GRD began publishing play aids for Europa under a license from GDW while GDW was still publishing the games. In 1989 they acquired use of the Europa trademark and began publishing the games, both new titles and "Deluxe Edition" revisions of previously published titles.
When GRD's Winston Hamilton died in 2000, Mill Creek Ventures bought his estate and took over production of Europa. They continued using the terms "Game Research/Design", "GRD", and "GRD Games" alongside "Mill Creek Ventures" in their publications. They never published an actual Europa game, but they continued with the development for future releases and released several issues of The Europa Magazine.
In mid-2004 HMS bought the assets that formerly belonged to GRD, and thus took over production of the Europa series. HMS published Wavell's War in November 2005 and has released two issues of The Europa Magazine.
Under the terms of the agreement whereby GRD had obtained use of the Europa trademark the intellectual property reverted to Rich Banner when Winston Hamilton died, so all Europa production by Mill Creek Ventures and Historical Military services has been done under a license from Banner.
The changes in publishers has interfered with continuity in terms of publication schedules — only one new title has appeared since 1998 — but there has been a great deal of continuity in terms of the people actually doing the development. For example, John Astell took over from Frank Chadwick as game designer for the series back when GDW was still publishing the series, designed or co-designed several of the titles released by GRD, and appears to still be involved in the titles now under development by HMS. Current HMS owners Gar Olmsted, Cory Manka, and Arthur Goodwin are also familiar names to long-time followers of the series, previously appearing in the credits of various games and/or as authors in the official magazine of the series and fanzine publications.
GRD, Mill Creek, and HMS have also worked on newer game series covering the War in the Pacific (the Glory series) and World War I (the Great War series), which are somewhat similar to the Europa series, though not part of it.
In 1988 GRD revived The Europa Newsletter. Issue #5 saw the title changed to The Europa News (TEN), a somewhat more substantial magazine with a stiff glossy cover. Starting with issue No. 11 the name was changed to simply Europa, and it has continued under that name since then. (As of December 2005, the most recent issue is #87, published in 2004. The repeated changes in publishers since 2000 have made the appearance of new issues somewhat erratic, but the magazine is still in existence.)
The Europa magazine sometimes refers to itself as The Europa Magazine (TEM), but it is just Europa on the cover and title page. Various subtitles have been in use over time as well, such as "The Europa Systems Magazine from GRD" (TESM) on the cover of #86 (with "HMS" substituted for "GRD" on the title page).
The magazine subscription is also a membership in The Europa Association, whose members also receive discounts on game orders and free copies of some of the "refit kit" materials. As with The Grenadier before it, The Europa Magazine has come to cover the publisher's other, non-Europa offerings, but unlike The Grenadier it has not strayed far afield, and still focuses primarily on Europa.
Over the life of the series a great number of official and unofficial play aids, rules variants, fanzines, and other Europa-oriented materials have been published. The most important of these was a fanzine called ETO: The New EuropaTM Newsletter, published by Bill Stone and running to 56 issues during 1985-1990. Starting with issue #45 in 1989 the subtitle was changed to The Independent EuropaTM Newsletter in response to GRD's acquisition of the trademark and publication rights for the system. This fanzine was an important focus for fans of the Europa system during the years when GDW was sidelining the system and it had not yet been turned over to GRD.
As of April 2005 HMS has an official Europa website at hmsgrd.com The site has information about the availability of previously published games, the status of games now in production, plans for future games in the series, information about The Europa Association, downloadable errata sheets, and other material of interest to Europa players.
Banner, Chadwick, and Miller founded Game Designers Workshop (GDW) to publish the trilogy. The game rules were a merger of Chadwick's earlier system for ground combat with Miller's earlier rules for science-fictional space combat adapted to represent WWII-era air combat (both had published earlier titles reflecting those interests). Banner served as art director for the project.
