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Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:57 pm
  

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https://www.denofgeek.com/us/tv/robotec ... -exclusive

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HOLLYWOOD, CA, July 5 – Harmony Gold USA, Inc. announced today that it has reached an agreement with the Japanese anime studio, Tatsunoko Productions, Co., to extend the worldwide, co-copyright ownership and exclusive management, excluding Japan, for its landmark anime series Robotech (including Macross, Southern Cross and Mospeada). This agreement was achieved after a lengthy negotiation and allows Harmony Gold to continue to exploit the animated Robotech franchise well into the future.



so not only did robotech get renewed, but it looks like we'll also be getting the rest of the Macross Sequels eventually.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:24 pm
  

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glitterboy2098 wrote:
so not only did robotech get renewed, but it looks like we'll also be getting the rest of the Macross Sequels eventually.

Whether Harmony Gold is actually on the level about their claims of renewal remain to be seen... their convention panels are usually as honest as a $3 bill. Even if they did get a renewal, it's not like they're going to DO anything with it besides peddle more imitation brand Macross merch from "indie" toy designers and toy bootleggers from Southeast Asia.

We will be getting the rest of the Macross sequels, but not through Harmony Gold. Big West and Bandai are putting English subs on Japanese domestic market home video releases, so fans in the west can do an end run around Harmony Gold and get legitimate English-language Macross releases straight from Japan.

Harmony Gold, on the other hand, may soon find itself in the situation Macross was in... as Big West is filing and securing Macross trademarks in key markets despite HG's challenges, thanks to most trademark laws favoring the owner of a property over the first user in-market. Big West already has the power to shut Robotech out of the UK via trademark, and several Asian markets.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:38 pm
  

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the article includes the official release, and quotes from three head HG officials from different aspects of the company (including the CEO of the company). i think accusing Mr. Yune, Mckeever, and Agrama of lying not only exceeds the boundaries of good taste but also is a rather underhanded attempt to avoid admitting you were wrong.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:54 am
  

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This renewal is quite literally the best news I had in the last six months.
The net is currently full of disbelief and complaints, but I'm happy.
A franchise will not die... yet.
(They didn't dare announce for how long it was this time.)

Now to which extent they do plan to resurrect it with the movie remains to be seen.
At least I'm not afraid of the licence deal killing / rushing the production of the cooperative game to follow "Crisis Point".
:D

Though... there is parts of the rights that aren't covered with that deal, yes?
Some stuff owned by other companies (Big West at least)...
What exactly was saved?

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:11 pm
  

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glitterboy2098 wrote:
the article includes the official release, and quotes from three head HG officials from different aspects of the company (including the CEO of the company).

So? Harmony Gold has knowingly published plenty of false information in their news posts and convention panels over the last 35 years. There are so many examples, even a "Best of" would be quite a long post.

Like, for instance, pretty much every piece of news about supposed live action movie (that it was being fast-tracked into production, that it was set to be a WB tentpole franchise, that various directors and writers were attached) was later proven to be false. Their claims that Shadow Chronicles Part II and beyond were not cancelled, which got publicly refuted in short order by the voice actors contracted for it and then leaks from within HG admitting that it'd been cancelled back in 2007 are another serial example. Or, for a hat trick, the claims that Robotech Academy was not cancelled and was still under active development, which were refuted almost the same day by the studio who'd been doing the development.

With a track record like that, going all the way back to 1986 claims by Carl Macek that HE created the original stories of the three shows used in Robotech and paid the Japanese to animate them, is it any surprise that people would suspect that a statement from Harmony Gold is possibly NOT ENTIRELY ACCURATE?



glitterboy2098 wrote:
i think accusing Mr. Yune, Mckeever, and Agrama of lying not only exceeds the boundaries of good taste but also is a rather underhanded attempt to avoid admitting you were wrong.

So, not implicitly trusting the word of people with a twenty-plus year long history (a fair portion of it documented for posterity on video tape and YouTube) of dispensing inaccurate or outright false information at their official events is exceeding the boundaries of good taste? As I see it, it's simple prudence... especially since Mr. McKeever represents their marketing department, making him the company's official spin doctor.

(Not trusting Mr. Agrama is a different matter, as it's hard to argue with a criminal record that includes convictions for false accounting practices, embezzlement, tax evasion, and tax fraud and subsequent criminal investigations for more counts of the same crimes as recently as five years ago in Italy, never mind the ongoing IRS investigation.)

The renewal is a surprise, given that Tatsunoko had given every indication they did not intend to renew and had been instead seeking an accord with Big West to secure international distribution rights to Macross's sequels. Info from sources inside HG has put a somewhat different spin on the renewal that is far less surprising... but I had still expected saner, or at least more forward-thinking, heads to prevail.


xunk16 wrote:
A franchise will not die... yet.
(They didn't dare announce for how long it was this time.)

It's still pretty much dead... HG still has no plans to continue the story of the Robotech animated series, and as HG claimed this is an extension of their existing agreement the live action movie is almost certainly still a no-go as it's a legal minefield due to Harmony Gold having no access to the intellectual property rights for Macross.

All in all, it's just an extension of the same holding pattern we were in before yesterday's panel. HG's doing the bare minimum necessary to hang onto that Macross trademark in the US, while they wait for either Sony to save their bacon so they can jettison animated Robotech altogether or for Big West to get frustrated enough with its big seller not being available in select western markets that they agree to strike a distribution deal.

(Harmony Gold has been losing ground on the trademark side, with the most recent loss being Big West defeating a HG counterclaim in the UK and successfully obtaining the Macross trademark there, giving them the power to potentially stop HG from distributing Macross-based RT goods there.)



glitterboy2098 wrote:
Though... there is parts of the rights that aren't covered with that deal, yes?
Some stuff owned by other companies (Big West at least)...
What exactly was saved?

Most of them, in fact... assuming Harmony Gold is on the level when they say that this is just an extension of their existing license agreement, the terms of which we know in considerable detail thanks to them having been aired in many different lawsuits.

Harmony Gold USA's license from Tatsunoko Production Co. Ltd. granted them the international distribution rights and international merchandising rights (excl. Japanese territory) to the 36 episodes of Super Dimension Fortress Macross, the 23 episodes of Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, and the 25 episodes of Genesis Climber MOSPEADA. The license was later amended (c.2001) to add international merchandising rights (again excl. Japanese territory) to Macross: Do You Remember Love? as part of HG's effort to stop imports (through official channels) of superior-quality VF-1 toys from Japan that would compete with their planned Toynami "MPC" lineup. It was also amended c.2011 to add international distribution and merchandising rights for MOSPEADA: Love Live Alive.

The license does not grant Harmony Gold any rights to the intellectual property of any of those titles, or any rights beyond distribution and merchandising outside Japanese territory.

Long story short, HG can still...
  • Distribute, and edit for distribution purposes, the three original animated shows and the subsequently-licensed Love Live Alive OVA for broadcast, cable, streaming, and home video physical media outside of Japanese markets.
  • Produce or license the production of merchandise based on the content of the three original animated shows and the subsequently-licensed Macross: Do You Remember Love? and MOSPEADA: Love Live Alive outside of Japanese markets. (e.g. novels, comics, video games, tabletop games, toys, curiously their license does not seem to extend to plastic model kits though)

What HG can't do includes...
  • Distribute the three original animated shows and Love Live Alive OVA in Japanese territory.
  • Produce or license the production of merchandise based on the content of the three original animated shows and the subsequently-licensed Macross: Do You Remember Love? and MOSPEADA: Love Live Alive in Japanese territory.
  • Use the intellectual property of the original shows and titles added via amendment in the creation of original film works without the express permission of the intellectual property's owners. In short, they have to clear any plans to use IP from Southern Cross or MOSPEADA in new animated or live action works with Tatsunoko and they would have to clear any plans to use IP from Macross in new animated or live action works with Big West and Studio Nue (which ain't happening).
  • Create new material derivative of material from the original shows and titles added via amendment in the creation of original film works without the express permission of the intellectual property's owners. In short, HG can't update the designs of stuff from the shows and use it in new shows or movies... this is why characters got redesigned for Robotech II: the Sentinels and again for Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles.
  • Claim ownership of authorized derivative works, as copyright on a derivative work only extends to the new aspects of said derivative not the base work. (e.g. HG can't claim ownership of the Shadow Fighter and use it over objections from Tatsunoko because they came up with the Super Shadow Fighter).

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:44 pm
  

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Seto Kaiba wrote:


xunk16 wrote:
A franchise will not die... yet.
(They didn't dare announce for how long it was this time.)

It's still pretty much dead... HG still has no plans to continue the story of the Robotech animated series, and as HG claimed this is an extension of their existing agreement the live action movie is almost certainly still a no-go as it's a legal minefield due to Harmony Gold having no access to the intellectual property rights for Macross.

All in all, it's just an extension of the same holding pattern we were in before yesterday's panel. HG's doing the bare minimum necessary to hang onto that Macross trademark in the US, while they wait for either Sony to save their bacon so they can jettison animated Robotech altogether or for Big West to get frustrated enough with its big seller not being available in select western markets that they agree to strike a distribution deal.

