One of the major announcements at GenCon was sprung on everyone on Friday — Margaret Weis Productions is getting the license for Marvel RPGs. They have an extremely aggressive plan with 16 books already in the works.
The engine will based on their existing Cortex System, but adapted for the Marvel universe. Already found in the Serenity, Supernatural and Smallville settings, it has a bit of a reputation for being more story oriented — so it’ll be interesting to see how it transfers into the brawling and power-oriented world of Marvel comics.
I talked to Editor & Developer Cam Banks, who emphasized the need for meaningful choices within the game. “Combat has to have context,” he added.
So, how are they pushing out so many titles to arrive in early 2012? There will be a very inexpensive core game for $20, which will have the basic rules and a mini-campaign based around the Bendis run of New Avengers 1-6. After that, the releases will all be based around Marvel mega-crossovers, with a core book available in both premium and essential editions. The essential edition is just the setting, characters and all that jazz — but the premium edition includes a full core rulebook. There will also be a series of supplements for additional content.
The first release will be based on the Civil War event, with X-Men, the Fifty States Initiative and Young Avengers/Runaways supplements. Following that, the next two releases will be Annihilation (woohoo, cosmic Marvel!) and the mid-90s mega-event Age of Apocalypse.
The pricing on this is incredibly aggressive. Like already mentioned, the basic game set will go for $20. Premium edition books will be $40, essentials for $30 and supplements for $20. With 16 SKUs already planned, these things will cover the shelves in early 2012.