Friday, January 29, 2010

What is the future of the Star Wars game license?

With the news that WotC is dropping the Star Wars license this year, no doubt rampant speculation will begin over the future of the franchise. So let's get it started. My guess is that the tabletop rpg is dead, at least for the forseeable future. There just aren't many companies aside from WotC that could afford it and the few that could don't seem to be a good fit. For example, Mongoose, a relatively big company, would probably be seen by the folks at Lucasarts as being a bit too risky. They publish a lot of product to be sure, but they also miss a lot of release dates and there are frequent complaints about the quality of their products. Cubicle 7 is an up-and-comer, but my guess is that they are not ready to take on something of this magnitude. Besides those two, the only company I can think of with the means to pull it off is Paizo. The Star Wars license might be a good fit for a company looking to position itself as the alternative to WotC, but I think they have so many resources committed to the various Pathfinder product lines, they probably couldn't see themselves taking on the demands of the Star Wars license right now.

The other side of the Star Wars game license is the minis. WotC has certainly beaten that dead horse repeatedly over the last few years, so I think if anyone got an idea to revive a Star Wars minis line, they'd choose to do it differently. I think the one company that might see some potential there would be Rackham. Doing Star Wars using an approach similar to AT-43 or Confrontation might have interest for minis collectors who are fed up with blind packaging and 15 different versions of Darth Vader. Personally, I hope that doesn't happen since it would almost certainly impact the other Rackham lines negatively.



Jay said...

I think you're right, Paizo seems the natural heir, but they're committed to Pathfinder.

As far as the minis go, I don't think those will come back in the foreseeable future--if ever. I've heard rumors that they'll be turning the 3.75" figure line into a game by including stats cards as the bonus pack-in item (instead of droid parts, etc.).

I had a few thoughts of my own on the developments.

A Paladin In Citadel said...

I wouldn't be surprised if you see one of the big toy manufacturers get the nod, or they simply let the rpg and 28mm line languish,

Rognar said...

That's what i think too, but wild speculation is more fun than sober analysis. :)

Jay said...

Indeed!! :D

Rognar said...

Btw Jay, I think your Exonauts blog is excellent. I noticed it a couple weeks ago. My first love is actually sci-fi, rather than fantasy and I was a very early Star Frontiers fan. Now, i like d6 Space more for sci-fi gaming, but I still enjoy perusing my old Star Frontiers books for inspiration.

Like you, I needed a second blog to scratch my sci-fi itch. You'll notice my space horror blog in my links list.

Jay said...

Thanks Rog! I'll add it to my blog roll!

Anonymous said...

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