Shadowrun Returns - Update #41
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February 24th, 2013, 20:39
I'm a longtime fan of the Battletech IP, Shadowrun's sibling and it's an interesting story.
So Jordan Weisman founded FASA (Freedonia Aeronautics and Space Administration… from the movie Duck Soup) back in the 80s. The big property to come out of there besides Shadowrun was Battletech, an introduction of giant mecha to US consumer using, in part, Macross robotic designs by license from the Japanese creator. Harmony Gold separately imported the rights to do actual Macross film and series distribution. The two eventually tangled in court in a weird set of circumstances I won't get into and FASA/Battletech ceased using all licensed mecha imagery to concentrate on their own artwork.
You can see the legacy of that mess
here under rule 8
where I'm a moderator.
In the meantime Jodan had set up FASA Interactive to focus on the Mechwarrior pc game brand which included Shadowrun. Microsoft bought it along with Jordan and his team back in 1999. In the meantime Weisman, the serial entrepreneur that he is, founded Wizkids and got the whole click-base collectible miniature genre started with MageKnight and Heroclix.
In 2001, FASA proper decided to close its doors while they were still somewhat ahead. I suspect personally that the court mess earlier had something to do with the decision, but not due to bankruptcy. The German company FanPro (the guys who make Das Schwarze Auge and licensed the Arkania/Drakensang series… see? it all comes back full circle!) bought the IP for both Battletech and Shadowrun and published those lines until 2008 when In Media Res founded Catalyst Game Labs to run the product lines through today. WizKids got bought by Topps who holds the IP now.
Microsoft and what used to be FASA interactive hold the electronic rights to that same IP, so they're split. Weisman left awhile ago to do his newest startup but has a strong enough relationship that he got a deal with MS to make a new Shadowrun. One Kickstarter later and I think you're all caught up with all of it.
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