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Armored Core board game finds success on Kickstarter, then drops Armored Core name

With 15 days left in the campaign

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Board game maker Bad Crow Games launched a Kickstarter campaign last month to fund a real-time strategy tabletop game based on From Software’s Armored Core. Although the crowdfunding campaign for Armored Core RTS quickly found success, raising more than three times Bad Crow’s $75,000 goal, the developer now says it’s dropping the Armored Core name from its board game.

Bad Crow Games president Aaron Gabrielson broke the news to backers on July 31 (about halfway through the crowdfunding campaign), saying his company’s Armored Core board game will be called Mech Command RTS instead.

"The license holders for the game franchise have final approval authority over everything that is produced," Gabrielson wrote in an update. "We have reason to be concerned that our planned stretch rewards and other game content will be delayed as it goes through a complex approval process. We also underestimated the degree of miscommunication caused by the language barrier as we work with the license holders in Japan.

"This name change removes any uncertainty and allows us to deliver the entire game on schedule."

Armored Core RTS was originally pitched as a real-time strategy board game that "captures the speed of the video games in a smooth, accurate and action-packed flow that's compressed into a series of 20 minute missions." The officially licensed board game was said to be in development for more than two years in an attempt to be faithful to the franchise.

The Kickstarter campaign’s stretch goal rewards included additional mech miniatures, a double-sided game board and weapon sets for mechs.

In response to backers upset by the loss of the Armored Core brand, Gabrielson said that the change won’t have a major impact on the way the game plays.

"The good news is very little of our design work needs to be modified," he said. "The most significant change is on the box. The innovative game mechanics and quality of components is the same as before."

Mech Command RTS vs. Armored Core RTS

Addressing another backer, Gabrielson said the decision to drop the Armored Core license "was not taken lightly."

"If there was any other feasible option we would take it," he said. "As it stands, we have lost confidence that the game could ever be created without this change. However, we maintain a good relationship with the license holders and hope that we can make it happen in the future."

Gabrielson stressed that Bad Crow Games will be "providing refunds for any reason, anytime" and that those who pledged are welcome to alter their contribution to the campaign.

Expect more details from Bad Crow Games at Gen Con 2016 later this week.

From Software’s other major franchise, Dark Souls, is also the subject of a crowdfunded board game. Steamforged Games’ Dark Souls: The Board Game raised $5 million on Kickstarter earlier this year.

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