PDA

View Full Version : Why did GW do lord of the rings?



ORKY ARD BOYZ
06-01-2007, 06:57
Hi

I'm just curious but why did GW start Lord of the rings and not something else, say Star Wars? Did Lord of the rings have something the others didn't or was it they could only get the licence for Lord of the rings? I think star wars would be awesome.:D

scarletsquig
06-01-2007, 07:25
Heh, I've had the same thought before...

Star Wars has an immensely huge fanbase, and it's one of the few sci-fi/ fantasy things out there with a gigantic mainstream appeal (as opposed to the somewhat more nerdy star trek etc.). There's a lot of people that would have picked it up, and the background behind it is 30 years old and even bigger than GW's 40k universe.

Hell, they should have even released a Buffy skirmish game when that was going strong...

It's not too late! Doctor Who minis would be most delicious.

snurl
06-01-2007, 09:41
Black tree already makes a boat load of Dr who minis.
http://www.black-tree-design.com/

Star Wars minis were already made by another company, but they weren't that great. I don't believe they are still in production. A new line has just emerged done on those clicky bases, may be what you're after. May not.

Why do LOTR? Are you daft?
Are you aware that GW as well as at least 2 other companies made lines of LOTR minis way before there were any movies? Read the books son. Then you will see and and you'll know.

Brotherdraagor
06-01-2007, 09:48
Snurl pretty much covered it. Looking at just how monumental the films turned out to be (and there were several analysts who suspected they would), you'd be daft not to grab such a licence really.

Brandir
06-01-2007, 09:58
One of the key reasons that GW secured the LOTR license was to ensure that no other gaming companies acquired it. With hindsight this has proved an amazing coup for GW.

Imagine what would have happended if Wizards of the Coast had secured the LOTR tabletop license. Where would GW be today? A subsidiary of WotC?Hasbro? WotC did make a sunstantial effort to get the LOTR license as they wanted to use that IP to launch a tabletop miniatures game.

Another key reason is that most of the senior GW personnel - for example Tom Kirby and Rick Priestly - are Tolkien fans and their first fantasy wargaming experiences involved LOTR.

ORKY ARD BOYZ
06-01-2007, 10:11
What I want to know as well is why couldn't GW do star wars? The current line of miniatures produced by wizards of the coast are not what I'm looking for. I'd thought GW could have made a large profit if they did so when the movies came out.

I've read the lord of the rings books, I think they're great. I'm not saying GW shouldn't have done LOTR, its a good system with cool models of ringwraiths and barrowwights I use for my vampire counts army for warhammer, but that's not the point. I'm asking why didn't they make anymore systems based on movies and/or books if they did LOTR.

Brandir
06-01-2007, 10:24
GW can't do Star Wars as WotC have the exclusive rights to produce a tabletop miniatures game. WotC won't sub-license the brand as it would have an effect on the sales of their CMG.

Griefbringer
06-01-2007, 11:04
It's not too late! Doctor Who minis would be most delicious.

Actually, there was a range of Citadel Doctor Who miniatures back in the 80's:

http://www.solegends.com/citdrwho/index.htm

See here for the sprue for the plastic Daleks and Cybermen box:

http://www.solegends.com/citcat88/0002plastics.htm

As for the "why" of doing a LotR game, one should keep in mind that the LotR books are a sort of holy grail of fantasy - no self-respecting fantasy sculptor or game designer could pass an opportunity to make an official miniature range and game for that! Never mind being able to benefit from the massive publicity brought by the movies - huge profit opportunities! And from a business perspective, being able to prevent others from getting a lisence is also of great benefit.

As for "why no other GW lisence games" question, there are probably a number of issues that restrict their interest:

1.) Reliability on the lisence granter: since the lisence is for a limited duration, should the lisence granting party not be willing to renew the lisence again, there will be trouble: a lot of products (on the design of which resources have been invested) can no longer be made, and a number of customers will be most annoyed.

2.) Restrictions on creativity: you are mostly limited to what has been described in the original product on which the lisence is based - once you have covered everything described on it, there is little possibility for further expansion. Building your own setting is much less restrictive (and you do not need to worry about somebody withdrawing a lisence).

3.) Limited number of lisences available: a lot of the good lisences are already held by some other company, or the original creators are too snobby to want somebody to make something as vulgar as a miniature wargame out of their uniquely magnificent creation.

4.) GW intent to have a limited range of games: the management is trying to keep the number of core games low, while many other excellent games produced by the company are relegated to the questionable status of specialist games, which tend to get treated mostly with neglect even though they have massive potential.

