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FASA

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FASA Corporation was founded by [[Jordan Weisman]] and [[L. Ross Babcock]] in 1980 with a starting capital of $350. The two were fellow gamers at the Merchant Marine Academy. [[Mort Weisman]], Jordan's father, joined the company in 1985 to lead the company's operational management, having sold his book publishing business, Swallow Press. Under the new commercial direction and with the Mort's capital injection, the company diversified into books and miniature figures. After consulting their UK distributor, [[Chart Hobby Distributors]], FASA licensed the manufacture of its Battletech figurines to [[Miniature Figurines]] (also known as Minifigs). FASA would later acquire the US figures manufacturer [[Ral Partha]], which was the US manufacturer of Minifigs. While Mort ran the paper and metal based sides of the business, the company's founders focused on the development of computer-based games. They were particularly interested in virtual reality but also developed desktop computer games. When Microsoft acquired the [[FASA Interactive]] subsidiary, Babcock went with that company. After the sale of Virtual World, Jordan turned his attention to the founding of a new games venture called [[WizKids]].
FASA unexpectedly ceased active operations in early 2001, but still exists as a corporation holding intellectual property rights which it licenses to other publishers. Contrary to popular belief, the company did not go bankrupt. Allegedly , the owners decided to quit while the company was still financially sound in a market they perceived as going downhill. Mort Weisman had been talking of retirement for some years and his confidence in the future of the paper-based games business was low. He considered the intellectual property of FASA to be of high value but did not wish to continue working as he had been for the last decade or more. Unwilling to wrestle with the complexities of dividing up the going concern, the owners issued a press release on 25 January 2001 announcing the immediate closure of the business.
The [[BattleTech]], Shadowrun , and Earthdawn properties were licensed off to [[WizKids]], who in turn licensed their publication to [[FanPro]]. However, the Earthdawn license was recently returned to FASA. Living Room Games publishes Earthdawn (Second Edition) while RedBrick Limited now holds a license to continue publishing First Edition material. Crimson Skies was originally developed by Zipper Interactive under the FASA Interactive brand in late 2000 and used under license by FASA; FASA Interactive had been purchased by Microsoft, so naturally the rights for Crimson Skies stayed with Microsoft. Rights to the miniatures game VOR the Maelstrom reverted to the designer Mike "Skuzzy" Nielson, but it has not been republished in any form due partly to legal difficulties.
==References==