The information below, and the pictures attached were found from Knut-Michael Wolf who is a game designer, game developer, and game expert from Germany. They are used with his permission:
"Schmidt-Spiele of Germany had planned the release of a new ACQUIRE for 1997. Unfortunately they went bankrupt, so only a few prototypes were made. (Schmidt-Spiele of today is a different company than that of yesterday.) ACQUIRE '97 was played on a different game-board. It was an idea by Belgian games-inventor, Roland Siegers, who at that time was responsible for the Schmidt game line. Sid Sackson had agreed to this variant. The spaces on the board were numbered from A-1 to E-6 only, but there were four copies of each space! The four A-1 spaces were placed in the center of the board, the E-6 spaces in the four corners." KMW
The following excerpts are from conversations with Roland Siegers, the creator of Acquire '97. These conversations transpired through email between August 31st and September 4th, 2012.
"For the toy fair in Nürnberg in 1997 just a few prototypes were made. The rules just exist as photocopy. Only the cards were produced, but the cards disappeared in the last days of surviving from Schmidt. Concerning the prototypes: I think 10, maybe 12, were made. I really don't know what happened to them. I suppose that the rare prototypes were destroyed. The only "complete" prototypes were "owned" by Knut Michael Wolf, maybe Bärbel Schmitz and me, as far as I know. Concerning the rules: I will send you today the rules, in German of course. At first I have to scan every page."
(A translation of these rules to English would be very much appreciated by anyone who is up for the task.)
"Concerning the dialog I have with Sid Sackson during this time: it was really funny. I saw him every year during New York toy fairs. He was pleased as I discuss with him over this variant and he agreed immediately to go ahead. This was the last time I saw him. It was only my idea and Sid says to me "Why did I not have this idea?" Anyhow, ACQUIRE is Sid Sackson's game and I just made a variant of the game." Roland Siegers
The box looks the same as the 1993 Schmidt Spiel edition except for a red label in the top left corner that reads, "New Edition." The layout of the board created four quadrants on the board that all had the same tile designations. The game did not include the plastic grid to hold the buildings in place which was used in the 1993 edition. Without the plastic grid the buildings would have been susceptible to movement during game play. Playing cards were used for tile designation, but there were four cards with the same square designation. The player had to decide in which quadrant they wanted to place their building.
The board has 120 squares (10 rows of 12 squares). Each quadrant has 30 squares. This essentially increases the odds of mergers to 1 in 30 instead of 1 in 108 as in the normal game of ACQUIRE. With mergers becoming more frequent, cash flow is increased during the game. The quadrants also help to keep all players involved in the game by decreasing their odds of having a hand of cards that are all away from the action of the game.
The future of ACQUIRE was almost hatched in this plan by Roland Siegers to create ACQUIRE '97 or "Quadrant ACQUIRE" and would have been well received by a fan base that is yearning for more from the game. Due to Mr. Siegers fantastic ingenuity, ACQUIRE fans can always hope for the "Holy Grail of ACQUIRE." It would be impossible to imagine what a copy of this edition would bring on the open market.
© 2015 Lloyd T. Solon