August 10, 2006

Conan Boardgame in 2007

Conan.8.10.06.jpgParadox Entertainment has announced that their working on a new 'Big Box' strategy board game: "Age of Conan". We could sum up the game a bit ourselves, but it turns out this snippet from the official press release does quite a good job for us:

Tentatively titled Age of Conan – The Strategy Board Game, the game is planned to be released in late 2007. In Age of Conan, two or more players will lead the nations of the "Hyborian Era," the fantasy world created by Robert E. Howard as a background for the stories of Conan. Employing weapons, wealth or magic, each player will strive to achieve hegemony over the others.

"We're very excited about this deal with Paradox Entertainment. As we've done in our previous projects based on famous stories and characters, like War of the Ring and Marvel Heroes, we will take much care bringing to the game the characters, the places and events featured in the Conan stories. We want to create an exciting game faithful to the great tales created by Robert E. Howard," says Roberto Di Meglio, CEO of Nexus Editrice.

"We are thrilled to see a boardgame based in Hyboria. Robert E. Howard created a world filled with adventure and a board game is a great way of discovering it first-hand. Nexus has a formidable reputation of developing visually stunning games in established universes, and we trust our character in their hands", says Fredrik Malmberg, Head of Licensing and Creative Affairs at Paradox Entertainment.

Paradox is responsible for the highly successful War of the Ring strategy board game, and also just recently put the finishing touches on the upcoming Marvel Heroes boardgame for publisher Fantasy Flight Games (in production now).

We all remember the Conan movies from our childhood which put Arnold on the Map ( "Hercules in New York" doesn't count), but the gritty fantasy world of Conan was created by author Robert E. Howard more than eighty years ago. Since then there have been millions of books sold, movies, posters, lunchboxes, the works. If Paradox can do for the world of Conan what they did for LOTR gaming with the War of the Ring, then this game is going to be huge.

We should also note that the game's title "Age of Conan" shares its name with a Massively Online Role Playing Game slated for a 2007 release. Conincidence? Porbably not, but we hope that the two aren;t closely tied. The cross-branding or translation of a board game to a video game (and vice versa) still gives us the heebee-geebees, despite some recent successes. Call us untrusting.

Of course we haven't read anything that suggests these two games are even remotely related. It's probably just a over cautious thought by our part, especially considering the board game is all about warring factions and strategy, not living a second life as a bunch of half naked men in loin cloths as in the video game. Perhaps now you can see why we're scared of any cross pollination.

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Posted by Critical Gamers Staff at August 10, 2006 2:46 PM

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