Monday, February 22, 2010

FFG interview has serious implications for the future of Battlelore

This interview on FFG's site clarifies a lot about the company's plans for Battlelore and what the Battle of Westeros game means to the franchise.

A couple of takeaways:

"We acquired BattleLore to be our core brand for medieval tactical warfare games (in the scale represented in the classic BattleLore game). The BattleLore name is not necessarily tied to Richard’s “Command and Colors” system."

So basically BattleLore is being treated similar to the way Hasbro is treating Axis & Allies -- as a brand that is not necessarily associated with a particular game system. I'm glad we've cleared that up.

This, set against the overall backdrop of an already steeply escalating cost in game manufacturing, has made the core game a serious issue. Reprinting the core game “as is,” would essentially result in a near $150 retail price point, which is obviously unacceptable.


We were concerned that the classic BattleLore base game, as had been created by Days of Wonder (“DOW”), was going to be troublesome on a production level. We did not, to be honest, expect it to essentially be non-manufacturable, as is the case.

This is much more serious as it basically means any future "base sets" for Battlelore will be much less attractive to new players. There was an awful lot in that box. Hasbro has similarly had to retreat a bit on the initial high-value Master Set for Heroscape, but being a bigger company they probably had more room to work with on costs.

Despite FFG's promises to support Battlelore, I'd say that the game's long-term prospects have dimmed. I think this also has implications for any other game products that have relied on the availability of cheap plastic figures from China.

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