its supporting Web presence for the game and it is down.

This is unfortunate because most of the fans sites associated with the game are also gone. For example, I had tracked my figure inventory with's database. It was quite useful.

I think at this point that I'm just about done with collectible games of any sort.

I'll be maintaining my Axis & Allies Miniatures and A&A War at Sea so long as Hasbro continues them, but there's no way I can be persuaded to get into any new collectibles - ever. Aside from the aggravation of the collectible format, which I had more or less come to terms with, the fact of the matter is that a collectible game is too dependent on continuing company support.

I have literally dozens of boardgames from long-defunct manufacturers that I get plenty of playing enjoyment with. I can find opponents. I can haul them out anytime. Some games become more or less obsolete because of shortfalls in the game itself, but almost never solely because the game is out of print. I can easily get in a game of Up Front, for example. I can play old SPI games online at

But with collectible games it appears to be a truism that being discontinued is a death sentence, even if the game is pretty good. Perfect examples of this are Navia Dratp and Dreamblade, which were both pretty good games that still have fans but seem to be in terminal decline. I mostly got into HeroClix in the first place because there was a local group that gathered every Sunday for competitive play. I wasn't all that competitive, but I enjoyed playing. But since company support ended that group simply disappeared. No company support, no play.

Company support, on the other hand, is basically a bonus for regular boardgames. Sure, tournament support is nice, but it's hardly a requirement. There are games still being played competitively at the World Boardgame Championships that are no longer in print. And many that are in print don't get significant company support. Except for brand-new games that are getting support for marketing purposes, company support is not a mandatory element for continued play. Indeed, there are some notable games that have been published by a whole series of publishers over the years -- Acquire, Cosmic Encounter, Diplomacy for example -- without any detrimental effects on their popularity.

I'm done.

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