(Harmony Gold has been losing ground on the trademark side, with the most recent loss being Big West defeating a HG counterclaim in the UK and successfully obtaining the Macross trademark there, giving them the power to potentially stop HG from distributing Macross-based RT goods there.)




The above is a near certain deal-killer for any live action movie. There are plenty of better IP's around that aren't widely considered to be bad Macross Fanfic by the target fanfom, that don't have to wonder into a literal minefield where suddenly you could find your production held up (less politely "legally extorted" ) by IP claims from third parties. Split IPs are murder to deal with in just about every way, which is why you're generally advised to have set "sunset clauses" that can let you get all the IP's back under one roof.

Now the solution to that? Is pay off your various IP holders, at least for a license, which Sony probably could do...

BUT...

There's a problem with that. $500k and $194,574. That was the sought money, and the money they got for the Academy kickstarter. To bring forth the full scale of this failure, the Exalted Kickstarter, a property far fewer people know about brought in $684,755.

So you have a split IP, which will require more time to work on, possibly had last minute land mines or a beloved American property that...
Wasn't even able to bring in 200K. You can't say it was the fault of Kickstarter, because they regularly have products bring in that much money or far more.

So you know that the fans, the die hard fans, the people who love robotech...
Weren't willing to fund it. When you consider that 50,000 people going to a movie would be an absolute fiasco for hollywood, and you weren't even able to get 50,000 people to pledge an average of 10 bucks, less than a meal at a fast food place...

Yeah, that IP isn't looking very valuable outside of the land of pixie faeries.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:39 pm
  

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considering that RT3000 and Academy can be summed up as "bad robotech fanfic", i don't think that using them as a guide as to what HG can do is good idea. especially since the kickstarter for academy wasn't to produce the show, but to develop it, which is something that few fans will want to bankroll. the academy kickstarter honestly didn't seem like a serious attempt to make a series so much as a testing the waters moment to see what the fans think of their new idea before putting much effort into it. given the amount of work they put into RT3000 only for the fan response to kill it, i can't blame HG for testing the waters first on the academy idea.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:48 pm
  

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Gb you just explained why won't see did single new thing from hg beyond new rehashes of the same old same old.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:05 pm
  

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Knight

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mech798 wrote:
The above is a near certain deal-killer for any live action movie. There are plenty of better IP's around that aren't widely considered to be bad Macross Fanfic by the target fanfom, that don't have to wonder into a literal minefield where suddenly you could find your production held up (less politely "legally extorted" ) by IP claims from third parties.

On reflection, "minefield" probably doesn't do it justice... since Harmony Gold has access to literally none of the IP in the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross and that part of the story is not only Robotech's best seller and most popular segment by an enormous margin, it's the foundation of the entire Robotech narrative. Trying to develop a Robotech live action movie while avoiding anything that might prompt Macross's owners and business partners to sue for copyright infringement is like doing a highwire act barefoot, on rusty barbed wire, over an active and about-to-erupt volcano's caldera. One tiny slip and you're in for a REALLY bad, career-ruining day.



mech798 wrote:
Now the solution to that? Is pay off your various IP holders, at least for a license, which Sony probably could do...

But the IP holders have to be willing to play ball, first of all. Big West doesn't really have a compelling reason to do so by diluting the flagship brand that has spent the last twelve years and counting as a virtual license to print money due to the wildly popular Macross Frontier and Macross Delta shows and the music of May'n, Megumi Nakajima, and the idol group Walkure.



mech798 wrote:
So you have a split IP, which will require more time to work on, possibly had last minute land mines or a beloved American property that...
Wasn't even able to bring in 200K.

Yes, this is the kind of thing that really baffles me as to why anyone would think the movie would get made.

Robotech as a whole has never really been a commercially successful property. Even in the 80's it did only so-so on TV and its merchandise didn't sell very well. They've been trying and failing to get a continuation going for over 30 years now, with a 0% success rate. It's not even all that clear why HG keeps the brand alive, since it produces far less of a return on investment than their rental property management business and all of its legal baggage is a huge drain on resources. (The Italian justice system and US Internal Revenue Service have their theories...)

It doesn't exactly scream "payday".




glitterboy2098 wrote:
considering that RT3000 and Academy can be summed up as "bad robotech fanfic", i don't think that using them as a guide as to what HG can do is good idea. especially since the kickstarter for academy wasn't to produce the show, but to develop it, which is something that few fans will want to bankroll.

Quite the opposite... they're exactly what SHOULD be used as a guide to what HG can do.

Robotech 3000 was Harmony Gold's one and only attempt to develop an all-original property for Robotech with proper third-party sponsorship from Netter Digital, demonstrating what they could do on their own without any support from a pre-existing IP.

Robotech Academy was a perfect forum for assessing how the fans regarded the Robotech creative staff and the direction they had chosen for the brand's future, since the fans were able to vote with their wallets in a very literal and highly traceable way on whether or not the concept materials developed for the new series pilot that the campaign was trying to fund were acceptable.

That those two projects were the two biggest failures in the franchise's history tell a careful observer all that could ever need to be said about Robotech's prospects. Namely, that the Robotech story can't stand on its own merits and that the fanbase is very small and has very little confidence in its direction.

You could throw in Robotech RPG Tactics to demonstrate the quality of both the brand's long-time licensees and the quality of the creative team's oversight of project development... and we all know how that story ended.



glitterboy2098 wrote:
the academy kickstarter honestly didn't seem like a serious attempt to make a series so much as a testing the waters moment to see what the fans think of their new idea before putting much effort into it. given the amount of work they put into RT3000 only for the fan response to kill it, i can't blame HG for testing the waters first on the academy idea.

It wasn't testing the waters, the stated purpose of the Kickstarter was to fund the production of a full 24 minute series pilot that Harmony Gold could shop around to networks to see if anyone would be willing to carry a full series.

Quote:
The Robotech Academy Kickstarter will allow us to gauge how much of a new Robotech series we could actually produce based on Carl's original premise. We are setting our initial goal at $500,000 which will allow us to create an entire 24 minute pilot episode. This will help us cover character design, mecha design, 3D modeling, 3D animation, 2D animation, screenwriting, sound engineering, music composition, casting, voice acting and recording. This will also afford us a foundation on which to build future episodes.


A great deal of development work was already done beforehand, like all the character and mecha designs that were trotted out during the campaign, and the series outline. HG probably lost almost as much money on Robotech Academy as they did on Robotech 3000, which wasn't all that much (about $500K was the figure that Tommy Yune quoted to me and ShadowLogan on the old official forums) due to the studio producing it eating a lot of the development costs in anticipation of making it back on a large series order that never materialized. That's what sent Netter Digital into bankruptcy on Robotech 3000.

I don't think anyone was fooled by the line about the Academy concept being Carl Macek's idea... never mind that Harmony Gold candidly admitted that Academy was crowdfunded because HG management didn't want to fund any more animated Robotech development after Shadow Chronicles failed to deliver the promised sponsors and mainstream status.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:10 pm
  

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glitterboy2098 wrote:
considering that RT3000 and Academy can be summed up as "bad robotech fanfic", i don't think that using them as a guide as to what HG can do is good idea. especially since the kickstarter for academy wasn't to produce the show, but to develop it, which is something that few fans will want to bankroll. the academy kickstarter honestly didn't seem like a serious attempt to make a series so much as a testing the waters moment to see what the fans think of their new idea before putting much effort into it. given the amount of work they put into RT3000 only for the fan response to kill it, i can't blame HG for testing the waters first on the academy idea.


If that was the case, HG doesn't deserve to manage a 4th grade play, let alone a franchise. Rule of thumb: You never, EVER expose an IP to failure, because every failure lessens the value of the IP.

And Academy was a pretty damned big failure. Again, it was a worse showing than niche RPGs got.

So if Sony looks at it, they're saying: They couldn't get mone yfrom the fanatics, the obsessive fans. They got a yawn.
(compare this to Star Trek, which regularly has fans tossing more money at fan productions).

But it gets worse, because your fans? Those are the ones who keep your social media alive, and that's becoming an ever important part of pre-publicity. Generating a buzz in an era where fewer and fewer people are exposed to normal commercials. Sure you can create it yourself, but fan buzz is A. cheap and B. resonates more closely with other fans.
And the fan buzz for robotech? More of a yawn. There are actually more active sites up for the *Banana Splits* show than there are for Robotech.

Now this kind of presence may work for I dunnoe "Teen pilots and Robotech" the crappy YA series that is 90 percent high school hijinks and 10 percent Power Rangers level SFX against a giant roborobeast. Those are, after all, really cheap to make.
But a major movie, say on the level of Pacific Rim?

You're going into it with a IP that's *fan base* didn't care enough to toss a pittance at it, that has IP questions thta might prevent European Distribution, oh and the related fan base the other group you'd like to talk to, well, the Macross Fans aren't exactly eager to see it. They'll also go out of their way to tell everyone else how bad it is.

So with all of that, why bother? Because if you want to make a movie with transforming robots, *nothing* is preventing you from doing that without bothering with the kiss-of-death Robotech label.
That's especially true when you consider the problems with Macross, which thiks agreement has done nothing to solve--so you'll be using Southern Cross or New Generation, both of which are A. not liked nearly as much as Macross and B. are painfully generic stories.

