Matrix Acquires Talonsoft License

By Scott Parrino 07 Oct 2005 0

Introduction

During the 1990s, Talonsoft was one of the leading names in wargaming.  Like SSI in the 1980s and Avalon Hill in the 1970s, Talonsoft led the wargaming charge during the 90s, publishing the Battleground series, Campaigns series, The Operational Art of War series, and numerous other titles.  Founded by Avalon Hill's Jim Rose, another well-known icon in the wargaming community, the company began operations in 1995, publishing Battleground: Ardennes that same year.  Talonsoft's numerous wargames would go on to win dozens upon dozens of prestigious awards from critics, including a number of Award for Excellence shields from The Wargamer.  The volume and quality of the work helped to make Gary Grigsby, John Tiller, and Norm Koger icons in the genre.  Sadly, the mass market for wargames couldn't support Talonsoft, and it was quietly folded into the larger arms of Take-Two Interactive.  Despite languishing support, many of Talonsoft's great wargames survived through the hardwork and support of online communities and (in some cases) direct developer support.  After a while, however, the lack of continued support and access to source code stonewalled any hopes for further improvements to the Talonsoft catalog.  

Fast-forward five years; soon, that will all change.  Matrix Games announced this week it had come to an agreement with Talonsoft to license most of the Talonsoft catalog for re-release and future development.  Following the announcement, The Wargamer's Jim Zabek spoke with Matrix Games CEO David Heath and Talonsoft?s Chris Mate to learn more about the future of Talonsoft's games under the Matrix umbrella.

The Interview

The Wargamer (WG): Chris, let?s start with you. The Talonsoft line of games is well known to most wargamers. I am aware of several wargame publishers who have long been interested in acquiring these titles. Yet for many years there seemed to be little interest in either capitalizing on these games with sequels or selling the franchise to publishers who wanted to buy it. Why did it take so long to sell the franchise and what precipitated the change? 

Chris Mate (CM): We are comfortable that Talonsoft?s games were available to those individuals who were seeking a high quality wargaming experience. We decided to place the products with Matrix because they were committed to technical upgrades to the products that would allow future generations access to these fine products. I might also add that Talosoft?s American Civil War: Gettysburg, our latest attempt to bridge the gap between dedicated wargamers and casual gamers, can be purchased from retail stores nationwide. We will continue to keep our eyes open for new and exciting opportunities to bring a quality wargaming experience to as many gamers as possible.

WG: David, the acquisition of the Talonsoft line of games is big news to many wargamers. Can you tell us what games are included in this deal? 

David Heath (DH): Sure, Matrix has acquired the rights to most of Talonsoft?s original developed titles. The list of Talonsoft titles acquired is:

  • Gary Grigsby's Battle of Britain 
  • Gary Grigsby's 12 O'clock High: Bombing the Reich
  • Age of Sail
  • Battleground 1 - Bulge-Ardennes 
  • Battleground 2 - Gettysburg 
  • Battleground 3 - Waterloo
  • Battleground 4 - Shiloh 
  • Battleground 5 - Antietam 
  • Battleground 6 - Napoleon in Russia 
  • Battleground 7 - Bull Run
  • Battleground 8 - Prelude to Waterloo
  • Battleground 9 - Chickamauga
  • Campaigns Series: East Front
  • Campaigns Series: East Front II
  • Campaigns Series: East Front II: Fall of the Reich
  • Campaigns Series: West Front 
  • Campaigns Series: West Front: Battle Pack
  • Campaigns Series: West Front: Sea Lion
  • Campaigns Series: Rising Sun
  • Campaigns Series: Rising Sun: Imperial Strike
  • Campaigns Series: Divided Ground: Middle East Conflict
  • Operational Art of War Vol. 1
  • Operational Art of War II: Modern Battles 1956 - 2000
  • Operational Art of War: Century of Warfare
  • Operational Art of War Vol. 2: Flashpoint Kosovo
  • Operational Art of War: Clash of Eagles

WG: David, are there any titles you didn?t get or wanted the rights to?

DH: We didn?t think Tribal Rage was as good a fit for our product line and Talonsoft didn?t own the rights to Age of Sail II so we couldn?t get those.

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