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A completely re-envisioned, artistically-rejuvenated deluxe edition of the 
classic railroad game!
A completely re-envisioned, artistically-rejuvenated deluxe edition of the classic railroad game!
3,129 backers pledged $278,302 to help bring this project to life.

The issue of giving the “designer” credit for this design

Posted by Eagle Games (Creator)
55 likes

We are a games publisher. We are not lawyers or judges. It is not up to us to decide who designed this game, it is up to us to determine who has the rights to publish the game; and then to sign a contract with that person to license those rights; and then to publish the game to the best of our ability. 

As we state in FAQ #1, it has been clear for over a decade, since 2008 at least, that John Bohrer owns the rights to publish this game. And so in 2008 we contracted with John Bohrer to license this game and have done so ever since then. We have not put any designer attribution on the box, in an attempt to stay out of further controversy. We certainly have no control over what Martin Wallace thinks or chooses to say publicly, he will say what he wants to -- regardless of its propriety or accuracy -- that much is clear. We simply do not choose to engage with him in further, meaningless “mud-slinging” and false accusations. And in my opinion, lawsuits over this would be a monumental waste of time, money and life’s limited energy.

We really continue to appreciate the support many of you are giving us for this reprint of Age of Steam Deluxe. 

And for those of you who say you are not supporting this KS until the “designer” attribution matter is cleared up, we can only say that we believe that it is perfectly clear what we needed to do in order to publish this game 10 years ago and we believe we have done that and abided by the law—both morally and legally—then and since then. We further believe that there is likely no way that the situation regarding who “designed” this game will ever be resolved to the satisfaction of Martin Wallace but that is simply sometimes the way things are in life and there are clearly better ways to spend one’s time and life energy than to behave badly about them. For instance, one could rather choose to spend one’s time playing great games…………

Sincerely – Rick Soued, Owner, Eagle-Gryphon Games

Kyle Kelley, Jon Eric Olson, and 53 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Tyler McGeorge on

      I'm exceedingly happy to read the good news. I am now proud of my pledge and, certainly, 100% in until the end.

    2. John Heinlein on

      Wonderful! After all these years, I assumed this would never be resolved (and that this issue would rear its ugly head every single time this game got published). I love a win-win.

    3. Rick on

      It would appear the issue is now moot, as according to Wallace, EGG and Wallace have put aside their differences, Wallace is happy with EGG publishing AoS, and would be happy to have his name on the game if EGG so desires.

      https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/2167942/resolution-aos-situation

    4. Missing avatar

      Tyler McGeorge on

      My issue here is that EGG is trading on Martin Wallace's name. The BGG entry for this game (Age of Steam) lists Martin Wallace as the designer. If this is incorrect (per EGG and John Bohrer's claims), they should submit a correction to the BGG database.

      Alternately, they could rebrand this game under a different name to differentiate it from the Martin Wallace-attributed "Age Of Steam" on BGG, though I understand that John Bohrer owns the IP and there is no reasonable expectation that this is the correct approach.

      If either Mr. Bohrer or EGG were as keen to stay away from this dispute as they claim, they would have already done either of these two things; because they have not and continue under the "Age of Steam" branding that is encumbered with a history of dispute with Martin Wallace, they are actively choosing to trade on Martin Wallace's name for the purposes of increased sales and profit. Because of THIS and this alone, they should be crediting Martin Wallace and offering him a portion of the profits.

    5. Missing avatar

      Edward Dickson on

      @aldaron. I do empathise with your comment that Martin Wallace's name should be on the rulebook as a designer and it doesn't seem right that it isn't. Having said that given the seemingly irreconcilable differences between Martin and John I also empathise with eggs desire to stay out of the mess around this. If putting Martin's name on this in any form is going to exacerbate that situation then it seems there are good reasons not to do this, especially when Martin is stating he doesn't want his name on it. To put it on any way may be asking for trouble.

    6. Chris Sanderson
      Superbacker
      on

      I expect I'll need around 30 copies so those few who don't want to back this are pretty well covered.

    7. Aldaron
      Superbacker
      on

      Wow I really waded into something. I'm not disputing anything about the legality or rights issues associated with this project. I'm just a bit of Enrique's mind, that what's legal and what's "right" don't feel quite aligned. Clearly more to this story that I'm willing to devote my time to researching, though there appear to be quite a few super-engaged experts here, and lots (wow!) of bad blood. But the game looks beautifully done, and I'll be happy to back it, and keep my reservations about crediting the designer to myself.

    8. Eagle Games 34-time creator on

      Thanks Greg, I appreciate your Comment on this--Rick

    9. Missing avatar

      Greg Downing on

      @Enrique - In this case, they are aligned. EGG has made a clear conscience effort to legally get their ducks in a row as well as come to a conclusion with Martin directly. Martin doesn’t want his name on the box. Martin Wallace is getting what he says he wants. EGG has buried the hatchet. Whether or not Martin continues dig up the hatchet (slinging mud in the process) is like dealing with a sore loser in a board game. Martin wasn’t completely knowledgeable about the (legal) rules of the game and he lost the game (his rights). This isn’t a widespread problem in the board gaming community, so this situation seems unique.

