The History of Risk Board Game

Risk board game

Ben Stephenson / Flickr

When Parker Brothers/Hasbro published the 40th Anniversary Edition of Risk in 1999, they included information about the game's history in the rulebook. This brief history of the board game Risk is compiled from that information and details found elsewhere.

Risk Board Game Timeline

  • 1950s - Parker Brothers forms an affiliation with the Miro Company in France.
  • 1957 - A representative of Miro approaches Parker Brothers with La Conquete du Monde (French for "The Conquest of the World"), a game designed by Albert Lamorisse. Lamorisse was a movie writer and director best known for The Red Balloon. He and Micheal I. Levin are co-credited with the game design for Risk at
  • 1959 - Parker Brothers first publishes the Risk Continental Game in the United States. It is later retitled Risk: the Game of Global Domination. The rules are slightly modified from those of La Conquete du Monde.
  • 1986 - The game Castle Risk is published. This variation is played on a map of Europe. It included hidden armies and special cards that included commanders and spies. There were castles as strongholds and navies. It was not well received.
  • 1993 - The rules for Secret Mission Risk, which had been a variant in Europe, are added to the United States edition.
  • 1999 - A limited edition of Risk is published in France, as 10,000 copies of Risk Edition Napoleon are released, an evolution of Castle Risk featuring historical units. An expansion in 2000 added the Ottoman Empire.
  • 2001 - Risk players can now conquer the moon and underwater territories with Risk 2210 AD. It included sea areas and route connections. A second map board represents the moon. Playing pieces were added for five commanders for land, naval, space, nuclear, and diplomat, with five decks of commander-specific cards. Rather than total domination, victory is determined by a point system. A time limit of five turns also modifies gameplay strategy.
  • 2002 - Risk moves to Middle-earth with the release of Lord of the Rings Risk. It has one unit leader and cards for mission, event, and power. It plays well with just two players and is intended for two to four players.
  • 2003 - Risk travels deeper into Middle-earth with the Lord of the Rings Trilogy Edition.
  • 2004 - Risk: Godstorm is published, injecting mythology into the game of world domination.
  • 2005 - Risk: Star Wars - The Clone Wars Edition is published in concert with the release of the third Star Wars prequel, Revenge of the Sith.
  • 2006 - Risk: Star Wars - Original Trilogy Edition is published. The game features three factions, each with its own victory conditions.
  • 2008 - A new basic edition of Risk is published by Hasbro. Risk 1959 is a reproduction of the original game from 1959.

Numerous unofficial expansions and new maps have also been published over the years. Since 2009, there have been Halo Wars Collector's Edition, Halo Legendary, Starcraft, several Star Wars editions, The Walking Dead Survival Edtion, Battlefield Rogue, Plants Vs. Zombies, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America Civil War, and a Star Trek 50th Anniversary Edition.