Not a lot of upsides to this IP in the movie sense.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:48 am
  

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You all base your arguments on the poor reception that "Academy" and "RT3000" had, but despite the mess coming from changes in shipping costs, one could consider the amount gathered around RRT to be somewhat impressive, no? Then again, from what I could gather, the main problem with "Academy" & "RT3000" was that they wanted to be less serious with the tone, and too far from all that had previously been made.
Plus, announcing from the get go that canon will be thrown out the window (for Academy) is always a bad move.
Better let the thing make its proofs on its own. Leaving open the door to relate it more closely later if need be. Such as what is currently done in a desperate effort to keep the Titan iteration on proverbial life support.

But despite the insulting "fan-fiction" status that seems a bit easy to throw at everything, these were still official attempts.
And were it not for the terrible CGi animation proposed for "RT3000" (which should have been a clear indicator of a failed attempt, even before presenting it to the masses), I'm still curious how well it could have fared. Is there anything else beside the look that deserved this poor reputation?
(Not considering art and focusing on the money alone, the "Bayformers" and Star Trek reboot both received terrible reception from fans but did very well in the marketing department. So there would seem to be a precedent to try unconventional IP market mechanics.)

Given that someone would be willing to get back to basics, and resuscitate the general ambience and themes of the original RT based material, without falling to the "teen school drama" or "too far in the future to care" department; isn't it at least possible that the nerve which brought clients to RRT be stricken again? (I'm still having difficulty considering the novels and old comics out of the equations. Those did sell as well, didn't they? Going around on other channels, I usually find people that are nostalgic of these, not necessarily the anime. That is... of course... after filtering the angry mob of Macross fans begging for Robotech to end.)

Considering the issues about social media and everything else, wouldn't that be the only reasonable path to test, outside of simply reprinting old and already proven material?
Furthermore... I've read somewhere that Robotech also had moderately bigger fan-bases in China and South America. (There was a pretty good "Macross Era" fan-film made in Spanish...) Was anything tried to get those informed recently? Pacific Rim had a sequel based on the Chinese market alone, so that should also be explored. I'm not sure those groups were well situated to take notice of previous crowd-funding efforts.
My group learned of RRT by finding it into a shop (and even then, hidden among old school RPGs), not the greatest advertising campaign ever. Though we are new to this whole shebang.

In other words, what kind of help a fan can give at this point?
A loyal fanbase only pushes you forward for so long...
Frankly, I think their prioritizing the macross segment that much for marketing is hurting the potential for a new fanbase to form around robotech and not only its source material. Though it has been said that this phenomenon could be related to them taking advantages of products already on the market instead of organizing campaigns for simultaneous release of the three generations of derived products. In that sense, the recent board-games covering the whole timeline and released shortly one after the other do look like a good move.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:27 am
  

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Teh biggest problem is that such a strategy is in the "must spend money to make money" category. Right now, the only current property that is known widely at all is the new Robotech rpg. But you need more--books, comics, either traditional or webcomic, stuff to get the name out there, stuff aimed at people who don't know about robotech.
IE, stuff to demonstrate that the IP has value outside of its' old fans.

And that, again, costs money.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:50 am
  

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mech798 wrote:
Teh biggest problem is that such a strategy is in the "must spend money to make money" category. Right now, the only current property that is known widely at all is the new Robotech rpg. But you need more--books, comics, either traditional or webcomic, stuff to get the name out there, stuff aimed at people who don't know about robotech.
IE, stuff to demonstrate that the IP has value outside of its' old fans.

And that, again, costs money.

not to mention the fact that in my experience, most of the "hardcore fans" absolutely hate HG due to the creative decisions since about the 1990's, and especially the 2000's. which i am certain that HG is aware of since such fans seem to campaign to create uproar and kill anything HG proposes.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:19 am
  

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Xunk rrt is not a good measure either seeing as a LOT of the people who bought in did so for macross specifically and battletech not because it was robotech. I am one of the few who bought it for use as all three.....

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:35 am
  

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GB - you are not wrong but HG has given ample reason for the fans to be that way.

I for one was happy when they rebooted the canon and got some semblance of consistency. I also would have liked to see Academy given a shot along with the continuing Shadow Chronicles.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:10 pm
  

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Knight

Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:36 am
Posts: 5002
Location: New Frontier Shipyard, Earth-Moon L5
Comment: "My theories appall you, my heresies outrage you, I never answer letters, and you don't like my tie."
xunk16 wrote:
You all base your arguments on the poor reception that "Academy" and "RT3000" had, but despite the mess coming from changes in shipping costs, one could consider the amount gathered around RRT to be somewhat impressive, no?

Perhaps… if one were only looking at the raw amount of money pledged, rather than the total number of pledges and the average amount pledged.

Put simply, the $1.44 million (US) dollars the Kickstarter campaign brought in wasn’t due to its popularity but rather the high cost of entry for a tabletop miniature wargame. The Kickstarter’s $1,442,312 pledge total came from just 5,342 backers. The unweighted mean pledge for RRT on Kickstarter was $270 (US), more than triple the cost of the game’s starter set. It brought in that large sum of money not because a large number of people were interested in the game or the Robotech setting, but because the people who did back it backed it at levels that were going to get them enough miniatures to build large armies.

5,342 people worldwide is not nearly enough to successfully launch a tabletop game and have the game last, and the actual number was a fair bit lower since that total included Macross fans who purchased the game to use the miniatures for dioramas and BattleTech fans who purchased the game to use the miniatures for the Unseen designs.



xunk16 wrote:
Then again, from what I could gather, the main problem with "Academy" & "RT3000" was that they wanted to be less serious with the tone, and too far from all that had previously been made.

Oh my, no… tone wasn’t part of it.

Robotech 3000 was rejected by the fanbase for two main reasons:
  • Netter Digital’s all-CG art style was nothing like the iconic 80’s anime art style the fans had so closely associated Robotech with. In short, it didn’t look like Robotech.
  • Carl Macek’s story concept was for a far-future sequel set a thousand years after the original TV series, with effectively no direct connection to any of the familiar characters, settings, and set pieces. In short, it wasn’t continuing the unfinished Robotech storyline.

After the overwhelmingly negative reaction from the fans prompted Harmony Gold to cancel their plans for the series, Carl Macek tried to revive the idea as a traditionally animated show… which ended with Harmony Gold management cancelling the project AGAIN and replacing him as head of the brand.

Robotech Academy’s problem was more complex… but tone didn’t really figure into that TV pilot’s failure on Kickstarter either:
  • Robotech Academy was another Robotech narrative like Shadow Chronicles that was set in the same general time period as Robotech II: the Sentinels but wasn’t connected to, or a continuation/resolution of the Sentinels storyline. In short, fans were upset that they were still not getting the continuation/completion of Sentinels.
  • Robotech Academy was also not a continuation/completion of the unfinished - and later revealed to have been cancelled-all-along - Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles. The fans were not happy with Harmony Gold starting yet another project it wasn’t likely to finish.
  • The actual Robotech Academy Kickstarter pitch was incredibly arrogant. Harmony Gold’s staff made arses of themselves talking about it in public, boasting that fans would be begging the company to take their money for it.
  • The Robotech RPG Tactics Kickstarter had already devolved into a PR nightmare, and a lot of the discontent with Palladium’s increasingly vague timetable for fulfillment of backer reward promises and shipment of the completed game and the profound lack of evidence of progress being made towards completion spilled over into the Robotech Academy Kickstarter. Fans wanted HG to put Palladium’s house in order by hook or by crook, and their discontent stirred up the already volatile Robotech Academy PR situation.
  • Harmony Gold’s pitch for the series largely revolved around the claim that this series concept was all Carl Macek’s idea, and imploring fans to make “Carl’s vision” a reality. A lot of fans saw this as being a callous and downright offensive attempt to get the project funded by jerking their heartstrings over Carl Macek’s then-recent passing.
  • The actual story concept and designs that were presented as part of the pitch were just plain bad. The character designs were generic, and the mecha designs were ugly and several were suspected to be potentially infringing on copyrights.
  • The story concept had the events occurring approximately alongside the Masters Saga, the least popular of Robotech’s three sagas by a comically gigantic margin.

Basically, the Robotech Academy pitch was doomed to fail because fans have long wanted Harmony Gold to finish what it’d started before starting something else, because of HG’s gauche behavior on Kickstarter, and because it was terribly amateurish even for them.



xunk16 wrote:
Plus, announcing from the get go that canon will be thrown out the window (for Academy) is always a bad move.

They never announced that… it was announced as a side story.



xunk16 wrote:
Better let the thing make its proofs on its own. Leaving open the door to relate it more closely later if need be. Such as what is currently done in a desperate effort to keep the Titan iteration on proverbial life support.

They’ve already announced that the Titan series is ending at issue 24, the plug has well and truly been pulled. It’s longer than anyone expected the series to run anyway.



xunk16 wrote:
(Not considering art and focusing on the money alone, the "Bayformers" and Star Trek reboot both received terrible reception from fans but did very well in the marketing department. So there would seem to be a precedent to try unconventional IP market mechanics.)

Transformers did extremely well in the box office and had little to fear from fan backlash as it had many other, unrelated products coming out alongside the films that were more what the fans were about. Even then, it was always a merchandise (toy) driven property so a hit movie meant massive toy sales regardless even from grudging collectors who didn’t care for the film.

