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Battlefleet Gothic, Mordheim, Necromunda, and Dreadfleet.



Games Workshop has very much kept away from several of its older specialists games, like Battlefleet Gothic, Mordheim, and Necromunda. When they were active games, they were very popular, and I have very fond memories with each of them, especially Battlefleet Gothic.

Could these return?

It appears that Games Workshop at the very least is keeping their options open for the future, and not just letting the games slide away into anonymity. There has even been some recent activity going on with them, when it comes to their trademarks.

These pre-applications for trademarks, that are part of public records and filed less than 6 months after they took the specialist games away, could very well lead to new releases of the games in the future.

Check out this email from a reader of the site, who just happens to be an attorney in the field.

via The Father Mapple (a reader of Faeit 212 and an attorney)
Hey Natfka,
Just some speculation about publicly filed records. 

I was doing some research on the United States Trademark website, and found that in September 2013, GW filed for the "BATTLEFLEET GOTHIC" "MORDHEIM" "NECROMUNDA" "DREADLEET" trademarks. These are being actively pursued, with some documents being filed as recently as last week, in September 2014, with correspondence going back and forth. 

Also, these are pre-applications, where they anticipate releasing products in the future and want to be protected until market, not for products that they already have in the market. 

In addition, the categories of goods they cover include miniature games, RPGs, computer games, and anything in between those categories and board/card games.

Dreadfleet is actually gotten through to be posted for opposition, which means the public can comment and challenge it, but the USPTO doesn't have a problem with it. 

To serve as a counter-example, some of the Blood Bowl trademarks date back from the 1990's and the 2000's, and are considered to still be in use in various ways. And 1 Space Hulk trademark from 1997 for board and computer games is still active and being used, but newer Space Hulk ones for various other types of games are being filed in September 2013 with the others mentioned above. 

The really funny thing to me is that they killed off the Specialist games around May 2013... but then in September of the same year paid an attorney lots of money to file for all the other trademarks again. So, in my unprofessional market analysis, this is not a "We used these in the past, lets get the IP rights" type of thing, but a "We got stuff coming down the pipe later, and now we are doing the IP rights correctly this time before hand!"

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44 Comments

  1. Its way too early to get teased like this.

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  2. Battlefleet Gothic is a no brainer. And loved Necromunda and the continuing nature of it battle-to-battle. No Gorkamorka though?

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  3. MORDHEIM the ios game is in progress atm.... you can see screen shots all over the place . looks pretty nifty tbh :D

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    1. There is also a Mordheim game coming on PC next year.

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  4. GW should just hand-over BFG to FFG. They seem to be doing good work with X-Wing.

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    1. GW did well enough with BFG, and it would be competition. If FFG had both, they would cannibalize themselves.

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    2. X-wing has a diffrent following.
      Its a diffrent IP.
      You can own a Playstation and a gameboy and a pc. It does Not canabaliz.

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    3. +1

      Though, GW did a great job with BFG. The only downers, IMO, were the Firepower charts, which should be modifiers, and balance towards the end.

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    4. Well, GW surely doesn't want FFG to be doing BFG, as then people who play X-Wing might then find out about BFG. And if they find out about BFG then they might find out about the whole 40K thing. There is no way GW wants that. They don't want every kid in the world to have something 40K in their homes. GW doesn't want that kind of notoriety. They just want to keep things nice and manageable by having just a small market of folks in the world paying premium prices. Massive world-wide sales never did anything good for the value of any IP, ever. :p

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    5. Maybe GW is going to wait to see how Star Wars: Armada is going to do. That'd be the most similar to Battle Fleet Gothic.

      Though whether or not they'd give such a model intensive game to FFG remains to be seen. I'd doubt it. BFG would offer much more money if they did it themselves i think. Plus they could have special navies made by Forge World again.

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  5. I was going to say that X-Wing's popularity may have GW rethinking their stance on Battlefleet Gothic (and other othe specialist games), as they're similarly themed games.

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  6. Also, make an official 28mm version of Inquisitor, for Pete's sake!

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    1. And do a new edition of Epic, in 10mm.

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    2. Yes! Bring back epic!!

      But for the love of god I pray it stays 6mm!

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    3. There is a companie that makes tau and other stuff in epic scale. You can use the old rules.

      I think the main prob. You will have with all these Games is finding players. Thats why they wont redo them. Many dedicated fans but not enough potential customers.

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    4. "Many dedicated fans but not enough potential customers"

      A) what did you expect, it was killed of in favor of more spheeeshmahhhhhrinnneeez

      B} given op to do so how many wouldn't buy into SGs?

      C) if they (re)released SG's it would take time to cross promote, just like it did 10 years ago. if 40k wasn't a thing and they made it today would there be many potential customers? nope because who would know about it. same applies to SG's.

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    5. A lot of people are branching out into newer, different games, such as X-Wing, which pretty much took off like a rocket when it released, and hasn't let up; and more recently, Dropzone Commander, which has gained a lot of momentum, despite problems getting distributors to carry it here in the States. My FLGS is seeing a lot of activity outside of 40K and WarmaHordes, including a strong resurgence in WHFB. Lots of DeadZone and DzC and other stuff, and some renewed interest in Infinity and Malifaux, too. Oh, and I don't want to leave Bolt Action and Kings if War off that list, either.

      I think a lot if people, like myself, needed a break from the "mainstream" games (40K in my case) and have branched out into other, newer games that are far less expensive to get into. For me it was DzC, and I'm loving it so much I have yet to play a game of 40K 7th Edition, despite being in 40 K for 11 years, and playing pretty much constantly throughout 6th Edition (& loving that).

