MN Game Co. Lands Star Wars Licensing Rights

Fantasy Flight Games already has a Star Wars card game and a miniatures game featuring X-wing spaceships in the pipeline-and it's promising more products under the popular franchise.

A Twin Cities company has become a key player in the ever-growing Star Wars franchise.

Fantasy Flight Games, a Roseville-based publisher of board, card, and role-playing games, has acquired the licensing rights to publish games under the Star Wars brand.

The company on Tuesday announced the licensing partnership with Lucasfilm, Ltd. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Fantasy Flight Games creates many novel products, but the Star Wars deal is not its first venture into licensing rights. For example, it has developed Battlestar Galactica and Lord of the Rings board games.

But Operations Manager Jeremy Stomberg told Twin Cities Business that the Star Wars deal is in some respects a culmination of all the work the company has completed in its 15-year history.

“The past 15 years have been kind of leading up to this,” he said. “We've been positioning the company to take on something of this magnitude.”

Stomberg said that Fantasy Flight Games and Hasbro-maker of classic family board games like Monopoly-now have exclusive rights to manufacture Star Wars-branded table-top games, although they're not competing with one another, as Fantasy Flight Games primarily creates products sold through niche game shops.

Fantasy Flight Games already has Star Wars games in the pipeline, including an X-wing miniatures game and Star Wars: The Card Game-both of which are expected to be released early next year.

In the tactical X-wing game, players recreate Star Wars space battles using detailed painted miniatures that replicate spaceships from the popular film series.

Star Wars: The Card Game allows one to four players to complete objectives by strategically using cards featuring the franchise's stars, spaceships, and more.

“These two exciting titles are only the beginning,” the company said in a news release. “[Fantasy Flight Games] plans to announce additional Star Wars card, role-playing, and miniatures games in the coming months.”

Fantasy Flight Games, which employs roughly 80, receives about half of its business from international sales, including key markets in Germany, France, and Italy.

Stomberg hopes the Star Wars deal will help the company grow both domestically and outside the United States. “[The deal] is not a license to print money,” he joked. “You still have to produce high-quality games people enjoy playing. But it's a chance for us to try to go even bigger and better.”