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Caolin
Senior Scribe

750 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2014 :  17:35:14  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
It definitely opens up the possibility of the Realms finally getting onto the big/little screen.

http://variety.com/2014/film/news/dreamworks-animation-in-merger-talks-with-hasbro-1201355161/

BEAST
Master of Realmslore

USA
1714 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2014 :  17:51:41  Show Profile  Visit BEAST's Homepage Send BEAST a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sounds like a smart move by Dreamworks to try to hook up with someone with much deeper pockets, and another trendy, glitzy one by the media-hungry folks at Hasbro.

But it definitely does NOT sound like the sort of cautious, penny-pinching thing I've come to expect from WOTC. Why hitch their wagon to a studio that has already been shown to be lagging with its last several films?

At any rate, I don't really like most cartoons. They're OK for a few laughs, but I don't take them seriously. They don't ever really draw me in, and they don't stick with me afterwards.

Anime is an exception. Some of that is right on par with really good live action stuff.

I guess I just can't empathize with animated characters, yet. The quality and realism still isn't there for me.

EDIT: Oh, and I also sadly noticed that the article mentions "Ouija", "Littlest Pet Shop", and "Magic: The Gathering" as assets of Hasbro's, but it omits "D&D". Stoopit mediaz! Grrr!

"'You don't know my history,' he said dryly."
--Drizzt Do'Urden (The Pirate King, Part 1: Chapter 2)

<"Comprehensive Chronology of R.A. Salvatore Forgotten Realms Works">

Edited by - BEAST on 13 Nov 2014 17:55:18
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Caolin
Senior Scribe

750 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2014 :  18:35:23  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, noticed that too. And Magic is already getting a movie.

http://deadline.com/2014/06/game-of-thrones-scribe-bryan-cogman-takes-on-magic-the-gathering-for-fox-787900/
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TBeholder
Great Reader

2223 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2014 :  20:52:04  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"It's coming, you know it is. Magic is so popular that it's only a matter of time before we shell out twenty bucks to see -
MAGIC: The Movie
"

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2014 :  20:58:41  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dreamworks creates BRILLIANT, blockbuster features; with few exceptions, they nearly always knock one out of the park.

Hasbro has a LONG success with animated features - at least four cartoons were hooked-together in a 'shared universe' during the 80's, and supported their toy lines.

I think this might be the best thing I've seen them do in QUITE AWHILE.

Sorry Beast - I understand where you are coming from, but this hobby of ours is not going to survive forever on the goodwill of the 'last of the grognards'. You want kids to buy your products, you create animated movies. Its just really good business sense. You mix angst & violence in a cartoon? Thats pure win in today's market. A Drizzt animated series (a REALLY good one, a la' FMA) could have us seeing an FR renaissance.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 13 Nov 2014 20:58:58
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BEAST
Master of Realmslore

USA
1714 Posts

Posted - 13 Nov 2014 :  23:51:52  Show Profile  Visit BEAST's Homepage Send BEAST a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Dreamworks creates BRILLIANT, blockbuster features; with few exceptions, they nearly always knock one out of the park.

The article listed several recent misses by them. That makes the timing of an alliance with them seem kinda off. Sure, if you want to merge with them right after Shrek. But after Mr. Peabody?!!

quote:
Hasbro has a LONG success with animated features - at least four cartoons were hooked-together in a 'shared universe' during the 80's, and supported their toy lines.

I get that. Transformers G1 still holds a dear place in my heart for nostalgic reasons.

quote:
Sorry Beast - I understand where you are coming from, but this hobby of ours is not going to survive forever on the goodwill of the 'last of the grognards'. You want kids to buy your products, you create animated movies.

Understood.

I just don't want them to be so focused on making stuff accessible for the newbs that they alienate us oldies. Where have we heard that before?

I would still prefer live action. That's all I'm saying.

quote:
A Drizzt animated series (a REALLY good one, a la' FMA) could have us seeing an FR renaissance.

I would watch something like that.

