News for October 2011
A Galaxy Full of Riches 29
Announcing Merchant of Venus, a board game of space traders and alien riches
Merchant of Venus | Published 21 October 2011

Xandar hauled a piece of impossible furniture onto the bridge, curious why it sold so well across the galaxy. Designed by the Whynoms, the thing looked more like a chair than anything else, but the way it adapted to hold the wires dangling from his open engine assembly gave him the creeps. They said that impossible furniture could adapt to hold giant tentacles or slugs. Xandar shook it off. Space loomed before him, and his cargo holds were full. It was time to get rich.

Fantasy Flight Games is delighted to announce the upcoming release of Merchant of Venus, a board game of space traders and alien riches. Two to four players race through the galaxy on a wild dash for cash, locating and establishing vital trade lines to transport goods from the planets where they’re common, to the planets where they can sell for maximum profit.

A day in the life of a space trader

Aliens sell you their goods, and you’ve got a deadline to hit high market on a distant world. Streamlining your trade route is vital, as is boosting your ride, tweaking it out with all the latest and coolest upgrades. However, money invested in your ship cuts into your bottom line, making it a tough choice each trader will face as they compete to become the richest and greatest space trader.

Pilots, lasers, and shields can help you bypass the hazards of space travel. Increased cargo holds let you transport more goods with each voyage, and better pilots and drives can speed your ship across the galaxy in record time.

Meanwhile, you can pick up passengers able to pay for their rides and eke a profit out of the emptiest stretches of space. Transport enough, and your fame may translate to wealth later on, especially when alien cultures learn about your most distinguished guests.

A new lift-off for a classic game

More than a year ago, Fantasy Flight Games signed an exclusive licensing contract with Wizards of the Coast, LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., to return this classic 1980’s board game of interstellar trade and exploration to print.

Since that time we’ve been working hard to produce what will be a fantastic edition of Merchant of Venus, one that remains true to its magnificently campy core, while expanding the game in surprising ways that will cause even the most hardcore fan to celebrate.

We’re excited to announce that Fantasy Flight Games will release Merchant of Venus in the first quarter of 2012 and we are now accepting pre-orders. For more information, please contact the FFG Sales Department at [email protected].

Discover new alien cultures and get rich selling their goods in Merchant of Venus, the board game of space exploration and interstellar trade for one to four players! Featuring a double-sided board, Merchant of Venus presents both Richard Hamblen's beloved classic and a newly reimagined design by Rob Kouba.

© 2012 HASBRO, Inc. All rights reserved. Merchant of Venus and its logo are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast LLC in the U.S.A. and other countries. Used with permission. Licensed by Wizards of the Coast.

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Comments (29)

Published: 7/1/2012 1:27:07 PM

I'm really interested in this game but sadly my gaming group is usually 5-6 players.  If I get this it will have to be played on nights where someone is missing.  Hopefully an expansion that adds more players is announced at some point.

Published: 2/22/2012 6:04:45 PM

Can't wait for this game.  Heard so much good things about MOV!  Looks like the game I was looking for: Space themed game that plays from 2 players and under 6 hours :P 

Published: 1/17/2012 9:59:14 PM

I wish I could see a closeup of the map, looks different. Only a 4 Player game down from 6. I will have to wait and look at it on BGG after some one has posted pictures.

Published: 10/30/2011 9:20:18 AM

I have an avalon hills copy. I hope FFG's does not change the rules at all.

Published: 10/28/2011 6:47:38 PM

First thing I see that's different: 2-4 players.


Must say, there will have to be a good deal of cool stuff to get me interested after that let down.

Published: 10/24/2011 2:56:52 PM

Great news!                         .

David Spangler
Published: 10/24/2011 12:52:33 PM

I agree with the writer who wants to see Magic Realm republished in an updated version--and who better than FFG. It is a true classic, and as long as FFG is doing reprints, this is one to do, especially if it is near and dear to Christian's heart. Perhaps offering to do that would be part of a compromise with Richard H. over the MOV snafu.

By the way, for any who haven't played the original, MOV is a classic, too.  Richard designed outstanding games.

Published: 10/22/2011 11:23:47 PM

As for the 4 or 6 player max issue.  My understanding is the game plays best with 4 and not recommended with 6. I guess you will miss out on 5 player expansion. 

It would be cool if in the end the game gets co-published by both companies.  Most likely impossible but I would be very impressed with both companies if they pull that off.  Failing that,hopefully one side or the other can offer clear written proof of their right to the game.  And from that we get a quick resolution and the printing of the game moves on.

Published: 10/22/2011 7:54:25 PM

 It is really unfortunate to see two companies in the struggle for realeasing the same game. I hope they will find a solution that satisfies both parties. To be honest I don't know MoV. However, I love Richard Hamblen other creation that is Magic Realms. Until today one of my most played and most loved games. If ffg would republish this, that would be a dream come true

Published: 10/22/2011 7:24:04 PM

Wow... the CEO of FFG chimed in.  I've been waiting for any type of response from a FFG in the Battlelore forum for about 3 years.  Merchant of Venus took one day!


Sounds like a legal mess.  I do hope it gets resolved in a civil manner quickly.  It's too good a game to be locked up.

Reaper Steve
Published: 10/22/2011 5:57:23 PM

 It's nice to also have an official position from FFG. Thank you.

The Spaniard
Published: 10/22/2011 5:54:55 PM
FFG Staff

Dear "Merchant of Venus" fans,

Like yourselves, I am saddened by the confusion and issue that has arisen in the publishing-rights for "Merchant of Venus" (MoV) between Stronghold Games and ourselves, an issue that surely was uninvited by either side.

More than a year ago, FFG signed a deal with Hasbro for the right to re-publish MoV. Since then, we have been worked towards republishing the title with great excitement and dilligence. The artwork, graphic design, game and production development of our version of MoV is among the best FFG has done to-date, and we had been looking forward to making our official MoV announcement early next month. It was our intention to publish the new MoV in March 2012 (which remains our plan, discovery of this unfortunate issue notwithstanding).

As a significant part of our royalties to Hasbro for MoV sales were specifically stipulated as going to the designer (i.e. Mr. Richard Hamblen), we have no reason to believe that he was not fully aware of our MoV republishing project. We have nothing but the greatest respect for Mr. Hamblen and his creations ("Magic Realm" was my first personal Avalon Hill board game purchase) and I'm hopeful, despite these issues, that his work again will see the light of day and that he'll be rewarded for his innovation once more.

I also have the greatest respect for Stronghold Games, and I've seen no reason to believe they've been acting in bad faith in their endeavors. It is unfortunate such an issue should disrupt their publishing plans, as it is unfortunate it has disrupted ours.

That said, FFG has every reason to believe the MoV rights licensed to us by Hasbro are true and correctly given. I hope that you, the MoV fan, can understand and appreciate our desire to publish a game on which we have been working in good faith for a substantial period of time with great expense, and for which we have the rights.

We are in open communication with both Hasbro and Stronghold on this, and will be digging into more details next week to clarify the issue. I'm hopeful that all parties are reasonable and that a mutual desire to see MoV in print again will not cause the game to get stuck in long dispute.

Thank you for your patience in this delicate matter.

Best Wishes,

Christian T. Petersen
Fantasy Flight Games

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