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Sunday, April 21, 2024

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The story of Games Workshop and Fighting Fantasy

A quartered screen with three video call streams in it. Bertie is in one, holding up a Fighting Fantasy book. In the others are Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson, the creators of Fighting Fantasy.

Imagine getting a phone call from a guy called Gary Gygax in America and hes reading a newsletter you wrote for a games business youre running out of a messy flat in London, and he likes it so much he wants to send you a copy of a new game hes working on called Dungeons & Dragons.

You end up loving the game and he likes what youre about, so he grants you exclusive rights to introduce Dungeons & Dragons to the UK, and to Europe, and to sell it there for three years. You can only afford six copies but it doesnt matter: youll soon be able to afford a lot more.

Thats not even the best story my guests have! Theyve done so much and created so much. That games business they were running? It was only Games Workshop, wasnt it – a business that would change the face of tabletop gaming. But, not content with running only that, this pair would work well into their nights to create a series of game books called Fighting Fantasy, making themselves best-selling authors in the process. The series has sold more than 20 million copies today.

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