Friday, May 27, 2005

Iron Lore now called Iron Heroes

Mike Mearls's forthcoming alternate PHB has been renamed Iron Heroes due to threat of legal shenanigans by company Iron Lore Entertainment. These ILE guys managed to trademark "Iron Lore Entertainment" but didn't consider it necessary to trademark just "Iron Lore". That didn't stop them now that Monte Cook wants to use the name. Suddenly they care. Way to go, dumbasses. I don't care what Mearls's book is named, it could be called Monte Cook Presents: Photos of Monte Cook's Festering, Diseased Anus and I'd still flip through it as long as Mike Mearls was listed as the author. He's that good. Anyway, my first reaction upon reading the official Malhavoc press release (other than thinking these Entertainment guys were dumbasses) was to ask the question "who the hell is Iron Lore Entertainment?" One brief Googling later I found myself staring at (Hey, einsteins, you could name your website that, but you didn't think to trademark it? Smooth.) Turns out it's a computer game company consisting of four guys, one of the point men on Age of Empires, a hardware techie who is the money man, some suit who wants credit for his work on a couple NASCAR games, and a graphics dude with some impressive-looking credits (Asheron's Call 1 & 2, Middle Earth Online, D&D Online). According to this page the company was founded in October 2000 but has yet to actually ship a product.

Since Chet and Erik stopped updating Old Man Murray my knowledge of the computer game industry now comes entirely from Penny Arcade. Which is to say that I know dick about squat when it comes to the world of computer games and the business of producing them. Still, I can't shake the notion that 4 or 5 years is a long-ass time for a company to be in business before they produce a ware to sell. Maybe instead of spending their time sending cease-&-desists to Monte Cook these guys could maybe, you know, produce a game.

Thanks to RPGNetter Damiar the Wolf for the scoopy-doopy on the Malhavoc press release.



    RPGnetter Jason Durall notes:

    "However, for Massively Multiplayer Online games, four years is unremarkable, though five is a bit on the long side. Usually, the tech is outdated by the time it releases. I know this, as I worked on such a game that took four and a half years from beginning to ship date."

    On the other hand, I have yet to see anything that indicates that "Titan Quest" is anything other than a basic CRPG. The press release and official website don't drop the term MMPRORPGLMOP or whatever. They call Iron Lore Entertainment's new product an "action roleplaying game".

  2. This post is even funnier in hindsight, as Iron Lore Entertainment went out of business in 2008 despite Titan Quest and its expansion actually being semi-popular. Looks like they really should have spent more time making games and less time attacking Monte Cook.