Question about Avalon Hill's demise

Basically my question is the general stroy about the demise of Avalon Hill. I remember it had something to do with them getting sued about the rights to the Civilization name and/or liscensing rights for games using it. A general summary about the chain of events if anybody remembers.

It goes back much farther than that.

Someone correct me on the details…

The simple truth is that Avalon Hill practically founded the board wargaming industry, which grew substantially in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. But when it began to falter, Avalon Hill was acquired by its longtime publisher, Monarch, and became Monarch Avalon.

But begining in the 80’s, board wargaming just fell out of style/favor with the younger generations. Video games and MTV and what have you took over. Board wargaming collapsed, and since Avalon Hill was the largest publisher, it had the farthest to fall.

Oh, it stuck around till the 90’s. It thought that making computerized versions of its popular wargames would pull it through, but we all know what kind of foolish thinking that can be.

The coup de grace was the Civilization fiasco, which Avalon Hill lost when MicroProse trumped them by buying the British company responsible for Civilization (the boardgame). Lawyers being lawyers, the legal fees were just too much for AH. Then Hasbro bought MicroProse, and then Hasbro bought Avalon Hill for the intellectual properties, and that’s about that. Hasbro is now publishing new types of boardgames under the Avalon Hill brand, but they’re Hasbro games through and through.

I bought a bunch of 1980’s and early 1990’s-era Avalon Hill wargames last year. Get them while you can. Hasbro empited out the remains of AH’s warehouse to the distributors, and the games that are available are drying up. There’s always eBay, as well.

I think the real nail in Avalon Hill’s coffin was when they came out with the Backstreet Boys vs. NSync edition of Diplomacy. Talk about misidentifying your demographic.

For anyone that does not know, Hasbro HAS licensed out some AH games, most significantly including ASL:

http://www.multimanpublishing.com/ASL/asl.php

Lots of little reasons,but the overriding reason to me was the ascendency of computers and computer gaming.I grew up playing all of the AH and SPI games,and I still love board wargames,but the thought of setting up a game like ‘The Longest Day’ nowadays gives me the willies.And I used to spend entire afternoons setting up games like that,and playing a turn or two solitaire.The wargames I like nowadays feature inventive,interactive systems,with relatively low unit density.

Here is a classic article on the ‘death’ of wargaming,although it concentrates more on SPI than AH(link may be slow loading,but it’s a good link):

http://web.archive.org/web/20010604154129/www.crossover.com/costik/spisins.html

Tell me about it. When I was home from college somtime in the mid or late '70s, I set up Drang Nach Osten on the ping pong table in the garage. The map wouldn’t quite fit on the the table, but my parents wouldn’t let me set it up in the living room. Some of the unit stacks were huge; maybe 12 or 15 units high.

And then one day my Mom opened the car dor a little too far or too fast, and …

That was my last attempt at a monster board game.

Peter