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Wizards of the Coast Takes Charge of Heroscape

Posted January 22nd, 2008 at 02:43 PM by truth
Updated April 14th, 2008 at 03:04 PM by truth
Wizards of the Coast is the world leader in hobby gaming, and a subsidiary of Hasbro. If you've ever been to a gaming convention, they are the guys with the gigantic booth swarming with game fans. They produce a number of massively popular games, including Magic the Gathering® and Dungeons and Dragons®

Monday, January the 21st I found myself on a conference call with a round table of Wizards executives. They setup this exclusive meeting for the sole purpose of answering any questions I have about Heroscape's transfer over to Wizards of the Coast.

Already, dear heroscaper, your head is spinning with questions. You love every nuance of this game and are concerned about what this means for the future of Heroscape. Well the fine people at Wizards plan to interact with the fans that have gathered here on heroscapers.com and answer some of those questions directly. This interaction from those who will be working on Heroscape hearkens back to days of old when designers Craig VanNess and Rob Daviau spent time chatting with us on the forums of heroscape.net, the first ever Heroscape fan site.

Let me start by answering the burning questions you all have and then I'll give you information on how you can interact with the Wizards staff on our forums.

The following are questions followed by answers provided directly from Wizards.

1. Is Wizards of the Coast taking over the Heroscape brand?
Yes, we are excited to say that starting this spring the Heroscape brand will be fully operated by Wizards of the Coast.

2. When is this effective?
The transition has already begun and will be complete by 4/1/08. Wizards is already working on future SKUs at this time.

3. Will there be changes to the current version of the game?
No, there will be no changes to the way the game is played or packaged- it will continue to be a fixed, non-randomized purchase.

4. Will the game continue to be sold in places it was previously sold?
Our goal is to make the game as widely-accessible to Heroscape players as possible. In addition to maintaining all of its current retail distribution in the mass market stores, Wizards will be actively working to bring the game to the hobby gaming market as well.

5.Will the retail price of the game change?
Not at this time.

6. Will there be organized play for Heroscape?
After the business has been fully-transitioned to Wizards of the Coast we will be exploring all of the opportunities that exist for the product. This evaluation will include exploring the demand for organized play within the Heroscape community.

7. What are the long-term plans for the brand?
Wizards will be releasing Small Expansion Set 8 in the summer, a new Small Expansion Set in late 2008 and are exploring additional SKUs as well.

Our Take On the Move

Here at Heroscapers we are optimistic. Hasbro has long had some problems with distribution that Wizards may have solutions for. Hasbro thought they had a game for 8 year olds, Wizards will be targeting gamers of all ages. One of the very first things Wizards has done is reach out to us the fans gathered here at heroscapers.com and that gets them major props.

Heroscape is an aging game by Hasbro's definition, putting a new and excited staff on the game could extend its life considerbly. Especially considering that Wizards has maintained a number of collectible games into a very long life.

Our current concerns at heroscapers deal with the fact that the current designers, including lead designer Craig VanNess will no longer be working on the game. The game has spent three glorious years under the guidance of Craig and we all are in love with his craftsmanship. The question is, will new designers be able to tune into the "spirit" of the game? Wizards has reassured me that they will continue to make use of an already long existing playtest group. Our hopes are that the playtest group consisting of hardcore fans of the game will be able to spot any problems and help to resolve them before product is released.

The people at Wizards are real people, our people. They love games and live to serve gamers. Their goal is not to ruin our favorite game. So concerned are they about meeting and exceeding our expectations that representatives of Wizards will be joining our forums to answer our questions personally and to get feedback on what we want to see in the future of Heroscape. I am setting up an OFFICIAL FEEDBACK THREAD. Visit it in the news section of the forums to communicate your thoughts.

I leave you with a quote that has inspired me to proceed with an optimistic view of the future of Heroscape. From the Senior Brand Manager at Wizards, Laura Tommervik: “We’re excited to bring to market new Heroscape products that meet and exceed the players’ expectations.”
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