GDW released Drang nach Osten and Unentschieden in 1973. Due to an expanding range of interests that the developers wanted to pursue with their successful new company, Die Götterdämmerung was indefinitely postponed by GDW, and will never be published as originally conceived, due to a greatly revised plan for the series. The scope of the expanded series is covered more thoroughly below.
The plans for the series have evolved somewhat over the three decades of its existence, but can be approximated as follows. The various games traditionally been identified as "Europa Game X", where X is a Roman numeral. Since some of the games have been published under different names for their various editions, the list given here describes the subject matter for each game and breaks out the individual titles as bullets. Many titles have unofficial but commonly used acronyms, given in parentheses after the title. Acronyms for the games' publishers are given as well.
Several of the games listed here have had separately published "refit kits" for corrections and minor upgrades, and in some cases those have been included in later printings of the games. Their Finest Hour is the most extreme example of this, with both defective maps and numbers of counters needing to be reprinted. Some games have also been reprinted with new box art. Such details are not shown here.
Europa I - The German invasion of the USSR and the Soviet riposte, 1941-1942.
Europa II - The Eastern Front, 1942-1944
Europa III - The Balkans Campaign, 1941.
Europa IV - The Norwegian campaign, 1940.
Europa V - The Battle of Britain and planned German invasion, 1940.
Europa VI - The Western Desert Campaign in North Africa, 1940-1942.
Europa VII - The German Invasion of Poland, 1939.
Europa VIII - The Western Campaign in Holland, Belgium, and France, 1940.
Europa IX - Operations in the Near East.
Europa X - Potential involvement of Spain and Portugal in World War II, including the planned German assault on Gibraltar.
Europa XI - The Allied invasion of French North Africa, 1942-1943.
Europa XII - The Allied invasion of France, 1944.
Europa XIII - Expansion module giving a bigger picture of the Soviet war effort, plus updates and play aids for FitE/SE, and a scenario for the 1943 campaign.
Europa XIV - The Winter War between Finland and the USSR, 1939-1940.
Material included in Balkan Front and First to Fight, published in 1990 and 1991 respectively, agreed with the above (excepting titles not yet released), and proposed the following extensions to wrap up the series, though none of them have been published:
Europa XV - The naval campaigns in the Mediterranean Sea and around the shores of Europe, 1939-1945.
Europa XVI - Rules for integrating the individual games into a single game covering the entire war in the European Theater, 1939-1945.
Europa XVII - Czechoslovakia fights rather than surrendering to appeasement in 1938.
However, material included with War in the Desert, published in 1995, introduced substantial changes to the plan. It included all the material previously distributed over Europa VI/IX/XI in a single publication, now officially Europa VI but billed as "Europa VI/IX/XI" on the game box. It also offered the following changes to the earlier numbering scheme, though none of the proposed new material has been published:
Europa V (a combination of the earlier V & VIII)
Europa VIII - The partisan/anti-partisan campaign in southeastern Europe, 1941-1945.
Europa IX (previously XVII)
Europa XI (previously XV)
Europa XV (previously XVI)
Material included with Storm Over Scandinavia, published in 1998, retained the same scheme, but proposed some new titles:
Much of this planning apparently became moot when GR/D's assets were picked up by Mill Creek Ventures in 2001. Work on an Europa-style game covering the campaign in East Africa had already been underway by a group calling itself "The East Africa Map Company", and it now became an official Europa project to be published as Wavell's War, covering all of World War II not only in East Africa, but in North Africa and the Mediterranean as well. It was offered for preorder in 2002, and was published in November 2005. No Europa series number has been announced for it. Mill Creek Ventures also began development of Total War, the third edition of Europa I, and has offered it for preorder since 2003. Though development of the series continues, no formal plan for its completion has been announced since the one given in Storm Over Scandinavia in 1998.
The changes to the 1998 plan indicate an assessment by the new publishers that the Europa system cannot be completed simply by publishing the three discarded titles. Instead they propose Wavell's War and Ike's War as intermediate steps toward a completed system.
There is also a freely downloadable "Boot Camp Rules" set, with simplified rules to help people get started with the complex Europa system.