At San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Funko (best known for their POPS) made an amazing reveal. They had purchased a board game company, rebranded it under the banner ‘Funko Games’ and would make the exciting leap into tabletop gaming.
Their flagship game is called FunkoVerse, a world where either 2 or 4 players (depending on the game) can roll dice, follow gaming instructions, and move around the world using the most adorable little 3 inch Funko Pops. Once you see these little game pieces and characters in person, you realize how well the little iconic, exaggerated toys work as game pieces.
Out the gate, Funko Games is releasing FunkoVerse featuring a few different franchises. There are two for DC, two for Harry Potter, one for Rick and Morty, and another for The Golden Girls.
Heck yes, The Golden Girls.
FunkoVerse will be available for retail purchase on October 1st, 2019. Fortunately, Funko was kind enough to provide Toy Wizards with a review sample, which we will play and report on! During San Diego Comic-Con, I had some questions about the game company acquisition and development of Funko Games, so I got together with Jessica and Chris for a little bit of insight about the newest piece of the Funko puzzle, coming to fans and gamers soon!
Hi Chris and Jessica! Thank you for giving Toy Wizards this interviewing and inviting us to the Funko booth at San Diego Comic-Con. Can you give us a little bit of information about the new game FunkoVerse?
Chris: FunkoVerse at its core is a tactical strategy game. We really wanted to create a world where gamers could incorporate characters from all across different fandoms and actually play in a game system that is compatible across all of the different IPs. Once you learn the rules for DC, you can play the Rick and Morty, Harry Potter, and Golden Girls game.
Each game comes with a double sized game map for increased playability. The games are scenario driven, so once you figure out what scenario you’re going to play, you might choose different characters to play that scenario with. The characters affect how the game and scenario is played out. You can really explore the system like a sandbox.
What sort of life-long gamers did you recruit in order to help develop and build this world, while still remaining faithful to fans who are crazy about collecting Funko Pops?
Jessica: The merger happened back in February. Before Funko bought the company, we were an indie game studio. We’re based up in Seattle, and we’re game designers, creators, and we have people come in to test the rules and make sure they’re sound. We develop the games inhouse as hardcore gamers and pop culture fans. But we bring people in to game and test and worship everything we’re doing.
Do you guys feel like you’re leaning in harder toward preexisting Funko fans to bring them into gaming, or do you think the tabletop community, which is explosive right now, will embrace you as a serious game brand?
Jessica: That’s a really interesting question because we’re doing both here. When we were thinking about the first game we were going to launch as Funko Games, we wanted to honor the Funko fanatic with something related to Pops. We have whole new pieces, which will appeal to the Pop collectors, but we don’t want them just displayed. We want these games to be opened and played with. And we wanted hardcore gamers to have something here to get really excited about.
With that in mind, are there any games in the pipeline that will move away from the familiarity of Pops and move onto something completely different in your gaming library?
Jessica: Yes! As it stands right now, we make 30-40 licensed games per year as a game studio, and we’re going to continue doing that. The first round had to be Pops because it’s Funko and we wanted to honor the most popular product, but we definitely have new games coming that are both licensed and unlicensed products that you’ll be hearing about soon.
Please remind readers when they can expect to see FunkoVerse hitting shelves and where they can see it previewed!
Jessica: FunkoVerse will hit shelves October 1st, 2019 and we will be present at GenCon, which is August 1st – 4th, 2019 and we will be there in a big way. The game will be demoed in room 141 where you can sign up for events and have an hour long demo of the game. We will also have a booth, #2049 so people can get a short form demo in case the event is all sold out.
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