Monday, 27 March 2017

Fighting Fantasy to relaunch in its 35th anniversary year!

It's the news Fighting Fantasy fans have been waiting for, but hardly daring to believe could actually happen, for a long time.

That's right, in its 35th anniversary year, Fighting Fantasy is coming back as the series relaunches for a new generation and with a new publisher!


Before gaming gripped the imagination of children worldwide, Fighting Fantasy was the bestselling fantasy brand that made the reader the hero of every story. In its 35th anniversary year, Scholastic UK is proud to announce the acquisition of Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson’s classic series of adventure gamebooks which will be republished, repackaged and reignited for a new generation. Furthermore, Scholastic UK will publish a brand-new gamebook by Ian Livingstone, The Port of Peril, and future titles are planned.

Almost 20 million copies of Fighting Fantasy have sold worldwide in 32 languages and the series has a legion of high-profile fans, including Charlie Higson, who says: “Before there were video games, before kids could get lost in the labyrinth that is the Internet, before The Lord Of The Rings films, Game of Thrones and the reboot of Doctor Who turned everyone onto fantasy and sci-fi, there were the Fighting Fantasy books. A new way of telling stories and in many ways the birth of modern gaming, these books captured the imagination of a generation of kids – and locked them in the Deathtrap Dungeons. It’s great to think that a new generation of kids are going to be similarly captivated.”

With appeal for fans of high-octane fantasy brands from Percy Jackson to Assassin’s Creed, Fighting Fantasy gamebooks also spark ever-more important skills of problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity. Scholastic UK’s launch campaign will be focused on reaching new readers whilst also celebrating the 35th anniversary with the passionate existing fan base.

Ian Livingstone says: “Fighting Fantasy has survived the test of time, and I’m thrilled that Scholastic are re-imagining our gamebook series for a new generation of fans. Starting with five classic titles, including The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, I hope readers will have enough SKILL and STAMINA to survive the challenges of The Port of Peril, my brand-new adventure.”

Steve Jackson says: “It was 35 years ago that the first Fighting Fantasy gamebook appeared in UK bookshops and readers became heroes as they explored the caverns of Firetop Mountain. And now, after all those years, it is particularly exciting for FF to be embarking on a new publishing partnership with Scholastic, the world’s largest children’s books publisher. May their Stamina never Fail!”

Lauren Fortune, Editorial Director at Scholastic UK, says: “A whole generation of children grew up reading the Fighting Fantasy series in the 1980s and 1990s, often reluctant readers for whom this was an important gateway into books. There is so much here to appeal to today’s young readers: the best monsters, the chance to create your own pathway through the story, the empowering, compelling set-up that in the Fighting Fantasy world, YOU are the hero. As a huge fan of these books from childhood, I couldn’t be prouder to be republishing them this year.”

In August 2017, Scholastic UK will publish The Port of Peril, the new gamebook by Ian Livingstone, along with five classic titles, including The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. A further tranche of titles will publish in spring 2018.


10 comments:

  1. Ill drink to that! Let's see what titles get released and the new designs:)

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  2. I have every book in my special games cupboard. :-)
    The problem with relaunches and rebranding is that in the past it has involved changing the game book orders (never for any apparent reason) and changing images and covers (again, losing the existing and fantastic covers). I'd be most interested in them just being relaunched exactly as they were, so I could get brand new copies. The books I have from previous relaunches have always been disappointing; partial releases of just a few titles, with things changed that didn't need changing. I'd just like the original books to be permanently available. It needn't cost anything to do that with POD.

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  3. The reason for repackaging and new artwork, and re-releasing older adventures, is to attract a new, younger readership. Those of us who are FF fans in our 30s and 40s first discovered the gamebooks as children. Now it's time for a new generation of readers to discover them all over again for themselves!

    And for us older fans, there's still a new Ian Livingstone gamebook to look forward to. :-)

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  4. I'm not against new things, I just think the originals should _also_ be permanently available, exactly as they were. If they were available via POD (print on demand) rather than offset printing then there is zero cost, only profit. At that point lowish sales doesn't matter, since it is still all profit, and they'd still be on Amazon, available to bookshops etc. Since the books are written already, it's a prime chance at the long tail. Otherwise it is all guesswork at what will work, and books that probably still had an audience become unavailable - who knows if one of those books that doesn't get a reprint could have been one that could have hit the zeitgeist? Focus groups aren't reliable. If there's no penalty for having them all available you can widen your chance of a hit with POD. If I had the rights to those lovely worlds of adventure I'd have each one available within a few weeks, and available forever. :-)
    (I'm not criticising the plans, just letting my enthusiasm for the originals show that you could have new AND old - have your cake AND eat it, for +1 Skill).

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  5. I still occasionally pull one out to re-read. Sadly got rid of most of them across various house moves. Favourites include 'Forest of Death' (I think this was my first) and Robot Commando (mecha!), I also have fond memories of never being able to even get out of the dungeon area in Creature of Havoc, or progress very far through House of Hell.

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  6. Can't wait for the new book :)

    All my old first series collection got water damaged and I never bothered to replace them.

    Maybe, just maybe, I might buy this new series ;)

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  7. It is ok to republish books but there need to be new titles. They have tried 3 times to my knowledge and every time there is a new cover but nothing else changes. Wizard of Firetop mountain is always the first that gets republished.How about some new books, and some of the lesser known titles in the mix.

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  8. Very excited for this! While I also wish they would simply release the original books in the original order with the same covers etc., I am still eager to see this relaunch. I am crossing my fingers!

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  9. My 6 year old daughter loves playing the Fighting Fantasy books with me and currently we're working through Citadel of Chaos. Having shown her the images of the new covers she loves them and says they're less scary than the normal ones and is looking forward to seeing what's inside too?

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  10. That's great to hear, Llandamaar! :-)

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