Friday, March 14, 2014

The Things That You Hear: Licenses And RPGs [UPDATED With Link]

When you're a blogger, or you have contacts within the tabletop gaming industry, you hear a lot of things that never make it out to the general public. Who isn't paying their bills and their freelancers tends to be the thing that you hear about the most. Which publisher lost a licensing deal over non-payment, that sort of thing. DMs on Twitter and private chats on Facebook and G+ give up some of the details on what is going on behind the scenes. Sometimes you pick up things around the gaming table. If you want this information to keep coming you learn to be discrete about things. You want your information to keep coming, after all. This is when a blogger should behave like a journalist and protect their sources.

For example, a piece of information that I have been sitting on for a while now is that one of the well known publishers, known mostly for their science fiction games but also with some fantasy showings, is planning on dipping its toe into the realms of super-hero games by landing a fairly major (to our smaller niche of gaming) comic book license. Will this get past the negotiation stages? I have heard that it has, but as we all well know that doesn't assure that a final product will make the game shop shelves. We will know it when we see it, however. I hope that the game does make it. The license will hold a certain amount of nostalgia for those gamers who are comic book fans, I think, and it will definitely make for an interesting game.

UPDATE: It appears that, while no announcements have been made, there is a holding page for the game on the company's website ( If you want to keep secrets quiet, you shouldn't go live with your web pages. Actually, I looked for this a couple of days ago and couldn't find it. Hat tip to an astute reader for finding the link.

SECOND UPDATE: I've added some screen shots of the page. Just in case.

I am always leery of licensed games because, whether gamers like it or not, they are going to go away sooner or later. At some point the license will stop being profitable for someone in the equation and the game will go away. Yes, there is always the idea that licensed games will, by their nature, bring non-gamers into the fold, but I don't know if this is a prevalent as it would have been 10 or 20 years ago. Sure, there will be some crossover interest from people with the inclination who had never before gamed but I don't know that it is a big of a market as it once was.

Regardless, let's watch and see if there are any big announcements about a new license at the GAMA Trade Show, Origins or Gen Con this year. If this game is going to go through, that is when I would assume that it would start to be talked about.

UPDATE THREE: Expect to hear more soon.

Do you have a tip one something big coming up? Let me know about it privately and I will keep all of my sources confidential.