Warhammer Fantasy Role-play, originally published by Games Workshop, and later published by Hogshead Publishing under license from Games Workshop, is a fantasy roleplaying game that shares, somewhat uneasily the setting of the Warhammer miniatures battle game, an alternate world centered around the Empire of Sigmar, a vaguely Germanic, mid-to-late Holy Roman Empire type setting.
Unfortunately for WFRP fans, James Wallis, the owner of Hogshead Publishing, decided to leave the adventure-gaming industry and on 30th November 2002 closed Hogshead and ceased publishing WFRP. (Hogshead later reopened under different management but is not publishing WFRP). There was some speculation that WFRP might be republished by Games Workshop’s Black Library Publishing;, their book publishing arm, but in July 2003 this seemed a faint hope. However, on April 30th, 2004 the plans for a new edition of WFRP were announced: the new 2 nd edition of Warhammer Fantasy Role-play would be published by Black Library Publishing, under a new roleplaying games imprint, Black Industries, and the new game would be developed by Green Ronin Publishing.
As always when a new edition of a game comes out there were some complaints about the new edition: that it was less lethal, more complicated, and contained less black humor than the original, but it did clean up a number of problems with the 1st edition and a number of the supplements have been quite good, although the adventures have never quite reached the heights of the first four installments of The Enemy Within campaign for WFRP 1st edition, several of which are recognized as classics of the fantasy roleplaying game genre.
In 2005 Black Industries published 12 WFRP products; in 2006 they published 10 WFRP products; in 2007 they published 4 WFRP products, and they’ve announced one product for 2008. Their focust in 2007 seemed to have shifted to their upcoming Warhammer 40,000 roleplaying games, expected in 2008.
Black Industries courted the fans, and established yearly scenario- writing contests that have provided a number of good WFRP 2 nd edition scenarios.
And in early 2008, after the new Warhammer 40,000 game Dark Heresy sold out in a matter of days, Games Workshop announced that they were going to close down Black Industries to concentrate on Black Library Publishing’s efforts on the more profitable (because cheaper to produce and hitting a wider market) novels. Luckily, it looks like Fantasy Flight Games will be taking over publication of WFRP and Dark Heresy.
|||First edition WFRP used the setting from the Warhammer edition current at the time, which was very dark in tone, but where WFRP didn’t get a 2nd edition until 2004, Warhammer had new editions time and again, and many of the WFRP fans maintained that over time the Warhammer setting lost much of its dark, grim tone as Games Workshop moved the game towards a younger and younger audience.|