But I don't know that I would actually spend money to do so. I'd just borrow a copy from somebody, or check it out from the library. I just can't take a cartoon seriously. There is a major disconnect in my head, while watching them.

"'You don't know my history,' he said dryly."
--Drizzt Do'Urden (The Pirate King, Part 1: Chapter 2)

<"Comprehensive Chronology of R.A. Salvatore Forgotten Realms Works">
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Sylrae
Learned Scribe

Canada
313 Posts

Posted - 14 Nov 2014 :  16:37:52  Show Profile Send Sylrae a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
I just don't want them to be so focused on making stuff accessible for the newbs that they alienate us oldies. Where have we heard that before?

I'm not that much of an oldie; but I hear you. I doubt they're going to screw up that badly again though; If I heard correctly, they've lost a lot of people in the D&D department over the past few years due to budget cutbacks, after their last "reinvention" didn't go over as well as planned - and then they have a big backpedaling campaign of "D&D Any Edition" trying to get people back, and they re-released a bunch of older titles for older editions, and then 5e looks a lot more like a 3e based approach at 2e, taking some game design notes from 4e, rather than going further down the line 4e was headed.
I think they learned their lesson, and I think they learned it the hard way. (Of course, I don't work at WotC, and these are just my impressions from public information over the past few years)

quote:
I would still prefer live action. That's all I'm saying.

I would prefer that too. Something along the lines of AGoT, or perhaps a series of fantasy-action movies. I don't think the market is in a position with fantasy to make that likely though.

quote:
I just can't take a cartoon seriously. There is a major disconnect in my head, while watching them.
I don't get that; Up until I was around 20 or 21, you almost couldn't pay me to take an interest in live-action TV. Movies, sure, but I couldn't get involved in most TV long enough to stay interested (there were a few exceptions, like Buffy, and Firefly). I think it largely had to do with the fact that most of my interests seem to be in things that up until fairly recently were exclusive to cartoons/anime/movies (action/adventure, fantasy, super heroes).
However, I'm a cable-cutter. If they're hoping to make money off of me paying for cable, tuning to some channel when they want me to, and watching advertisements, they won't make a cent off of me. I don't have cable, and I have no intention of getting cable; especially when they'll make me pay for a hundred channels plus premium costs for me to watch the four-five channels I would actually maybe sometimes use. There's a decent chance I would buy episodes online if they could guarantee it would be there for me to redownload later; and I would watch it if it was on netflix; but yeah. Cable is stupid, and it's a stupid business model to try to use these days. If they want to make ad revenue from me, rather than selling me episodes, put them up on youtube in HD, with targetted advertisements.

quote:
A Drizzt animated series (a REALLY good one, a la' FMA) could have us seeing an FR renaissance.
I'm not all that interested in Drizzt (to the point where I actively avoid any novels about him these days), but he's clearly the big FR name. All of my favorite FR characters have little (basically nothing) to do with Drizzt - (Jack Ravenwild, Pharaun Mizzrym (and the rest of the WotSQ cast), Lirial Baenre, Araevin Teshurr, Matteo, Gromph Baenre, Seiveril Miritar, and Khelben Arunson). Perhaps drizzt would keep me interested more if it was on-screen. I would like to see Drizzt TV or Film become successful though, because it would seed the market to help make it more amenable to giving me a live action War of the Spider Queen Hexology film, which I would happily shell out $50/movie for. Just keep Shyamalan away from it, that guy ruins everything he touches, no matter how good the source material is.

But Dreamworks isn't the one to do Forgotten Realms Movies. They should go talk to Marvel Studios. A live action 2.5 hour Drizzt Movie, written & directed by Joss Whedon (with Salvatore consulting to make sure he does it right), and Produced by Marvel Studios. As mentioned, I'm not really a Drizzt fan, but damned if I wouldn't go to see that.

Here's hoping that the World of Warcraft movie is hugely successful, that they finish several Hugely Successful Magic the Gathering Movies, Perhaps some Witcher or Dragon Age movies, followed by some D&D/Drizzt Stuff.

