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FASA

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The FASA Corporation (commonly referred to as FASA) was a company that produced role-playing, text, board, and video games and was founded around 1980 by Jordan Weisman and L. Ross Babcock III. The "FASA" acronym stood for "Freedonian Air and Space Administration". Some of FASA's most popular and extensive lines included the Shadowrun, MechWarrior, BattleTech and Star Trek games.

FASA gaming miniatures assortment

Assortment of painted FASA gaming miniatures

In the early 1980s, FASA was licensed by Paramount Pictures to produce a role-playing game (RPG) based on Paramount's Star Trek films and Star Trek: The Original Series which was released as Star Trek: The Role Playing Game. Star Trek: The Animated Series was also influential to the game's content and was covered by FASA's licensing, and the game also included some content from non-canon Star Trek novels and comics. A major contributing factor to the success of their game was their separate release, starting in 1983, of a line of accompanying, highly imaginative – where their non-canon starship designs were concerned – pewter gaming miniatures, which have proven to be highly popular in their own right.

Conversely, information and designs from the FASA game have been influential in subsequent Star Trek novels, comics, and games. Despite the non-canonical nature of the game, content created by FASA designers has even influenced some elements in early canon Next Generation-era filmed Star Trek productions. FASA's Star Trek RPG, became a major competitor at the time to Task Force Games' Star Fleet Battles RPG, which, as the first of its kind, had started its releases a few years before FASA's.

FASA also produced four Star Trek "Micro-Adventure" games that incorporated some of the RPG's elements into smaller, less complex games. With the advent of Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1987, FASA geared up to incorporate the new production into their game frame work and released a season one supplemental sourcebook, Star Trek: The Next Generation Officer's Manual, published in 1988. FASA was already in the process of manufacturing accompanying gaming miniatures based on the production, when its contract with Paramount ended shortly thereafter due to licensing difficulties.

FASA closed its doors around 2001 after twenty years in operation, but the creators continue to license new games based on earlier FASA releases. Meanwhile, Star Trek gaming has continued to evolve and been licensed to other companies including Last Unicorn Games, Decipher, and WizKids.

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