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Gaming publisher FASA calls it quits

By AdamJ in News
Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 05:24:58 PM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)
/etc

Roleplaying, Miniature Gaming, and Board Game company FASA has called it quits after nearly 20 years in the business.

The electronic rights for FASA products are with Microsoft, as are all rights to Crimson Skies. Shadowrun and Battletech properties have been sold to WizKid Games, publishers of Mage Knight. Rights to publish Earthdawn material are with Living Room Games, Vor: The Maelstrom rights will revert to creator Mike "Skuzzy" Nielson, and the future of Crucible is up in the air.


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Several gaming companies have closed doors or slowed down operations lately, with Iron Crown Enterprises being among the most notable, Pinnacle Entertainment Group being sold to Cybergames.com and then being "unsold", Ral Talsorian Games being reduced to a two person part time operation, West End Games restructuring under Chapter 11, Wizards of the Coast buying TSR, subsequently being bought by Hasbro, and then laying off 100+ employee's in December.

Back in December we talked about the evolution of RPGs. At the time, a lot of people thought that online gaming was really going to be a big player in the future, and this looks like another piece of writing on the wall.

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o FASA
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o talked about
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Gaming publisher FASA calls it quits | 10 comments (8 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
Aw, fuck. (1.57 / 7) (#1)
by Canthros on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 03:53:10 PM EST

Well. That certainly sucks.

--
It's now obvious you are either A) Gay or B) Female, or possibly both.
RyoCokey
Say it ain't so! (3.50 / 2) (#3)
by kostya on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 04:01:29 PM EST

I am totally stunned. All those weekends of my youth, leveling my friend's Mech lances one after another.

And now it is over. It just won't be the same. At least Microsoft didn't get Battletech. It would just be too demoralizing for me.

Sigh.



----
Veritas otium parit. --Terence
Huh if FASA is gone... (3.00 / 1) (#5)
by Mantrid on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 04:30:15 PM EST

I was never that in to pencil & paper type games, though I did give Battletech a try once or twice. I think it's pretty obvious that computer games and video games contributed to the downfall of this type of gaming. I'm mean even though I wasn't too into it (though I did like the mech manuals and such), even I'd heard of FASA and TSR.

I'm sure even the hardcore P&P fans can probably find free stuff on the net to print out these days to play. It's too bad FASA couldn't have made the jump to video games instead of selling eveyrthing to Microsoft; it would've been cool to see such a creative company even as an in-house developer for Microsoft. The Mechwarrior license wouldn't exist without FASA, so who's going to come up with the new stuff?

_______________________________
Ah well good article anyways and interesting news (+1)



Hold on one moment... (none / 0) (#7)
by Canthros on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 06:30:37 PM EST

It's too bad FASA couldn't have made the jump to video games instead of selling eveyrthing to Microsoft

Actually, Microsoft bought FASA Interactive over a year ago. FASA Interactive was in the business of dealing with the development, implementation and/or licensing of the electronic rights for FASA's intellectual properties. Oddly enough, Microsoft bought FI shortly after losing the the Mechwarrior/Battletech rights to Microprose, IIRC. By buying FASA Interactive, Microsoft regained those rights.

The Mechwarrior license wouldn't exist without FASA, so who's going to come up with the new stuff?

If you read closely, you'll see that AdamJ already pointed out that WizKids LLC gets the rights and materials for FASA's two biggest properties, and all but one of the other properties (Crucible) is also accounted for.



--
It's now obvious you are either A) Gay or B) Female, or possibly both.
RyoCokey
[ Parent ]
Well, at least there's a little justice. (2.00 / 1) (#6)
by JazzManJim on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 06:21:31 PM EST

As much as I hate to see FASA go under, it does warm me slightly to know that their current Line Developer, Mike Mulvihill will soon be begging for loose change on the corner.

I swear, that man honestly ruined what was perhaps my favorite game.

Shadowrun's new owner does seem to be well-run and quite creative, so perhaps Shadowrun is in good hands...

-Jimmie

-Jimmie
"Hostility toward America is a religious duty, and we hope to be rewarded for it by God...I am confident that Muslims will be able to end the legend of the so-called superpower that is America."
(Osama bin Laden - 10 Jan 1999)
Uh, yeah. (none / 0) (#8)
by AdamJ on Fri Jan 26, 2001 at 08:30:13 PM EST

As much as I hate to see FASA go under, it does warm me slightly to know that their current Line Developer, Mike Mulvihill will soon be begging for loose change on the corner.
Yeah, I'm sure there's no chance in hell that anyone will want to hire the guy that turned Shadowrun into FASAs only profitable game. I'd bet that he - and his wife, Sharon - are on WizKids Games list of people to be interviewing.

This isn't just about a game; this is also about real life. I may not have liked all the things that Mike did for the game either (and he heard about it from me), but wishing someone out of work and on the streets isn't called for.

Incidentally, I'm not sure about your first and second edition books, but mine still work just fine.

[ Parent ]

Business and Fun (I'm a consumer. I want fun.) (none / 0) (#9)
by JazzManJim on Sat Jan 27, 2001 at 11:10:59 AM EST

Well, I'm not sure how much he had to do with the actual profitability. Their marketing people really worked harder to get the game in good places to be sold, and to actually advertise the product they had. My entire contention with him is what he did with what was perhaps the most intricate meta-plot of any game system I've seen. The plot began way back with some of the first books and adventures, weaved through the sourcebooks (mostly in the form of the in-book "comments" from "readers"), and always managed to advance from book to book. That all stopped with the new regime. The books were infinitely less fun to read, and the metaplot that had been developing over the series of years evaporated in a cloud of contrivances that killed my sense of disbelief. The problem is that while I could probably handle it, given a group of gamers who were still excited about it, most of my gaming friends soured on Shadowrun for that very same reason. Now I understand I could probably just ignore everything published after a certain point, but then that leaves me with a game system I like, that had dead-ended for me. So, while Mulvihill may or may not have made the game profitable, it still didn't save the company in the end, and it made sure that I wouldn't buy another SR supplement from them. That's not a smart business decision (assuming, of course, that I'm not the only malcontent. Their sales figures for SR suggest that I'm not). -Jimmie
-Jimmie
"Hostility toward America is a religious duty, and we hope to be rewarded for it by God...I am confident that Muslims will be able to end the legend of the so-called superpower that is America."
(Osama bin Laden - 10 Jan 1999)
Nooooooo! =( (none / 0) (#10)
by WWWWolf on Sat Jan 27, 2001 at 12:18:03 PM EST

I got Battletech game last spring, and I must say it was love at first sight. (There must be something in me that makes me lllllove heavy iron. =)

Strange thing was, this was sort of reverse what you may expect: I first got MechWarrior 2 computer game, and then got hooked to the board game. (Then, I got MW3, wasn't that impressed, and magazines say MW4 won't still quite have the depth of story that MW2 had...)

I really hate to see FASA go... I have to hope this won't mean drop of quality, or something even worse.

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...


Gaming publisher FASA calls it quits | 10 comments (8 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
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