When all of that has happened, maybe the market will see fantasy movies the same way they see super hero movies, and I'll be able to have some delicious delicious WotSQ/Last Mythal/Tangled Webs movies.

Sylrae's Forgotten Realms Fan-Lore Index, with public commenting access to make for easier improvement (WIP)

Edited by - Sylrae on 14 Nov 2014 16:42:06
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
4332 Posts

Posted - 14 Nov 2014 :  17:17:09  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

"It's coming, you know it is. Magic is so popular that it's only a matter of time before we shell out twenty bucks to see -
MAGIC: The Movie
"




Ugh, that's what I'm horribly afraid of. Magic is such a rich, detailed, expansive, and lengthy universe that I'm just not sure which storyline would be the best to showcase in a movie. Then there's the explanation of "Mana" and Planeswalkers and how the Planes of the setting are different yet linked. There's probably only a few correct ways to explain it and about a hundred ways to really mess it up.

Then you have to really hope they don't take the literal aspect of that game where you, the player, are a "Planeswalker" summoning forth magic to defeat your opponent. Incorporating any of this would be a 100% mistake. And that's the problem with making a movie from a game. It didn't work with Doom (even though I sort of liked it) or Battleship. And to every outsider who has NO idea who Urza, Mishra, Lim-Dl, or Niv-Mizzet is or what a Phyrexian, the Skyship Weatherlight, or the Plane of Dominaria is then they're going to go into the movie completely clueless.

And for the ones who DO know what these are and mean, how do you figure out which is the best one to showcase? Do you go with the Brothers War? The Ice Age that followed? The Phyrexian invasion of Dominaria? Do you incorporate the Planeswalkers in the setting?

Ugh, it's just FAR too lengthy of a storyline to simply make 1 movie from and garner the sort of success it deserves.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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TBeholder
Great Reader

2223 Posts

Posted - 14 Nov 2014 :  17:25:06  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Sorry Beast - I understand where you are coming from, but this hobby of ours is not going to survive forever on the goodwill of the 'last of the grognards'.
You want kids to buy your products, you create animated movies.

[BIG LETTERS ZOMG!!1 skipped] And when the pink colored saccharine glitter washes off, it's called "lowest common denominator". Plain and simple.
I wonder, however... how did it get where it is in the first place? I see only 4 possibilities:
1) The grognards were grognards forever, and now they suddenly began to die out.
2) It was picked up by "kids" back then, but they were somehow completely different. Not lobotomized, perhaps?
3) It was hellokittied before.
4) Your construct has some implicit gaps in logic. Badly covered with big letters.

quote:
Its just really good business sense.

Not really. I believe the appropriate verb is "[to] ape".

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Sylrae
Learned Scribe

Canada
313 Posts

Posted - 14 Nov 2014 :  18:44:38  Show Profile Send Sylrae a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Ugh, it's just FAR too lengthy of a storyline to simply make 1 movie from and garner the sort of success it deserves.


I would actually expect to see not a whit of Urza. I think they would end up using the plot line or setting of one of the more recent sets, and some of the new weaker planeswalkers.

If they do an Urza thing, it'll be as some kind of prequel. I would be very surprised if they started at the beginning, especially when many Magic players aren't familiar with the older characters or plots. They wouldn't know the Weatherlight if you beat them over the head with it, and have absolutely no idea who Gerrard, Mishra, or Urza are.

Sylrae's Forgotten Realms Fan-Lore Index, with public commenting access to make for easier improvement (WIP)
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
4332 Posts

Posted - 14 Nov 2014 :  20:39:35  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I dunno, Phyrexia is still a pretty prominent antagonist within the setting and it's brought up a lot in terms of story (from a forum's perspective) and they only did Time Spiral a few years ago (5 or 6, I think) which heavily detailed some of the most famous Dominaria things from the past. And while certain villains have remained consistent and popular (like Nicol Bolas for example) I'm certain that other unique characters have at least maintained some popularity even this far removed.

