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Brandir
30-05-2005, 19:30
The present New Line LOTR film licence ends Nov 2011. I believe that the literary licence ends more or less the same time.

Will GW renew this licence?

Peter Jackson's film version of The Hobbit will appear Dec 2007 at the very earliest; more probably 2008.

I suspect that GW is, to a certain extent, hanging on to a film version of The Hobbit to fully exploit that licence (Battle of Five Armies is just to keep Mr Priestly happy and test their new plastics technology that they have developed - in my opinion!).

But overall, even without The Hobbit, I believe that GW will renew the LOTR film and literary licence knowing it is now a mature and well supported line and has become that elusive 'third core game' that GW has been seeking to add to its books.

Any opinions/comments/rumours?

Baggers
30-05-2005, 19:33
I think they will keep the licences as it would mean they would have to shut both ranges (book and film) and I see Games Workshop losing money down.

However I feel there is a certain limit that Games Workshop will reach before that time where there is only a limited range on what they could produce.

rkunisch
30-05-2005, 22:29
I think it will largely depend on the sales figures. If LotR keeps to be the third core game in sales figures, I see no reason why they should not renew it. If the interest ceases and LotR will get Specialist Game status, it is quite possible that they will not renew the license.

The Hobbit will give the whole matter only a slightly peak as the story is not as monumental as the LotR. I will be happy when they do the film, but I think it will be a far smaller event (how fitting :evilgrin: ).

Have fun,

Rolf.

Cypher
31-05-2005, 06:03
We are talking six years here ;) Id honestly be very surpised if GWs interest in LotR lasts anywhere near that long. I know it's been a good money spinner, but how long will public interest last. A Hobbit film might keep it going, but in the long term I dont see the interest.

Shadowheart
31-05-2005, 07:40
I think they will, but it's still a long way off.

First of all, I see the Lord of the Rings movie franchise as enjoying a lasting success similar to that of the original Star Wars trilogy. Merchandise based on those movies was still being made and still selling two decades after the movies were released, before the special editions and the prequel trilogy. I'm not sure the LotR movies will be quite as popular, but they do have Tolkien's hugely popular books to help them draw interest.

Secondly I think by 2011 GW and the gamers/collectors will have invested too much in the game to simply let it go. They'll probably need to rethink their approach on the range long before that, but I doubt they'll drop it completely. As with their other games, they'll start rehashing stuff, rereleasing models, updating supplements, reprinting WD articles. Veterans will have seen it all before but it'll be fresh for newcomers.

But first there's The Hobbit. If there's a movie, then GW will have their work cut out for them, but if not they can fill a whole set of supplements with the stuff from the book. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a movie, I just hope they'll announce a decision either way in the near future.

Brandir
31-05-2005, 08:12
LOTR SBG brings people into The Hobby that would not otherwise buy GW products. It has been quite a big hit amongst the 'traditional' wargamers who seem to spend all their time sslagging off GW. The ongoing publicity of the LOTR films (like the Star Wars films) as well as the books will always be a mechanism to bring in new gamers.

I myself started gaming after watching the Bakshi LOTR cartoon and subsequently reading His Books.

Rykion
31-05-2005, 15:58
Obviously, it depends on sales and the licensing costs. No other GW core game has any major movies, so the lack of new movies isn't a killer in itself. There is a limited amount of material, but the other core games have successfully rehashed the same armies in a new edition every 5 years or. There is no reason the same model won't work for LotR. It is still too far off to accurately guess whether or not GW will renew the license.

Hoshi No Koe
31-05-2005, 21:40
I think there's enough material to draw upon from the books to keep making new models and expansions for a long time to keep the system interesting. Keeping at the slow pace of new releases they seem to taking at the moment I'd like to see them slowly expand to making models and rules for the many races and nations of the Tolkien world.
Some time ago there were rumours they'd make a last Alliance expansion. If they managed to cover all the background between it and the war of the ring there's a lot of things they can do to keep the game interesting and it being worth renewing the license.
Personally, I'd be glad if they went on to make lists and models for Mirkwood elves, men of Esgaroth, of Bree, Bardings an expanded easterling list, expanded Arnor and Angmar lists and many more interesting stuff I don't know much about.

