Mayfair Games closing down

Industry news, rumoured and announced new products, and discussion of games company policies.
Post Reply
User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23180
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Mayfair Games closing down

Post by Big Mac » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:23 am

I just read this on the Mayfair Games Facebook page:
Mayfair Games on Facebook wrote:As of today, the management team at Mayfair Games, Inc. announces we will wind down game publishing. After 36 years, this was not an easy decision or one we took lightly, but it was necessary. Once we had come to this conclusion, we knew we had to find a good home for our games which is when we reached out to Asmodee.

We are pleased to announce that we have sold our games to Asmodee North America, who have acquired all the assets of Mayfair Games, Inc. This acquisition includes the product line for both Mayfair Games, Inc and Lookout Games, GmbH.

We would like to take a moment to say - Thank You!
Thank you to the many retailers, reviewers, customers, industry partners, and volunteers, who made us a success over the past 36 years! You helped bring our games to game stores and cafes, conventions, libraries, schools, kitchen tables, backyard patios, family vacations, and more... where thousands of fans have been introduced to this great world of board gaming. Thank you!!
Has anyone used any of the RPGs published by Mayfair Games? Which books do you like most?
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
shesheyan
Cardboard Hero
Posts: 1675
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:58 pm
Gender: male
Location: Montreal

Re: Mayfair Games closing down

Post by shesheyan » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:12 pm

CRAP! I'm upset that Asmodee is eating up all the other publishers...

I recall playing Empire Builder, a railroad game in the 80s.

I'm also aware that one of our GM bought a Role-Aid module and use it for his campaign. Maybe the Throne of Evil (1984). I never read any but our GM said they were very well written with a lot of details about the NPCs bio and motivations :
http://www.waynesbooks.com/RoleAids.html
Currently playing : Coriolis The Third Horizon
Preparing : Modern AGE Urban Arcana mini-campaign
Reading : 5E Sci-Fi Esper Genesis

User avatar
timemrick
Hekatonkhieres
Posts: 1363
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:33 am
Gender: male
Location: Emirate of Kobara
Contact:

Re: Mayfair Games closing down

Post by timemrick » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:08 pm

I think I've read the RoleAids Dragons book. It was definitely based on AD&D 1E, so would be of limited use for later editions.

I've spent a lot more time with Avalon Hill's boardgames, including Nippon Rails and Iron Dragon (both based on Empire Builder) and Settlers of Catan.

Of possible interest to roleplaying, the Iron Dragon rulebook has a couple pages of information about the world, Darwinina. I once used the world as the nominal setting for a D&D one-shot, but only to give PCs names for their homes. The world begs to be used as the setting for a RPG take on the game's premise itself: the taming of dragons to power locomotives. However, the naming convention of having all cities in a region share the same initial as that region's name, while very useful in a boardgame, would quickly strain the suspension of disbelief in a RPG campaign.
Tim Emrick, Green Ronin Freebooter and Keeper of the Freeport Errata
Time of the Tarrasque: My homebrew Pathfinder campaign (2017-).
Studded Plate: My blog about RPGs and LEGO.
Thastygliax's Vault: My other gaming pages.

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 18300
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: Mayfair Games closing down

Post by Havard » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:47 pm

Wow, they were one of those companies who have been around for so long. It is sad to see them leave the RPG industry, although it sounds like they will still continue to exist as a company?

I have used many RoleAids supplements.

They also published the well known DC Heroes RPG which I own, but never got to play.

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23180
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Mayfair Games closing down

Post by Big Mac » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:08 pm

I've heard people saying good things about RoleAids, but I don't own any of them myself.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23180
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Mayfair Games closing down

Post by Big Mac » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:13 pm

Havard wrote:Wow, they were one of those companies who have been around for so long. It is sad to see them leave the RPG industry, although it sounds like they will still continue to exist as a company?
Nope. They have sold their assets and are shutting down.
Havard wrote:I have used many RoleAids supplements.

They also published the well known DC Heroes RPG which I own, but never got to play.
From what they said, they already shut down their RPG business in the past, and were just running the boardgame side of things.

But if the Mayfair RPG lines have not been sold to Asmodee, I wonder what is going to happen to them. :?
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 18300
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: Mayfair Games closing down

Post by Havard » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:56 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Havard wrote:Wow, they were one of those companies who have been around for so long. It is sad to see them leave the RPG industry, although it sounds like they will still continue to exist as a company?
Nope. They have sold their assets and are shutting down.
That is sad. I would have thought someone would have been interested in buying the name jyst
Havard wrote:I have used many RoleAids supplements.

They also published the well known DC Heroes RPG which I own, but never got to play.
From what they said, they already shut down their RPG business in the past, and were just running the boardgame side of things.

But if the Mayfair RPG lines have not been sold to Asmodee, I wonder what is going to happen to them. :?[/quote]

Did they have any RPG lines left?

RoleAids was sold to TSR and is currently owned by WotC.

DCHeroes was linked to the lisence from DC comics. Mayfair would later lisence out the rules mechanics from that system to Pulsar Games who used it to publish Blood of Heroes, but since it has later been revealed you don't really need a lisence to use game mechanics, I think anyone could use those rules as long as the don't connect it to the previous settings or IP related to those?

I don't know if they published any other RPGs?

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

User avatar
shesheyan
Cardboard Hero
Posts: 1675
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:58 pm
Gender: male
Location: Montreal

Re: Mayfair Games closing down

Post by shesheyan » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:05 am

Havard wrote:I don't know if they published any other RPGs?