      So I think there's room for new games to make their way onto the market, and GW probably sees this and is keeping their options open for the return of what were/are, by all accounts, very popular Specialist Games. Blood Bowl, BFG and Necromunda are the ones I hear people pining over the most, and lots of people who have found their way into DzC cite that it scratches their Epic itch for doing so...

      But, if they're filing for patents and trademarks now, don't expect to see full fledged return of any of these games for a while...

      Just my 2 cents... 8^D

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    6. @smaus
      Killed off?
      Yeah...well they stoped supporting it. Maybe it stoped being profitable?
      Its still playable and you can use models from those bootleg companies.

      I doubt a rereleas will be more succesfull than the original.
      People are on Budgets and not going to put money into 2 Systems at One Time.

      I think it is possible that soon lotr/hobbit will be phased out.
      We could maybe also see WFB go down. GW just dont have the IP to undead, orks & elves. Releases have allready become less than 40k. Might be a nother 5-10 years but it could happen.
      Like you say "more marines"?

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    7. ^ this.

      A) killed off; yep agree. also likely due to lack of sales, or return consumers.

      B) hobbit: i also agree and i think it'll be sooner than later.

      C) re-release: it'd be popular but brief like when they first released them, however people will undoubtedly sell their own mother-in-law just to buy-in. [just like they do with every space hulk release]

      D) more marines: because who doesn't love more marines.

      E) JDW: spot on and great idea. +1 many good games on the market, that could scratch the SG itch.

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    8. a 28 mm inqusitor game could be intreasting, GW could even issue a new inqusitor codex shortly after it's released and basicly have a "double market" for the minis

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  7. It's entirely possible this is just to sit on their trademarks, try not to get too excited by this. However I personally wouldn't be too surprised by a BFG boxed game or something of the sort, I doubt they'd do fully fledged games again.

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    1. This is my thoughts too. They're just reserving the rights from anybody else.

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    2. Quite so. They're maintaining the trademark on Golden Heroes and they are never, ever going to republish that.

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  8. if they do re-release these games [tabletop] then i'll gladly throw them money through my laptops monitor

    buckets and buckets.

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  9. Maybe the Main reason is Chapter House lawsuit ?

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  10. It may be a prep deal for licensing. It would be nice if they had Fantasy Flight produce the Specialist Range. Star Wars Armada rules for Gothic? That could be cool...

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    1. question is, would FFG even be INTREASTED in expanding into specialsit 40k stuff?

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  11. They should bring back Inquisitor. Inquisitor was badass.

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    1. YAY! Someone else who thinks so! I loved the "build whatever you want, just get GM approval" mentality of that game!

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    2. Nobody ever talks about it but it was the only specialist game that ever caught my attention! The minis were gorgeous too. I remember there was a character who could regain HP and heal wounds by eating the corpses of characters he killed, that shit was *dark*!

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    3. It was dark. Proto - Dark Heresy, really. I've got a bunch of converted Inquisitor minis I worked on last year, just sitting patiently...

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  12. I think they are just protecting their IP rights. GW really made a bad call to turn their back on the Fanatic games (same for their Historicals). Warlord already showed them up that Historical games have a place and with some work they could have had so much more market expansion, even if just on rules. Instead they opted to focus and close down branches.

    Necro and Mordheim could have been easy to adapt into a plastic boxed set line with tons of options, tie them directly to Fantasy and 40k for cross merchandising also...plus with the economy tanking and the fact Skirmish gaming is growing they really missed the bus here.

    I miss the good ole days of Mordheim, Necromunda, BFG, Blood Bowl and Gorkamorka! Long live the good times!

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    1. 10000000000% agree with you here, Huzzah Huzzah Huzzah, long live the memories of kicking halflings, the dare do all nature of these games, the progression and the interaction of gangs/warbands/teams. i also loved the oldy but goody Warhammer Quest. that is one they could give the Space Hulk treatment.....

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  13. I just want to be able to get the Necromunda gangs again because I put off buying them because they where metal and ended up missing out completely :(

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  14. I got so exited by the inq28 boxed set rumour this time last year. :( That or Necromunda would be rad as would BFG but until GW gets a rocket up the ranks I'm not holding my breath.

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  15. GW's preserving their rights for most of these because they're trying to leverage licensing more. They said so to their shareholders. Many of these properties have some form of mobile game in development and I have no doubt the ones that don't GW is trying to find someone interested in licensing them.

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    1. I would play a BFG RTS all day every day if they made one.

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  16. Necromunda and Mordheim would be fairly easy to make money on. Use existing WHFB and 40k sprues to supplement a few new ones and theres your gang kits. Put a rulebook out and some cardboard terrain - instant cash cow primed for milking.
    Fans are hungry for these games, and they provide options for customers to spend their money on. Players get to a point where their army(s) are complete - then spending freezes.
    Give them a relatively cheap game to spend $ on while their FB/40k spending lulls.
    These two games could also serve as a 'gateway drug' into the larger games. Especially if there is some crossover between the kits. Cultists, Skaven, Beastmen, Scouts.... etc.

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  17. What I'd give for a modern Epic, what they can do with plastics is amazing now, so I bet those 6mm infantry would look incredible nowadays. Would like to see all of them back though, but Epic was the one I grew up with and have fondest memories of.

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    1. Look into Dropzone Commander if you're an old Epic fan. Lots of people who are now heavily into DzC say that it scratches their itch for Epic. It's a fantastic game, and not very expensive to get into fairly deeply, compared to 40K, WHFB and (yes) WarmaHordes...

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