21 September 1999
Effective 22 September 1999, ICE will no longer be filling orders for Middle-earth products. Iron Crown Enterprises ("ICE") has ceased the production and sale of its Middle-earth series of games, puzzles, and posters.
After working together for 18 years, ICE and Tolkien will part ways. As the licensor of Middle-earth games and the forthcoming motion picture series, they will be reorganizing and reorienting the program. ICE will be assisting them to make sure that there is a smooth transition.
ICE has been publishing officially licensed adventure maps and games based J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings since 1982. We have enjoyed producing the line, and in the process working with some of the world's most inspiring literature. The research, cartography, art conception, game design, and story-telling have all involved creative, exhausting, and exhilarating work. (I, for one, have enjoyed creating lots of maps.) It has been a labor of love, and we are very proud of our legacy.
The gaming public has received our work with enthusiasm. ICE's Middle-earth Role Playing Game has appeared in 13 languages. It is the second best selling role playing game of all time. ICE has sold over two and half million units of MERP and its many fine supplements. Our Middle-earth Collectible Card Game has appeared in 8 languages. It contains around 1,700 distinct images, and has generated sales of around two hundred million cards. The Lord of Rings Adventure Game and The Hobbit Adventure Boardgame are both critically acclaimed, family-oriented entertainment.
ICE will now be focusing its energies on its own, original game brands. We will be concentrating on revising and updating Rolemaster, Silent Death, and our parlor products (e.g., Fluxx), while at the same time preparing new products now in the development pipeline (e.g., Bladestorm and Space Master).
Middle-earth will now be in different hands. We are sure, though, that Professor Tolkien's world will continue to receive the care and respect that it deserves. As for specifics, however, you will have to await further information. In the meantime, please do not contact us with questions and concerns. You should instead direct your inquiries (via mail) to the following address:
Director of Licensing
2600 Tenth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
We will, of course, try keep you posted regarding any future announcement concerning the evolution of the Middle-earth publishing program. ICE will let you know new information as it becomes available.