Star Trek’s reboot films were, in actual fact, not commercially successful. The fans might’ve rejected them, but the bigger problem is that the studio spent so much money on them that they barely broke even or even lost money on them once the additional cost of global marketing was added in. The fans hated the aesthetics and stories of the new movies, and the casual viewers who propelled the films to box office mediocrity didn’t stick around and become new fans, so at the end of the day the merchandising for the films was sparse and unable to help recoup those losses. That problem snowballed after Star Trek: Beyond’s poor reception, leading to their financial backers bailing on the reboot series and the cancellation of part 4. Similar untenable practices have led to Netflix’s refusal to continue funding Star Trek: Discovery and refusal to fund Star Trek: Picard, which are led by the same creative team.



xunk16 wrote:
Given that someone would be willing to get back to basics, and resuscitate the general ambience and themes of the original RT based material, without falling to the "teen school drama" or "too far in the future to care" department; isn't it at least possible that the nerve which brought clients to RRT be stricken again?

Probably not, no… because fans have repeatedly demonstrated that what they want is not a do-over, but for Harmony Gold to make more things like the original three shows and continue the Robotech animated series even though they don’t have the money or the talent pool to do that, never mind all the legal problems that brings with it.



xunk16 wrote:
(I'm still having difficulty considering the novels and old comics out of the equations. Those did sell as well, didn't they? Going around on other channels, I usually find people that are nostalgic of these, not necessarily the anime. That is... of course... after filtering the angry mob of Macross fans begging for Robotech to end.)

Comico’s comics did OK among fans because they were just retelling the TV series. The comic book continuation of Robotech II: the Sentinels did well because it was a continuation of the Sentinels storyline that was cut short by the show’s early production cancellation. The rest, not so much… and they all did progressively worse as time went on and the general quality of the comic licensees went down due to the slow collapse of the fandom and its naturally heavily fragmented attitude towards what was “real” Robotech that we discussed in the other thread a while back.



xunk16 wrote:
Considering the issues about social media and everything else, wouldn't that be the only reasonable path to test, outside of simply reprinting old and already proven material?

They’ve tried many times to revive Robotech, and it always ends in failure because what the fans want is not consistent and often not realistic and what general audiences want is… well… not Robotech. (The series and its story haven’t aged well, from a non-fan perspective, and are now seen as rather campy and dated by those who remember it exists at all.)



xunk16 wrote:
Furthermore... I've read somewhere that Robotech also had moderately bigger fan-bases in China and South America. (There was a pretty good "Macross Era" fan-film made in Spanish...) Was anything tried to get those informed recently?

South America, yes… but, as with the fandom elsewhere in the world, most fans are just fans of the “Macross Saga” (closeted Macross fans) and don’t really care much for the rest if they remember it exists at all.

China, not so much. Macross already had a substantial foothold over there, and China had its own domestic brand equivalent called Astro Plan that they rolled out after the Macross Frontier series came out. Robotech has a small following there, it’s bigger than elsewhere because there are more people, no because it’s more popular than elsewhere. In fact, one of HG’s latest crop of licensees is actually a Chinese Macross toy bootlegger.



xunk16 wrote:
I'm not sure those groups were well situated to take notice of previous crowd-funding efforts.

Word gets around the fandom rather quickly, because the fandom is pretty small. It doesn’t get a lot of press outside the fandom because the property is fairly obscure, and is not well-regarded by anime enthusiasts, mecha enthusiasts, or tabletop game enthusiasts due in part to HG’s legal shenanigans over the years impacting other, more popular, franchises.



xunk16 wrote:
My group learned of RRT by finding it into a shop (and even then, hidden among old school RPGs), not the greatest advertising campaign ever. Though we are new to this whole shebang.

Such as it was, the promotion that was done of the RRT Kickstarter was quickly eclipsed by the massive storm of negative press from the Kickstarter backers themselves when the problems in the project reared their head and only got louder and more vehement as time went on and there was less and less actual news from Palladium. That’s why you had stores reconsider stocking the game, or burying what little they did stock in deep storage. (My local store gave up after a while, chucked their unsold inventory, and wrote it off as a loss on their taxes.)



xunk16 wrote:
Frankly, I think their prioritizing the macross segment that much for marketing is hurting the potential for a new fanbase to form around robotech and not only its source material.

Harmony Gold prioritizes the “Macross Saga” for merchandising because it’s the most popular of the Robotech sagas by an enormous margin and the only one that reliably turns a profit from merchandising. They are in this to make money, after all.

What’s changed, WRT what parts of Robotech licensees are willing to work with and which kinds of merchandise they’re willing to make, is a decline in the quality of licensees. Palladium used to be the small fish in the Robotech licensing pond, now they’d be pretty typical or on the large side. The kind of licensing Robotech attracts has declined from corporations like FUNimation or Toynami to the level of little indie publishers, mom-and-pop shops, solo artists, and giving post-facto legitimacy to Southeast Asian toy bootleggers. Those outfits are willing to take more risks because their development costs are correspondingly lower due to having less staff and the lower quality of the products they make.

(Some would, reasonably, protest that several of those products are higher quality that what we’ve seen from Palladum… but that’s really more an issue with Palladium’s practices than those licensees who replaced them. Palladium’s publishing style is so old-school it still uses a sliderule.)





mech798 wrote:
Teh biggest problem is that such a strategy is in the "must spend money to make money" category. Right now, the only current property that is known widely at all is the new Robotech rpg. But you need more--books, comics, either traditional or webcomic, stuff to get the name out there, stuff aimed at people who don't know about robotech.
IE, stuff to demonstrate that the IP has value outside of its' old fans.

And that, again, costs money.

Money Harmony Gold is emphatically not willing to spend itself, which was the whole reason they cancelled the “Shadow Saga” after just one episode of its four part OVA and why they tried to crowdfund production of the Robotech Academy pilot.

What little is made is made on the cheap to appeal to existing fans only because that’s the only way their efforts can reliably turn any kind of a profit. The brand’s reputation among non-fans is so poor and the series itself so obscure that the risks on gambling on bringing in new fans are just too high for anyone willing to put up the cash.





glitterboy2098 wrote:
not to mention the fact that in my experience, most of the "hardcore fans" absolutely hate HG due to the creative decisions since about the 1990's, and especially the 2000's. which i am certain that HG is aware of since such fans seem to campaign to create uproar and kill anything HG proposes.

Harmony Gold has a pretty clear idea what the fans actually want... the problem is that if HG actually tried it there’s a very good chance it would end in a franchise-ending lawsuit from Big West for copyright infringement.

The fanbase has been very consistent about wanting Robotech II: the Sentinels finished, and Harmony Gold is just not willing to take that massive massive risk using all the characters from Macross. Their relations with Macross’s owners are incredibly bad thanks to HG having burned those bridges themselves in 1999-2001 when they were convinced that the Robotech 3000 series was going to be the New Hotness and then when they thought that the reboot was their ticket to unending fame and success. Those legal problems are why the subsequent attempts to continue the Robotech story have all been faffing about in the general vicinity of Sentinels without actually being it, and why Prelude set up the Shadow Chronicles story by killing off or disposing of practically every potentially legally problematic character. They’re trying to give fans something close to what they want in a way that won’t get them sued down to their skivvies by much bigger and/or wealthier corporations like Big West, Bandai Namco Holdings, etc.

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
Damn you for anticipating my question. I've really got to unfoe you, your information is far more valuable than my sanity when dealing with your blunt callousness. :)


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:12 am
  

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D-Bee

Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:40 am
Posts: 35
So... If I'm following you correctly. RRT succeeded on the sole premise that a few players, which I hope are near enough to play together, decided to go through the chore (for lack of a better word, all considered, in the given circumstances) to buy multiple units of what amounts to a bare starter set; in order to let it gather dust in dioramas, or for shear nostalgia of designs which have already been replaced - or are in the process of being replaced - by more consistent designs in their given universe.
All this flying in the face of the excellent work (once again, all considered) that did go into making the rule book expanding on a world they barely know or want to be involved with?

Then that what amounts to a fandom, for the given franchise, are actually people who weren't interested in giving a chance to their parent company to get money; in order to probably one day be able to get out of their financial troubles and return to producing stuff that could have expanded on their main subject of interest not once, but twice. With one of these tries being as relevant as it could be? (I'm basing my own reflection about "loosing canon" to some comments still on the net about ignoring the sentinels to recreate the era entirely. I'm not insinuating, in any way, that my info is more valid. The few remaining pieces of the Academy Kick-starter I found looked rather engaging. It was just too late, at that point, for me to participate in the campaign. True though, that barely no mecha from that period is still visible, except for the alphas.)
Even if the story proposed for Academy was relevant to repairing the missing era of the franchise?
Even if it was tackling the long lasting issue of making the Master Saga more palatable?
And all this based on the simple fact that a company of producers, not employing one designer / concept artist / writer in its direct ranks (to my knowledge, all those have been working through licenses or contracted companies) made a worn out sale pitch at them?
Or that the quality of their work was not on par with the golden age of Japanese animation, but more in tone with a small American distributor; whilst fully knowing of the so-easy-to-read-about twisted history of the thing?

