Mongoose Publishing has published their annual State of the Mongoose article where they go into depth on last year’s results and next year’s plans.
You can go read the article yourself, but the important bits are:
- Hard times in the RPG market, but they think it’s bottomed out
- They predict D&D 5e in 2013
- Mongoose left Rebellion in mid-2010 and that hurt some
- Mongoose is still doing well despite tough times, no layoffs
- Traveller and Legend are their big RPGs they’re getting results from
- They are doing a lot more minis, and moving to resin from metal for cost
- A Call To Arms: Star Fleet, A Call To Arms: Noble Armada, Judge Dredd and Victory at Sea are the minis games doing well for them
It’s good they’re chugging along – they’re the success story you hear less about over here (they are bigger in the UK), but them, FFG, and Paizo are really the big RPG houses now it seems like.
As usual, each year Mongoose Publishing has put out their “State of the Mongoose” address where they go really in depth with what happened the previous year and what’s coming up the next year.
It’s interesting, and pretty upbeat given that their advice to others is that this might not be the year to start your own RPG company because of the slump in sales.
Mongoose went through some difficulties but are still doing well, which is good to see… At 10 full time staff, they’re one of the biggest RPG companies! Kudos to them for being transparent and posting detailed reports like this, it gives us all a look inside the state of the industry beyond just them.
They are also looking into branching out from RPGs into other stuff (minis, board games). That worries me, because many of the other companies that have done that, including industry stalwarts like Steve Jackson Games and Atlas Games, have sharply, sharply curtailed their RPG lines in favor of the tasty board and card game money. SJG puts out occasional GURPS e-releases and Atlas publishes an Ars Magica book once in a while but besides that, they’re not bothering to innovate in the RPG space.
Mongoose Publishing has posted their 2009 “State of the Mongoose Address” and it’s great to see a RPG company doing so well!
In general, they say “you have to work hard but you can still do well in RPGs.” They’ve grown to 14 full timers and have a huge roster of games going on.
- A bunch of new Traveller settings and supplements. The coolest one is Reavers – Piracy in the Sea of Stars, which in title sounds a lot like my “Reavers on the Seas of Fate” pirate campaign I’m running. Synchronicity! And there’s Codename Veil, which sounds a lot like Delta Green. Plus, a new 2000AD license in the vein of Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog called “ABC Warriors,” where you play warbots!
- A new Runequest 2, redesigned and taken back to its roots – but without a SRD. With a huge campaign, Glorantha book, and more. And variant settings, including Deus Vult, where you are a Catholic demon fighter in the 12th century, and the Eternal Champion stuff. And they’re moving Wraith Recon over to it, they say they have no plans to do any more D&D 4e stuff.
- The Conan license is in limbo but they’re dropping prices on the old stuff!
- They are trying to expand Paranoia as a line, I get the impression they feel like they’ve tapped out the life of a Troubleshooter and have tried some “out of the mold” splatbooks and are seeing how those go to determine direction.
- And more Earthdawn! And Dragon Warriors! And Cthonian Stars, a Cthulhu setting for Traveller! And a bunch more other stuff!
Man, hats off to these guys, they are shipping some product. And for those who remember the “old Mongoose” and the bad editorial, they’ve tried very hard to hire up and improve quality in editorial, and claim that in 2009 “in the past few months, the number of editorial issues in the many, many books we have released can be counted on one hand.”
I’m not sure why they are stepping away from openness with RQ2 though, it seems to have paid off for them enough with Traveller. One demerit for that. But otherwise, they are expanding heavily despite the global economy, doing so many things that the “common wisdom” says are bad – licensed games, having a bunch of different game lines…
I have some Mongoose games (Conan, Paranoia, Traveller) but don’t play any faithfully. The lure of large game lines and rich ecosystems, especially like the Traveller one, may just bring me over however.
I love it when RPG companies open the kimono a little, and Mongoose has just thrust theirs wide open, revealing their tumescent bulk for all to see! (Enjoy that image.)
In their State of the Mongoose 2008 post, they have gone into a fascinating amount of detail on what they’re up to. It’s very, very positive stuff! Some high points, from the biggest first:
- They have been bought by the Rebellion Group, a huge UK software developer, which gets them access to loads of properties and not having to do BS overhead work
- They plan to double in size and see the industry, at least on their side of the pond, as doing great
- They are putting out a Babylon 5 universe guide but then not renewing the license, as it’s just a bit too old and unpopular
- They are moving towards, not away from, full color and hardback in their products
- Traveller is doing super for them and they have loads of very long term plans for it
- They plan on moving Traveller as an engine into many other settings, including Hammer’s Slammers, Judge Dredd, and Strontium Dog
- They’re revamping their Paranoia line because the supplements aren’t selling well
- They’re going to put a lot more into RuneQuest
- 4e D&D sales have been underwhelming, besides Wraith Recon and some Quintessential books they don’t plan anything for it (Conan is staying 3.5e)
- They will be publishing some old/new Gygax crap like Lejendary Adventures
And lots of other good stuff! They really do have a huge number of game lines going on and seem to be very bullish about the future. It’s good to see someone doing well and I’m excited myself about some of the games, especially Hammer’s Slammers.
Posted in talk
Tagged mongoose, RPG, RPGs
Via Trollsmyth comes the news that Mongoose Publishing is talking about putting together a wiki where all the OGC from their products can be placed for use by gamers well into the future. Kudos to them, it’s a great move! (Now when’s the Traveller SRD going to be online?)
Posted in talk
Tagged mongoose, OGL, open, RPG, RPGs
The new version of Traveller, which will be OGL and had an open playtest, is at the printer! Look for it to drop in a gaming store near you soon!
The venerable old sci-fi game Traveller is getting a new release soon, from Mongoose Publishing. And since they’re planning on making the rules open, they have an open playtest! The current version of the playtest docs are linked from their Traveller product page.
I took the opportunity to do some character generation. Like WFRP, Traveller has a random lifepathy character generation system, but in this case it takes you well into your character’s midlife. You can even die during character generation in the “Iron Man” (classic) version.