Warhammer RPG End Times

Today while browsing RPG.net I stumbled upon this thread. Obviously Fantasy Flight Games has removed their Warhammer RPG products (both 40K and Fantasy) from DriveThruRPG. It seems FFG didn’t renew their roleplaying game license for these franchises which comes to me as a big surprise.

Some of you might already have noticed that something like that was about to happen, because there haven’t been any releases in quite some time. I didn’t follow these developments as closely, since I – even though I love the setting – wasn’t that interested in the rules. Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd Edition used a precursor of the Star Wars RPG, but included a lot more fiddly bits and was ridiculously overpriced. The Warhammer 40K games were much closer to the older editions of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay rules-wise and from what I’ve read they actually sold pretty well.

But these games either didn’t make FFG enough money or they decided to focus more on boardgames in the Warhammer universe or their other franchises. From what I know so far, neither FFG nor Games Workshop have announced anything regarding the future of the Warhammer RPGs, so we don’t know if these games even have a future.

At the time of this writing, the Warhammer RPGs are still available from the official Fantasy Flight Games site, but the PDFs have been removed there as well. It’s still possible that they renewed the license after all, but I actually doubt it. Everything points toward the Warhammer RPGs going out-of-print again. These are sad times for any fan of these game lines.

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

6 thoughts on “Warhammer RPG End Times”

  1. It is possible that GW are consolidating the franchise – the fanasy setting has been revamped effectively putting an end to the Old World as we know it (funny how the Total War computer game seems to be the last major product featuring the old setting – well technically there are also Blood Bowl, and Mordheim games but these don’t count 😉 )
    With regards to 40K, FF released very solid rpg game lines using the license – which mind you had not been done before – and 40K being what it is I’m surprised at the ammount of splendid role-play stuff you can squeeze out of Dark Heresy (less so from the other 40K rpgs which feel too militaristic for my taste.
    Mayhaps this is heralding GW plans to reshape 40K setting also – although it would have been insane to gamble with their cash cow.
    More likely they are getting rid of all he stuff that dilute their intellectual property.
    Who can tell… they sold their souls to Chaos Minature Gods long ago.

    1. About GW having sold their souls to the Chaos Gods: absolutely. I also get the impression that they don’t really understand their games and their target audiences anymore. Age of Sigmar is IMHO a mess.

      In this case I guess it’s just FFG not bothering with unprofitable RPGs anymore. Now that they have the Star Wars license and a RPG line that is very popular, they just don’t want to put any effort into less profitable games, even though their WH40K games were really, really good.

      1. Forgot to add that FF aquired the Legend of the 5 Rings license from AEG. LCG is in the works wIth new edition of the L5R RPG a possibility – how they could produce something better than the current amazing 4th edition I don’t know.

        They have been releasing their own post-appo line – The End of the World.

        They may have be re-shuffling their license portfolio.

        I agree though SW is the lucrative one.

  2. I was about to complain that I’ll never see FFG’s DragonStar ever again… then I found it on DriveThruRPG. Weird how a lot of old RPGs never really die thanks to OneBookshelf unless they are licensed. You can’t get many of the older MWP Cortex books anymore either because of licensing.

  3. I guess I put off getting all of the WH RPG (fantasy and 40k) PDF’s for too long… I think I already nabbed all of the 1e WHFRP and most of the later stuff. But I didn’t get much/enough of the 40k stuff.

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