NECA (producer of Kick-Ass Gears of War 3 action figures) has announced that they are partnering with Valve Software to produce figures and goodies based on Valve games.
NECA announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Valve Corporation to produce consumer products based on all of Valve’s titles. Merchandise will include action figures, toys, board games, accessories, and apparel for all Valve properties. “When Valve approached us to make their content, characters and art come alive in the physical world we were of course excited at the possibilities,” said Joel Weinshanker, President of NECA Games, “We quickly realized that our two companies have a similar view on how to ensure products exceed expectations of devoted fans and are thankful to be working with them”.
Boardgames? Yes. Yes yes yes a thousand times yes.
Board games can be a tricky lot, especially when you're trying to convert a video game into one...
Left 4 Dead could work rather well as a build-as-you-go game, similar to Zombies!!! or Betrayal at the House on the Hill; you add tiles to the game board as you explore, which creates a nice "fog of war" effect. Plus, every session ends up being a little different.
Team Fortress 2 could work, as well...potentially. Portal and Half-Life would never work.
My primary concern is this: NECA doesn't have a great record in the board game space. After taking a quick look at their Board Game Geek page...I'm not too impressed. None of their games really get past the 6/10 mark with average user ratings and most of their games seem to be poorly conceived, short and ultimately not worth the time or money.
I'd only pay attention to any games spawned from this deal if Valve is heavily involved with the process. Otherwise...they'll just end up being added to the list of shitty NECA board games.