Darn... You make this fandom sound like Quebeckers refusing not once, but twice, their own independence.
Though defending the vision of a man who killed one of the more enduring pieces of his franchise (though utterly accidental in the way it was made, or survived) might have been more than a little edgy.
Alas... The picture you paint with the RRT situation, getting out of control and staining all other contemporary efforts, sounds too believable to be anything else but true. A classic case of mob mentality at work. And the more you speak about it, the more you are getting me interested in the planned / canned sequels to Shadow Chronicles.

Fans I learn about, along my path, aren't usually referencing the "comico" part as worth anything else but nostalgia. They are either of the hardcore McKinneyist sort, or remembering the high point of the comic licence like "Invid War" and "the sentinels". But maybe that is only the normal reaction to the Titan - now soon to be over? - try. (Unless they pull a "Fascape Comic Revival" and only announce cancellation to change the whole team / title and try to resuscitate it two or three times afterwards. No it didn't worked out that well. Except the Scorpius mini-series.)

On the other hand, living in a french speaking area, there is a lot of rather isolated fans / potential customers who simply thinks the thing has disappeared for so long that they probably wouldn't search for it online.
Which is a problem.
Yesterday, my Gm walked into a manga cafe to prepare his game, far from indiscreet player's eyes. He coincidentally fell on a "Robotech" T-shirt (which he bought, on impulse of the idea it might have been kind of a sign).
The story of our RRT miniatures became a gathering point for fans who had forgotten about the translated Robotech anime at his work.
We even had more than a few delivery guys who noticed our DVDs, or RRT box-set, and beamed up nostalgia at us for telling them the thing still existed.
(I'm now half fearing we were lying to them...)

HG is thus waging the most bizarre battle of the IP industry out there.
In their own way, they are making history.
Not only for the legal minefield (which is both intense and epic in proportions), but for the fact that their aging fans might not all be of the "online gatherer" sort. Indeed, if they aren't lurkers, some might not even use their internet connection for more than their private mails and Facebook profiles. They seem to have forgotten that a big part of their public do not speak English as a first language (guilty), and might not be still thinking about such an old property without having a bit of it thrown in their faces. Even the Titan comic was / is a flawed plan (prior to the random scenario blender apocalypse) when you think of the limited distribution of small US comics outside of the US. (Most comic shops we had near here closed years ago. If not all.)
And with the picture you have just drawn of HG and their fandom wars along the years... what would be the point?
What in hell can they be thinking?
If any effort they input, any thing they try, any new story they propose is going to be the start of a dirt campaign...
Why even bother buying back the rights to the thing in the first place?
Where are the numbers who inspire such faith?

I'm reading you. And you are all so informative (especially you Seto, thanks) that I'm inclined to believe you.
But then, one has to ask... are they brave, or simply mad?
I alternatively have the impression of looking at some street tightrope walker without security cable, and some tired and bloody survival horror hero cranking his chainsaw.
Is it possible that some things could have escaped the online-active fandom?
That maybe the slow recuperation (from the RRT / Academy fiasco, etc.) is finally letting their marketing efforts reach outside of the less than 6000s known individuals who will buy for derivative reasons?

This situation is... confusing.
If I'm following you all correctly, your predictions goes to the theory that they'll try to sit on the IP for the next 35 years; soon to sell the original subtitled versions instead of their own stuff, and quietly wait for retirement? Never getting any ideas on how to make their own situation better? All this for a few people that probably have access to the whole product line already?
And that despite new fans popping out of vortexes, like unicorns; that they'll just let them roam in a desolate wasteland populated by tribal fandom wars, miraculous archaeological fanon, and devoid of the light of any new coming instalment?

Isn't it falling on the wrong side of occam's razor? Defying darwin's law of evolution as applied to commerce?
In that light... The Sony movie looks more and more as if it could become a new "Lost in la Mancha".

*************************


EDIT : Ok... Coming back from the AX2019 video, referenced in another topic here, while I was correcting this previous post.
I thus have, on the other hand, that HG is announcing that they are "moving forward", still "planning the movie", are encouraged to "resume animation production", recruiting new companies into producing "new toys", and that the Titan comics run is "using every possible canon (fanon?) as source material, including RT3000". Though in a very small room, they do give a schedule of "in the next 18 months" to almost everything.

Plus I must correct myself in that Tommy Yune is apparently the head of the artistic department. (What has he done beside solidifying the rebooted canon of 2001 exactly? It is hard to tell with all the recuperated designs everywhere.) So they indeed have someone who should think these decisions through amongst their own ranks. Sorry for the misinformed remark in the above section.

This doesn't look like a dying pack of bison running toward the ledge. This looks like a company who has finally found a way to cut back their losses and give it their all in order to distance themselves from the chaos and setbacks of past decisions. In fact, it looks like a company who are compiling encouraging numbers of new or returning fans. It also does look like a company who is pulling some money in order to make more.

Both scenarios seems incredible.
It's fascinating.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:38 am
  

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Knight

Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:36 am
Posts: 5002
Location: New Frontier Shipyard, Earth-Moon L5
Comment: "My theories appall you, my heresies outrage you, I never answer letters, and you don't like my tie."
xunk16 wrote:
So... If I'm following you correctly. RRT succeeded on the sole premise that a few players, which I hope are near enough to play together, decided to go through the chore (for lack of a better word, all considered, in the given circumstances) to buy multiple units of what amounts to a bare starter set; in order to let it gather dust in dioramas, or for shear nostalgia of designs which have already been replaced - or are in the process of being replaced - by more consistent designs in their given universe.

Robotech RPG Tactics was successfully funded on Kickstarter because a few thousand Palladium and Robotech fans decided to throw large sums of money at the game. Some backers truly (naively) believed that the game was actually going to take off. Some wanted the miniatures to use for other games (BattleTech). Some just wanted to use the miniatures for other purposes in model kit customization. The actual game was a Chernobyl-esque fiasco that started with a disaster followed by years of coverup and denial that couldn't remotely be called a success.



xunk16 wrote:
All this flying in the face of the excellent work (once again, all considered) that did go into making the rule book expanding on a world they barely know or want to be involved with?

Nobody clapped eyes on the rulebook until well after the campaign was funded and things had gone TANGO-UNIFORM.



xunk16 wrote:
Then that what amounts to a fandom, for the given franchise, are actually people who weren't interested in giving a chance to their parent company to get money; in order to probably one day be able to get out of their financial troubles and return to producing stuff that could have expanded on their main subject of interest not once, but twice. With one of these tries being as relevant as it could be?

As often as the Robotech fandom is mocked for its low standards compared to other fandoms, having low standards does mean one still HAS standards.

One of the reasons Robotech Academy was such a fiasco was that Harmony Gold quite brazenly voiced its belief that the fans would buy pretty much anything they put the Robotech title on, regardless of quality. They found out, to their great surprise, that they were quite mistaken. Many fans simply aren't interested in rewarding Harmony Gold for doing substandard work. They feel that Harmony Gold needs to be doing professional-quality work if they want to be regarded as industry professionals.

Harmony Gold is not broke by any means. They simply do not take Robotech seriously anymore, and outside of brief periods c.1985-1987, c.1999-2001, and c.2004-2007 it's questionable if they ever truly did. After so many failures, the brand exists mainly to squat on the Macross trademarks in the US in hopes of an effort-free payday.



xunk16 wrote:
Even if the story proposed for Academy was relevant to repairing the missing era of the franchise?
Even if it was tackling the long lasting issue of making the Master Saga more palatable?
And all this based on the simple fact that a company of producers, not employing one designer / concept artist / writer in its direct ranks (to my knowledge, all those have been working through licenses or contracted companies) made a worn out sale pitch at them?
Or that the quality of their work was not on par with the golden age of Japanese animation, but more in tone with a small American distributor; whilst fully knowing of the so-easy-to-read-about twisted history of the thing?

As to Academy "repairing the missing era", it really wasn't. It was more of the usual "faffing about in the general proximity of the Sentinels without actually being connected to it" business.

Harmony Gold does have an artist on retainer, his name is Mr. Tommy Yune, and his artistic credentials are actually good enough that some would argue he's wasted on Robotech. He's a decent comic book artist and he does a fair job of character design, but he's no mechanical designer. Pre-2001 works were dependent on design staff provided by whatever studio was engaged at the time to animate for the project... Tatsunoko for Sentinels, Netter Digital for Robotech 3000.

Where the quality of the work being done goes, Harmony Gold's work in Shadow Chronicles and Academy compares unfavorably to video game cinematics from a solid decade or more before those works were animated. As much as Harmony Gold talks a big game about its alleged (entirely imaginary) foundational role in the western anime industry, fans aren't about to settle for stuff which looks like it was animated by a bunch of high schoolers on DeviantArt. (Like CBS, Harmony Gold filed takedown demands against several fan films for doing higher quality work that was more in line with what fans actually wanted.)

