KeyForge moves to a Ghost Galaxy with Strange Stars
The story of KeyForge is tightly intertwined with that of a man considered the heart and soul of Fantasy Flight Games (FFG), Christian T. Peterson. When FFG, the company he founded in 1995, was acquired by Asmodee in 2014, Christian became the CEO of Asmodee North America. Designer Richard Garfield (better known as the creator of Magic the Gathering) first pitched KeyForge to Christian who then made the deal and oversaw the initial release with his senior management team.
KeyForge is a Unique Deck game for 2-players where they utilize a single deck of cards to play creatures, artifacts, actions, and upgrades to defeat their opponent. A software algorithm is used to create each deck in existence so that they’re unique, playable, and generally competitive. Keyforge: Call of the Archons was launched in November of 2018 and was followed by KeyForge: Age of Ascension, KeyForge: Worlds Collide, KeyForge: Mass Mutation, and finally KeyForge: Dark Tidings (which was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic). Even though Peterson was heavily involved with KeyForge, he left Asmodee North America (and by extension, FFG) in July of 2018 and so did not stay to see the game’s release. This meant he also wouldn’t see the game hit by a huge setback in 2021 when the software responsible for creating the decks, and which took years to develop, stopped working and would need redevelopment.
In January of 2019, Christian started Strange Stars, LLC which is now composed of multiple subdivisions including Ghost Galaxy, a tabletop games publisher. In June of 2022, Ghost Galaxy acquired the IP and publishing rights for KeyForge from Asmodee. This was after Asmodee approached Ghost Galaxy late in 2021 about this deal as Ghost Galaxy had the software engineers to oversee the redevelopment of the algorithm.
Ghost Galaxy believes it will take a number of months to complete logic and rendering modules for KeyForge to live again, and they still need to work through the commercial release plan as there are concerns about how the game would be brought back to market given the long hiatus. They would also transition to new GEM tournament software for organized play and streamline the format. The most controversial announcement is they plan to focus on an English-language release and ascertain with co-publishers and distributors if localization would be viable.
For more information regarding Ghost Galaxy’s future plans for KeyForge check their announcement on the new KeyForge website.