Age of Annihilation – Avalon Hill and Hasbro’s reboot of the classic 2004 Heroscape board game – will be put “back in the quote-unquote vault” of Hasbro-owned properties and “bring up a lot of questions” about the game’s future if it fails to hit its crowdfunding target of $2 million (8000 pledges), Wargamer can report.
“If we don’t get the pledges for 8000 backers, then we won’t produce this version of HeroScape,” Avalon Hill’s head of design and development Chris Nadeau confirms to us in an interview.
“And that brings up a lot of questions internally of like, what do we wanna do with HeroScape at that point? It would not obviously be released in this format without the 8000 backers,” he adds.
“And it would make us kind of reboot a conversation about, you know, where does HeroScape lie within the Avalon Hill portfolio, if at all.”
The HeroScape: Age of Annihilation campaign went live on the Hasbro Pulse funding platform on October 1, and will close on November 15. At press time, of the targeted 8000 backers, 3,207 have so far pledged for the new game’s $250 Vanguard Edition.
Nadeau tells us this big-box, terrain-packed Vanguard box is focused “a little bit more on the existing Heroscapers”, with all-new factions, additional terrain, and various other changes informed by research Avalon Hill did into the HeroScape community’s most wanted features.
The longer-term plan, he explains, is to release a “more competitive price-point starter set and then make the product line a bit more a-la-carte” after the initial crowdfunding, to appeal to more new fans.
And Nadeau reckons “the sky’s the limit” for potential crossover HeroScape board game expansions with properties like Dungeons and Dragons, Marvel superheroes, or “just about any IP”. After all, the original 2004 HeroScape, often lauded as one of the best board games of its era, counted both those universes among its many expansions.
But all that depends on the initial Hasbro Pulse funding campaign hitting the magic $2 million mark, he says – otherwise the game’s future is uncertain.
“Are you worried the game probably won’t come back at all if you don’t make it now?” we ask Nadeau.
“I don’t know,” he says. “The question would be: is it the right time? Is it the right economic climate? These are the questions that swirl around something like a crowdfunding campaign.”
“Did we miss the mark in terms of our data on the size of the community, or their desire to get in at a price point that high; to go in at the all-in $250 offering?” he adds.
“It would open the door to ask if HeroScape is something we want to continue to do, and, if so, what does it look like? Does it still look like the same thing anymore?”
“As opposed to, if we do succeed, the conversation is: all right, what does next year’s line look like; what’s in there; how’re we going to grow that?
“Those are the two polar opposites of conversation we’d have come November 15, I guess.”
“That’s that’s why this is an important moment for us, because it does represent something that feels like white space to the rest of the Avalon Hill portfolio,” Nadeau says. “We want to see that succeed.”
Heroscape: Age of Annihilation Vanguard Edition is available to pledge now on Hasbro Pulse for $250. It includes five full, newly designed factions for the war board game – a total of 71 miniatures – as well as 151 plastic terrain pieces, 46 cards, and 20 pre-written game scenarios.