Fantasy Flight Games recently announced that it has entered a comprehensive licensing partnership with Lucasfilm Ltd. for the worldwide rights to publish card, roleplaying, and miniatures games set in the popular Star Wars™ universe.
The first Star Wars role-playing game was written and published by West End Games (WEG) between 1987 and 1999. According to Wikipedia, the game, based on WEG’s earlier Ghostbusters RPG, established much of the groundwork of what later became the Star Wars Expanded Universe, and their sourcebooks are still frequently cited by Star Wars fans as reference material. Lucasfilm considered their sourcebooks so authoritative that when Timothy Zahn was hired to write what became the Thrawn trilogy, he was sent a box of West End Games Star Wars books and directed to base his novel on the background material presented within. By the end of the game’s run around 140 sourcebook and adventure supplements were published for the game during its run through three editions.
WEG’s license to produce Star Wars material was lost after the company declared bankruptcy in 1998, and the license was later picked up by Wizards of the Coast. The Star Wars Roleplaying Game was a d20 System-based roleplaying game set in the Star Wars universe. The game was written by Bill Slavicsek, Andy Collins and JD Wiker and published by Wizards of the Coast in late 2000 and revised in 2002. In 2007, Wizards released the Saga Edition of the game, which made major changes in an effort to streamline the rules system. On January 28, 2010, Wizards of the Coast announced on their website that they would not be renewing their license to produce Star Wars products for their roleplaying and miniature gaming lines. Their license ended in May 2010.
”Being able to publish gaming products in the Star Wars universe is quite simply a hobby-game company’s dream come true,” said Christian T Petersen, CEO of Fantasy Flight Games. “I’m confident that both Star Wars fans as well as FFG’s regular customers will be blown away by the game experiences we have planned for this legendary IP.”
“As a leader in hobby gaming, we’re excited to be partnering with Fantasy Flight Games,” said Howard Roffman, President of Lucas Licensing. “Fun and adventure are hallmarks of the Star Wars saga, and FFG perfectly captures this in their games.”
FFG’s first two Star Wars game lines will be the X-Wing miniatures game and Star Wars: The Card Game, both scheduled to launch in early 2012. No word yet on what form the role-playing game will take, but if FFG’s history is any guide it will involve many attractive accessories as part of a boxed set.