In any event, that's one of the hurdles this movie is going to have to overcome. If you go with the newer series and characters you risk confusing and angering fans who just haven't kept up after 20 years. My friend, for example, still plays casually however I think the last set of cards he even bought was probably from the Invasion cycle, just over 14 years ago. So when he saw even the more recent cards (like Ravnica, Return to Ravnica, Theros, Lorwyn, Shadowmoore, etc. he was so far removed from the game that he was very put off by the changes to both the game, setting, and cards. Even myself, who buys cards sparingly nowadays, wouldn't be nearly as interested in a storyline with the current Magic Justice League (Sorrin, Ajani, Chandra, Gedeon, etc.) that just leaves me sort of 'blah'.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Caolin
Senior Scribe

750 Posts

Posted - 14 Nov 2014 :  20:47:40  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Sorry Beast - I understand where you are coming from, but this hobby of ours is not going to survive forever on the goodwill of the 'last of the grognards'.
You want kids to buy your products, you create animated movies.



I'll say this about 5E. I've been regularly participating in weekly Encounters sessions and the monthly Expeditions sessions. They have definitely attracted the attention of kids. There are so many kids attending that they've created a few adults only tables to give the old fogies like me a respite.

I think another animated show would give D&D a big boost. I mean it worked for me in the early 80's!
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36250 Posts

Posted - 14 Nov 2014 :  21:15:31  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Caolin


quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Sorry Beast - I understand where you are coming from, but this hobby of ours is not going to survive forever on the goodwill of the 'last of the grognards'.
You want kids to buy your products, you create animated movies.



I'll say this about 5E. I've been regularly participating in weekly Encounters sessions and the monthly Expeditions sessions. They have definitely attracted the attention of kids. There are so many kids attending that they've created a few adults only tables to give the old fogies like me a respite.

I think another animated show would give D&D a big boost. I mean it worked for me in the early 80's!



I have to admit... I loved those cartoons, back in the day. But when they were originally aired, I had no idea they were connected to a game of any kind!

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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Caolin
Senior Scribe

750 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2014 :  00:44:53  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Caolin


quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Sorry Beast - I understand where you are coming from, but this hobby of ours is not going to survive forever on the goodwill of the 'last of the grognards'.
You want kids to buy your products, you create animated movies.



I'll say this about 5E. I've been regularly participating in weekly Encounters sessions and the monthly Expeditions sessions. They have definitely attracted the attention of kids. There are so many kids attending that they've created a few adults only tables to give the old fogies like me a respite.

I think another animated show would give D&D a big boost. I mean it worked for me in the early 80's!



I have to admit... I loved those cartoons, back in the day. But when they were originally aired, I had no idea they were connected to a game of any kind!



Not so sure if this was shown during the cartoon but I certainly remember seeing it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1wGlOwn1pM

But the cartoon actually just sparked my imagination. I was tempted by the game at the local book store.
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Caolin
Senior Scribe

750 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2014 :  00:48:30  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And just for fun, check this out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64UwP0WUdAA
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36250 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2014 :  01:40:17  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Caolin

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Caolin


quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Sorry Beast - I understand where you are coming from, but this hobby of ours is not going to survive forever on the goodwill of the 'last of the grognards'.
You want kids to buy your products, you create animated movies.



I'll say this about 5E. I've been regularly participating in weekly Encounters sessions and the monthly Expeditions sessions. They have definitely attracted the attention of kids. There are so many kids attending that they've created a few adults only tables to give the old fogies like me a respite.

I think another animated show would give D&D a big boost. I mean it worked for me in the early 80's!



I have to admit... I loved those cartoons, back in the day. But when they were originally aired, I had no idea they were connected to a game of any kind!



Not so sure if this was shown during the cartoon but I certainly remember seeing it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1wGlOwn1pM

But the cartoon actually just sparked my imagination. I was tempted by the game at the local book store.



That looks like animation created just for that commercial. I don't recognize any of the characters from the cartoon.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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Dark Wizard
Senior Scribe

USA
830 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2014 :  05:02:59  Show Profile Send Dark Wizard a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nope, not going to happen after all: Hasbro-DreamWorks animation merger falls through.

