Chaosium released news about the formal transfer of the HeroQuest trademark to Hasbro. Chaosium is the publisher of QuestWorlds SRD. The HeroQuest trademark was owned by Moon Design Publications, part-owner of Chaosium.
The HeroQuest name history is very well told multiple times. First, Greg Stafford developed an RPG called HeroWars, set in Glorantha. Then Milton Bradley let the HeroQuest boardgame brand lapse and Greg took control of it. Then he could (with Robin D. Laws) release the HeroQuest, Roleplaying in Glorantha RPG. The term heroquesting, in Glorantha, means traveling to the world of gods to re-enact and affect myths. Thus it was a suitable name for the RPG. And so followed the years of misunderstanding. The nostalgic value and the fact that there weren’t new versions of the board game has made the game quite iconic. Used copies are sold with a hefty price tag and board gamers all over the world have been drooling over a reprint of the game. Well, now their prayers have been answered by Hasbro and Avalon Hill.
Talking about the HeroQuest RPG always caused the other end of the conversation to wander to the memory lane with the barbarian and the wizard. In that sense, the announcement of rebranding the HeroQuest RPG system to QuestWorlds (although there was a QuestWorld RPG system, sigh) was a welcome development. The games built on top of QuestWorlds (not one released yet) will most certainly have their own brands and only showing the QuestWorlds logo on the cover to indicate that they use the QuestWorlds system.
The interesting thing is how the HeroQuest Glorantha line will be rebranded. In the news release Michael O’Brien, Chaosium head of licensing, said they are selling the HeroQuest branded products away, for good. Later, on Facebook, Michael confirmed that HeroQuest Glorantha will be re-branded with the name of QuestWorlds Glorantha. So, apparently, the QuestWorlds name is used both for the system but also for the game set in Glorantha.
Personally, I will miss the HeroQuest Glorantha name. It makes sense for a Glorantha game and is easy to say. What I don’t miss, is the clarifying I had to do every time I was talking about HeroQuest Glorantha. Or the players who think they are coming to play the board game in conventions.