Divining the Game’s Release

If you are reading this, you are likely clamoring to figure out when Arkham Horror rulebook will be published or the game will be released—obviously so you can review the available coverage options and put your affairs in order.

Here’s what we at Lockewood & Associates and the rest of the known-world understand to be the case:

  • May 23, 2016: Arkham Horror Leaked
  • August 2, 2016: Arkham Horror Announced
  • ???: Rules Posted
  • ???: Available for Purchase

Instead of being driven insane by searching through long-forgotten tomes, making a walkabout through non-Euclidean space and time, or, god-forbid, making sacrifices to unfathomable ancient gods (likely being of ill-repute), we can study past releases to divine potential release dates.  

Carefully consider these statistics below the fold as it were.

ahc01_campaign-guide-rippedTo compile these statistics, the following releases were reviewed by your friendly insurance agency:

  • Warhammer: Invasion*
  • The Lord of the Rings*
  • Android: Netrunner*
  • Star Wars
  • Warhammer 40,000: Conquest
  • A Game of Thrones 2.0

*Based on a Boardgamegeek.com post by Byronczimmer–his initial article was an immense help in drafting this communique.

Warhammer: Invasion the Card Game

  • July 7, 2009: Warhammer: Invasion announced
  • July 17, 2009: Mechanics Preview part 1
  • July 23, 2009: Mechanics Preview part 2
  • July 31, 2009: Mechanics Preview part 3
  • July 31, 2009: GenCON Event announced
  • August 5, 2009: Race Preview part 1
  • August 7, 2009: Race Preview part 2
  • August 10, 2009: Rules Published
  • August 13, 2009: Race Preview part 3
  • August 28, 2009: Race Preview part 4
  • October 1, 2009: Available for Purchase
  • Announce to Rules: 34 days
  • Rules to Purchase: 52 days

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

  • Aug 03, 2010: Lord of the Rings Announced
  • Aug 25, 2010: Mechanics Overview (general)
  • Nov 17, 2010: Mechanics Overview (quests)
  • Dec 01, 2010: Mechanics Overview (spirit)
  • Dec 15, 2010: Mechanics Overview (leadership)
  • Dec 29, 2010: Mechanics Overview (lore)
  • Jan 12, 2011: Mechanics Overview (combat)
  • Feb 22, 2011: Mechanics Overview (shadow)
  • Mar 08, 2011: Mechanics Overview (playing solo)
  • Mar 14, 2011: Rules Published
  • Mar 21, 2011: Video #1
  • Mar 22, 2011: Video #2
  • Mar 23, 2011: Video #3
  • Mar 24, 2011: Video #4
  • Mar 25, 2011: Video #5
  • Apr 20, 2011: Available for Purchase
  • Announce to Rules: 223 days
  • Rules to Purchase: 37 days

Android: Netrunner

  • May 10, 2012: Android: Netrunner announced
  • June 21, 2012: GenCON Tournament announced
  • July 11, 2012: “Re-Imagining a Classic” – first look at Factions
  • July 13, 2012: Interview w/ Richard Garfield
  • July 20, 2012: Rules Overview for Corp
  • July 30, 2012: Rules Overview for Runner
  • July 30, 2012: Bonus unlock: Thoughts from the Designer about the new trace rules
  • August 1, 2012: Run Overview from Corp perspective
  • August 3, 2012: Run Overview from Runner perspective
  • August 6, 2012: Rules Published
  • August 6, 2012: Tournament Rules Published
  • September 6, 2012: Available for Purchase
  • Announce to Rules: 90 days
  • Rules to Purchase: 31 days

Star Wars

  • February 6, 2012: Notice that Star Wars Going Back into Development
  • September 2, 2012: Re-Announcement
  • November 2, 2012: Deck Building Overview
  • November 6, 2012: Designer Discussion
  • November 19, 2012: Edge Battle Overview
  • November 19, 2012: Rules Published
  • November 26, 2012: Force Struggle Overview
  • December 12, 2012: Dark Side Factions Overview
  • December 18, 2012: Light Side Factions Overview
  • December 20, 2012: Available for Purchase
  • Announce to Rules: (287 days) 78 days
  • Rules to Purchase: 31 days

Warhammer 40,000: Conquest

  • March 18, 2014: Warhammer 40K Announced
  • March 25, 2014: Deployment and Planets Overview
  • June 6, 2014: Command Struggle Overview
  • June 12, 2014: Battle Overview
  • June 19, 2014: Space Marine Overview
  • June 30, 2014: Astra Militarum Overview
  • July 3, 2014: Ork Overview
  • July 11, 2014: Chaos Overview
  • July 17, 2014: Dark Eldar Overview
  • July 25, 2014: Eldar Overview
  • July 31, 2014: Tau Overview
  • July 31, 2014: Rules Published
  • October 3, 2014: Available for Purchase
  • Announce to Rules: 139 days
  • Rules to Purchase: 64 days

A Game of Thrones 2.0

  • November 5, 2014: Second Edition Announced
  • May 4, 2015: Designer Perspective
  • May 11, 2015: Plot Overview
  • May 18, 2015: Character and Challenge Overview
  • May 26, 2015: Joust and Melee Overview
  • June 1, 2015: House Stark Overview
  • June 8, 2015: House Lannister Overview
  • June 15, 2015: Night’s Watch Overview
  • June 22, 2015: House Baratheon Overview
  • June 29, 2015: House Targaryen Overview
  • July 3, 2015: Video Tutorial Published
  • July 13, 2015: House Martell Overview
  • July 13, 2015: Rules Published
  • July 20, 2015: House Tyrell Overview
  • July 29, 2015: Highlight Video Published
  • August 17, 2015: Sample Deck
  • August 31, 2015: Sample Deck
  • September 16, 2015: Notice of Release Delay
  • October 8, 2015: Available for Purchase
  • Announce to Rules: (250) 70 days from Designer Perspective
  • Rules to Purchase: (65)* 87 days

*Presumed original release date

Based on historical precedent,  it usually takes 94 to 105 days from an LCG’s announcement to the rules being published.  Further still, it is usually between 30 and 60 days from the rules being published to the street date.  If FFG were to follow this aggregate prior practice, then we would estimate the following upcoming release schedule:

Following Historical Aggregates

  • May 23, 2016: Arkham Horror Leaked
  • August 2, 2016: Arkham Horror Announced
  • November 4, 2016 – November 15, 2016: Rules Posted
  • December 5, 2016 – December 30, 2016: Available for Purchase

But, it is possible that Arkham Horror could be on an accelerated release schedule given the October 2016 release rumors.  That would make sense if the Warhammer: Invasion release schedule applied.  If so, then we could expect something like the following:

Following Warhammer: Invasion

  • May 23, 2016: Arkham Horror Leaked
  • August 2, 2016: Arkham Horror Announced
  • September 5, 2016: Rules Posted
  • October 27, 2016 – October 31, 2016: Available for Purchase

Releasing near All’s Hallow Eve would seem a thematic success.  And the expected dates following the Warhammer: Invasion precedent seems suggestive, does it not?

A critical test of the foregoing analysis would be when FFG releases its first mechanical overview article.  Under the historical aggregate approach, one would expect the first article around 43 days later (excluding Game of Thrones Second Edition as a special case), or on or about September 14, 2016.

Conversely, if the Warhammer: Invasion precedent would apply, then one would expect an article on or about August 12, 2016.  That, of course, did not transpire.  If the next closest interval were used (22 days for Lord of the Rings), then one could expect an article on or about August 24, 2016.

We shall see.

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