If the merger did happen, it probably wouldn't create anything more impressive than Hasbro with DreamWork's library of characters but led by DreamWorks execs. Hasbro's value exceeds DreamWorks and even combined they're still a far cry from the likes of Disney/Marvel or Warner Bros/DC. Even then, it is likely the top franchises for both will get the lion's share of development and funding such as Transformers, G.I. Joe, My Little Pony, Shrek, How to Train a Dragon, etc. Heck, if we think about it, Care Bears was a far bigger phenomenon than D&D (multiple shows, TV movies, merchandising).

We have to face the truth, D&D is far behind Magic in importance to WotC/Hasbro, probably even lower in priority than Kaijudo. D&D is the ugly stepchild of Hasbro, when it was on the prowl for Magic and the at-the-time success of Pokemon. D&D was a meek but grown ward Hasbro got saddled with after it invited WotC to live under the same roof.

I get the feeling Hasbro knows less how to handle D&D than any other property it owns, which is why they don't handle it and leave it to its own devices as WotC's pet project. They allow the old school cred to rub off on the company and also gives them a third product line to put on Wizard's website. That way they have something 40 years old (D&D), 20 years old (MtG), and something relatively new (Kaijudo, well the game's been around for a while, but the show is newish). Cover all the bases, while giving the splash page slide show more images to rotate through.

In an alternate universe where Wizards came packaged with a Pathfinder type game (as in an OGL type game, secondary to a main brand under control of another company) instead of the originator of RPGs, the RPG department at Wizards would have been shut down or heavily reorganized as to be unrecognizable. The game name might be retained as a brand, but it probably would have been turned into some board or card game variant, perhaps tied in to another franchise (Transformers D&D, MLP D&D, etc).

The only thing D&D has going for it is its venerable status and that's worth less and less as other similar properties start chipping away at the fantasy genre mind share (Pathfinder in RPGs, Warcraft and the like in electronic gaming, LotR at the movies).

Edited by - Dark Wizard on 15 Nov 2014 05:10:10
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xaeyruudh
Master of Realmslore

USA
1853 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2014 :  05:50:38  Show Profile  Visit xaeyruudh's Homepage Send xaeyruudh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
While I agree with you Dark Wizard, that could all change in an instant. All they need is the right person, with the right contacts. A D&D Movie Done Right (capitalized for its near-mythical status) would be at least the equivalent of Avatar (which, interestingly, seems to have been a huge hit and then abruptly forgotten) and could easily turn into another Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter or even Star Trek. A big budget would be nice, but all that's really necessary is the right person with the right contacts. The budget will show up, for a compelling story.

MTG might have some movie potential, but it's a niche market, like Pokemon or Yu-gi-oh. They're very popular with the people who like them, but they do not have universal appeal. Robin Hood has pretty universal appeal, and who hated Princess Bride? The only people who don't like King Arthur movies are the people who've only seen bad King Arthur movies. Well, that might be stretching a little bit, but the fact that there have been so many fantasy movies (in spite of many of them getting bad reviews and/or not being huge box office hits) speaks to the deep appeal of the genre.

To be successful, a D&D movie needs only a good story and decent actors (which every other movie also requires) and to not be marketed as a D&D movie. If you call it a D&D movie, the only viewers you'll get are D&D players. Build an original storyline, tell people about your great storyline, and after it does well... like 5 years later in an interview on Oprah or Ellen or Inside the Actors Studio, you drop the bombshell. "Oh, that? Yea, that was a D&D movie, it's set in the new world of XYZ we've been working on. Glad you enjoyed it! If you'd like to see more of the world, drop by your local game store this week and check out our Encounters games. No prior gaming experience required."

Secret to success? Nobody says D&D, and WotC doesn't put any of their logos on it.

Because D&D movies are advertisements, just like a MTG or Yu-gi-oh movie would be an advertisement. General fantasy movies, on the other hand, are awesome entertainment. And really, it doesn't matter if the setting is being used in D&D or not. What matters is the story, and the visuals.

