Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Cubicle 7 Loses Middle Earth License - The One Ring 2nd Edition Cancelled

From the Cubicle 7 website:

Date Posted: 27-11-2019


‘I am with you at present,’ said Gandalf, ‘but soon I shall not be. I am not coming to the Shire.’

We have some very unfortunate and unexpected news to share. Contractual differences arose recently which we have been unable to resolve, and so we have decided to end our licensing agreement with Sophisticated Games. It is with regret that we have made this very tough decision to withdraw.

This means we will cease publishing The One Ring and Adventures in Middle-earth™ in the first half of 2020. Unfortunately, this doesn’t give us enough time to release the much-anticipated The One Ring – The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game second edition.

As many of you know, our first edition of The One Ring is eight years old, and we had high hopes of a full product line to support our second edition. Our team have worked incredibly hard on this new edition; with many of the announced titles already written and edited, so being very close to completion makes this decision even harder.

Although we were very close to the finish line when these issues arose, as gamers ourselves we did not feel it was right for the game, or fair to you, to release a new edition which we would be unable to support.

We appreciate how passionate so many of you are, especially those who have followed our journey from first edition or have pre-ordered the second edition. Thank you for your support over the years.

Pre-orders and refunds
Our immediate priority is to make the refunding process as easy as possible for those who pre-ordered from us. We understand your frustration and we sincerely apologise for this disappointment. If you pre-ordered The One Ring – The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game (standard or collector’s edition) or Rohan Region Guide directly from our webstore, you should have already received an email from us detailing your options and outlining any action required on your part.

We will be refunding you completely, or alternatively we would like to offer you 125% of the value of your order in Cubicle 7 store credit as a gesture of goodwill. This credit can be used across all of our other lines and future products. While those who pre-ordered Rohan Region Guide will have already received the PDF version, we will not be printing this title and you will also receive a full refund.

We are commencing our Black Friday offers today which include 50% off current The One Ring first edition stock and 30% off Adventures in Middle-earth™ stock, see our webstore for more information.

If you have not received an email, please contact us as soon as possible at info@cubicle7games.com.
If you wish to receive a full refund, you do not need to respond to the email, we will automatically process your full refund within the next 14 days.
If you wish to opt for 125% store credit, please reply to the email stating this by December 4th and we will arrange your credit.
If you ordered from your local games store, please contact them directly as we cannot comment on third party pre-orders.
We would ask that you bear with us as we do our best to organise these refunds as efficiently as we can, but it is a considerable administrative task as we have a substantial amount of web store pre-orders to manually process.

Thanks to our team
We would like to thank our talented team for their amazing work on The One Ring – The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game, including our producer, editor, artists, graphic designers, sales and marketing team, and all the freelancers involved.

Any freelancers with outstanding work on these lines who have not been contacted by C7, please contact their usual contact immediately.

Thanks for your support
We have enjoyed sharing glimpses of our vision for The One Ring second edition over the last number of months, and we are disappointed that we cannot bring our extensive plans to fruition. We’d like to take the opportunity to thank you all once again for your incredible support, patience and understanding in this matter.

What’s next?
This year has been Cubicle 7’s most successful year to date. We have been awarded funding from the Irish Government to support our continued development, and have recruited new staff to our passionate and dedicated team.

Work continues on Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, led by our new WFRP Producer Pádraig  Murphy. The PDF of Enemy in Shadows Companion will be released imminently. We are excited to continue working on Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Soulbound, Warhammer 40,000: Wrath & Glory, Lone Wolf and Doctor Who.

We are looking forward to 2020, which is shaping up to be our busiest year yet with many exciting releases planned!


  1. Drat!
    This sounds similar to what happened to Netrunner at FFG. The license holder likely made the licensee an offer they could not accept. Either they thought there was more money to be had elsewhere, or someone else made them a big offer and they asked C7 to match it.

  2. A shame, their ME material is some of the most beautiful in the RPG industry.

  3. Sad to hear that happened. I picked up nearly the whole 1st edition collection thanks to the Humble Bundle last year. I still need Laughter of Dragons I think to complete the set. Probably will need to grab it before it's unavailable even as a PDF.

  4. I've read C7's and Sophisticated Game's (SG) public statements and the bottom line is, in my opinion, that the publishing contract was up for renewal and SG wanted to impose terms on C7 that the C7 management felt were to onerous financially. Remember, C7 has other games they publish under license, and they need capital to make that happen. If one publishing license agreement becomes so costly that the company cannot reasonably support OTHER agreements they are a party to, then they have to make a tough choice. I am sure that the C7 folks already had a decent estimate of how much money they could expect to make publishing TOR-2, and I am guessing they realized that, under the terms of the new publishing agreement with SG, it would have been too costly for them to maintain while also meeting their obligations to the other publishing agreements they had. So, rather than dangle false hope in front of the TOR fans, they simply chose to pull the plug. Now, there are any number of reasons why SG might have wanted to impose more challenging stipulations on C7, and there is already speculation about that, which I won't get into. At the end of the day, this is a business decision made after negotiation between two parties has failed to reach an agreement that works for both parties. This kind of stuff happens all the time in the business world. I don't hold anything against either company. Each company is trying to make the most money possible for their owners/shareholders. In this case, SG has the stronger bargaining position because they hold the license for creating an rpg for The One Ring/Middle Earth. Or, at least they "think" they do. Likely, the folks at SG figure that if C7 walked away from TOR that SG would fairly quickly be able to find another publishing company to produce the TOR-2 rpg. They may be right, I don't know. What I do know is that the fans are the real losers here. But, as I said before, this is BUSINESS. I don't hold any animosity towards either company for trying to do what is in their own best interests.
    Happy gaming everyone!

  5. One would think it prudent to lock down the publishing rights before investing so much time and effort in TOR2. Still, C7 has handled this graciously, especially offering a 125% credit for pre-orders. They produce great stuff, I really like the new WFRP. I'm especially annoyed that we will never see the long promised Moria.


Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition