Treefrog’s New Direction
Julia and I have decided that it is time for Treefrog to make a change in direction. We will cease to produce our own titles and focus instead on designing games for other companies. There are numerous reasons behind this decision, but the main factor has been the increased costs of running the company from New Zealand. This does not mean the end of ‘Treefrog’ style games, it just means they will appear with another companies logo on.
The last game off the slipway will be A Handful of Stars, which hopefully will be available in the first half of 2016. This will be a limited production of 2500 units, so we will be taking pre orders close to the point where the game will be ready for shipping.
To clarify the situation with Brass, Treefrog will not be producing the new Kickstarter edition. We are presently negotiating with another company, we hope to have positive news soon.
Brass legal situation update
Treefrog have engaged the services of Jeff Myers, of Peacock Myers, to handle our legal issues with Eagle Gryphon Games over the rights to Brass. A formal letter has been sent to Eagle Gryphon informing them that the agreement for Brass must be regarded as terminated with immediate effect. You can read the letters relating to this here and here
It is our firm belief that Eagle Gryphon Games no longer have the right to publish and sell Brass. Unfortunately, the costs of imposing formal legal action against Eagle Gryphon Games are too high for our small company to afford. Thus, it is up to you, the consumer, to decide whether you feel comfortable purchasing a game from Eagle Gryphon that is essentially stolen property.
New version of Brass
Treefrog has already started work on a new version of Brass, which will have new artwork through out, improved components and a second board based in the Midlands of England (around Birmingham). We have employed a New Zealand artist, Warren Mahy. You can check out his work here.
We expect the game to be launched on Kickstarter this year. If all goes to plan then copies of the new version of the game will be ready early 2016.
If you are keen to buy a new copy of Brass we would urge you to wait until our new version is ready. This will ensure that the designer is paid properly for his work.
We would like to thank the many people out there who have been supportive of us during this period of difficulty.
Apology to Funagain Games
I have made a few minor changes to the original post below. I would like to make a fulsome apology to Funagain Games for including their name in the original post. I was unaware that they were no longer part of EGG-FRED empire. I am truly sorry if I have unintentionally besmirched their good name.
Brassed off with FRED (again)
I came across this post on BGG last week,
Apparently Eagle Gryphon are planning to launch a deluxe edition of Brass on Kickstarter in July. There is one tiny issue with regards to this new version of the game, which is that Eagle Gryphon no longer have the rights to Brass.
To fully understand this issue it is necessary to take a little trip down Memory Lane.
Some of you will be aware that there is no love lost between myself and Rick Soued, the owner of Eagle Gryphon and FRED. Rick was responsible for the theft of Age of Steam in 2009. This game was reprinted by FRED despite the fact that I had informed him that John Bohrer, who he signed the contract with, had no rights over the game. Bizarrely FRED then sued me over a contract I had agreed with Eagle (the old Eagle, before it went bankrupt) which they thought gave them the rights to Age of Steam. A close reading of the contract made it explicit that the rights to the original Age of Steam remained with myself and Warfrog. After my lawyer pointed this out to them they dropped the case. I still had to pay my lawyer for what in effect was a nuisance claim. At that point in time I did not have the money or energy to follow up the case. I decided that the best response was to get on with life and put the matter behind me. I think the point needs to be made that I receive no royalties for Age of Steam or any of the expansion maps and I have no contract with John Bohrer.
Prior to all of this unpleasantness I had signed a contract with FRED allowing them to reprint Brass. Sales of such games as Brass are not great, once you have met the initial demand there is usually very few on-going sales. I figured that FRED had sold all of the Brass they were ever likely to and left it at that. Last December I decided to go back and check whether FRED (or Eagle Gryphon, its all the same to me), had reprinted the game. As it turned out they had done so in 2013. They had not informed me of this, nor had they sent me royalty statements or royalties owed. I contacted FRED via there website, not knowing the best person to contact. Ralph Anderson got back to me and arranged for a statement and royalties to be paid. At the same time that I made this inquiry I also informed them that I wished to terminate the contract. The contract is very clear on this, after 2013 either party can give six months notice of termination as long as sales are below a certain amount, which was the case here.
Thus, I was a little surprised to see that FRED are intending to release a deluxe version of the game on Kickstarter. Even if I had not terminated the contract they are still bound to consult me about artwork, which they have not done. The major issue for me is that another company wishes to acquire the rights to the game. For Treefrog this is quite important, as we have a lot of games in production and not a lot of money in the bank. However, with FRED still claiming ownership of the game this other party is reluctant to get involved. So, I’m being done both ways, losing money from not being able to sell the rights to the game and having FRED continue to make money off of me without my consent.
I have emailed Ralph Anderson a number of times to try to clear this matter up without my going public. I have had no response, hence the present post. If Eagle Gryphon do go ahead with the Kickstarter I urge you not to subscribe. To do so would be giving money to a company which has repeatedly acted in an illegal manner. I will be contacting Kickstarter to inform them about this situation, with the aim of having the game removed from their site. I will also be seeking legal advice regarding Age of Steam.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post.
Have now returned from our trip to the UK, which is partly an explanation of why we have not posted something earlier on this matter.
It is with great regret that we have to announce that we no longer have the licence to produce Discworld Ankh-Morpork or The Witches. I’m sorry to disappoint those fans looking forward to the next game, just one of those things.
A Study In Emerald Returns
Treefrog will be releasing a new, updated, modified, streamlined version of A Study in Emerald later this year. After many hours of discussions with various focus groups we have decided to call the game ‘A Study in Emerald, 2nd edition’. If all goes to plan then the game will be ready to ship from our German printers, Ludo Fact, in September.
The new version of the game sports all new artwork by Ian O’Toole and Tatiana Kuzilova and a streamlined set of rules, which will hopefully help those folks who found the first version a tad complicated. Although the game is simpler it still retains the feeling of paranoia from the first version. What I have done my best to do is remove inconsistencies and reduce the number of available actions to the minimum.
You can check out the new artwork here on the A Study in Emerald game page.
A Study in Emerald will be produced in co operation with a number of other companies, including:
Ediciones MasQueOca (Spain)
The English language version will be distributed in the UK by Esdevium, Canada by Lion Rampant, and Australia by Good Games. We will announce our US distributor at a later stage.
The rules will be posted to this site in the next few weeks.
Please note that the game comes without a free poster.
Treefrog Games are very pleased to announce that the third and final subscription game, ‘Ships’, will be going to press soon. Almost all of the files are ready to go and we hope to have the game ready to ship within the next three months. The game is being printed by Whatz games, who are based in China. so there will be an additional delay for shipping.
As most of you know, there will be two versions of the game, the standard edition and the limited edition. The limited version has a slightly different cover and wooden ships instead of counters.
Artwork for the game is posted on the page for Ships. The rules will be posted soon, just making final corrections.
Martin and I are off on our summer vacation tomorrow and will return on the 17th December. Urgent emails will be dealt with but the rest will be answered on our return.
Wishing you all the very best over the festive season and hope 2015 is a good one..for all of us!
In Flanders Field
For those interested in a light, quick playing game on World War One please check out In Flanders Field. The game has been created with the co operation of the Imperial War Museum, plays with two to four players and takes around 30 minutes to play. All of the artwork is by Peter Dennis.