We have been hearing about the 25th Anniversary version of HeroQuest for a little while now, and the struggles that Gamezone Miniatures, the spanish miniatures manufacturer, are having trying to get it off the ground due to copyright issues. I’m sure I had mentioned that a Kickstarter was up for it, posted through the Canadian side of it, most likely to try and avoid that copyright issue, but it was taken down after Moon Design issued a Cease and Desist letter, since they hold the copyright for HeroQuest in the United States.
After that, I have recently discovered, Gamezone posted HeroQuest up on Verkami, another crowdfunding site. Apparently, the page was taken down after only hours by Verkami, claiming the project was misleading users. Here is a translated message that was sent out to backers when the project was shut down.
We want to communicate our decision of stopping the campaign were you had pledged: ‘Heroquest 25th Anniversary’ The urge to publish the project by the authors today Sunday 8 at 1 am has precipitated it’s publication without being able, the team of verkami, to spend the right time to review the project. After carefully studying the campaign, we believe that the content of the project could be misleading to our users. Your pledges will be cancelled so no charges will be made in your card or PayPal account. We thank you for your trust, and we want to apologize for any inconvenience our handling of the project might have caused.
Two down, and now a third pops up. Gamezone has posted the HQ 25th on Lanzanos, another spanish based crowdfunding site. This time, it appears to have stuck though. You can go have a look here if you wish. It has already reached it’s goal, almost 88,000 euros, having needed 58,000, with (I think) 46 days to go. Included are all the stretch goals and so on that appeared in the Kickstarter. Curiously though, the comments section has been disabled, I wonder why…
They story goes deeper now though, as some more research has shown me. There is significant legal wranglings going on, with another trademark for HeroQuest being lodged in the U.S. at about the same time as the Kickstarter was initiated, as stated in this article here.
Further down that article, there is mention of persons who were trying to get information about shipping costs for HQ through the Gamezone site, as the Kickstarter had directed them to do so. Supposedly, some of these people needed to enter credit card details for some reason, but have since been charged that shipping cost they were investigating, and in some cases people have also been charged for the game itself, even though it doesn’t even exist yet.
After reading through comments on various pages and forums postings, Gamezone is making a bad reputation for itself now. A lot of the postings were negative, and sometimes to a pretty bad degree as well, claiming things like child labour and worse. Much of the previous support has seemed to have dried up, and the general feeling is that people should not support Gamezone through crowdfunding due to untrustworthiness.
I’m not saying that what Gamezone are doing is good or bad, that is not for me to say. Head over and read this article, which I also linked above, and read all the information for yourself, there is a lot in there. After that, make up your own mind. There is always an inherent risk in any crowdfunding situation, where you will pay for something before it even exists. After that, post your thoughts in our comments section, we would all love you know what you think about it, since some of us here are fans of the original HQ.
I’ll finish off with a video trailer thing that Gamezone has posted up on it’s Lanzanos HQ page.