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  • Mongoose Publishing is done with B5

    Mongoose Publishing's license for B5 ends at the end of the month.

    Here's a link to their B5 website. http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/rp...hp?qsSeries=11

    I'm not sure how many people are interested in their B5 games, and I know I've seen the books selling for 5-10 at conventions, but they are still offering some products for sale, and have some free .pdf's for download.

    Who knows how long their B5 site will remain up.

    I wonder if the terminating of their license has anything to do with that whole book series issue that they had with jms, or if it was just sales numbers not justifying the cost of the license.

    I wonder how many active product licenses their are for B5 these days?
    What a wonderful world you live in. -
    Yeah, well, the rent is cheap, the pay is decent and I get to make my own hours.

  • #2
    Come to think of it, I don't know of ANY active licensees right now. WB makes their own dvds, so those won't count. About the only think I could possibly think of is Sonic Images, Christopher Franke's company, which is selling his old episode soundtracks. And even those aren't active, it's just the remaining stock.
    "Jan Schroeder is insane" - J. Michael Straczynski, March 2008

    The Station: A Babylon 5 Podcast

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by glindros View Post
      I wonder if the terminating of their license has anything to do with that whole book series issue that they had with jms, or if it was just sales numbers not justifying the cost of the license.
      <kosh> Yessss </kosh>

      I think they hoped that the books and comics would breathe new life into their gaming business. After all, they'd pretty much done everything possible to expand on the original...what, 136 hours of B5 (including the unproduced scripts).

      Jan
      "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

      Comment


      • #4
        this is old news tbh.

        their game was pretty meh and their models were either the worn out ones they bought 2nd hand from AOG or really awful ones "designed" by themselves.

        would not recommend their background writing to anyone, i have read better fan written stories.

        end of June they will probably be closing down anything related to B5 or face WB.

        the game will probably carry on with dedicated players.

        but as to sombody else taking the franchise WB have shown absolutely no interest as they would waste more money than they make on it as things are.

        thats business.
        "The trouble with being a cynic is that you eventually get labelled as a highly reliable fortune-teller"

        Comment


        • #5
          I think they decided it was not going to be profitable for them to renew the license. Pretty sure they signed a deal with a company that holds the licenses to some other properties. More of a partnership and not a fee based thing for them. Kind of a shame since nothing else B5 related comes out anymore except for the CafePress books.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by glindros View Post
            Mongoose Publishing's license for B5 ends at the end of the month.

            Here's a link to their B5 website. http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/rp...hp?qsSeries=11

            I'm not sure how many people are interested in their B5 games, and I know I've seen the books selling for 5-10 at conventions, but they are still offering some products for sale, and have some free .pdf's for download.

            Who knows how long their B5 site will remain up.

            I wonder if the terminating of their license has anything to do with that whole book series issue that they had with jms, or if it was just sales numbers not justifying the cost of the license.

            I wonder how many active product licenses their are for B5 these days?

            The main reason for creating B5Scrolls was to find some answers to some of the things IÆd seen fans discussing surrounding B5. IÆve expanded the content to include things in the expanded æverse. Jack Nichols who worked on the Sierra game is one example.

            http://themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scrolls/...m#Screen1_08_1

            Another is Mongoose. Is what they created to be considered canon or not? Stuff like that. HereÆs an interview with Mat Sprange (will be added to site when I find time). It covers a few things.

            http://themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scrolls/MonScreen1.htm
            http://themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scrolls/MonScreen2.htm
            http://themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scrolls/MonScreen3.htm
            http://themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scrolls/MonScreen4.htm
            http://themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scrolls/MonScreen5.htm
            http://themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scrolls/MonScreen6.htm
            http://themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scrolls/MonScreen7.htm

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks Triple F. It's nice to hear from the story from Mongoose's perspective.
              What a wonderful world you live in. -
              Yeah, well, the rent is cheap, the pay is decent and I get to make my own hours.

              Comment


              • #8
                While I liked Matthew Sprange a lot when we were corresponding, I did find that one has to read him carefully to ensure that you're reading what he actually says or what he wants you to think he's saying.

                Two bits that particularly caught my eye, one from Triple F and one from Matthew Sprange.

                Originally posted by Triple F
                Calling you unprofessional for publicly discussing it was interesting – seeing how Joe made a number of public comments under the guise of answering fan’s questions before you responded.
                Guise? What guise, pray tell? Given that in two of the instances where JMS talked about Mongoose he was responding to questions that I asked or posts I'd made quoting Mongoose personnel, what "guise" are you talking about given the connotation that word has with pretext? I've had issues with your phrasing before, Triple F but this one touches on me to a small extent and I find myself appreciating it even less.

