Blood Bowl Interview

July 5, 2006

Remember Chaos League? Remember how it was so much like Games Workshop’s Blood Bowl tabletop game that on the one hand it was unfortunate that developer Cyanide could not get the license, and on the other hand it was amazing that the company had not yet been sued. Well, Games Workshop felt the same way, and called Cyanide out. Because of this, recently both companies announced that their disagreement had been settled for an undisclosed sum, and as a result there are now no plans to develop or release any further Chaos League titles or supplements.

However, Games Workshop apparently liked what it saw in Chaos League, and as such awarded the Blood Bowl license to Cyanide, making the company the official licensed developer for a series titles based upon the popular fantasy football property. It’s rare that you hear of such disputes end on such a high note. To find out more about this new deal, we spoke with Games Workshop’s Licensing Manager Erik Mogensen.

Thanks for taking some time with us today to talk a bit about the recent news surrounding the Blood Bowl license. Can you discuss both Games Workshop and Cyanide arrived at this agreement?

We’ve been talking with Cyanide for some time, and from the start we realized it was an obvious fit creatively. The team at Cyanide has unique experience making fantasy-sports games which makes them an ideal choice to work with on a Blood Bowl title. Blood Bowl isn’t just a fantasy game and it isn’t just a sports game, it’s a pretty unique beast. It’s exciting to be working with a company that has that kind of experience.

Is this a global agreement, or are Blood Bowl games only anticipated to be published within the UK?

The license is exclusive and worldwide. Ultimately, the territories of release will be determined by the publisher however.

Speaking of the publisher, have any companies shown interest yet in publishing the forthcoming tile or titles?

I know that Cyanide is talking to multiple publishers about potential deals. We’ll have to wait and see how that pans out. I know from personal experience of talking to people in the computer games industry that there are a lot of people with a great fondness for the property, so I’m confident we’ll find a publisher that shares our love of Blood Bowl!

Without beating around the bush, the original Chaos League, as well as Chaos League: Sudden Death, were not reviewed well by the gaming media. Given that this is the same team now working on the Blood Bowl license, why should gamers – even if they are fans of the tabletop game – care?

I always take ratings with a grain of salt. Personally, I thought Chaos League was a lot of fun! I also know that Cyanide learned a lot about the ins and outs of making a fantasy sports game while making Chaos League, and they are bringing that experience to the table while working on Blood Bowl. Plus, this is Blood Bowl! There are 20 years of development work that have already gone into this game, and Games Workshop will be working closely with Cyanide to make sure we only make top quality games. As with all our interactive licensees (THQ, Namco Bandai Games, and Mythic Entertainment) Games Workshop will be responsible for ensuring that the look and feel of the IP is accurate. In other words, it’s a true team effort between our two companies.

Given that Chaos league was seen by many as Blood Bowl by another name, what besides a new name does the official license add to the game that was not already there?

As I said, there are 20 years of development work that have gone into Blood Bowl that Cyanide gets to tap into. Plus, Blood Bowl fans span the globe and they have been clamoring for another interactive Blood Bowl game since the last one was released in 1995. Commercially, the Blood Bowl name carries some serious weight.

Can you talk at all about the formats or platforms that Cyanide is currently looking at developing Blood Bowl for? Are next-gen consoles a consideration?

I can’t say much about potential platforms just yet, but we’re exploring all sorts of possibilities.

Thank you so much for your time.

It’s my pleasure. Keep your eyes peeled for more exciting Blood bowl news in the coming months!