These stories have been rounded up from all over the internet but many of them come from GamingReport which, as a partner site, remains GameWyrd’s number one choice for industry news. Direct quotes from GamingReport appear in blue text.
- Topps buy WizKids
- Activision sues over StarTrek
- Warcraft Board Game
- D&D Board Game
- CyberPunk D20
- Grimm Fairy Tales RPG
- 2nd Annual Gen Con EN World D20 System Awards
Topps buy WizKids
JUNE 23, 2003 (SEATTLE) – Today, The Topps Company, the trading card, collectibles, and confectionary company, announced it is acquiring Wizkids, LLC (“WizKids”), a privately held designer and marketer of collectible strategy games, headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. WizKids’ current games include Mage Knight, HeroClix, and
MechWarrior, all of which utilize collectible miniature figures with a patent-pending “combat dial” that encodes relevant game information in the base of each piece.
Topps Chairman and CEO, Arthur T. Shorin said, “The acquisition of WizKids represents an important step in our strategy for growing the Entertainment segment of the business as it provides efficient entry to the growing collectible games market. Founded in 2000, WizKids enjoys a strong reputation for its innovative game design, effective marketing skills, and high-level customer care. In addition to the existing product line, there is a healthy pipeline of new games in development.” He added, “Joining forces with WizKids will enhance the licensing reach of both companies and will further leverage Topps brand franchises. We look forward to welcoming the management and employees of WizKids to the Topps family.”
Jordan Weisman, WizKids’ co-founder and CEO, will be responsible for the day-to-day management of WizKids and its 95 employees. Mr. Weisman, 43, has been one of the gaming industry’s most successful and prolific designers over 20 years. He will report directly to Scott Silverstein, EVP and head of Topps Entertainment Division.
Mr. Weisman commented, “We are delighted to join with Topps and look forward to enhancing the Company’s product offerings with the addition of collectible strategy games. With the support of Topps resources, its distribution know-how, industry presence, and brands, we are excited to realize the full value of our game products and to play a role in the successful evolution of Topps entertainment lines.”
WizKids manufactures and distributes “collectable miniatures games,” a category of tabletop strategy game invented by Weisman in 1999, and now played in 56 countries all over the world. To date, the company has sold more than 100 million toy figures under the game brands Mage Knight™, MechWarrior®, and HeroClix™.
The latest game to bear WizKids’ imaginative stamp is Shadowrun® Duels, which hits store shelves this month. Shadowrun combines full-sized action figures with a complete set of tabletop “combat” rules, combining imaginative play and rules-based game play. In September, WizKids is launching Creepy Freaks™ the Gross-Out 3-D Trading Game that combines the collectability of card games with the tabletop strategy of a miniatures game. It is also the first WizKids title designed exclusively for kids.
Activision sues over StarTrek
The game producer Activision has announced it’s ending their agreement with Viacom to produce Star Trek computer games. Activision has created Star Trek computer roleplaying adventure games, strategy and space shooter simulation products for the franchise but is now reportedly suing Viacom for breach of contract.
Activision claims that Viacom has “stagnate and decay” and is now seeking unspecified damages at the Superior Court of the State of California.
The legal suit alleged, “Activision cannot successfully develop and sell Star Trek video games without the product exploitation and support promised by Viacom,” and that, “A continuing pipeline of movie and television production and related marketing is absolutely crucial to the success of video games based on a property such as Star Trek.”
Activision had signed a ten year deal with Viacom in 1998 but the game’s company has not been happy with the way the franchise has developed. The company notes, “Viacom has released only one Star Trek movie since entering into agreement with Activision and has recently informed Activision it has no current plans for further Star Trek films. Viacom also has allowed two Star Trek television series to go off the air, and the remaining series suffers from weak ratings. Viacom also frustrated Activision’s efforts to coordinate the development and marketing of its games with Viacom’s development and marketing of its new movies and television series.”