St. Olaf College | News

St. Olaf alumnus at heart of board game revolution

Twilight Imperium, the board game designed by alumnus Chris Petersen ’95, is on hand for St. Olaf students to play in Rolvaag Memorial Library.

Move over, Monopoly. Today’s board game industry is dominated by elaborate tabletop role-playing games with legions of devoted fans.

The person at the center of this board game revolution? He’s an Ole.

Chris Petersen ’95 tells KARE 11 how he helped create one of the leading board game companies in the world.

St. Olaf College alumnus Chris Petersen ’95 started Fantasy Flight Games fresh out of college. It’s now one of the leading board game companies in the world.

NBC affiliate KARE 11 highlights how the first game Petersen designed, Twilight Imperium, launched his company’s massive success. Games such as Twilight Imperium allow players to role play as characters in fantasy worlds while simultaneously requiring a handful of players to participate. “It is a fantasy escape,” Petersen tells KARE 11. “But it’s a social one too.”

As an economics major at St. Olaf, Petersen started creating board games in his dorm room and has used his talents and creativity to build Fantasy Flight Games into the biggest creator and publisher of board games in North America.

Petersen and Fantasy Flight have designed and launched countless games that have found success in multiple areas, from creating and launching games such as Twilight Imperium to acquiring the rights for a Game of Thrones board game before the book series became an award-winning TV show.

“One thing I’ve learned over and over again is that a good thing cannot be kept down,” Petersen says. “Sooner or later it will rise up.”