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Mansions of Madness and Star Wars: Rebellion designer drops teaser for next board game The Initiative

Debut release from studio Unexpected Games delayed from 2020 release due to COVID-19.

The co-designer of Star Wars: Rebellion, Mansions of Madness and Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game, Corey Konieczka, has seemingly revealed the title of his next board game: The Initiative.

The title was revealed in a short teaser trailer posted to YouTube under the title ‘Mystery Announcement’, with a series of symbols shown at the end of the video partly decoded using a key that flashes up on-screen earlier on. The provided letters spell out The I_itiati_e, leading to speculation that the complete title is The Initiative.

A reveal date on January 12th is suggested by a date under the coded title, before the video - which features noises and static similar to a VHS tape player - cuts to black. The logo of Konieczka’s studio, Unexpected Games, is also shown.

Watch on YouTube

Unexpected Games was founded by Konieczka in August 2019, following the designer’s departure from Fantasy Flight Games after 14 years. During his time at the publisher, Konieczka worked on games including the fourth edition of Twilight Imperium, Star Wars: Imperial Assault and more.

Unexpected, which is owned by Fantasy Flight parent Asmodee, was announced to be focused on “innovative design”, with Konieczka saying the studio would create “games that are novel, fun, and accessible”.

In May 2020, Konieczka said that Unexpected Games’ first title was “pretty much done”, but saw a delay from its planned release last year to 2021 as the result of COVID-19. The debut game was said to be “a multi-layered experience that tells a story in a unique way” that had been in the works for almost a year.

Konieczka confirmed at the time that two further projects were in development, with the games described as being “quite different from each other”. Unexpected Games is yet to reveal any of its planned releases.

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Matt Jarvis


After starting his career writing about music, films and video games for various places, Matt spent many years as a technology, PC and video game journalist before writing about tabletop games as the editor of Tabletop Gaming magazine. He joined Dicebreaker as editor-in-chief in 2019, and has been trying to convince the rest of the team to play Diplomacy since.