I am here to provide an update on the Heroquest 25th anniversary that I recently wrote an article about. It seems they have run into a slight amount of trouble concerning the Kickstarter.
The rough boil down is this; Moon Design, who control the trademark for Heroquest in the USA, has issued a Cease and Desist letter over the Kickstarter project. This means that Kickstarter has put the project on hold until further notice over possible copyright infringement. The project will remain paused until the matter can be resolved (which I will elaborate more on later) which could be bad news, possibly delaying the project to the point where it would not be released in time for the 25th anniversary.
While GameZone Miniatures holds the trademark for Heroquest in Spain, the problem that they face is that they are using Kickstarter to seek funding, an american site based in America. From information I have read, Moon Design issued the C&D (Cease and Desist letter) because they are worried that Hasbro, the main owner of Heroquest, would act against GameZone over the crowd funding project, and could also act against Moon Design for not impeding the project in the first place. GameZone are communicating with Moon Design to overcome this situation so the project can continue. The fact that this has taken place directly over an American holiday, Thanksgiving, has made the process take even longer.
GameZone has already petitioned Kickstarter (you can read that letter here) to resume the project. There is of course a good helping of legal in there, and I get the idea of it, but the exact details of it are over my head, since I was sick that one day when I was meant to learn all the copyright laws. This is the option they have chosen to take right now, but there are a couple more that are open to them.
Moon Design have stated that they would remove the C&D if they get a statement from Hasbro saying that no action would be taken against them or GameZone at any point over the Heroquest project. Another requirement of the removal of the C&D is that Moon Design would collect a ‘considerable sum and percentages from the Kickstarter project.’ This is the second option that GameZone could take.
The third option is that GameZone would immediately move the crowd funding over to a European based outfit, where there would be no risks of legal repercussions.
From a blog post about this situation (which you can read here), I have pasted in GameZone’s responses to those three options.
Option one; we can only wait, we cannot be sure that Kickstarter will lift the pause. We cannot influence their decision any more than we have already.
Option two; Hasbro is not obligated to do anything at all.
Option three; here there is no risk, except of course we will raise less funds, no other platform out there at this moment has the same public pull as Kickstarter.
I’ve also read a post from Moon Design (which you can read here) which gives their side of the story. It matches up fairly well, though there are a few things that differ in the various statements of the two companies. Read them all yourself for the full story, none of them are all that long.
If you are interested in this game, and these developments concern you, then you are free to contact GameZone and give your opinion on what they should do, they ask their consumers to do just that at the bottom on the blog post I linked above. Go here if you wish to contact them directly, or otherwise, share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.