-Havard
They published an original RPG called Underground (1993). You can find the book on RPGNow : http://www.rpgnow.com/product/2873/Unde ... ewest&it=1

Quote :
Setting: Dark doesn’t begin to describe it. The setting is easily the best part of the game. It’s superhero crossed with Blade Runner, Vietnam, and Tarantino. You play genetically-enhanced soldiers in a future USA (2021) that’s gone horribly awry. Corporations sponsor Constitutional amendments, gangs are reality TV stars, the middle class is gone, and gun violence is an accepted part of life. After serving in corporate wars overseas, you are thrown into public housing in LA’s Watts neighborhood. No one likes vets, mostly because they fear the super powers you have.

System Review by RPGnet : https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/15/15413.phtml
Currently playing : Coriolis The Third Horizon
Preparing : Modern AGE Urban Arcana mini-campaign
Reading : 5E Sci-Fi Esper Genesis

User avatar
Falconer
Troll
Posts: 406
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:42 pm
Gender: male
Location: Northwest Indiana
Contact:

Re: Mayfair Games closing down

Post by Falconer » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:59 am

Havard wrote:it sounds like they will still continue to exist as a company?
There’s something called Catan Studios. Pete Fenlon and Coleman Charleton (both formerly of ICE), who have run Mayfair for the past few decades, appear to be running Catan Studios. It is owned by Asmodee, though.
Beggar’s Canyon 90s Star Wars
Old School Trek Star Trek TOS+OSR
Knights & Knaves Alehouse Old School GYGAXIAN games

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23180
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Mayfair Games closing down

Post by Big Mac » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:12 pm

Havard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
Havard wrote:Wow, they were one of those companies who have been around for so long. It is sad to see them leave the RPG industry, although it sounds like they will still continue to exist as a company?
Nope. They have sold their assets and are shutting down.
That is sad. I would have thought someone would have been interested in buying the name jyst
I don't know.

WotC bought TSR and used the old name for some time, until they were ready to bring out a new edition of D&D.

However, things might be slightly different with board games. It might come down to things like the cost of redesigning box covers to remove the old logo and replace it with a new one. Maybe some stuff that is in warehouses will take time to get used up. It would be bananas to scrap boxes with the old logo on them.
Havard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
Havard wrote:I have used many RoleAids supplements.

They also published the well known DC Heroes RPG which I own, but never got to play.
From what they said, they already shut down their RPG business in the past, and were just running the boardgame side of things.

But if the Mayfair RPG lines have not been sold to Asmodee, I wonder what is going to happen to them. :?
Did they have any RPG lines left?

RoleAids was sold to TSR and is currently owned by WotC.

DCHeroes was linked to the lisence from DC comics. Mayfair would later lisence out the rules mechanics from that system to Pulsar Games who used it to publish Blood of Heroes, but since it has later been revealed you don't really need a lisence to use game mechanics, I think anyone could use those rules as long as the don't connect it to the previous settings or IP related to those?

I don't know if they published any other RPGs?
If RoleAids is owned by WotC, we are unlikely to see it, unless it gets unbundled and sold on. I believe that WotC (via TSR) owns some things that were grabbed from New Infinities after a legal dispute. They have not been released, so I'm not too hopeful. Having said that Legend of the Five Rings got unbundled and sold back to the original owners. So I guess it all comes down to someone at WotC being interested in seeing something happen with RoleAids. :)

I've come to the conclusion that IPs like DC or other movie/comic/computer game tie-ins are a bit of a waste of time (from a fan point-of-view). All of these licensed things cost money to set up and when renewal time comes around you never know if the two parties are going to continue the deal or not. :|
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 18300
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: Mayfair Games closing down

Post by Havard » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:12 pm

Big Mac wrote:I've heard people saying good things about RoleAids, but I don't own any of them myself.
RoleAids have several good titles and many of the designers' names also appear on high quality RPG books from TSR, WotC and other RPG companies. However, they published D&D and AD&D material without a lisence and even added "for use with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons". They also published various products focusing on Demons and things that TSR were eager to get away from during the Satanic Panic, so all of this seems to have annoyed TSR.

WotC apparently brought back some of these elements from RoleAids into some 3E sourcebooks. Or at least I think Ripvanwormer mentioned something like that.

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 18300
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: Mayfair Games closing down

Post by Havard » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:20 pm

Big Mac wrote:I've come to the conclusion that IPs like DC or other movie/comic/computer game tie-ins are a bit of a waste of time (from a fan point-of-view). All of these licensed things cost money to set up and when renewal time comes around you never know if the two parties are going to continue the deal or not. :|
From a business point of view it can make sense as long as the RPG publisher gets a good deal from the lisence holder.

For the fans, I guess there is always the risk that the line eventually will be discontinued, but I dont know if that really matters as long as you get enough material to properly run the setting.

As for the DC Universe, there were several RPGs placed in this setting.

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 18300
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: Mayfair Games closing down

Post by Havard » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:24 pm

shesheyan wrote:
Havard wrote:I don't know if they published any other RPGs?

-Havard
They published an original RPG called Underground (1993). You can find the book on RPGNow : http://www.rpgnow.com/product/2873/Unde ... ewest&it=1

Quote :
Setting: Dark doesn’t begin to describe it. The setting is easily the best part of the game. It’s superhero crossed with Blade Runner, Vietnam, and Tarantino. You play genetically-enhanced soldiers in a future USA (2021) that’s gone horribly awry. Corporations sponsor Constitutional amendments, gangs are reality TV stars, the middle class is gone, and gun violence is an accepted part of life. After serving in corporate wars overseas, you are thrown into public housing in LA’s Watts neighborhood. No one likes vets, mostly because they fear the super powers you have.

System Review by RPGnet : https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/15/15413.phtml
Ah yes, Underground. I had forgotten about that one. I always thought that game sounded cool :)

Ray Winniger speculated in a possible return of Underground in this interview. Not sure if that could still happen?

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

Post Reply

Return to “The Wishing Well”