Just about two years ago my company put out a press release about our acquisition of the Thieves’ World RPG license. As someone who had started reading the series from its inception (and at a young age), this was awfully cool. Shortly after the announcement, an agent who represented the estate of Fritz Leiber contacted me. He had seen the Thieves’ World PR and wanted to know if Green Ronin would be interested in licensing Leiber’s Lankhmar books.
Let me tell you, it was really tempting. I loved the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories and devoured them all as a teenager. Fritz Leiber, Robert E. Howard, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Michael Moorcock were the fantasy writers that hooked me into the genre in my formative years. As I said, tempting. Much to the chagrin of several of my staffers though, I ultimately decided not to pursue the license. Sad to say, it just didn’t seem commercially viable in the current marketplace. I doubted many young fantasy fans read Leiber anymore and didn’t think the older gamers who did were a big enough audience. Certainly TSR’s two attempts to do Lankmar RPG lines had not been very successful and those were released when the RPG market was much stronger.
It is thus with some interest I note that another publisher has picked up the RPG rights to Lankmar. I’ll be curious to see how that works out.