Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Random Wizard Interview - David Cook

"DZC: Regarding licenses, frankly it was a couple of different things going on there. First, in some ways TSR was trying to get legitimacy with Hollywood. RPGs weren't "real" entertainment the way movies and TV was. So I think part of the going after licenses was a way to show that gaming was significant -- that it could bring revenue to the table. The problem was that we did some scattershot license deals -- 2001 in particular. Conan and Indiana Jones made sense in a way -- Conan played to our market and Indiana Jones was seen as a way to break into a more mainstream fantasy (pulp) and get us out of the "barbarians and elves" ghetto. 2010 was more of a stretch and, frankly, we got burned by the movie. Of all of them, Jeff's Marvel game was the one that made the most sense and was the most successful. It played to a different but same market -- Marvel was strong and had a fair crossover with out core. Plus, Jeff did a really good easy-to-access game. The other part, though, was that the licenses appealed to us as designers. I lobbied to do Conan, just as Jeff set himself to be the guy to do Marvel (nobody knew the comics better than him). Sure we wanted to succeed with these, but we also wanted to make them because we were fanboys at heart. Finally, the licenses were another part of TSR's strategy to expand us to be more mass market. Conan, Marvel, Indiana Jones all had far bigger audiences than us and so the though was "hey we need to tap into those groups." Of course, those were movie audiences so there wasn't necessarily the crossover we hoped." 4 out of 5 http://randomwizard.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/david-zeb-cook-interview.html