With regard to making the Masters Saga palatable... while the MythBusters did definitively prove that it was literally possible to polish a turd, the fact remains that the process is investing a lot of time and effort putting a gloss on sh*t. Some broken things are beyond repair. Using a series that was cancelled barely 1/3 of the way into its broadcast run as the middle part of their series was probably not the smartest move Harmony Gold could've made.



xunk16 wrote:
Alas... The picture you paint with the RRT situation, getting out of control and staining all other contemporary efforts, sounds too believable to be anything else but true. A classic case of mob mentality at work. And the more you speak about it, the more you are getting me interested in the planned / canned sequels to Shadow Chronicles.

If you'd like, I have some documents that constitute a rough outline of Parts II thru IV that were leaked by someone close to the HG staff years ago.

HG put a lot of effort into getting sites to take the outline down, which IMO is a decent-ish testament to their veracity (as is the identity of the leaker). They're sadly not much to look at, being scans of a typewritten document outlining the plot of the rest of the story that feels like a low-rent DYRL mockbuster with some truly lulzy moments like Zor's solution to the Haydonite crisis being to just build a REALLY big gun. (No really. That isn't a joke or hyperbole or anything. The reincarnated Zor's plan to save the day is a REALLY big gun.)



xunk16 wrote:
Fans I learn about, along my path, aren't usually referencing the "comico" part as worth anything else but nostalgia. They are either of the hardcore McKinneyist sort, or remembering the high point of the comic licence like "Invid War" and "the sentinels". But maybe that is only the normal reaction to the Titan - now soon to be over? - try. (Unless they pull a "Fascape Comic Revival" and only announce cancellation to change the whole team / title and try to resuscitate it two or three times afterwards. No it didn't worked out that well. Except the Scorpius mini-series.)

There was some decent meme-worthy art in the Comico comics at least... mostly involving art errors that gave Gloval a disappearing-reappearing harelip and a pipe with the supernatural ability to teleport from one hand to the other between panels. Titan's comic has, if nothing else, proved fertile ground for mockery. "Defibrillator on legs" has become an instant joke in multiple fandoms hostile to Robotech.



xunk16 wrote:
HG is thus waging the most bizarre battle of the IP industry out there.
And with the picture you have just drawn of HG and their fandom wars along the years... what would be the point?
What in hell can they be thinking?
If any effort they input, any thing they try, any new story they propose is going to be the start of a dirt campaign...
Why even bother buying back the rights to the thing in the first place?
Where are the numbers who inspire such faith?

Given the past findings of the Italian justice system and the current investigations by US Internal Revenue, there's something to be said for the theory that Harmony Gold is using Robotech and the handful of other tiny (and ludicrous) films it produces for a genuine Springtime for Hitler maneuver... deliberately losing money on them for a tax writeoff and then selling the rights to shell companies they own in tax haven countries at an enormous markup and pocketing the profits without paying taxes on them. Harmony Gold's owner, Frank Agrama, was already convicted in Italy for doing exactly that back in '05 and only avoided serving jail time for his crime due to his age making him eligible for an amnesty law aimed at reducing prison overcrowding.

Those of a less cynical view would be inclined to suspect that what Harmony Gold staffers have revealed in the past is still accurate... that efforts to keep Robotech limping along are done mainly to facilitate squatting on the Macross trademarks in key markets in the hopes that they can frustrate Big West into paying them for a license to that trademark in order to distribute Macross outside Japan.

As far as the minimum-effort means of keeping Robotech going, they only need a few thousand fans willing to shell out. Robotech home video releases are now done print-on-demand, not mass market DVD/BD. Toys and games are made by tiny indie outfits and bootlegging groups on the cheap, some of which being pre-existing goods that were simply rebranded. By not doing any new development, their overhead costs are basically just the salaries of Steve, Tommy, and Kevin, and those three aren't paid very much.



xunk16 wrote:
But then, one has to ask... are they brave, or simply mad?
I alternatively have the impression of looking at some street tightrope walker without security cable, and some tired and bloody survival horror hero cranking his chainsaw.

Neither... they just know that they don't have to succeed. Robotech is, at best, regarded as a side job or a hobby by Harmony Gold... like selling knick knacks you make in your off hours on Etsy. At best, they're taking a calculated gamble in the hopes of striking it rich without having to do any further actual work by just licensing trademarks they're squatting on to companies with far more successful properties.



xunk16 wrote:
That maybe the slow recuperation (from the RRT / Academy fiasco, etc.) is finally letting their marketing efforts reach outside of the less than 6000s known individuals who will buy for derivative reasons?

Unless there has been a MASSIVE change of heart at Harmony Gold's highest levels, I doubt it. They were essentially done trying to develop Robotech after Shadow Chronicles failed to bring in the sponsorship deals Tommy promised it would to get the funding to make it. That's why Academy was crowdfunded instead, HG wasn't about to put its own money into it anymore when they could just sell merchandise to cash in on nostalgia.



xunk16 wrote:
If I'm following you all correctly, your predictions goes to the theory that they'll try to sit on the IP for the next 35 years; soon to sell the original subtitled versions instead of their own stuff, and quietly wait for retirement? Never getting any ideas on how to make their own situation better? All this for a few people that probably have access to the whole product line already?
And that despite new fans popping out of vortexes, like unicorns; that they'll just let them roam in a desolate wasteland populated by tribal fandom wars, miraculous archaeological fanon, and devoid of the light of any new coming instalment?

More or less... current and former HG staffers have suggested the goal is essentially to transition to a role where they just license the brand out and collect royalties, either by squatting on trademarks for the Macross name until Big West agrees to license it from them in order to sell in the US or by Sony finally making a Robotech movie so they can abandon the animated series altogether.

Basically, they want to be middlemen profiting while someone else does the actual work.



xunk16 wrote:
EDIT : Ok... Coming back from the AX2019 video, referenced in another topic here, while I was correcting this previous post.
I thus have, on the other hand, that HG is announcing that they are "moving forward", still "planning the movie", are encouraged to "resume animation production", recruiting new companies into producing "new toys", and that the Titan comics run is "using every possible canon (fanon?) as source material, including RT3000". Though in a very small room, they do give a schedule of "in the next 18 months" to almost everything.

Yes, the long-time fans found all of that VERY familiar... because it's basically the same thing they've been saying at every convention appearance since Summer 2007. This year was a momentous event in that the license renewal was apparently important enough for Kevin to make a new Powerpoint deck for the event instead of just reordering the slides from previous years. :lol:

An old aphorism from the Soviet Union applies to HG events: "The Truth isn't news, and the news isn't true."

From 2007 to about 2015, Harmony Gold was claiming that Shadow Chronicles was still under active development... only to later admit it'd actually been cancelled in 2007. They tried to do the same with Robotech Academy after they ragequit Kickstarter, only for the studio working on the film to refute their claim and indicate that development had been terminated due to the project's cancellation. They've been claiming the live action movie was being fast-tracked and set to be a tentpole franchise for <studio> since 2007, with absolutely zero sign of it ever being green-lit to start pre-production. They spent years claiming writers who'd written one story treatment and buggered off were still actively developing the project. Eventually, you see the tricks often enough that they just don't impress anymore. As one fan once opined to me, they're like a mall Santa... all talk and nothing in the sack. :lol:

As far as we've heard from inside HG itself, there are no plans to resume development of original animation. The live action movie has shown zero signs of forward motion in the twelve years since its license was announced. HG's recent licensees are small fry even among the small fry, and some are actual criminals (toy bootleggers), and one recently went out of business. The Titan comic is a bad joke that's mocked relentlessly around the 'net, and that they're including material from every possible timeline is Titan flying the damn thing into the ground because they wrote themselves into a corner by writing the other sagas out of existence at the first freaking issue.



xunk16 wrote:
(What has he done beside solidifying the rebooted canon of 2001 exactly? It is hard to tell with all the recuperated designs everywhere.)

He did the original character designs for Shadow Chronicles, as well as several new mechanical designs that were not used including the VF-13 Gamma Fighter, a "hover cyclone", and a transformation-capable Ark Angel that looked too much like a Macross-class ship to safely use.

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:46 am
  

Dungeon Crawler

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xunk16 wrote:

EDIT : Ok... Coming back from the AX2019 video, referenced in another topic here, while I was correcting this previous post.
I thus have, on the other hand, that HG is announcing that they are "moving forward", still "planning the movie", are encouraged to "resume animation production", recruiting new companies into producing "new toys", and that the Titan comics run is "using every possible canon (fanon?) as source material, including RT3000". Though in a very small room, they do give a schedule of "in the next 18 months" to almost everything.


Let's put it this way. I see the HG statements in the same light as the Five Year Plans of hte USSR, which shall lead the Soviet Union to economic victory after victory! Because remember, the Five Year Plan will never fail!

"planning the movie" means "we rented a limo and are pestering real actors.

Here's the rule of thumb. Scripts? Scripts are fairly cheap. Often, depending on the writer, they'er actually written by a team. A movie isn't even in serious pre-production until you start getting letters of intent and actors setting aside time tow ork on it, because that means they can't work on other projects. There are a million spec scripts floating around Hollywood. There are scripts for properties out there that are written, so you can say: we have a script in development and then vanish.

The mean nothing. It's only when you see real money and effort exchanging hands that you get curious, when you find out a special effects house has been hired, when you start seeing sets in production.

Everything before that is much sound and fury, signifying nothing, especially from HG, which pretty much defines the term "vaporware".

