Werner Fuchs

Werner Fuchs
(left, standing) with George Martin (sitting) in Chigago, 1996
Born 1949
Occupation FanPro cofounder
Game Designer, author, translator

Fantasy Productions GmbH logo

Werner Fuchs (born 1949 in Aalen, Germany) is a German game designer, author, translator, literary agent and publisher and one of the cofounders of Fantasy Productions (FanPro).

He should not be confused with the German soccer coach of the same name.

Personal history[edit]

Werner Fuchs studied economics in Bochum and English and German Language and Literature in Düsseldorf. He has been working in the Fantasy genre since 1971.

In 1977 he started "Fantastic Shop" in Düsseldorf, an import business for British and American books and boardgames where his brother-in-law Ulrich Kiesow later worked with him. Fuchs and Kiesow had a keen knowledge of the RPG boom in the United States and were among the first to prepare for a similar boom in Germany; their business flourished.

Fuchs had been producing a science fiction anthology series together with a friend, Hans-Joachim Alpers, that was cancelled after 6 volumes (out of 15 projected volumes). Fuchs, Alpers and Kiesow subsequently decided to create their own publishing house, Fantasy Productions, as a Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts (GbR), a Partnership Agreement under the German Civil Code, in 1983. The GbR and the Fantastic Shop business were merged into the Fantasy Productions GmbH (Limited Liability Company) in 1988. With Fuchs as CEO, FanPro went on to become one of the premier German game publishers for RPGs and tactical boardgames. From 1988 onwards they produced the highly successful German edition of BattleTech under license from FASA. Other flagship lines were Shadowrun and Das Schwarze Auge.

In 1996 Werner Fuchs personally supported the formation of the (second) MechForce Germany. With his support, the reincarnated organization could obtain a license from FASA.

After their BattleTech and Shadowrun licenses ran out and were not renewed in 2007, FanPro reduced itself to its book publishing division (formerly its Phoenix imprint). Around the same time, FanPro also sold off the intellectual properties to Das Schwarze Auge, FanPro's premier German RPG system. This effectively marked the end of FanPro as a game developer.

Together with Charif Ben Lasfar, Werner Fuchs set up the 17und8 GbR in 2009, an online store and retailer that completely took over FanPro's business. As of 2014, the 17und8 GbR exists only as an eBay seller.

Werner Fuchs remained CEO of Fantasy Productions Medienvertriebsgesellschaft GmbH until it closed down in 2012. In the same year, he founded a new firm together with his daughter Corinna—Fuchs & Fuchs GbR. Doing business as FanPro GbR, this new publishing house continues some of Fantasy Production's legacy, particularly the German translations of George R. R. Martin's massively popular A Song of Fire and Ice series. It has since taken over the FanPro web presence and online store, but has nothing to do with BattleTech.