Totally agree about Hasbro not knowing what to do with D&D. And I think not knowing how to handle it is a simple issue of overthinking it... and probably being embarrassed by it, but that's just overthinking it too. D&D is probably the most marketable product Hasbro has, and an opportunity to do real tangible good in the world, and it's sad that they seem to be just kinda sitting on their thumbs trying to avoid looking at it.

Edited by - xaeyruudh on 15 Nov 2014 05:52:44
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Sylrae
Learned Scribe

Canada
313 Posts

Posted - 15 Nov 2014 :  12:24:21  Show Profile Send Sylrae a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

I dunno, Phyrexia is still a pretty prominent antagonist within the setting and it's brought up a lot in terms of story (from a forum's perspective) and they only did Time Spiral a few years ago (5 or 6, I think) which heavily detailed some of the most famous Dominaria things from the past. And while certain villains have remained consistent and popular (like Nicol Bolas for example) I'm certain that other unique characters have at least maintained some popularity even this far removed.
That was almost 10 years ago. IIRC Lorwyn (immediately following time spiral block) was in 2007, and a block tends to last around 2 years.

quote:
the last set of cards he even bought was probably from the Invasion cycle
So he hasn't been a M:tG customer in nearly 15 years.
quote:
buys cards sparingly nowadays, wouldn't be nearly as interested in a storyline with the current Magic Justice League (Sorrin, Ajani, Chandra, Gedeon, etc.) that just leaves me sort of 'blah'.
And you're not that much of a current customer.

quote:
If you go with the newer series and characters you risk confusing and angering fans who just haven't kept up after 20 years.
But Magic is still quite popular. They're not hurting for customers/players, and I dont think they would need to be that concerned with the old customers. The old customers will see a trailer without Urza and Gerrard, and they'll either think it's something new made up for the movie, or they'll know that they're characters from the newer sets/storylines. I dunno.

I imagine at the end of the day it will depend on which storyline they decide is more accessible to a a new audience, while still resonating with current MtG customers.

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Dark Wizard
Senior Scribe

USA
830 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2014 :  05:32:04  Show Profile Send Dark Wizard a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by xaeyruudh

While I agree with you Dark Wizard, that could all change in an instant. All they need is the right person, with the right contacts.

I don't disagree, but the same could be said of any intellectual property or franchise. This is easier said than done since finding people who are both visionary and influential is a rare and difficult thing in any field. All things considered equal in the random chance a franchise is taken up by a producer who knows what they're doing, other properties just have more going for them at this point to support their rise as breakout franchises.

The current Transformer franchise achieved incredible success in spite of the people behind it because of the pent up demand for this 80s franchise with giant robotic aliens who transform into vehicles and dinosaurs. Cars, planes, dinosaurs, alien robots transforming into those and fighting each other, the concept is made of success. All the movie makers had to do was satisfy the minimal of that spectacular premise for the whole series to cruise into billions.

quote:
Originally posted by xaeyruudh

MTG might have some movie potential, but it's a niche market, like Pokemon or Yu-gi-oh. They're very popular with the people who like them, but they do not have universal appeal.

The same could be said of superhero comics before the last two decades of constant superhero movies. Or of traditional fantasy movies before the LotR films. Or a fantasy TV show before Game of Thrones. Or young adult literature (and films made from such books) before Harry Potter.

What does MtG have going for it over D&D? Its product line is inherently more profitable, and likely more readily merchandisable (it kind of already is). This ensures the company remains focused on it and invested in it through good markets or bad markets as it has that buffer of performance. Outwardly they cover much the same ground, so much so that Magic's use of planeswalkers would make a Planescape movie potentially untenable for a number of years. Certain parts of Magic also has a mage-punk aesthetic that might infringe on Eberron's styling. If a Magic incorporates either of these, the chances of either having a successful movie is diminished. Luckily, Forgotten Realms might fare the best because it fulfills the traditional niche.

quote:
Originally posted by xaeyruudh

To be successful, a D&D movie needs only a good story and decent actors (which every other movie also requires) and to not be marketed as a D&D movie. If you call it a D&D movie, the only viewers you'll get are D&D players.
(snip)
Secret to success? Nobody says D&D, and WotC doesn't put any of their logos on it.

