The founder of Fantasy Flight Games, Christian T. Petersen, runs a venture capital company that owns the company that has bought KeyForge.
Ghost Galaxy, the new owner of the card game, has some work to do to bring KeyForge back to the market. There’s been no mention of the Genesys-powered KeyForge RPG in the deal.
If KeyForge was a person, we’d already had a TV movie about them. The collectable card game was invented by Magic: The Gathering’s Richard Garfield and was designed to avoid needing to spend more and more money to keep playing.
To begin with, KeyForge was an incredible success, but two things happened.
One was the Pandemic which killed not just retail for a while but face-to-face playing and the tournaments that games like thrive on.
The second was news the algorithm which made KeyForge possible was broken. Each pack of KeyForge cards was unique and playable. KeyForge’s success was to avoid players needing to buy lots of packets; gamers just used the procedurally generated decks. Fantasy Flight first simply said the algorithm “was broken” and needed to be rebuilt.
The new news describes the algorithm as “gone“. Whatever the problem was Ghost Galaxy say they are working on fixing it.
Concerned for KeyForge and its players, Asmodee approached Ghost Galaxy in late ’21 about acquiring the IP and game. This was not an easy decision for Asmodee, and it was not a foregone conclusion for us. Ghost Galaxy had been quietly working on its own software suite that would power the next generation of procedurally-generated card games, but it was not ready, and a mature game like KeyForge was not what we had in mind for its first voyage. Also, we were not sure what the long release delay had done to the KeyForge playerbase. Was this complex and ambitious game viable for continued publishing?
The deal, though, was struck at the end of June.
It looks like KeyForge won’t inappropriately rush back but does plan to make it back. GG outlines the following challenges;
- Software Engine (that algorithm!)
- Commercial Release Plan
- Organised Play
- Localised Versions
- Deck Registration and Player Accounts
- Player Communications
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