                Side note...I dont' see where JMS called Matthew unprofessional for discussing the situation publicly. Could you give a link?

                Originally posted by Matthew Sprange
                Those script books provide an amount of revenue that any fan would consider _huge_.
                First, exactly what figures has he seen for the revenue from the script books and where did they come from? Secondly, of *course* revenue figures would look huge to the average fan. Except that revenue isn't the same as profit, is it?

                Jan
                (who's got a feeling of deja vu about this post. If I wrote something substantially similar when Triple F has posted these links in the past, apologies for the duplication)
                Last edited by Jan; 06-11-2009, 05:19 AM.
                "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Guise? What guise, pray tell?
                  The use of the word Guise (as in outward appearance) is perfectly justifiable. He wasn’t giving just a reply he was airing a grievance.
                  All answers are responses but not all responses are answers. Joe’s post was rhetorical in tone and therefore naturally enough contained inaccuracies. He took the opportunity of your question to get something off his chest, namely WB and the release of DVD’s in Germany and how he feels he isn’t get paid enough and emotionally blackmailed. Anyone with common sense could tell (without having to check) that the figure of $500 for the amount of work he was talking about with regards to Mongoose was a nonsense – hence the rhetorical tone.

                  Side note...I dont' see where JMS called Matthew unprofessional for discussing the situation publicly. Could you give a link?
                  Where did I say jms said that. The comment was part of a follow-up question concerning the Usenet group becoming a joe interest group rather than a B5 one, and we were both talking about the name calling coming from some of the fans who participated in that thread (unprofessional was amongst them)

                  First, exactly what figures has he seen for the revenue from the script books and where did they come from? Secondly, of *course* revenue figures would look huge to the average fan. Except that revenue isn't the same as profit, is it?
                  Your correct of course. Though I have no idea how much ‘profit’ jms takes from the books. Do you? Mind you, to be totally honest, I don't actually care how much money jms makes on them.

                  who's got a feeling of deja vu about this post
                  .
                  ……………… I highlighted that because it’s pertinent to something I was discussing with someone who reads this site. Guess I should have put money on it.

                  Anyway, I’m backing off from this thread. I’m not taking sides or defending Mat Sprange or anyone else on B5Scrolls. To quote joe himself. Truth *is* a three edged sword, and to come to informed opinions having as many points of view (and sources of information) as possible is no bad thing. At least I don’t think it is.

                  I thought this was a discussion forum, but if highlighting what someone other than jms has said, (in order to respond to the orignal posters question or any other question) is to be dismissed as ‘d&#233;j&#224; vu’, then I apologise and won’t do it ever again on this fan site.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Triple F View Post
                    Where did I say jms said that. The comment was part of a follow-up question concerning the Usenet group becoming a joe interest group rather than a B5 one, and we were both talking about the name calling coming from some of the fans who participated in that thread (unprofessional was amongst them)
                    You're right, I mis-read that. I failed to notice that both you and Matthew were discussing the responses that were seen on the newsgroup. Sorry 'bout that.

                    Your correct of course. Though I have no idea how much ‘profit’ jms takes from the books. Do you? Mind you, to be totally honest, I don't actually care how much money jms makes on them.
                    Nope, I don't know. And like you I don't care because it's none of my business. My point was that Matthew seemed to think it appropriate to comment about something he's almost sure to know nothing about because in commenting about "way, way into six figures" plus the "revenue" from the script books, the implication is that JMS shouldn't complain about how much he's made from B5. When actually examined, what Matthew said is pretty meaningless and uninformed.

                    To quote joe himself. Truth *is* a three edged sword, and to come to informed opinions having as many points of view (and sources of information) as possible is no bad thing. At least I don’t think it is.
                    No, it's not. And it's interesting, as GLindros said. But the actual quote is "Understanding is a three-edged sword." JMS noted that that understanding is: You're side, my side and the truth somewhere in the middle. People often forget that the truth is in there and may well be arrived at by examining both sides.

                    I thought this was a discussion forum, but if highlighting what someone other than jms has said, (in order to respond to the orignal posters question or any other question) is to be dismissed as ‘d&#233;j&#224; vu’, then I apologise and won’t do it ever again on this fan site.
                    Perhaps I wasn't clear, in which case I apologize. My comment was to the effect that I felt *I'd* written a similar post in the past, it wasn't meant to be a comment about your having linked to the interview in the past at all. Heavens, if quoting the same material multiple times were a bad thing around here, I'd be in *real* trouble!

                    IMO this *is* a discussion forum and that means actual give-and-take. I felt that my take on what Matthew had said, based on my prior experience corresponding with him was a valid response.