If Wizard/Hasbro are serious about brand building, this strategy to obfuscate "D&D" would be a mistake, even if the blinding is unveiled at a later date.

Before the start of Marvel studio's film empire, superheroes were isolated to their respective titles. There were Superman movies, Batman movies, X-Men movies, Blade movies, etc. No one cared or even knew who Marvel or DC comics were (outside of their niche comicbook audience). Now tagging Marvel in front of any movie at least gets eyeballs looking at the trailer. Of course they maintain a certain quality to not drag down the name, but the brand is built. WB/DC is rushing to link their characters under a brand, Universal is trying to revive their classic movie Monsters into a shared universe, the Hobbit films go out of their way to feature LotR characters. Marvel didn't shy away from their roots, they didn't hide their name (despite the unsteady movies linked to their brand), then reveal at a later time 'Guess what, you all got punk'd into watching a Marvel superhero movie, and not one of the popular A-lister heroes either'. No, they embraced their seven decade heritage and the nature of the medium from which they arose. They relied on their core audience to like it and help spread word of mouth.

Some of the few studios to have this ability are Pixar and Disney and to a lesser extent Dreamworks. Of course quality plays a role, but it always does. This is about setting things up so you maximize what quality you're able to accomplish.

While it is true these are all movie studios, keep in mind what some of the older toy commercials used to do (go ahead, search for them on YouTube). They used to include the narrator saying "from Hasbro/Mattel/Galoob/Milton Bradley/Parker Brothers" with a flash of the logo.

quote:
Originally posted by xaeyruudh

Because D&D movies are advertisements, just like a MTG or Yu-gi-oh movie would be an advertisement. General fantasy movies, on the other hand, are awesome entertainment. And really, it doesn't matter if the setting is being used in D&D or not. What matters is the story, and the visuals.

Except Yu-gi-oh was one of the most popular anime based around the card game concept, and it has pop culture significance for the tropes linked to it and its place in remix culture (a fan-made abridged series became its own meme and started others to do the same for other series). It has extensive presence in manga, TV and spinoffs are still in production I believe, video games, card games, and even animated movies. Yu-gi-oh has a higher media profile, accomplished in about 15 years of the franchise being created, compared to the 40 years of D&D.

While Magic is less widespread, it remains the primary money maker for the company that owns both D&D and Magic. Unless things are going really well for D&D on the movie arena (and they haven't), if Wizard had a limited amount of resources to devote to their product likes (and they are limited), which do you think they would concentrate their efforts to expand first if give the right opportunities? The business-based answer at least fairly obvious.

quote:
Originally posted by xaeyruudh

D&D is probably the most marketable product Hasbro has, and an opportunity to do real tangible good in the world, and it's sad that they seem to be just kinda sitting on their thumbs trying to avoid looking at it.



While I agree with the latter parts of your statement, I'm going to disagree with the marketable part. If D&D was the most marketable (or even a more marketable product), it would have increased standing amongst Wizards' products instead of languishing as a side-project. The product line is inherently not product based (despite their attempts to emphasize crunch or adventures or miniatures over other aspects). Once the initial framework is out there (and you don't even need a PHB for each player), people can house rule and tinker to their hearts content without paying WotC another dime. It's diminishing returns with each book after the Core Rule books, and the settings by default dwell in the far wake of the Core Rules.
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Dark Wizard
Senior Scribe

USA
830 Posts

Posted - 16 Nov 2014 :  23:40:35  Show Profile Send Dark Wizard a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Sylrae
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan
buys cards sparingly nowadays, wouldn't be nearly as interested in a storyline with the current Magic Justice League (Sorrin, Ajani, Chandra, Gedeon, etc.) that just leaves me sort of 'blah'.
And you're not that much of a current customer.

Have a feeling the current characters are the ones they will develop for a movie. They seem more instantly distinct and marketable than many of the characters who came before.

