01/25/1959 - 08/29/2016
Our hearts have been broken at the news of the sudden passing of our dear friend and long-standing business partner, Harald Bilz of Heidelberger Spieleverlag in Germany.
We first began working with Harald on the German edition of Warcraft: The Boardgame in 2003, and hundreds of German FFG-Heidelberger titles would later follow.
Many at Fantasy Flight Games developed a close friendship with Harald over the last fourteen years and I was proud to have him become a shareholder when FFG was short on cash to finance our initial Star Wars license in 2010. Harald remained a shareholder until the time of our merger with the Asmodee Group.
Harald was a close confidant and never shy to tell us when he thought that we were veering off-course. His commitment to the FFG brand was unwavering. He always wanted us to do better, try harder, to not wander off the path—to “be more FFG.”
We learned much from Harald Bilz; he was one of the rocks upon which we built our house.
With his passing, the gaming industry has lost one of its hidden giants, one always on the look-out for and ready to champion games that brought a new approach to play. Harald helped a great number of game companies and game designers get their start in Germany, yet he never stood in the way of their success or leveraged his position in their future. So many among us owe so much to Mr. Bilz.
I take solace in that when I myself must go into that long night, that in the dawn that lies beyond there will be a dear friend with a sly smile waiting to play a great game.
On the behalf of everyone at FFG and Asmodee North America, I present our heartfelt condolences to Harald’s family and friends, to Petra, Heiko, Peter, and the other staff at the amazing Heidelberger Spieleverlag.
Rest in peace Harald. Today, we are all Heidelbears!
Christian T. Petersen
Fantasy Flight Games
Asmodee North America