Misfratz
31-05-2005, 23:00
From the rumours it seems as though GW are planning a large[ish] quantity of new releases for LotR in the next few years: Easterlings, Elves, The Last Alliance,... So they are going to give it a fair go and see how it does.

I find it strange that people assume that LotR will collapse without the films given that Warhammer, Warmachine, etc, have never had films to 'promote' them... And given that the fantasy world of Middle-Earth provides much of the inspiration for D&D, Warhammer, etc I see no reason why it can't continue on its own basis.

However, GW will be pretty ruthless if it fails to sell relative to WH40K and WHFB, remember Epic 40,000. I imagine that it'll be fairly obvious from the trading statements for the next couple of years what will happen [even if GW are contractully obliged to continue stocking the game in store we'll know whether they intend to ditch it by what Kirby says about sales]. In the meantime they'll be plenty of great new models released...

I sure hope that they keep it going, I much prefer the sculpts to most of the other things GW does.

rkunisch
01-06-2005, 09:58
Hoshi No Koe, I am not convinced that all the available material is good to make expansions from. For example take the Scouring of the Shire: I love the models, but the presented rules for the Hobbits limit them mainly on the scenarios in the book. I am not sure how well this supplement sells, but I imagine that it is somewhat less popular than Siege of Gondor. How good would a supplement featuring Bree would sell?

Misfratz, the main problem is that GW got a lot of customers because of the films. The question is how many of them will keep at the hobby. Without the films, I can imagine that sales easily drop maybe a third.

Have fun,

Rolf.

Brandir
01-06-2005, 14:01
I understand that Scouring is the second most popular supplement, after Shadow and Flame.

There is nothing wrong with releasing a supplement that is almost 'insular'; it is almost like releasing a mini-game.

A Bree supplement would not work for the SBG (but for the RPG it would ...) however, I expect Bree to be covered in a future supplement. And this supplement would present different aspects of the game.

To me that is one of the major strengths of the system. One can play games with very few minis on the table or a hundred or so. It is all based on the scenario. Pitched battles work in WHFB/WH40K but not in LOTR SBG.

The Judge
01-06-2005, 19:57
Just in case people are interested, I believe that The Battle of Five Armies was created because the company were contractually oblidged to create a "small" game version of LOTR, and chose the BOFA because it was quite simple.

But yes, I do believe that LOTR will have been flogged far beyond death by 2011. Can you see the company doing The Simarillion (sp?) or other books...not only would a heck of a lot of people not be interested, but it wuld completely unbalance the game.

Schmeh. I can see the game going to Specialist Games...maybe not today, but in a couple of years or more.

Brandir
01-06-2005, 20:32
I thought the contract was reference the literary licence for The Hobbit - GW needed to produce a something based on The Hobbit book.

The rights for the rest of Tolkien's works will not be available. The Tolkien estate, controlled by the Professor's literary heir Christopher Tolkien, is adamant that those works will remain 'untainted' by merchandising.

The Warhammer world (WHFB and WH40K) has been constantly reinvented over the years (4th ed WH40K and 6th ed WHFB in what, 20 years?) and I suspect that LOTR will receive a similar treatment. There is a lot of source material, easily enough for another 5 years then we will see 2nd ed LOTR and a re-release of the various supplements (just like WHFB and WH40K).

Hoshi No Koe
01-06-2005, 21:54
It's too bad the Silmarillon wouldn't ever be made into a game. It wouldn't be suited as a LotR expansion but could make for a potentially cool warmaster type of game.

Baggers
01-06-2005, 22:00
It's too bad the Silmarillon wouldn't ever be made into a game. It wouldn't be suited as a LotR expansion but could make for a potentially cool warmaster type of game.

Yes the Silmarillion is totally unsuitable for the current game as you have armies containg Morgoth and Gothmog vs some of the hardset elves ever to have lived. Even in warmaster it would be difficult as the points per size would have to be huge to show the scale of some of the battles.