Or lets put it this way: Since the original Robotech series, which they didn't animate, How many animated or live action products have they successfully created? If you're going to answer: none, you're right. (Shadow Chronicles was supposed to be the start of a series, which was canned due to poor reception).

There are some companies out there, Disney, DC, etc, that you can assume are probably being honest. HG ain't among them.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:19 am
  

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mech798 wrote:
"planning the movie" means "we rented a limo and are pestering real actors

They're not even THAT far, they're pestering writers to write treatments (not real scripts, just treatments) and bugging any director they see in the entertainment news to read them.



mech798 wrote:
Or lets put it this way: Since the original Robotech series, which they didn't animate, How many animated or live action products have they successfully created? If you're going to answer: none, you're right. (Shadow Chronicles was supposed to be the start of a series, which was canned due to poor reception).

Well, more like "one-half"... Robotech: Love Live Alive has only a few minutes of new animation, and was originally bundled with Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles in an effort to inflate sales of the cancelled OVA's first episode, but it does have the distinction of being the only animated project Harmony Gold has successfully carried forward all the way to completion since the 1985 TV series.

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:28 am
  

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Let's be serious here.....anyone here who actually believes this means anything beyond the lack of anything we have gotten in basically 15 years now is fracking delusional and needs to stop taking whatever hallucinogens they are partaking in.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:12 pm
  

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jaymz wrote:
Let's be serious here.....anyone here who actually believes this means anything beyond the lack of anything we have gotten in basically 15 years now is fracking delusional and needs to stop taking whatever hallucinogens they are partaking in.

Simply put when it comes to Robotech it is best to take a "I'll believe it when I see it" approach.

mech798 wrote:
Or lets put it this way: Since the original Robotech series, which they didn't animate, How many animated or live action products have they successfully created? If you're going to answer: none, you're right. (Shadow Chronicles was supposed to be the start of a series, which was canned due to poor reception).

What is your criteria for successful creation though.

Original Animation appeared in RT: The Untold Story and RT: Love Live Alice (though both are mostly recycled animation). Both where successfully completed from certain POV, though both also recycled animation and RT:TUS wasn't a success in terms of releases.

Even Shadow Chronicles depends on the criteria. Yes in terms of long term plans TSC was a failure, but in the short term is was successfully completed as production as it was intended to pause before continuing again in either OVA or Series form.

Robotech 3000 and Academy are both failures.

Robotech UN Public Service Announcement might also be considered successfully completed.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:48 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
Simply put when it comes to Robotech it is best to take a "I'll believe it when I see it" approach.


Hey, I'm not implying anything else right now. It would be mad to bet anything on this, without having all the facts, and no one but HG (and even then, imperfectly) can have these. Reality is a complex system, enough for it to sometime produce apparently random results. Who knows to which extent Sony itself could be playing their own shadow-plays?
On the other hand, pretending that they simply can't and won't ever learn from their past failures is also an extreme stance. However right it might later prove to be. For people to get engaged with them and still work on the matter means they at least must pretend they are doing something "convincingly". (Suddenly have the impression that meeting with HG might look like a scene from "the godfather".)

jaymz wrote:
Let's be serious here.....anyone here who actually believes this means anything beyond the lack of anything we have gotten in basically 15 years now is fracking delusional and needs to stop taking whatever hallucinogens they are partaking in.

Not taking any hallucinogens or chemicals that could putrefy my soul, thank you very much.

I guess after this there is not much else to do than say "Meh" and see what happens while frantically doing other projects.
Still going to follow the "developments" however.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:03 pm
  

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xunk16 wrote:
Hey, I'm not implying anything else right now. It would be mad to bet anything on this, without having all the facts, and no one but HG (and even then, imperfectly) can have these. Reality is a complex system, enough for it to sometime produce apparently random results.

Contrary to the popular saying, past performance is all too often an extremely reliable indicator of future results. Thirty-four years of practical experience with the Robotech brand teaches that the best course of action to avoid disappointment is to expect nothing from it. Failure isn’t just an option, it’s often the ONLY option because the Robotech creative staff believe their own hype and that leads them to make unwise decisions with alarming consistency.



xunk16 wrote:
Who knows to which extent Sony itself could be playing their own shadow-plays?

… Sony Pictures is a Hollywood studio. You don’t build awareness of a project by keeping it secret, and hype is literally EVERYTHING to them. You don’t get buns in seats by not promoting a property, and I don’t think they’ve recently developed a crippling allergy to money and success.



xunk16 wrote:
On the other hand, pretending that they simply can't and won't ever learn from their past failures is also an extreme stance.

Eh… believe me, it only seems extreme to you because you’re still new to the franchise.



xunk16 wrote:
For people to get engaged with them and still work on the matter means they at least must pretend they are doing something "convincingly". (Suddenly have the impression that meeting with HG might look like a scene from "the godfather".)

Not really, no… as we’ve noted before, HG’s self-confessed plan is basically to either wait for the owners of Macross to get frustrated enough to license the trademarks they’re squatting on or wait for Sony to basically take over all creative control of the franchise. The tone cast by various interviews with the HG staff in their LA office is less The Godfather and more Married with Children... they’re basically that one guy we all know who peaked in high school and spends all their time reminiscing about the all-too-brief “glory days” of their youth.

(To say that they have a VERY inflated opinion of Robotech’s standing in, and importance to, the anime industry is putting it mildly… and acting on that inflated opinion of their brand did a lot to hurt it, like ruining their relationship with FUNimation.)

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:18 am
  

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D-Bee

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Seto Kaiba wrote:
xunk16 wrote:
Who knows to which extent Sony itself could be playing their own shadow-plays?

… Sony Pictures is a Hollywood studio. You don’t build awareness of a project by keeping it secret, and hype is literally EVERYTHING to them. You don’t get buns in seats by not promoting a property, and I don’t think they’ve recently developed a crippling allergy to money and success.


Really? But... If all Robotech and HG are is a school case fiscal evasion plan like you have said...

Seto Kaiba wrote:
Given the past findings of the Italian justice system and the current investigations by US Internal Revenue, there's something to be said for the theory that Harmony Gold is using Robotech and the handful of other tiny (and ludicrous) films it produces for a genuine Springtime for Hitler maneuver... deliberately losing money on them for a tax writeoff and then selling the rights to shell companies they own in tax haven countries at an enormous markup and pocketing the profits without paying taxes on them. Harmony Gold's owner, Frank Agrama, was already convicted in Italy for doing exactly that back in '05 and only avoided serving jail time for his crime due to his age making him eligible for an amnesty law aimed at reducing prison overcrowding.

Those of a less cynical view would be inclined to suspect that what Harmony Gold staffers have revealed in the past is still accurate... that efforts to keep Robotech limping along are done mainly to facilitate squatting on the Macross trademarks in key markets in the hopes that they can frustrate Big West into paying them for a license to that trademark in order to distribute Macross outside Japan.


And if we say, just for a moment, that they did manage to "interest" Sony by "revealing the whole Robotech thing to them"...
Wouldn't it be reasonable to think that the Sony you all describe, the Sony which isn't at all interested in making an actual movie; would rather be interested in playing the same invisible one-arm bandit? One has to conclude, by being one of the big of Hollywood and Hong Kong Cinema, Sony would probably have better lawyers to take advantage of such an international legal nightmare.
There is no ludicrous profits in capitalism, right?
(TV and Cinema are often victims of this simple rule... for each Firefly to get financed, one has sometime to write a Buffy. For each "Riddick" instalment, we go through some very cheesy "Fast and Furious". Now the real mystery is how these manufactured cash-grab survive for so long...)

I'm just trying to follow the mood on that one though.
Most probably, you'll go with something more like : Sony will probably publicly reveal they had no intention of doing anything before the 35 years renewal is over.
Am I catching up?

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:55 am
  

Dungeon Crawler

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Why would Sony do that? Sony isn't interested because Robotech is a dead IP that has been mishandled to the point wheret he major fans probably wouldn't even be able to fill a mid-sized auditorium.

Sony's IP's include (not exhaustive, at all): The Karate Kid, Ghostbusters, Spider-Man, Jumanji, Stuart Little, Men in Black, Underworld, Robert Langdon, The Smurfs (via Peyo), Sniper, Hotel Transylvania, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Each and every one of those could eat the entire Robotech Franchise, without noticing. Each and every one of those is far more profitable than any Robotech Franchise is likely to be.
Hell, Scooby Do is far more profitable than the Robotech Franchise.
Yes. Monetarily? The Smurfs are a far, far bigger deal than Robotech is--or will ever be.

The Kind of games that HG is alleged to have taken part in are the small time games. The big players, like Sony, don't do that because they don't need to. They have big names, that bring in big money and if they play games, they're the same kind of legal (if unethical) games most big studios get up to.

Remember, Robotech Academy couldn't get 500,000 Dollars from its fans and that was enough to sink it for HG, which didn't have any interest in ponying up the money for themselves. The budget for Stuart Little was 103 million (not counting some other costs), and Stuart Little is by no means one of Sony's biggest properties.

That's the difference in scale between a dinky outfit like HG and Sony Pictures we're talking about here.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:25 am
  

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xunk16 wrote:
Really? But... If all Robotech and HG are is a school case fiscal evasion plan like you have said...

