Full Time: Guild Ball blows the final whistle

Several years ago – Six, in fact – I remember recording a chat with a couple of lads regarding a kickstarter they were promoting, and a brand new game that blended a sports aspect with some wanton violence, with models themed around loosely medieval occupations. We laughed, we joked, we discussed the potential for an entire team of Milliners and Haberdashers, who wowed the crowd with their oustanding – albeit foppish – attire. That game was, of course Guild Ball. Over the years I picked up a few teams (their plastic team boxes remain one of my favorite self-contained painting projects), but sadly it never took off locally. Still, every CaptainCon we got to see how much fun people were having, and it was good times. Sadly, as of the announcement released Monday morning, it looks like the refs are blowing the final whistle, as Steam Forged Games announced the final season.

Below is the core of the announcement, though you can read the full thing, including creator’s commentary, directly on SFG’s site.

Announcing the End of Guild Ball

On March 22, 2014, Guild Ball was successfully funded on Kickstarter. 890 backers pledged £93,691 to bring this game to life. 

We pioneered. When others locked their rules behind a paywall, we made the Guild Ball rules, and even paper dolls, available to download for free. And we did the same with rules for every following release. 

We innovated. Instead of letting gameplay issues lie dormant, we took community feedback on board and made regular core updates to the game. 

Over the following six years, Guild Ball continued to captivate players with its playbook system and resource management. It’s a game where skill truly outshines luck.

But as much as we’ve loved developing, living, and breathing Guild Ball across four seasons, 17 Guilds, and 250+ miniatures, the time has come to announce the end.

Rich Loxam, Mat Hart, Jamie Perkins, and Sherwin Matthews have shared more details and thoughts on what this means below. But, first, some practicalities.

Starting from September 1st, Steamforged Games will no longer sell any Guild Ball products. What’s available now is end-of-line stock. Once it sells out, it won’t be resupplied.

There will be an amazing sale on all remaining stock, perfect for rounding out your collection.

I won’t lie, even though I never really got to play the game I’m sad to see it go. SFG has obviously decided to invest their efforts in other products (such as Godtear, which seems to be doing well), but Guild Ball was the game that put them on the map, and year after year I enjoyed seeing their newest offerings at GenCon. I greatly enjoyed painting up the metal Alchemists Guild models, and the Farmer’s Guild “The Honest Land” box. I have the Falconer’s Guild box, and even with the game no longer being supported I’d still be tempter to pick up the “Old Father’s Harvest” to complete the Farmers, and the “Tales of the New World” box since Navigation is tied into Lost Hemisphere’s schtick.

Guild Ball holds a special place in a lot of gamers’ hearts, and its no doubt its absence will be felt over the next few years. The community will be able to run their own events still – it’s how Blood Bowl stayed alive with over a decade between editions – and of course there’ll still be Season 5 for those who wish to play through it.

Raise a glass, even if it’s not one issued by the Brewer’s Guild, and take to the pitch one last time.