Brandir
01-06-2005, 22:10
I'd love to see the Great Battles of Middle-earth BO5A become a series of games. I think the combination of 10mm and Warmaster would be the perfect vehicle for other great battles. Imagine:

Helm's Deep
Battle of the Pelennor Fields
Siege of Gondor
Siege of Barad-dūr
Battle of Dagorlad
Battle of Azanulbizar
Battle of Dale
Battle of the Field of Celebrant
Battle of Fornost
Battle of the Crossings of Isen

I can but dream ...........

Baggers
01-06-2005, 22:12
If we saw any 10mm big battles it would be

Last Alliance (all seven years worth of the seige)
battle of the five armies (which we have)
Helms Deep
Siege of Minas Tirith.
The final battle outside the gates of Mordor.

Even if we got these we would have enough models to allow us to play out other large battles of middle earth.

All I need know is seven (minimum) 10mm Balrogs.

Brandir
01-06-2005, 22:20
The only problem with the 10mm scale is that it does not use ther New Line film imagery. It would be perfect if GW could.

Baggers
01-06-2005, 22:51
But if you think about it at 10mm I would am not bothered about the detail as I want mass ranks of troops.Which I think GW would do very well. If they did not have to follow the look of the films it would be nice as sometimes I do not feel that the way film looks is the way I imagined it, obviously this is not a pratical example, but I imagined Rivendell as more of a house, than an open air environment and for some unknown reason the Prancing Pony in Bree similar to my Grandmothers house.

Brandir
01-06-2005, 22:55
A lot of the imagery in my head was based on the Bakshi cartoon, as that wa smy first exposure to LOTR. I even bought the cartoon Fellowhsip models; unfortunately they vanished during a house move some years ago!

Baggers
01-06-2005, 23:07
I will admit that I created my own version of each of the characters due to my first experience being from reading the book. This was fuelled by the Radio play. Neither film versions have ever really changed how I see them.

Misfratz
04-06-2005, 22:38
Misfratz, the main problem is that GW got a lot of customers because of the films. The question is how many of them will keep at the hobby. Without the films, I can imagine that sales easily drop maybe a third.Yes they got a lot of customers because of hte films. This helped to enable a completely new game go from zero to as big as Warhammer/40K in three years compared to the ~20 it has taken GW as a whole. The question is? Having gotten there can it sustain itself? Given that Warhammer can sustain itself I don't see why LotR cannot deliver incremental, organic growth for GW [after an initial adjustment back to post-bubble levels that we are seeing at the present time].

I think that GW would settle for an initial sales drop of one-third, provided they then saw sales bottom-out and start to grow at similar rates to Warhammer and 40K.

It is possible that sales will continue to go down so we'll have to wait and see. I don't think it is as inevitable as people make out though. Interesting to hear how well Scouring of the Shire has sold.

Brandir
04-06-2005, 22:43
GW did expect a LOTR bubble and did expect it to burst (read Toms comments in the annual reports). GW only ever planned for a 10% share of thir turnover coming from LOTR. At the height of the LOTR SBG craze some GW shops reported over 50% of their sales were from the LOTR line. The extra income was a complete bonus that basically subsidised the £millions lost over the first Warhammer Online.

The problem was that the city investors did not anticipate the bubble bursting thus the share price rose to approx 800p but has now gone back to more sustainable and realistic levels.

taer
05-06-2005, 03:19
The rights for the rest of Tolkien's works will not be available. The Tolkien estate, controlled by the Professor's literary heir Christopher Tolkien, is adamant that those works will remain 'untainted' by merchandising.



Your kidding, right? Christopher Tolkein is a shmuck, and I'd be suprised if his hardline stance was anything more than smoke.

Catterjee
05-06-2005, 06:48
I imagine if GW were to renew the deal they'd try for a better contract. Allowing for bitz orders at the very least.

Brandir
05-06-2005, 09:23
Your kidding, right? Christopher Tolkein is a shmuck, and I'd be suprised if his hardline stance was anything more than smoke.

Christopher Tolkien is not a 'shmuck'. He is an honourable man who wishes to maintain the integrity of his father's work, hence there will be no merchandising of what the Estate control.