                    Jan
                    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Matthew Sprange
                      Much has been made of our $500 offer to Joe as well - however, as always, it is not the whole truth. That $500 was for Joe reading a 1-2 page outline (and that is what it is called in the novel world!), saying whether he liked it or not, and what had to change. Maybe an hour or two's work?
                      I know I'm talking at the wind since Matthew doesn't post here, but $500 is bullshit, even if I buy the line about reviewing a 1-2 page outline. A low-level staff-writer already gets paid about $3000 / week. An hour to consult? Yeah right. Actually thinking and making out notes takes awhile. It's rather presumptuous of Matt to decide how long it will take Joe to do the work. As a writer I'd estimate at least 2 days for this, and even at my lower salary level that would be $1200 I could be making on staff. So why take a break from my job to consult at that point? Someone in Joe's league should be getting a lot more than that.
                      Last edited by JoeD80; 06-11-2009, 12:25 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JoeD80 View Post
                        I know I'm talking at the wind since Matthew doesn't post here, but some thoughts:
                        At one point during the 'debacle' I believe that he read here at least. I think that he noticed that I posted here as well as on the newsgroup and that was why he contacted me. If he does
                        I can't parse this: "the largest was to receive exactly what WB does for each book." So he's saying they'd just pay Joe the max that WB pays? That doesn't make any sense, because Mongoose wouldn't make any money that way.
                        I think it was that Mongoose would pay JMS the same maximum that WB was being paid by Mongoose.

                        Not directly connected to this discussion, but Harlan's well known opinions on being asked to do something for free is worth watching.

                        Jan
                        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          How to be diplomatic

                          I did some freelance work for both AoG and Mongoose on their Babylon 5 games and I would have to say that the support from JMS never started very strong and ended up being non-existent. There was simply no feedback and no interest in providing feedback. With AoG, between Fionna's oversight and JMS' interest in the Sierra game it was a nightmare from what I saw. Fionna was non-responsive for the most part and occasionally simply killed things without explanation. Beyond that, AoG wanted to harmonize with the never released Sierra game and was unilaterally shut out; Sierra got production liaisons, AoG was happy to get leaked ship designs from sympathetic people at Sierra. By Mongoose's time, there was simply disinterest; no feedback, no guidance, no support from JMS. The thing with the tech guides and the Lost Tales ads is a perfect example. Everyone agreed to do the poject. Mongoose spent a lot of hours starting drafts and a lot of money spent on the glossy DVD fillers. Then, at the last minute, JMS pulled the plug. That soured me a great deal on JMS; all those years justifiably railing against how writers are treated with disdain and contempt in Hollywood and then off he goes doing the same thing to the only licensee that was willing to spend thousands of dollars to play in his world. Same as the novels. They wanted his approval and made an offer that they could afford (remember, they were paying thousands for the B5 name and it was one of the more expensive Sci-Fi properties out there. Small company, not a lot of disposable income, had to pay the authors as well, etc). The offer was tiny and I don't blame JMS for rejecting it. However, going public to mock them was poor behavior, IMHO. Imagine how JMS would have reacted had the roles switched.

                          Look, I was on the periphery and certainly not privy to the inner workings at Mongoose. However, what I saw consistently was an effort on their part to play by JMS's rules in JMS's galaxy. They tried repeatedly to get feedback and input from JMS because they wanted to be true to his vision. From what I saw, they were treated like lepers. They tried to expand the license with approvals all around and got shot down at the last minute several times. These guys were spending their own money on the developing projects and that hurt them. Put it this way, my friends in the gaming industry are in agreement, after AoG and Mongoose, the license is radioactive. Nobody wants to touch it. That might say something right there.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ninjrk View Post
                            Put it this way, my friends in the gaming industry are in agreement, after AoG and Mongoose, the license is radioactive. Nobody wants to touch it.
                            Are you talking about a license to produce Babylon 5 universe based games like the card games AoG and Mongoose made? (These were never of interest to me.)

                            Are you talking about a license to produce Babylon 5 universe based space combat flight simulator games like Sierra/Havas almost made, and possibly other types of PC games? (I wanted the space combat flight simulator bigtime.)

                            Are you talking about Babylon 5 universe based novels like Del Rey published, authorized and supported ones like the Psi Corps, Centauri and Technomage trilogies? (I want more of these, bigtime. I wish Crusade could be finished this way.)

                            or

                            Are you talking about all of the above?
                            Mac Breck (KoshN)
                            ------------------
                            Warner Brothers is Lucy.
                            JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
                            Babylon 5 is the football.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The publishing business being very removed from the gaming industry, I'd assume that it's only that which ninjrk is referring to. I think the point is mostly that the gaming biz is a small universe.

                              Jan
                              "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                              Comment

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