      I am so excited to get a copy of the game after looking for so long. Thank you Rick and EGG for putting in the tremendous amount of work to resolve this to the point that we can enjoy Martin’s game, whether he likes it or not.

    10. Enrique
      Superbacker
      on

      There is the law, and there is what's right. Sometimes, the 2 aren't pairing up...

    11. Missing avatar

      Corrado Magnino on

      Thank you for the update. It can’t resolve anything, but it’s way better to explain the position of EGG than the FAQ#1 answer.

    12. warehouseisbare on

      Rick at Eagle Games:

      Thank you for the well written update. I appreciate how you stated everything so clearly and calmly. I do wish you guys could bury the hatchet with Martin but it almost doesn't seem possible and business is business. There is clearly some bad blood between you two and that is sad. I hope that in any areas where Martin is right morally or legally you will at least acknowledge it and I hope the same will be done on his side. I agree that the mudslinging is getting old. Make a way to work it out someday if you can and he's willing.

    13. Mark on

      @aldaron You are welcome to donate to Martin if you want and still buy the game. Don't really understand what the problem is.

    14. Trent Hamm on

      @Aldaron: So if a designer CHOOSES to have their name not on the box, you will still refuse to buy that game?

    15. Jimmy Hensel on

      Rick, Thanks for the good advice, enjoy life and play good games rather than rehashing this old dispute. I don't know hat happened, and it's really none of my business.

      I do know Eagle-Gryphon Games and Rick Soued have been fair and honest in their dealings with me. I appreciate their exceptional efforts to provide great games with excellent components at a very reasonable cost.

    16. Heavy Breathing Gaming
      Superbacker
      on

      @Aldaron - You’re still here?

    17. Aldaron
      Superbacker
      on

      I'm not sure why you're treating Heavy, Breezing and Clay's rants as "support", since they don't really elevate the tone much, and aren't on point.

      As I said: "I'm just not comfortable with supporting a game — any game — that completely omits any crediting of the game's designer(s)". I'm not part of the history of this design, nor interested in anyone's views on that history. My concern is far simpler: it feels wrong to not credit the people who created something, and was (naively perhaps) hoping it would be a simple matter to address that.

      If there are good reasons for that (the designer not wanting his name on the game, for example!), then that closes some issues; but it leaves the core discomfort unaddressed (indeed, heightened): the game's designers aren't credited.

    18. Eagle Games 34-time creator on

      Aldaron -- Martin has made it emphatically clear in the past -- and directly to and in my face -- that he does not want his name on our box.

      Heavy, Breezing and Clay -- Thanks for your support

      William -- I have no answer for you that would be worth giving other than the time for arbitration of any sort likely expired many years ago in this 12-18 year old matter.

    19. DK on

      Maybe as a stretch goal we could have a sticker sheet with a bunch of first and last names for people to put whatever combination of names they want to on the box. It doesn’t even have to say “Designed by”.

      The people who it really bothers can throw certain combinations of names on the box...and others can just toss the sticker sheet.

      I’m 100% joking, but it probably would appease some people.

      It can be the “Legacy Edition”.

    20. Missing avatar

      Clay
      Superbacker
      on

      They can’t just slap his name on the game without opening up a whole new can of worms legally. EGG is doing the right thing, focusing on a great game rather than the drama. This matter was put to rest long ago both legally and through a mediator. It needs to stay closed. I don’t have all the facts on what happened and no one really does. What I do know is that the timing of Martin’s latest claims and accusations is petty and childish. If he’s still wants to fight for claims, then by all means do so, but to throw accusations out in the crucial hour of a KS campaign with no actual attempt to solve anything is just lame. To me it demonstrates that he’s acting purely emotionally and his only real goal is to hurt the success of the project. His actions are what is offensive here.

    21. Missing avatar

      William
      Superbacker
      on

      Rick:

      Hello. Thank you for your clarification. One question please.

      Is there a possibility that the game's production could get tied up in legal arbitration? In other words is there a possibility that a scenario like what happened with UP Front?

      Thank you for your time and attention.

    22. BreezingThrough
      Superbacker
      on

      Aldaron
      Are you Wallace?
      Do you even know if Wallace wants his name on this version of the game?
      Do you know even IF EGG wanted to if they are able to put his name on this?
      You are not comfortable, that is fine, what ever, but would you be comfortable with his name on there knowing he did not have anything to do with this KS?
      Seems an odd point of view to have.

    23. Heavy Breathing Gaming
      Superbacker
      on

      @Aldaron. Then leave. Bye.

    24. Aldaron
      Superbacker
      on

      I can't speak for others, but I'm not asking you to "satisfy" Martin Wallace, or to challenge any of the legal history of this design. I'm simply not comfortable with supporting a game — any game — that completely omits any crediting of the game's designer(s).