Gen Con 2012: Fantasy Flight “In-Flight Report”
At this year’s Gen Con, the Board and Base team had a chance to sit in on Fantasy Flight’s press conference, which they dubbed their “In-Flight Report.” The event was hosted by their CEO, Chris Petersen.
Petersen started off the presentation by talking logistics. According to him, Fantasy Flight has grown about 30% in the past year. As a matter of fact, they have grown about that much every year since 2000. He went on to break down the percentages and statistics on subjects like domestic and international sales, types of games produced, and even how many orders they have placed with their manufacturers year by year (around 630 so far this year).
Petersen shifted gears and began showing the audience the different steps Fantasy Flight takes to take a game from concept to reality. It was a fairly standard process: product development, production and finally shipping. He then announced that this year, they would be adding a new step between product development and production: beta testing. He explained that Fantasy Flight had already launched several betas this year, both closed and public, and they had been helping the game creation process immensely.
After this, Petersen began to talk about the kind of products we could expect from Fantasy Flight in the future. First, he discussed an upcoming expansion for Descent: Journeys in the Dark 2nd Edition called Lair of the Wyrm. This expansion will have a beta period and will introduce a new mechanic called “Rumors,” as well as add two new monsters and two new heroes. The retail price will be $34.95 and should see a release in November.
Next was some information on the upcoming Star Wars LCG. Star Wars: The Card Game was created by Eric Lang and features two-player competitive gameplay. The English language version will be available late this year (Be sure to check out Zach’s article about his experience demoing the game).
Merchant of Venus, originally from Avalon Hill in 1988, is being re-imagined by Fantasy Flight. The box will contain both the classic game, as well as a brand new version. The English version was available to demo on the show floor at Gen Con and will be available September of this year.
A popular game at this year’s Gen Con was Android: Netrunner LCG, a new edition of the classic Richard Garfield game. The game does not release until September of this year, but was sold at the convention. Initially, there was no limit on how many someone could buy, so they were completely sold out in the first ten minutes of the opening day. Fantasy Flight then had another batch brought down from Minnesota the day after the keynote and sold them with a limit of two per person.
Petersen then moved on to the X-Wings Miniatures Game. Fantasy Flight had the two-player core set, as well as a few expansion ships, available at Gen Con, but the game will be publicly released in September. Petersen revealed four new expansions coming to the game not long after launch: Boba Fett’s Slave One, Tie Interceptor, Millennium Falcon and A-Wing.
Another game being demoed on the show floor was Warhammer 40,000: Relic. It’s an adventure board game set in the 40k universe that utilizes the same core systems as another Fantasy Flight game, Talisman. Petersen referred to the games as “sister lines.” Relic will be available “around Christmas” 2012 (you can also expect Christian’s thoughts on his demo with it soon).
The focus of the press conference shifted to a number of announcements, the first of which being Borderlands. This game formerly released by Eon will returning sometime within the next six months. The game focuses on resource and territory management. Other than box art, there wasn’t really any more information on this game. It should be out in late 2012 or early 2013 and will retail for $59.95.
Fantasy Flight has held the rights to the Game of Thrones franchise for many years, even before the hit HBO show was even discussed. With the franchises newfound success, the company will be releasing a “stand-alone implementation” of the already-popular Game of Thrones LCG utilizing art from the television series. It will be for two-players, one playing the Stark house and the other playing as the Lannisters. The game should be out around October of this year and will retail for a measly $29.95. Sadly, there will be no nudity in the game.
The next announcement was an expansion for Blood Bowl: Team Manager called Sudden Death. It adds a new league and three new teams: Vampires, Dark Elves and Undead. It should retail for $24.95.
The popular Lord of the Rings LCG will also be receiving an expansion called Heirs of Numenor. It was explained as “a core expansion setting the stage for the next cycle of Adventure Decks.” It should also be out in late 2012 for $24.95.
Probably the most highly-anticipated rumor buzzing around Fantasy Flight’s event was a new Star Wars Roleplaying game. Peterson revealed to us that it was far more than a rumor.
Star Wars: Roleplaying Game will be released in three parts, similar to their line of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying games. The first to be released is Edge of the Empire, which was described as a “Han Solo and Boba Fett experience” or in other words, the seedy underbelly of the Star Wars universe. The final version of the game will be released in 2013, however, Fantasy Flight released a Beta version of the book for $29.95.
The second edition of the game will be released in 2014 under the name Age of Rebellion. It focuses of the struggle of the ever-present war between the Rebels and Imperials, digging into capital ship warfare and galactic politics.
The third edition, set for a 2015 release, is titled Force and Destiny. I’m sure you can figure out what it will focus on.
At the end of the report, a lot of information was relayed, and the audience (Board and Base included) seemed to be very happy with all of the great announcements. When these products start hitting stores, we will do our best to check them out. Here’s to an exciting next few months!