Friday, 29 November 2013

A Gloranthan fly in the HeroQuest ointment for its 25th edition

Well, we were all up for reliving our childhood with the hope of obtaining the 25th Anniversary edition of HeroQuest. The updated version was on Kickstarter and though many of us asked the question "Are there not copyright thingys to sort out?" there had been assurances that they were.  Now it seems there is a Gloranthan sized glitch involving a Cease and Desist from Moon Design Publishing.

HeroQuest (released in 1989) was previously produced by MB (interestingly owned by Hasbro since 1986) in conjunction with Games Workshop.  Neither companies, we thought, would be that overly keen to licence it out - but then again they might.  But then again, they no longer have the rights!

It appears that Moon Design Publications, who acquired the rights to Glorantha (RuneQuest) earlier this year also have the rights to the game HeroQuest - the roleplaying game by Greg Stafford (the man who created Glorantha and the RuneQuest rpg at Chaosium which he helped found).  The history of Glorantha and Runequest from 1966 to now is long and winding involving Avalon Hill, Hasbro and others. Suffice to say the first version of HeroQuest from Greg was called HeroWars (because MB had the rights to HeroQuest and Hasbro had the rights to RuneQuest). MB eventually gave up the rights to the HeroQuest name as later did Hasbro to RuneQuest. Greg Stafford picked them up and then licenced them to Moon Design Publications in August this year after taking the Licence away from Mongoose Publishing.

This is now where the 25th Anniversary edition of the HeroQuest Boardgame has come a bit stuck.  On the Gamezone Miniature website the company who are running the Kickstarter (or were) put up a statement after they had to suspend the project.
Official statement 
Please bear with us. Gamezone and Moon Design are in a meeting negotiating a settlement for both parts at this time. Moon Design believes that their interests in the HEROQUEST brand within the USA will be infringed upon. Although we are not distributing or selling our product in US territory. As a precaution Moon Design presented a C/D on the 27th of Nov. Our talks are coming to a point where the negotiation will benefit all those involved, which finally would let us offer our product in stores in the USA sometime next year. The Moon Design C/D was suspended, but on the table, as another element in the negotiation. Here at Gamezone it is our hopeful understand that its activation is possibly by error as both parties where coming to an agreement. Said agreement would finally end beneficially for Fans in the USA by opening the physical distribution to stores in that country. This brief pause of activity is as harmful to the interests of Moon Design as it is to Gamezone Miniatures. We are as surprised as the Heroquest community, we didn’t expect that on Thanksgiving, of all days, to be wrapped up in this mess, that is so disagreeable for everyone involved. On a day such as this it is extremely complicated to get in touch with Moon Design. We are working diligently on a solution so we can continue with the project from where it is at the moment and reinforce it for the future. Thank you. Dionisio
Here is hoping it can all be resolved and the Kickstarter project can be completed. (Please Greg??)

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