BTW: I think back in the 80's GW produced a number of games on lisences - at least Judge Dredd game comes to mind. Also Citadel made a number of fantasy/scifi miniature ranges under lisence, without a corresponding GW game.

snurl
06-01-2007, 12:06
Well said, Greifbringer.

GW has, from time to time, come out with some products that, while not officially licensed, bear a resemblance to current pop culture- A good example would be Space Hulk, appearing around the time "Aliens" the movie came out.

I loved the Citadel D&D minis and have quite a few of them.

insaniak
06-01-2007, 12:38
Black tree already makes a boat load of Dr who minis.
http://www.black-tree-design.com/

Well, officially they made a boat load of Dr Who minis. Their license expired quite a few years ago, so the minis they are still selling are supposedly from a few cartons of old stock that someone found at the back of the warehouse... or at least, that's what they claimed on their website a while back.

Jo Bennett
06-01-2007, 19:31
They also sell a selection of "legions of the realm" miniatures, which underwent a mysterious name change around the time GW got the Lord of the Rings licence. Anyone like to hazard a guess what the previous title for the range was? :p

BlazeXI
06-01-2007, 21:02
GW should out of friendship with Peter Jackson do Braindead skirmish. Would have been a hit. I'd buy Sister McBeamish and the Priest (I kick **** in the name of Lord) straight away.

Acolyte of Bli'l'ab
06-01-2007, 21:59
thank god GW have enough sense to NOT do star wars and only stick to things that are actually good. I'd like Dr who minis though as long as they arent New-series inspired.

Tom
06-01-2007, 22:12
To the people who insist on questioninhg GW's wisdom:
A: It harms nobody.
B: Profits, despite declining, are still a hell of a lot higher than pre-2001.
C: Rapid computer-generated sculpting, halved production time on ranges, improved general visual quality of material*, significantly expanded range of plastics... need I go on? Very likely wouldn't have been able to do it without the damn thing.

*As in, the layout and design of the army books etc.

The game is afoot
07-01-2007, 09:29
B: Profits, despite declining, are still a hell of a lot higher than pre-2001.

Not anymore they are not.
Profits are at their lowest for over ten years and they are going to get lower following a poor xmas performance.
A mere £500,000 pounds of actual trading profit over the last 6 months up to November, and then a poor xmas as well. It's looking decidedly dicey.
GW used to make a LOT more money than this.

However, the LotR phenomena has been a massive boost for the company.
They are a rare creature in the business world, they own their plant and they have no debts!

They also have recently decided to extend their franchise with the Tolkien Foundation for all the LotR products to include the upcoming film 'The Hobbit' as well.
It may well be another film company other than New Line Cinema doing it but it will go ahead and it appears likely that it will be Jackson.
Jackson is suing New Line over breacjh of contract, (they haven't paid him) but New Line's rights to do the Hobbit expire in 8 months time and they are never going to get the Hobbit made in that time frame.
Jackson is talking about 4-5 years in the making, it may even be two films...

After the massive success of the LotR's films this is something that GW would defiunitely be keen to get their hands on.

The question is, will they still be trading as GW if the current trend of profit and shareprice fall continues?

insaniak
07-01-2007, 20:27
C: Rapid computer-generated sculpting,

... resulting in models sold at higher prices than their predecessors



halved production time on ranges,

...but no actual change to the number of new armies released every year



improved general visual quality of material*,

...which is good, because if the codexes continue to follow the format of the Eldar book, you're going to spend an awful lot of time looking at those imporved visuals while you try to find the actual rules...



significantly expanded range of plastics...

...in a softer, less-crisply detailed plastic than they were using 3 years ago...

Bombot
08-01-2007, 11:44
1.) Reliability on the lisence granter: since the lisence is for a limited duration, should the lisence granting party not be willing to renew the lisence again, there will be trouble: a lot of products (on the design of which resources have been invested) can no longer be made, and a number of customers will be most annoyed.

This is what hit Star Wars CCG. Decipher, the company that made the game, were unable to renew the licence as Lucas (or whoever represented him) wanted Hasbro to have the rights to a card game. Cue one excellent CCG replaced by a bog standard game which no one bought.

To be honest I think the Star Wars licence is a little tired now anyway. Believe me, a few years ago I would not have thought Id ever say that.

Sikkukkut
08-01-2007, 13:07
One of the key reasons that GW secured the LOTR license was to ensure that no other gaming companies acquired it. With hindsight this has proved an amazing coup for GW.

Imagine what would have happended if Wizards of the Coast had secured the LOTR tabletop license. Where would GW be today? A subsidiary of WotC?Hasbro? WotC did make a sunstantial effort to get the LOTR license as they wanted to use that IP to launch a tabletop miniatures game.

