Marvel to Launch Official 'MARVEL MULTIVERSE' Tabletop Role-Playing Game in 2022

Matt Forbeck announced on Twitter that he’s working on a new in-house D616 Marvel RPG due for a 2022 release! It looks like there will be an open playtest.

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What’s the D617 System? “… the all-new D616 System, an accessible and easy-to-learn system for newcomers to tabletop RPGs and a natural evolution for those familiar with the most popular tabletop role-playing games on the market. Use Might, Agility, Resilience, Vigilance, Ego, and Logic to win the day, and discover your true abilities as you face impossible odds!”


 
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Thomas Shey

Legend
Licenses are lost regardless of profits. Look at Cubicle 7 and them losing the license for The One Ring and Adventures in Middle-Earth when they were in the middle of making the 2nd edition of ToR and the big Moria boxed set. And those games, when combined, were quite profitable.

You might be having two different conversations here. I think he's referring to profitable to the licensor, not the licensee, and I believe you might be referring the other way around.

Almost no RPG is going to be notably profitable to a big media licensor. There's just not enough money in most of the business to be more than a blip to them. I think there's some multiple-reinforcement benefits to having an RPG out there with your IP on it, but that's subtler, and hard to judge if the overhead on managing the license is worthwhile.
 

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You might be having two different conversations here. I think he's referring to profitable to the licensor, not the licensee, and I believe you might be referring the other way around.

Almost no RPG is going to be notably profitable to a big media licensor. There's just not enough money in most of the business to be more than a blip to them. I think there's some multiple-reinforcement benefits to having an RPG out there with your IP on it, but that's subtler, and hard to judge if the overhead on managing the license is worthwhile.

Maybe. The license that C7 had was actually a sub-license from Sophisticated Games, who hold the actual license for ttrpgs using the LotR and Hobbit material, though Middle-Earth Enterprises still approved every book before it was released. And it has still never been publicly revealed what happened. I still wonder if it was because C7 was getting so heavy into all the Games Workshop licenses that Sophisticated felt C7 was not giving ToR enough attention and that triggered some clause in the contract, costing C7 the license regardless of actual profit. Or ME Ent was not happy with the additional lore being created for the game, same as when Iron Crown lost the license for making MERP.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
My understanding was that the license was not renewed by Marvel because it wasn't profitable enough by their standards. I believe MWP had at least one project close to completion that they weren't able to release because the license was pulled.
My understanding is that it was the other way around - they thought the agreement that they'd arranged with Marvel would be profitable, but after their first two releases sales numbers came in they realized it just wasn't going to make them the money needed to pay for the license. So MWP dumped the Marvel license without producing the product they had in the pipeline.

The original link is dead, but here's the Internet Archive link to the blog post where they lay it out: Pipeline News

And in Marvel news… the economics of licensing a tie-in product is always something we have to weigh carefully. We brokered an admittedly ambitious license with Marvel. Our first event, CIVIL WAR, was successful and well received, but it didn’t garner the level of sales necessary to sustain the rest of the line. We’ve learned from this and are taking a very different approach with the other licensed properties we’re bringing out to you in the next three years. We believe we created a great game. Those of you that have supported us have been terrific, and we appreciate you. But, unfortunately, we will not be bringing any new product out under the Marvel line. We know this affects our customers. Those that have pre-ordered Annihilation will receive a full refund or a credit worth 150% of their Annihilation order to use on existing or future product.
 

SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
I think that the issue with the previous license was that MWP didn't have the staff to produce at the rate that Marvel needed them to. I also think the game itself was sort of a niche product and perhaps too different from what the market was looking for.
That's definitely not saying it was bad, just not what the mainstream RPG audience was looking for at that time.
This new version ... I'm really not sure. I think it seems to have moved too far in the other direction but that's based on a terribly small sampling. We'll obviously see more shortly.
 


Micah Sweet

Legend
Licenses are lost regardless of profits. Look at Cubicle 7 and them losing the license for The One Ring and Adventures in Middle-Earth when they were in the middle of making the 2nd edition of ToR and the big Moria boxed set. And those games, when combined, were quite profitable.
Absolutely. But, in the case of MHR I believe it was Marvel's profit concerns that were the problem.
 

Greg K

Legend
I think that the issue with the previous license was that MWP didn't have the staff to produce at the rate that Marvel needed them to. I also think the game itself was sort of a niche product and perhaps too different from what the market was looking for.
That's definitely not saying it was bad, just not what the mainstream RPG audience was looking for at that time.
This new version ... I'm really not sure. I think it seems to have moved too far in the other direction but that's based on a terribly small sampling. We'll obviously see more shortly.
For myself, there was a lot to like about MHR, but I did have a couple of issues including the Event format as I have a strong dislike for the big Marvel Events. I know a few critics of MHR have said the Cortex Prime fixes the mechanical issues they had with the Doom Pool, but I don't know what the actual fixes are.
 

pemerton

Legend
I did have a couple of issues including the Event format as I have a strong dislike for the big Marvel Events.
I ignored the Event format, but took bits and pieces out of the book to use in my own game. I think MHRP strongly supports scene-framing play without a prepared script. But it's good to have plenty of datafiles and ideas for framing individual scenes.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Maybe. The license that C7 had was actually a sub-license from Sophisticated Games, who hold the actual license for ttrpgs using the LotR and Hobbit material, though Middle-Earth Enterprises still approved every book before it was released. And it has still never been publicly revealed what happened. I still wonder if it was because C7 was getting so heavy into all the Games Workshop licenses that Sophisticated felt C7 was not giving ToR enough attention and that triggered some clause in the contract, costing C7 the license regardless of actual profit. Or ME Ent was not happy with the additional lore being created for the game, same as when Iron Crown lost the license for making MERP.
Everybody always phrases these things as a publisher 'losing' the license, as though it's some kind of failure on their art. Sometimes it's the other way round. Cubicle 7 has said a number of times that it was their decision. (Other times, license terms just expire, though that wasn't the case here--a license might be for a finite period of time).
 

Everybody always phrases these things as a publisher 'losing' the license, as though it's some kind of failure on their art. Sometimes it's the other way round. Cubicle 7 has said a number of times that it was their decision. (Other times, license terms just expire, though that wasn't the case here--a license might be for a finite period of time).

True, but that one situation still feels so shady to me. For all we know, the guy who created the game, Francesco Nepitello, had a falling out with C7 and forced them to give up the license. But whatever the real reason was, at least they are all being professional and not being negative about each other. And we know you have experience with what happens with licensed properties and have authority to comment on stuff like this.
 

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