In July 2023, Owlcat Games developed and published Warhammer 40K: Rogue Trader. This was a brave step back into the past, one that dragged us to reminisce about the origin of Warhammer.
Warhammer was not always made of the warring factions that you know today. Neither were the names created with such unique originality that the study now boasts. No, the Warhammer back then would have failed Copyscape and dragged into courts by a million lawsuits.
Way back in 1986, Games Workshop announced the development of a tabletop game called Rogue Trader. A year later, on the studios’ Game Day in October, the game was officially launched. The game was created by Rick Priestley.
At the same time, a comic book series that was owned by AD 2000, published under the title Rouge Trooper. Since AD 2000 was publishing since 1981, Game Workshop changed the name of the tabletop game to Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader.
However, that was the least of the Studio’s copycat strategies. In RogueTrader, the first instigator was named Obiwan Sherlock Clousseau. So, this was a time when neither Lucas Films, Warner Brothers nor Disney was keen on dragging a pair of English locals into court for using their IP.
Obi-Wan from the Star Wars series was quite as popular for the geeks at Games Workshop at the time, who would miss out on any popular films. However, the studio was not yet a niche name on a national or international level. They most likely had a few hundred followers playing tabletop games in the local community.
in addition, blending three famous titles into a name at the time was not even noticeable. That is to say, not a single news media featured the story. Flash forward to today and the game developer would have been bankrupt from a triple lawsuit.
Rogue Trader by Owlcat Studio is still in beta and is doing just fine with great reviews and even one writer declaring it to be ‘the Warhammer I’ve always wanted’. For an old fan, it is a brief reminder of where Warhammer came from.