The Embracer Group has acquired the rights to Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. by purchasing Middle Earth Enterprises. This is one of five acquisitions that cost the Swedish company a reported SEK 6 billion ($576 million). Middle Earth Enterprises was a division of The Saul Zaentz Company, which had stewarded the intellectual property rights to author J. R. R. Tolkien’s worlds for more than 50 years. What does this mean for Amazon’s rights and how will this affect the destruction of established characters from this setting?
To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Call of Cthulhu we are getting a new release of the Starter Set. This will include updated booklets and handouts. This set also includes the solo adventure that will teach you the rules of the game in a choose-your-own-adventure style booklet. After the fulfillment of Call of Cthulhu Classic (which is actually second edition) this amazing digital restoration of Call of Cthulhu history should also be available.
Warner Bros. Discovery has removed the “comics” from the DC Comics website. Now the URL is simple DC.com. This may be a product of restructuring and streamlining the properties, but it may also be an indication of a future move where Warner Bros. Discovery holds the license and the comics are created elsewhere. That has always been the biggest difference between Marvel and DC comics. The DC characters all have identifiable and trademarked logos on their chests that probably make as much money in licensing as the comics ever did.
Cults3D has posted a statement about a takedown request they have received from Games Workshop. Cults is a 3D printing marketplace that sells user uploaded STL files and also offer a certain amount for free. 200 models were listed as violating trademarked IP with some of these possible being only filenames. Cults is working with the artists on the website to eliminate the offending names, logos or deigns so that they can be re-uloaded. They are also coming back at GW over the free models, saying that the constitute “fan art” and should be left alone. Cults shared the list of infringing terms that reinforces the GW strategy to de-Tolkien-ize their naming to make it legally defensible in situations exactly like this.
Marvel Comics is losing the publishing rights to Conan the Barbarian. This may not be a bad thing as Conan was most recently introduced into the main Avengers continuity and teamed up with Wolverine and Venom to fight ninjas. He is also a member of the Savage Avengers. No thanks. Marvel first published the character in 1969 in their anthology comics and had a successful series that was true to the original series pulp stories that ran from 1970-1977. Darkhorse Comics also published a series between 2003 and 2017. Hopefully, now out of Marvel’s grasp the character will get some decent treatment. After surviving a never-made Amazon series and Jason Mamoa it can only be up from here.
Batman Gotham City Chronicles is back for a third season of the successful boardgame by Monolith Games on Kickstarter. In addition there will also be a role-playing game with the same setting as the board game. There will be a solo and a cooperative mode for the board game enabling you to play all your existing adventures, an extension with a campaign mode and of course more miniatures. Why an IP as big as Batman would need Kickstarter is anybody’s guess. The character is the only title with decent sales at DC Comics. I think he could go straight to retail. But the fact that you can play the entire game in French may make a few players think twice.
Quest RPG by the Adventure Guild, the rules light beginner friendly fantasy TTRPG, is now completely free in digital form on the publishers website. This may get me to finally read the rules. They have also announced a scifi setting for the same system. Is this a sign of confidence or desperation? Why do we keep talking about this game?
Thirsty Sword Lesbians by April Kit Walsh, Whitney Delagio, Dominique Dickey, Jonaya Kemper, Alexis Sara, and Rae Nedjadi published by Evil Hat Productions won the awrd for Best Game Writing in 2021. It was competing against Coyote & Crow, Granma’s Hand, Wanderhome and Wildermyth nominated in the same category. Is this a good thing for role-playing games or would a Nebula Award Winner sticker not make you look twice at a tabletop game? #marvel#conan#questrpg#thirstyswordlesbians
Patrick Rothfuss and James D’Amato are creating an RPG set in the world of the Kingkiller Chronicles. Specifically, the University’s Arcanum where, with the author, Bee Zelda, Satine Phoenix, and Liz Anderson will play four students along with on the OneShot podcast every Monday. Mile High Comics of Denver, Colorado responds to DC Comics leaving Diamond Distribution. The core rules for the 9th edition of Warhammer 40k are released for free. The Bitter Reach, a new expansion and campaign setting for Forbidden Lands by Free League, has been officially released. We did an unboxing if you want a sneak peek.
#freeleague #bitterreach #rcharvey
A great article with interviews on d20 Radio about the rise of single-artist TTRPGs by Egg Embry. Warhammer posts an inclusion statement. It shows a new social awareness at the company and also how you need to present yourself when you are worth more than a billion dollars. DC Comics leaves Diamond Distributors after 25 years, showing us a glimpse of the post-pandemic world. Swords and Wizardry is a streamlined version of White Box Dungeons and Dragons by Frog God Games. The Dark Eye has a second Bundle of Holding for the English language version. Wretched and Alone Game Jam deadline extended until the end of June. Itch.io raised over $5 million with its Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality.
This week we discuss the Tales From the Loop Amazon series and the well-timed Free League boardgame on Kickstarter. Idle Red Hands is producing The Complete Mutant Chronicles, a video lore series about the Mutant Chronicles and Warzone setting. The Professional Nerd, @BryanCPSteele , announced that Res Nova has the license to produce a new edition of Warzone. The Man of Steel, Henry Cavill confirms his love for Warhammer 40k on Instagram. CMON ceases trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange because of “auditing issues”. They also launched a Kickstarter for Ankh: Gods of Egypt, which is third in the series of games by Eric M. Lang, including Blood Rage and Rising Sun. Fantasy Grounds reports a 150% boost in online sessions on their platform. Now maybe the time to see what a virtual tabletop is all about. The sequel to Gloomhaven is also live on Kickstarter. Frosthaven looks to be an equally impressive game and the designer, Isaac Childes, couldn’t deserve another big success more. He runs a great crowdfunding campaign. Here’s hoping things get back to normal soon and these projects go well.
Apologies for the sound quality this week. We recorded remotely for the first time since the shutdown in Japan. We will get the bugs worked out for next week.
Various versions of The Rise of Skywalker have leaked. An Alan Dean Foster treatment and an early script draft by the dismissed director Colin Trevorrow. We have posted our review with the return of Alan to the podcast. DC Comics is releasing a 40-page sourcebook for their fantasy series, The Last God. Oni Press gets into boardgames. The return of the coolest boardgame to ever hit the planet (their words, not mine), Dark Tower is resurrected as The Return to Dark Tower. It burned up Kickstarter and hopefully won’t disappoint. How much nostalgia is there left to grab? #returntodarktower #riseofskywalker #thelastgod