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Why no English Steven Universe or Adventure Time RPGs?

Ember Dragon

wannabe otokoyaku
Validated User
Honestly, I don't think there's a market for it.

I also don't think there's a market for a Harry Potter RPG. No, wait, hear me out.

For any of these properties, you can search "X property roleplay" and find countless chat rooms, forums, ect all dedicated to freeform RP. Sure freeform doesn't have dice and stats and complicated rule systems, but for the vast majority of the people playing in them that's a feature, not a bug. And freeform rp doesn't cost anything. You don't have to buy books or dice or anything like that. Just go online and play. The Sailor Moon RPG (and all of GoO's anime licenced games) marketed themselves as fan resource books as much as RPGs, and were mostly successful in a time period where episode summaries and character info and high quality images weren't a quick google away. Now though, I don't think a book like that would actually get enough traction to make it worth printing

(That said, I would be very interested to see the sales numbers on Tails of Equestria. I wonder how it's doing commercially)
 

Count_Zero

Game Master
Validated User
Maybe? I mean, 'is a big hit on Cartoon Network,' and 'will make it as an English Language product outside the primary market (the cartoon) are Venn diagrams that don't overlap as thoroughly as people sometimes think. Think about some other Cartoon Network properties that might intuitively made good TTRPGs -- Sailor Moon, Dragonball Z, Gundam (and all the other giant robot series), Neon Genesis Evangelion, etc. -- much of those hit the early TTRPG demographic squarely in the chest and are much straightforward action than AT and SU. They should be even easier ports to the new medium, but, with the exception of Robotech, I don't think any have had an English Language TTRPG. I can't say for sure I know all the reasons (some of the licenses for these are pretty complex), but part of me thinks it is because the revenue prospects of such a product would fall below the threshold needed to risk their cash cow, and/or the perceived risk from a TTRPG is seen as higher than when they get pennies on the dollar for a sub-licensed HAT/SU-themed alloween costume or birthday card.
There was a planned NGE sourcebook for BESM that fell through for various reasons that people who were closer to the process can talk about. There was a Japanese language Gundam RPG using the Mekton rules that was due for a US translation, except negotiations fell through for that one as well, sadly.
 

LibraryLass

Feminazgûl
Banned
Validated User
Probably very expensive licenses for the English version, and RPGs don't make much money. Also, working with licenses can be a huge hassle for RPG companies. And there's not that many companies who can afford to license things, so it might just be nobody at any of the big companies likes either of those two enough to want to make an RPG.
Surely the actual licensing should be done and handled, and given that I think both are available digitally, surely international distribution is already done and dusted. It seems to me the only expense should be the actual translation.

I know people who tried to get these and found them too expensive to pursue.
The actual games that exist, or the licenses?

You're not at all wrong. However, Steven Universe is still primarily aimed at a younger audience (teens, arguably, rather than "kids,"), and Adventure Time arguably is the same. And the reality of the demographic isn't necessarily enough for the company in charge. Harry Potter arguably has a large enough adult demographic ready to buy a game, but the fear of negative associations with a product that arguably was originally a kid's product. It likely isn't the only factor, but if there was ever a serious discussion of such a license in the US, that likely came up during it.
Dude, I own Adventure Time beer glasses.

Man, I loved the MIB RPG.

It does seem like conceptually AT and SU would both make great RPGs. I would have thought they'd be good sellers because there are huge fanbases there packed with people who'd buy the book even if they had no intention of playing.

Also WAS THERE A MOTU RPG?! Oh okay. Well that sounds very boardy. Yeah okay I don't need to go looking for one of these probably.
Not only would, but already do. That's what this thread is about.

That's what's really confusing me, here, is a lot of these responses are "why these games don't exist." They do exist. They're just only available in Spanish.
 

Maruten

Registered User
Validated User
Yeah, the core question is "these can exist, why do they not exist in English?" (ie the language of the source material.)

And Tails of Equestria is indeed the poster child for "see, somebody did this for one of Those Shows". Why has FiM made it to market in English and similarly (?) popular shows like AT and SU haven't? Hasbro's goals and interests may not match Cartoon Network's. Maybe the gang at River Horse are just REALLY keen on the ponies and were willing to suffer the licensing conditions. Maybe it's partly that MLP is tidier than AT and Less Controversial than SU.

I don't know what any of the answers are, but it's interesting.
 

Derrick Kapchinsky

Registered User
Validated User
Surely the actual licensing should be done and handled, and given that I think both are available digitally, surely international distribution is already done and dusted. It seems to me the only expense should be the actual translation.
This isn’t how licenses work. Nosolrol has the Spanish language license and only the Spanish language license. If someone wanted to make a English SU game (or one for any other language), they’d have to have a separate licensing agreement, which would certainly be much more expensive than the Spanish version.

Not only would, but already do. That's what this thread is about.

That's what's really confusing me, here, is a lot of these responses are "why these games don't exist." They do exist. They're just only available in Spanish.
Actually translating the Spanish game would be even more expensive, because you’d have to get a license for SU and then also license the Nosorol’s game from them.
 

LibraryLass

Feminazgûl
Banned
Validated User
This isn’t how licenses work. Nosolrol has the Spanish language license and only the Spanish language license. If someone wanted to make a English SU game (or one for any other language), they’d have to have a separate licensing agreement, which would certainly be much more expensive than the Spanish version.


Actually translating the Spanish game would be even more expensive, because you’d have to get a license for SU and then also license the Nosorol’s game from them.
Even that seems cheaper than the man-hours for designing, writing, and layout/publishing stuff for an all-new game.

Also, that ignores the possibility of Nosolorol doing it in-house.
 
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