Hasbro has resurrected the long-defunct Hero Quest board game IP and is set to make a big announcement on the game on 22 September.
Hero Quest is a board game franchise that was created in 1989 by Milton Bradley Games in collaboration with Games Workshop, who provided the game's excellent miniatures. The game was set in a traditional fantasy world and saw up to four players create an adventuring party and enter a dungeon, which was laid out and prepared by another player serving as the Games Master. The game used a clever modular board design to provide for hundreds of possible dungeon layouts without spilling over an entire desk (something modern board games sometimes struggle with), and it was possible to play the dungeon adventures as stand-alone quests or sequentially to form a long-running campaign.
The original Hero Quest game was supported by a substantial number of expansions: Kellar's Keep, Return of the Witch Lord, Against the Ogre Horde, Wizards of Morcar, The Frozen Horror, The Mage of the Mirror and the Adventure Design Kit. The board game and expansions sold extremely well for three years, but the line ran out of steam in 1992 and was cancelled. Games Workshop published their own version of the game, Advanced Hero Quest, along with an expansion called Terror in the Dark, in 1991 but these were not as successful as the main line.
There were also two successful video games based on the board game, and MB and Games Workshop collaborated again on a science fiction iteration, Space Crusade (1990).
The Hero Quest design paradigm inspired many later games, including Warhammer Quest, Descent: Journeys in the Dark, Star Wars: Imperial Assault, Zombiecide and Gloomhaven.
Unsurprisingly, the game's popularity (it sold hundreds of thousands of copies in its original run) has made it a prime target for restoration in the modern board games market. Gamezone Miniatures, a Spanish company with the licence to make the game in Spanish, tried to mount a reprint campaign in 2013 but fell afoul of legal concerns. A second attempt was made a few months later, but this was shot down by Moon Design Publications, publishers the HeroQuest pen-and-paper RPG. Chaosium took over the RPG and renamed it QuestWorlds at the start of 2020, which may have allowed others to stake a claim to the Hero Quest name (although this is unclear).
In July Restoration Games stepped in to trademark a project called Hero Quest: Legacies, although they noted at the time they did not plan to immediately develop a project.
Given that Hasbro have now set up a Twitter account and website, it appears that they have fully secured the Hero Quest name. They also have the design work IP from their prior acquisition of MB Games. They don't have the rights to use any of the Games Workshop-specific creatures or factions, so don't expect to see Fimirs or Chaos Warriors in the new game, but beyond that it looks like all systems go for a resurrection of a beloved, classic game. It'll be interesting to see what form it takes.