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Extra Life 2014 Gaming Campaign

Playing games to help the kids. More »


Elite: Dangerous Refunds Reconsidered


A forum post from David Braben has further follow-up on outcry about Frontier’s refund policy following the news that Elite: Dangerous will not support offline play. Word is they are reconsidering refunds for cases where the customer has already played a an alpha or beta version of the crowdfunded space combat sequel:

I want to keep you all updated.

We initially declined some people’s request for refund as our records showed they have already played Elite: Dangerous online. After listening to many of the comments I received after my AMA here, we have since re-opened these requests and informed those people that we will be contacting them so that we can fully understand their individual situation before making a more informed decision.

We will be contacting them each in the next few working days.


Trio of ‘Princess Bride’ Card Games

30255TPB%20Battle%20of%20Wits_MD[1]Game Salute will release a trio of card games based on The Princess Bride: A Battle of Wits, As You Wish, and Miracle Pill, in the second quarter 2015.  The games are currently seeking funding on Kickstarter.

Designed by Matthew O’Malley, The Princess Bride: A Battle of Wits is a deduction and bluffing game.  A row of goblets sits in the middle of the table, and will be filled with wine or poison.  Players bid on which goblet they will drink from at the end of the game, and choose to put either wine or poison in each goblet.  When players drink from a goblet, if there is more wine than poison, they survive.  If there is more poison than wine, the player falls prey to the Sicilian, and is eliminated.  Those who survive, win.

The box contains: 70 Character Wine/Poison cards, 12 Sicilian Wine/Poison cards, 10 Character cards, 10 Goblet cards, and a time card.  The game is for 2-10 players, ages 10 and up, and plays in 15 minutes.  MSRP is $25.00.


30255TPB%20As%20You%20Wish_MD[1]Designed by Daniel Solis, The Princess Bride: As You Wish is a set collection game where players draft cards depending on the needs and desires of the character drawn for that round.  The more icons on a player’s group of cards, the more point they get at the end of play, but some of the cards are poisoned and will causes losses.  The goal is to complete the character’s Quest with the most points.

The box contains 75 Quest cards and 10 Character cards.  The game is for 2-6 players, ages 10 and up, and plays in 20 minutes.  MSRP is $25.00.


30255TPB-Miracle%20Pill_MD[1]Designed by Philip duBarry (Revolution!, Canalis, Courtier),The Princess Bride: Miracle Pill is a card drafting game in three rounds.  Players attempt to create a pill that will hopefully bring the Man In Black back to life.  Players draft cards each round, revealing them at the same time, to build up ingredients to be combined together over the rounds to create needed items, but some cards have instructions that must be followed when revealed.  In the final round, scoring cards are added to the mix, determining values for the collections. The player with the highest score makes the miracle pill and wins.

The box contains 72 cards: 12 Red, 11 Rainbow, 11 Orange, 12 Yellow, 10 Green, 10 Blue, 6 Black.  The game is for 2 -6 Players, ages 10 and up, and plays in 10-15 minutes.  MSRP is $25.00.


Hasbro Talking Merger


Hasbro is in merger talks with DreamWorks Animation, according to Deadline.   If it happens, the combined company would be run by DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg.  Hasbro is the much larger company of the two, however, at least measured by market cap.  Hasbro is worth $7.22 billion, vs. DreamWorks’ $1.91 billion.

Katzenberg has shown a desire to diversify into areas where Hasbro is strong, such as television and consumer products; and for Hasbro, DreamWorks Animation could provide a stronger Hollywood presence and a source of fresh IP for its toys.   

Talks have gotten as far as site visits, according to the report, with Hasbro management and board visiting DreamWorks on separate occasions over the last few weeks.

Valuation may be a problem in completing a deal, as DreamWorks is reportedly seeking a valuation based on its value in January; the company’s stock has been buffeted this year after a weak set of releases including Return of the Guardians, Turbo, and Mr. Peabody & Sherman.

DreamWorks has also been in talks with Softbank and Alibaba about strategic relationships as well, so the Hasbro deal may just be part of DreamWorks’ option-exploring; but if the  goes forward, it would create a new kind of company, with a strong presence in both consumer products, including toys and games (including Wizards of the Coast), and entertainment. 

Universal Building Series of Monster Movies


Universal has announced the release date of April 21, 2017 for a second reboot in a new series of films based on its classic monster franchises,Variety is reporting.  Universal announced plans in July to reboot its classic monster movie franchise in a shared cinematic universe a-la-Marvel.  The universe will include the Mummy, Frankenstein, Dracula, the Invisible Man, the Wolfman, and the Creature From the Black Lagoon.  The series is planned to be produced and overseen by Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek) and Chris Morgan (Fast and Furious).
The film announced today will follow the already announced reboot of The Mummy that Kurtzman is producing with Sean Daniel and Roberto Orci, scheduled for June 24, 2016 release.

Cryptozoic’s Response to WotC

30007HexLogo_LG[1]Cryptozoic Entertainment and Hex Entertainment have responded to the lawsuit Wizards of the Coast filed in federal court in May and amended in August, charging that WotC is “Fearing competition in the trading card game industry” and “frantic about the loss of its monopoly position due to the expiration of its patent on Magic: The Gathering two months ago.”

The Wizards of the Coast lawsuit alleged that Hex: Shards of Fate, an online game that raised over $2 million, infringed onMagic: The Gathering.

Cryptozoic ties much of its response to WotC’s expiring patent, arguing that the lawsuit is attempting to extend the patent “by asserting copyright protection over functional concepts.”   
With regard to the patent claim, the response notes that “even if Wizards’ patent were to be held valid,… damages would be much less than the cost of this litigation to Wizards in view of the brief patent term involved,” arguing that WotC is trying to “litigate a smaller competitor out of business, rather than compete fairly in the marketplace.”

Cryptozoic also argues that there are no documented examples of individuals that were confused by the alleged infringement.
WotC’s expanded complaint from August adds a cause of action, “Trade Dress Dilution” as a form of unfair competition under the Lanham act, and enumerates a larger number of alleged copyright infringements in a 107-page appendix to the complaint listing Hex cards and copyrighted Wizards of the Coast cards in tandem.

WotC’s amended complaint also displays a remarkable depth of knowledge about the players of Magic Online, noting the user IDs of players playing from an IP address registered to Cryptozoic, the number of times they accessed the site, and the number of trades and tournaments in which they participated.  The complaint argues that that use of the Magic Online site demonstrates that Cryptozoic employees had access to the cards and other features which they are alleged to have infringed.
It doesn’t look like this will be resolved any time soon, unless it is by settlement.  According to a discovery schedule signed by both parties, discovery will be completed in November of 2015, with a trial date suggested for “Spring 2016.”