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Heroquest by Restoration Games

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Re: Heroquest by Restoration Games

Postby DullandRusty » Wednesday July 29th, 2020 4:09pm

I won't get excited yet, but it's a start.

Yesterday, Restorion Games founder and president Justin D. Jacobson issued the following comment to Dicebreaker in response to the HeroQuest Legacies filing: "We often are looking at our top 5 requested games and taking steps to see if we can make them. Securing a trademark is one step but it is not the only step. We have many pieces to put together for all our games before we have the rights to make them. Trademarks are a public piece of the puzzle and unfortunately convey a lot more implied weight than is justified. Importantly, what we filed was under the USPTO “intent to use” provision. If and when there is something to announce, believe us, folks will know."
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Re: Heroquest by Restoration Games

Postby QorDaq » Wednesday July 29th, 2020 8:53pm

DullandRusty wrote:I won't get excited yet, but it's a start.

Yesterday, Restorion Games founder and president Justin D. Jacobson issued the following comment to Dicebreaker in response to the HeroQuest Legacies filing: "We often are looking at our top 5 requested games and taking steps to see if we can make them. Securing a trademark is one step but it is not the only step. We have many pieces to put together for all our games before we have the rights to make them. Trademarks are a public piece of the puzzle and unfortunately convey a lot more implied weight than is justified. Importantly, what we filed was under the USPTO “intent to use” provision. If and when there is something to announce, believe us, folks will know."


Thanks for posting that quote.

I've been a bit wistful that it could happen, but am by no means letting myself get excited. That said, the two games I've been hoping RG could [get the chance to] take a crack at are Hero Quest and Thunder Road.
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Re: Heroquest by Restoration Games

Postby tb55555 » Wednesday July 29th, 2020 11:11pm

So while I would love to see them make the game the rights are the biggest issue. I suspect that asking any one company about this could get you dubious results.

Right now it seems that the rights to Heroquest are in the hands of 3 companies and none of them wants the others to really do anything with the license. I'm going to leave these details here in hopes they help someone in the future.

First the name "Heroquest" for a game is owned and used by Chaosium. They publish RPG books, not related to the board game, named Heroquest. And have been actively using the name as recently as last year (2019).

The second company is Games Workshop. They own the IP and world of Heroquest. Despite it being almost generic the original game was based in the Warhammer Fantasy World loosely. The designs of the Orcs, goblins and Gargoyles are all base on this IP. And the Chaos Warriors, Chaos Sorcerer, and Fimir are all firmly in this world. Also note, most of the characters names, locations and likenesses would be theirs to control as they did remaking most of them in Advanced Heroquest. GW is also a miniature company wanting to sell minis. So any game would need to include original minis from GW in it to be allowed and they may also try to push to update it to get it to push people to the most recent minis that may be available.

The game play and feel were contributed by Milton Bradley and exactly what part of the game they owned are a little more murky. But, they have currently been passed into the hands of Wizards of the Coast. The issue is that any game along these lines would be in direct competition with their games based on D&D and I doubt they would be interested in making such a game especially if it points toward a competitor's IP. Note that Orcs, goblins and gargoyles lorewise in D&D would not be easily switched in place with the ones in Heroquest without major revisions as they are very different creatures.
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Re: Heroquest by Restoration Games

Postby Stig » Wednesday August 5th, 2020 5:57am

tb55555 wrote:The second company is Games Workshop. They own the IP and world of Heroquest. Despite it being almost generic the original game was based in the Warhammer Fantasy World loosely...any game would need to include original minis from GW in it to be allowed


I suspect you’re saying we’re not going to get exactly the same game again, which I’m sure is true. However there is reason to be optimistic. What IP do they own exactly? There’s so much detail to this statement and one can’t say they own the whole lot. They don’t have the rights to orcs, skeletons, zombies etc; they’re used so widely. Any new dungeon crawler could easily use new sculpts of these. GW would have the rights to “barrak torr” for example, but we can easily give a castle another name. There is no necessity to use GW miniatures.

tb55555 wrote: The game play and feel were contributed by Milton Bradley and exactly what part of the game they owned are a little more murky. But, they have currently been passed into the hands of Wizards of the Coast. The issue is that any game along these lines would be in direct competition with their games based on D&D...


That’s a good question, but obviously they don’t own the IP of the “feel” of the game. Dice would have to have new icons, but I suspect the mechanics could be the same - life, attack, defence are so ubiquitous and widely used I doubt they would have ownership. I was interested in this and ran it past a UK expert a while back: the gist is the actual text is protected but the ideas behind the game mechanics would be harder to protect. So we would have to rewrite the rulebook with new pictures but the abstract mechanics hopefully could remain.


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Re: Heroquest by Restoration Games

Postby Anderas » Wednesday August 5th, 2020 7:16am

Stig wrote:
tb55555 wrote:The second company is Games Workshop. They own the IP and world of Heroquest. Despite it being almost generic the original game was based in the Warhammer Fantasy World loosely...any game would need to include original minis from GW in it to be allowed


I suspect you’re saying we’re not going to get exactly the same game again, which I’m sure is true. However there is reason to be optimistic. What IP do they own exactly? There’s so much detail to this statement and one can’t say they own the whole lot. They don’t have the rights to orcs, skeletons, zombies etc; they’re used so widely. Any new dungeon crawler could easily use new sculpts of these. GW would have the rights to “barrak torr” for example, but we can easily give a castle another name. There is no necessity to use GW miniatures.


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The Back Story is part of Michael Moorcock's universe of ideas, so as long as you don't name things directly, like tzeench (Or Barak Torr liike you say) and the like, you can very much invent a similar fantasy setting with the same properties. I'd say, as long as they stay clear from the exact warhammer world map and don't use a fimir, GW is out.

The one thing I like about the Heroquest Background is brightly colored "evil guys" in a totally unsensible mix. You don't get bored while you paint because there are not many models of each kind.

Most modern games have them really dark and are ordered by "race" - orcquest warpath is about orcs only, zombicide about zombies only, just to give two examples.

Massive Darkness appealed to this corner of myself with their monster mix, but they somehow fraggled up the gameplay; plus the missions were not story driven, so I didn't like it in the end. (Who likes a mission that states "put a level 5 monster on position 2. This is the mission objective." Much to generic! If the mission designer doesn't care, neither do I, somehow...)


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Re: Heroquest by Restoration Games

Postby Sjeng » Thursday August 20th, 2020 6:44am

tb55555 wrote:Right now it seems that the rights to Heroquest are in the hands of 3 companies and none of them wants the others to really do anything with the license. I'm going to leave these details here in hopes they help someone in the future.

First the name "Heroquest" for a game is owned and used by Chaosium. They publish RPG books, not related to the board game, named Heroquest. And have been actively using the name as recently as last year (2019).

Hey everyone! ;)

I actually read that Restoration Games registered the name right after Chaosium's license on the name expired... Not sure of that's true, but that would be great. I've always hated the fact that they used the name of our beloved board game for a totally unrelated RPG that could have had ANY other name. Why HeroQuest, Chaosium? WHY?

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