Speculation has been swirling for months about who bought the Star Wars gaming license from Lucasfilm. Most of the speculation, including the speculation on Robot Viking, centered on Fantasy Flight Games. Turns out the speculation was correct, as FFG made the official announcement today. Want to talk about skillful marketing? They’re creating a whole lot of buzz the week of Gen Con.
Fantasy Flight has developed a very solid reputation for creating well-designed, fun games with lavish components. Their board games are legendary, and their living card games (Call of Cthulhu, Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings among them) are also hugely popular. They have less of a reputation for RPGs and miniatures, though they do make them. The license covers all those things, so it will be very interesting to see what they come up with.
They’re not wasting any time before diving into new areas, either. One of the first announced games is a tactical miniatures game called X-Wing. It sounds like the game will include fully painted minis, a number of scenarios and “the tools to imagine your own,” which sounds especially exciting. Based on the brief description, X-Wing will be based on the rules for Fantasy Flight’s Wings of War air combat game, but with more customization options, including pilot selection. If the price point is similar to Wings of War, the basic set will cost about $40. A release date has not been specified.
The other game ready for launch later this year is simply called Star Wars: the Card Game. It’s a cooperative game that follows the living card game model — you buy the base set and get all the cards, then later expansions come out with new cards for you to add. It has all the deck building and customization of collectible card games without the frustration of buying random booster packs. Two to four players will work together as the Rebel Alliance, fighting to stop the Empire. It likely will bear some resemblance to this year’s Lord of the Rings living card game in terms of game mechanics, which is a good thing because that is a wonderful, wonderful game.
Both of these games sound very exciting. Wings of War is a fast, fun and unpredictable take on aerial combat, so translating that into X-Wings versus Tie Fighters will be amazing (they plan to release additional fighters later — I want my Y-Wing!). Teaming up with your friends to control the Rebel Alliance is the stuff Star Wars fans’ dreams are made of. Hopefully Fantasy Flight will have some demos of these new games running at Gen Con this weekend.