Cubicle 7 dropping the Lord of the Rings

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FasterThanJesus
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:37 am

I wasn't sure where to put this, as it's not WFRP related, only Cubicle7, but it's probably something only relevant to WFRP v4. So apologies to anyone who thinks this is misplaced.

https://www.cubicle7games.com/unexpected-tor2-update/

I know a few of us are of the opinion that Cubicle7 are busy biting off more than they can chew, so it might be a good thing for their other products. That said, I'm not TOR player and don't have too much interest, but for the fans this sucks.

Apparently, EiS Companion is due imminently, which may be sooner than soon.
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totsuzenheni
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:21 am

In the Den of Tzeentch surely.

I don't know if this bodes well for their other lines or not. I've had the impression that they've become er.... less concerned about quality and more concerned about market share. I'd still be interested to know why the WFRP 4th edition authors left.
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totsuzenheni
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:26 am

Oh, i didn't realise when i wrote my last post that Cubicle 7 had ended the licencing agreement for TOR (not just TOR 2nd edition) due to contractual differences and will cease publishing all TOR products in 2020.
CapnZapp
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:42 am

This means we will cease publishing The One Ring and Adventures in Middle-earth™ in the first half of 2020. Unfortunately, this doesn’t give us enough time to release the much-anticipated The One Ring – The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game second edition.
https://www.cubicle7games.com/unexpected-tor2-update/

With all the troubles C7 seems to find themselves in, it's hard not to wonder how things would have played out had they waited to release WFRP4 until it was ready...
FasterThanJesus
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:53 am

totsuzenheni wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:21 am
In the Den of Tzeentch surely.

I don't know if this bodes well for their other lines or not. I've had the impression that they've become er.... less concerned about quality and more concerned about market share. I'd still be interested to know why the WFRP 4th edition authors left.
Yep, probably. I was thinking a little bit too much from the point of view of how it may impact WFRP v4.
Knight of the Lady
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:26 pm

Very, very sorry to hear this. :(
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Orin J.
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:24 pm

from what (little) they said, sounds like their deal with GW has some sort of conflicts they weren't expecting. knowing that both GW and the tolkien estate are remorselessly horrible with contracts i'm honestly not surprised. guess i'll have to settle for second-hand when i can afford to check the LOTR game out.

more to the point for the board, who's this Pádraig Murphy chump? nobody i know and a quick search didn't clear away any of the fog for me.
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totsuzenheni
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:16 pm

Orin J. wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:24 pm
from what (little) they said, sounds like their deal with GW has some sort of conflicts they weren't expecting.
What sort of conflict are you imaging here?
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Orin J.
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Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:53 pm

totsuzenheni wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:16 pm
Orin J. wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:24 pm
from what (little) they said, sounds like their deal with GW has some sort of conflicts they weren't expecting.
What sort of conflict are you imaging here?
probably IP lisancing shenanigans with the tolkien estate complaining. and possibly GW just actively making things worse because they've got the delicacy of an american neonazi.
Zisse
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Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:20 am

I tried to open the Cubicle 7 webpage to read first hand, but I cannot reach it since these news are out. All other pages work fine. Is there so much traffic on their page due to this announcement?
FasterThanJesus
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Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:56 am

Orin J. wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:24 pm
more to the point for the board, who's this Pádraig Murphy chump? nobody i know and a quick search didn't clear away any of the fog for me.
He has an introduction in the latest TEW dev diary from yesterday. In brief summary he was a WFRP player from 14 and has a career in print publishing (not RPGs). Reading between the lines, he's managing the project not designing it.
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totsuzenheni
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Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:39 am

Did anyone else know that this game was a licenced game? I realised that the Tolkien estate may have property rights but i didn't know until this announcement to cease publishing was made that another company owned the game rights. I had thought that The One Ring was entirely the creation of Cubicle 7. I don't recall there being any information on this on the Cubicle 7 website and i can't find any on Wikipedia, except by way of the odd sentence referring to this bit of news about them ceasing publication.

It looks like Cubicle 7 are now selling off all TOR products at half price: https://www.cubicle7games.com/product-c ... ne-ring-2/ . Tempting.
CapnZapp
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Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:08 pm

totsuzenheni wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:39 am
Did anyone else know that this game was a licenced game? I realised that the Tolkien estate may have property rights but i didn't know until this announcement to cease publishing was made that another company owned the game rights. I had thought that The One Ring was entirely the creation of Cubicle 7. I don't recall there being any information on this on the Cubicle 7 website and i can't find any on Wikipedia, except by way of the odd sentence referring to this bit of news about them ceasing publication.

It looks like Cubicle 7 are now selling off all TOR products at half price: https://www.cubicle7games.com/product-c ... ne-ring-2/ . Tempting.
You can create a Lord of the Rings game all you want - if you lose the Lord of the Rings license you can't sell it.

