On Nov. 15, it was announced that Hasbro’s attempt to reboot the Heroscape series did not receive enough support, ultimately resulting in it being cancelled.
Heroscape is a tabletop game that was produced by Hasbro from 2004 to 2010. Players would construct maps from hexagonal building pieces, draft figures into their army and attempt to bring the enemy army down. One thing that helped it stand out from other games of the time were the pre-painted figures: generally, figures like these would remain unpainted, but Heroscape provided painted figures to ease new players into the game.
However, these figures were a large reason behind Heroscape’s initial failure: they were too expensive to produce. Despite being bought by Wizards of the Coast (WotC) and even getting a deal with Marvel, Heroscape was discontinued in Nov. 2010, with WotC claiming that this would let them focus on their Magic: The Gathering series.
In August of this year, Hasbro announced that they would be reviving Heroscape with a new set: Age of Annihilation. This set would have contained 46 different cards to draft and 71 different figurines — some “squad figures” have multiple figures tied to a single card — along with a large supply of terrain tiles to build maps with.
The fundraiser was launched on their HasLab site on Oct. 1 with the goal of reaching 8,000 backers before Nov. 15, with further stretch goals should they surpass this amount. However, by Nov. 15 they had only reached 4,353 backers, meaning they could not proceed with even the base set. This is the first time that a HasLab board game project has failed to be backed.
There are a few possible reasons for this failure, even disregarding the idea that there simply wasn’t demand for it. One thing to consider is the price point: to back Age of Annihilation, those interested would have to pay $333 ($250 USD). Despite that the figures would be unpainted this time, there was still so much in one set that Hasbro felt that the project warranted its higher price point.
This was the only option for people to back: for existing Heroscape fans who already have the terrain from older sets and just wanted to buy new figures, they would have been forced to spend roughly 22 hours of minimum wage pay on a set. This turned some fans away from the project.
Additionally, this fundraiser was hosted on HasLab, rather than the more standard fundraising platforms like Kickstarter or GoFundMe. This limited its reach to fans of the series who heard the announcement through one of Hasbro’s sources, meaning those who do not regularly peruse Hasbro’s catalogue would not have heard of this campaign.
Whatever the reason was, Heroscape has failed to garner enough support to relaunch, and has been shelved indefinitely.