Note their contemporary styling: MtG Planeswalker 'Pantheon'

Does that seem familiar to how other game characters are portrayed?
League of Legends
Heroes of the Storm
Overwatch
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood and Unity

It's the same composition to showcase a line-up of varied characters with diverse skills as many popular electronic games use. It is especially useful to highlight an ensemble cast of heroes and villains of different powers and archetypes. Just like the Big 2 love to showcase their team-up rosters (either just posing or in action), they've done it for decades, these are just recent examples:
Justice League
Avengers

Tabletop RPGs aren't to be left out:
Pathfinder Iconics and more Iconics
V20 Dark Ages

Neither is Wizards totally asleep at the wheel in regards to Forgotten Realms:
The Sundering

Starting to get a familiar vibe now?

"Justice League" for all the baggage that comes with the term is part of the reason why a franchise is popular. Characters are worth their weight in gold and considering all the books and videos and toys made of characters, that can amount to a weighty sum indeed.

Even from action and premise heavy properties like Hasbro's mainstays, it's not enough that it's a Transformers movie, it needs Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, it needs Megatron and Starscream, at least in the initial offering. Those characters come with their own iconography and style. They are identifiable to people.

The silly thing WotC did was wipe their slate clean in the Realms. They had to essentially start over after the Spellplague and 4E because they aged out most of their mortal characters and even went out of their way to remove many of the immortal ones. Creating characters that stick on the wall is not easy and the companies above spend a lot of time and resources to support their characters to given them the best chance to hold the audience's attention.

If the clean slate does not quickly and effectively present enough new characters for people to follow, then the property switches into backslide mode (and Wizards is not unique in this) as we start to see people returning, like some of the Chosen and Mystra. We have Drizzt's companions being reincarnated. Mirt is somewhere out there. Cameos of Baldur Gate CRPG NPCs in the adventure modules. Minsc in his own comic.

Wizards will probably be fine after all of this, the Realms might lose a bit of traction for a bit, but it could recover. However, in the short term, other properties are busy brand building and expanding while Wizards is expending precious resources re-branding and rebuilding.

The risk is another property can swoop in and claim the zeitgeist of a certain styling or premise, much like Blizzard took some of the look and ideas from Warhammer and reworked it into an even more profitable set of franchises.

To give credit to Hasbro/Wizards, I think they realize this and we're hearing of the lawsuit over the D&D movie rights and this potential merger with a movie studio. Wouldn't be surprising if other activities are going on behind the scenes to better position Wizard properties.

quote:
Originally posted by Sylrae
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan
If you go with the newer series and characters you risk confusing and angering fans who just haven't kept up after 20 years.
But Magic is still quite popular. They're not hurting for customers/players, and I dont think they would need to be that concerned with the old customers. The old customers will see a trailer without Urza and Gerrard, and they'll either think it's something new made up for the movie, or they'll know that they're characters from the newer sets/storylines. I dunno.

I imagine at the end of the day it will depend on which storyline they decide is more accessible to a a new audience, while still resonating with current MtG customers.


This. They will focus on current and recent fans as well as accessing new fans. If those new players happen to be the kids of people who played twenty years ago, all the better as they have readily available teachers of the game that parents and kids can rediscover/discover together.

For instance, Marvel deciding to go head with the recent Civil War and Age of Ultron arcs in their cinematic universe is not going to alienate fans of older Avenger stories or characters.

In fact, this is exactly what happened with Guardians of the Galaxy. The movie used the relatively recent 2008 GotG team and not the classic 70s era Guardians. Some people expressed their wishes for the classic Guardians, but most were happy to get any non-Avengers Marvel movie and the easter eggs and homages to some classic GotG elements (and other Marvel characters) were noted and appreciated.
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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2686 Posts

Posted - 17 Nov 2014 :  02:48:04  Show Profile Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like Drizzt, but the idea of a Drizzt movie doesn't appeal to me. It used to, but not so much anymore.

I am with BEAST on anime though. I love anime, though I mainly read manga.

Sorry for chiming in late. I just found this topic while browsing.

Sweet water and light laughter
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