Meaning there is no reason to doubt "The One Ring was entirely the creation of Cubicle 7".
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totsuzenheni
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Fri Nov 29, 2019 6:42 pm

CapnZapp wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:08 pm
totsuzenheni wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:39 am
Did anyone else know that this game was a licenced game? I realised that the Tolkien estate may have property rights but i didn't know until this announcement to cease publishing was made that another company owned the game rights. I had thought that The One Ring was entirely the creation of Cubicle 7. I don't recall there being any information on this on the Cubicle 7 website and i can't find any on Wikipedia, except by way of the odd sentence referring to this bit of news about them ceasing publication.

It looks like Cubicle 7 are now selling off all TOR products at half price: https://www.cubicle7games.com/product-c ... ne-ring-2/ . Tempting.
You can create a Lord of the Rings game all you want - if you lose the Lord of the Rings license you can't sell it.

Meaning there is no reason to doubt "The One Ring was entirely the creation of Cubicle 7".
Good point. My paragraph structure misrepresented my more disjointed thoughts somewhat. Still, i am curious to know how Sophisticated Games came to be the company that could give this licence, as opposed to the Tolkien Estate or Middle Earth Enterprises (Saul Zaentz). I've taken a look at my copy of the TOR rulebook and there is the Cubicle 7 logo, the Middle Earth Enterprises logo, and the Sophisticated Games logo. Where does Sophisticated Games fit into this hierarchy of Tolkien rights?
CapnZapp
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Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:01 am

totsuzenheni wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 6:42 pm
Where does Sophisticated Games fit into this hierarchy of Tolkien rights?
As a complete stranger doing a random guess:

Because Saul Zaentz can't be bothered to micromanage every little deal in every sector?

It's much more convenient to strike deals with just one entity per sector, and Sophisticated Games apparently got the entire "hobby games" sector. Then they in turn outcontracted the ttrpg business (I would assume a boardgame producer knows nothing about rpgs): "give us money each year and we'll let you create and sell a lotr-rpg".

Then this year they wanted more money than C7 were willing to part with. It happens. With big-name properties, it's all but inevitable - just look at how many rpgs based on Star Wars there is.

The basic truth is that there's so little money in the ttrpg business it's almost not worth a license holder's time and effort, if the license is big enough. Maybe not year #1 when the rulebook is a strong seller, but talking years #4, #5 and so on... we all know supplements generally make little money compared to core books.

That C7's run lasted as long as it did is likely an unexpected success, and not a failure.

Of course, there could be other reasons. C7 sure seems to go through some difficult times lately - just look at the WFRP4 development debacle.

Or there could be nothing wrong with C7. Maybe Sophisticated simply got a better offer elsewhere. It wouldn't surprise me if C7's contract gave all rights to TOR to the license holder, meaning Sophisticated is free to let a new publisher take over the TOR reins, maybe even complete the 2nd Edition development?
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totsuzenheni
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Sat Nov 30, 2019 7:21 am

I bothered to do some research and answer my own question. It would seem that Sophisticated Games has a licence from Middle Earth Enterprises to "develop[] and package[] all book-based JRR Tolkien games". I would think that TTRPGs would almost certainly fall within that remit, though that's a quote from the Sophisticated Games website and i couldn't find out what's actually written in the actual licence. It would appear that the exact dividing lines between licences for Tolkien works is still an area of contention. Here are a few links for anyone who is interested:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolkien_E ... gal_issues
https://www.zaentz.com/middle-earth-enterprises.html
https://www.middleearth.com/current-licensees.html
http://www.sophisticated-games.com/about.html
CapnZapp wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:01 am
Maybe Sophisticated simply got a better offer elsewhere. It wouldn't surprise me if C7's contract gave all rights to TOR to the license holder, meaning Sophisticated is free to let a new publisher take over the TOR reins, maybe even complete the 2nd Edition development?
... and perhaps publish all the work that Cubicle 7 has done, as Cubicle 7 have with Warhammer 40000 and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay TTRPG material.
CapnZapp
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Sat Nov 30, 2019 7:21 am

https://www.facebook.com/Sophisticated- ... 9611905770

Rather suggests there is something wrong with C7... Of course, with a botch-job like WFRP4, I must honestly confess I won't be shedding any tears if they go under. Obviously my condolences to those hoping for a speedy TOR 2e!
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Chuck
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Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:31 am

I would really like to know if this is related in any way with the exit of some of the top talent a while back.
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totsuzenheni
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Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:26 pm

Chuck wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:31 am
I would really like to know if this is related in any way with the exit of some of the top talent a while back.
I was wondering about this too. I guess we'll find out in a future edition of Designers & Dragons.
FasterThanJesus
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Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:33 pm

The plot definitely thickens. That farcebook comment is a lot more specific than Cubicle7's vague contractual issues (not to mention contradictory). Something is not right there.
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