Risk - History
The game of Risk was invented in the Early 1950's by a Frenchman by the name of Albert Lamorisse. Movie buffs will recognize his name. He was a famous director. Among other movies he directed "The Red Balloon" which won awards at Cannes and even in the United States. He died in 1970 in a helicopter accident while directing a movie in Iran.
Before Lamorisse became a famous director, he took a game, which was called "La Conquete du Monde" (Conquest of the World), to Miro a game manufacturer in France. They decided the game was marketable, however, the rules were slightly modified by Jean-Rene Vernes. La Conquete du Monde proved simple enough for novices to play, yet complex and realistic enough to enthrall even sophisticated wargame players.
Even as La Conquete du Monde gained a following in France, the Parker Brothers, the famous American game manufacturer, established a relationship with Miro, and through this relationship brought the game to America, modifying its look somewhat, changing a few rules (adding the cards to speed up the game) and then changing the name to Risk!
In the United States the game took off. It's layout was very much the same, but the playing pieces had a very different look. They were rectangular, wooden cubes. The pieces representing ten armies were also made of wood and were triangular.
For several years the game stayed substantially the same. But as it came into its own, it began to evolve variations. House rules were common and some of them found their way into the modern rule book.
But the game of Risk became more than merely a French and American game. In Italy it became a phenomenon under the name Risiko! Rights to the Italian version were purchased by Emilio Ceretti in the late 1970's. He modified a few rules, including bolstering the defense by giving it the option to use three dice instead of two.
Today the game is popular all over the world and has many versions including Risk 2210, a computer version, Risk II and Lord of the Rings Risk, all of which are widely available in toy stores or computer stores.