Another key reason is that most of the senior GW personnel - for example Tom Kirby and Rick Priestly - are Tolkien fans and their first fantasy wargaming experiences involved LOTR.

And I believe that another reason in turn was that GW and New Line already had a working relationship built on Black Flame getting the gig for New Line's novelisations. That link was already there and both companies seem to have been pretty happy with it, so when New Line was looking around for merchandising opportunities for LOTR and wanted to do a battle game, the answer would have been obvious.

With other properties like Lucasfilm, the existing working relationship wouldn't have been there.

much2much
09-01-2007, 13:41
...in a softer, less-crisply detailed plastic than they were using 3 years ago...

Is this discussed elsewhere on Warseer?

FatOlaf
09-01-2007, 16:06
Actually, there was a range of Citadel Doctor Who miniatures back in the 80's:
BTW: I think back in the 80's GW produced a number of games on lisences - at least Judge Dredd game comes to mind. Also Citadel made a number of fantasy/scifi miniature ranges under lisence, without a corresponding GW game.

Ah happy memories, I still have my K9. Yep in those days Citadel were not exactly GW exclusive and made minis for most of the RPG's out there, in various levels of quality.



However, the LotR phenomena has been a massive boost for the company.
They are a rare creature in the business world, they own their plant and they have no debts!

Apart from their 8 million $ loan, if you look at latest P&L


They also have recently decided to extend their franchise with the Tolkien Foundation for all the LotR products to include the upcoming film 'The Hobbit' as well.
It may well be another film company other than New Line Cinema doing it but it will go ahead and it appears likely that it will be Jackson.
Jackson is suing New Line over breacjh of contract, (they haven't paid him) but New Line's rights to do the Hobbit expire in 8 months time and they are never going to get the Hobbit made in that time frame.
Jackson is talking about 4-5 years in the making, it may even be two films...


What is your source for this info? My last info was that Jackson has no intention of working on The Hobbit, that currently there is a huge legal debate over who owns the rights of the Hobbit and that it might never get sorted, and that basically there is not much studio clamour for the book as basically it's quite a dull book.

insaniak
09-01-2007, 22:03
Is this discussed elsewhere on Warseer?

It's been discussed several times before, yes. Basically, around the time they brought out the plastic scouts, they changed over to a new plastic (and for some kits a new type of mould, with rounded sprue instead of the usual trapezoid shape... no idea if there's any other real difference) which is softer, much darker coloured (although that's probably just because they're putting more pigment in it) and doesn't hold the detail as well.

Put a current Tactical Sprue chestplate up against a 3rd Edition chestplate, and you'll see a pretty massive difference in the crispness of the detail. The new stuff looks softer, almost half-melted, by comparison.




What is your source for this info? My last info was that Jackson has no intention of working on The Hobbit, that currently there is a huge legal debate over who owns the rights of the Hobbit and that it might never get sorted, and that basically there is not much studio clamour for the book as basically it's quite a dull book.

The One Ring website posted a letter from Jackson explaining the current problems... New Line have approached him to do the Hobbit, but wanted him to drop the lawsuit as a part of the deal. When he refused, they decided to get someone else... assuming that the rights don't run out first.

There's no real debate over the rights at the moment. New Line own the rights to make the movie (for another few months), MGM own the rights to distribute it. After New Line's rights expire, if I remember correctly it just reverts to the Tolkein Estate, who supposedly (or at least some of them) want Jackson to do it.

And he's not against doing it... just didn't want to do it for the wrong reasons.

Rykion
09-01-2007, 23:39
GW made a ton of money off of LotR, and still stands to do well selling LotR products. They'll never get the Star Wars miniature rights as they're tied up by WotC who have been very successful with it.


There's no real debate over the rights at the moment. New Line own the rights to make the movie (for another few months), MGM own the rights to distribute it. After New Line's rights expire, if I remember correctly it just reverts to the Tolkein Estate, who supposedly (or at least some of them) want Jackson to do it.
The rights will revert back to Saul Zaentz who runs them under the name Tolkien Enterprises. If the rights ever went back to the Tolkien Estate, they would never be sold as long as Christopher Tolkien lives or his wishes are followed.

insaniak
10-01-2007, 02:11
They'll never get the Star Wars miniature rights as they're tied up by WotC who have been very successful with it.

That, and they don't actually want them... Various GW people have said over the last few years that they (GW) have no interest in developing other people's creations. LOTR was the only exception, just because it's, well, LOTR.

Son of the Lion
10-01-2007, 09:34
And Star Wars is, well, Star Wars. :p