I did say that was a theory... admittedly one held by the Italian state prosecutor's office and the US Internal Revenue Service, but a theory nonetheless outside of the specific convictions secured on those charges in connection with the MediaSet scandal. (So, arguably a highly plausible theory but nothing proven beyond a reasonable doubt yet... though the Agrama family's finances were recently the subject of another active investigation by the IRS for potentially-unrelated tax irregularities involving undisclosed foreign income.)



xunk16 wrote:
And if we say, just for a moment, that they did manage to "interest" Sony by "revealing the whole Robotech thing to them"...
Wouldn't it be reasonable to think that the Sony you all describe, the Sony which isn't at all interested in making an actual movie; would rather be interested in playing the same invisible one-arm bandit? One has to conclude, by being one of the big of Hollywood and Hong Kong Cinema, Sony would probably have better lawyers to take advantage of such an international legal nightmare.
There is no ludicrous profits in capitalism, right?

Sony has absolutely no reason to get involved in the MediaSet/MediaTrade tax fraud scheme... they make more money in a day through entirely legitimate means than Agrama makes in a year through ALL his business ventures. :lol:

Agrama, Harmony Gold, and Robotech are the smallest of the small fry in the niche-in-the-west anime industry, never mind Hollywood in general.



xunk16 wrote:
Most probably, you'll go with something more like : Sony will probably publicly reveal they had no intention of doing anything before the 35 years renewal is over.

The renewal isn't for 35 years... they haven't stated the actual term of the renewal, but we know via Tatsunoko it isn't 35 years. My guess would be it's probably another ~10 year renewal like the last couple, but we'll likely find out the next time Harmony Gold sues someone and have to cough up their contract with Tatsunoko to prove they really do have the merchandising rights.

Now, some interesting information has recently come to light with regard to how Tatsunoko was able to take Harmony Gold to the cleaners on this license renewal and why Harmony Gold is making so much noise about what would otherwise almost be a non-event given Harmony Gold's lack of interest in actually continuing Robotech.

Harmony Gold is AFRAID. Those trademarks they're dependent on to keep the Macross franchise bottled up in Japan are being challenged and defeated in markets across the world. We already knew Big West had successfully ousted Harmony Gold's trademarks in several countries in Southeast Asia and registered their own in those markets, but what we didn't know until recently was that it has gone global. Big West defeated Harmony Gold's challenge to their registration of the Macross trademarks in the UK, used that as a springboard to challenge Harmony Gold's trademarks that exist in the European Union, and have already secured at least a partial victory over Harmony Gold in China. Harmony Gold's US trademarks aren't at risk, as far as we know, but only because the US trademark laws preference the first user (in market) over the actual owner of the property. It's the other way around in most of the world, and as a result Big West is quietly taking back Macross from HG around the world. If Big West continues winning these trademark disputes, Harmony Gold could soon be the ones finding themselves locked out of every major foreign market.

Tatsunoko was able to turn that fear into profit through the negotiations for renewal of the license and some sources have hinted they were able to strongarm Harmony Gold into dropping the lawsuit over Tatsunoko's refusal to pay their court costs and attorney's fees from their earlier arbitration AND the money owed as well.

If anything, reports of Robotech's demise may shortly prove to have been understated.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:06 am
  

Dungeon Crawler

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It also further reduces the chance of any kind of movie--because HG now cannot give Sony the rights they want--those are bound up in Big West, and again, if the movie is different enough to not trigger potential suits, it's likely so generic that having the "robotech" name to attach to it probably isn't that useful.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:19 pm
  

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mech798 wrote:
It also further reduces the chance of any kind of movie--because HG now cannot give Sony the rights they want--those are bound up in Big West, [...]

That's not a new development, that was always the case...

See below for a brief summary of the Macross legal situation.
Spoiler:
Studio Nue developed the original series concept for what eventually became Super Dimension Fortress Macross under the name Battle City Megaroad and Wiz Inc.'s sponsorship. It later found itself sponsorless when Wiz went bankrupt, and after some searching found a new sponsorship partner in Big West Advertising Co. Ltd., who bankrolled the rest of development into Super Dimension Fortress Macross including the creation of all the character and mechanical designs, the story, and setting. Consequently, because Big West paid for all of the development work they are the copyright owners on the story, setting, and designs, and the owners of the franchise. As such, only Big West can authorize the creation of derivative works based on that series or sequels based on its setting.

Because Big West was new to animation sponsorship, they lowballed the budget and staffing requirements for production. The fix, after production had already started, was to bring in Tatsunoko Pro. with the promise that they would give them distribution and merchandising rights to the series outside of Japan as payment for bankrolling the animation production. As the party that financed all the actual animation, Tatsunoko Production Co. owns the copyright on the animation itself but not the story, setting, concepts, and designs it contains that had been created under Big West's sponsorship. Tatsunoko doesn't even get a share of the profits from subsequent exploitation of Macross (e.g. sequels).

Harmony Gold derived the Robotech franchise from the distribution and merchandising rights they licensed from Tatsunoko Production Co. in 1984. As such, they can distribute the animation in markets worldwide (excl. Japan) and make merchandise for it in those markets, but they cannot use the IP of the series in their own original works. This is why Robotech II: the Sentinels had to redesign the Macross Saga characters and why Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles got rid of all the holdover Macross Saga characters except Rick and redesigned Rick to be unrecognizable. They have never been able to use the Macross designs for non-merchandising purposes... though merchandising is a broad topic that includes video games, comic books, toys, etc. They can't grant Sony permission to use any IP from Macross either, because neither they nor Tatsunoko have those rights.


What Big West's slow-but-steady successes in seizing the Macross trademarks in markets worldwide entails for Harmony Gold is more complex. Namely, Big West would be able to block Harmony Gold from distributing Robotech's Macross Saga in markets where they hold those trademarks under threat of a trademark infringement lawsuit. They'd be able to prevent local distributors in the relevant markets from distributing Robotech's Macross Saga on home video, streaming, or broadcast, as well as block those same distributors from selling Macross Saga merchandise. Given that Big West is expected to win in the EU and China the same way they won in the UK (the EU IPO is even taking the UK victory as precedent), that'll effectively kneecap Robotech in Europe and Asia, leaving them just North and South America, which could progressively get whittled down to just the US if Big West presses forward with international registrations. 90%+ of Robotech's merch is Macross Saga based, so if that becomes unsellable on a world market... well, it'll be time for RT to pack it in for good.



mech798 wrote:
[...] and again, if the movie is different enough to not trigger potential suits, it's likely so generic that having the "robotech" name to attach to it probably isn't that useful.

That'd be the reason that Warner Bros just sat on the license for seven years and Sony Pictures seems primed to do the same... there's literally no benefit for them in actually making the film since the license doesn't cover any of the design works and most of the story of the series due to those being owned by another company with whom Harmony Gold is not in a business relationship.

The license is, essentially JUST to the name, some key terms, and a few Robotech-original story details. :lol:

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
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Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:40 pm
  

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D-Bee

Joined: Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:40 am
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Seto Kaiba wrote:
The renewal isn't for 35 years... they haven't stated the actual term of the renewal, but we know via Tatsunoko it isn't 35 years. My guess would be it's probably another ~10 year renewal like the last couple, but we'll likely find out the next time Harmony Gold sues someone and have to cough up their contract with Tatsunoko to prove they really do have the merchandising rights.


Well, that would fit the general feeling about statements from HG, but I have to precise that I'm not the origin of that number.
It can be found at 9:58 during their AX2019 Part 1 statement. https://youtu.be/-Omf3Dp7dMk?t=598

And considering all this... since Macross and Robotech are barely aimed at the same audiences; despite some strong cosmetic and surface continuity similarities in the begining storyarcs...
(Themes are almost all different, except the "sex change the world" thing. And even then, it's developed in wildly different directions since Macross insist on culture while Robotech does it on evolution.)
Has anyone ever proposed a web petition in order for HG and Big West to finally admit they both aren't selling the same stuff and should be allowed to both sell on the other's turf? Especially since Macross no longer even look like it's origins; and that Robotech only "need" to use this stuff in order to fastly run away in another direction? (We have both in Canada and people don't have to fight over it. It's rather nice.)

Or... since the general feeling for HG is very far from trust...

Has anyone thought of starting a web petition for Big West to buy HG and produce both Macross AND Robotech, recognizing that they have both their own fandoms and can be pushed in different directions?

*Raises shield before rotten vegetables begins to be thorwn.* :wink:

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:39 pm
  

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Knight

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xunk16 wrote:
Well, that would fit the general feeling about statements from HG, but I have to precise that I'm not the origin of that number.
It can be found at 9:58 during their AX2019 Part 1 statement.

Fans are incorrectly assuming that the form letter “we look forward to continuing to work with you” from Frank Agrama is a statement of the term of the license. In fact, later interviews with HG staff confirmed that it isn’t… and they actually begged off answering the question about the duration of the new license, indicating that management had specifically instructed them not to talk about it.

(Which suggests, IMO, that the term of said license is probably even shorter than usual.)



xunk16 wrote:
And considering all this... since Macross and Robotech are barely aimed at the same audiences; despite some strong cosmetic and surface continuity similarities in the begining storyarcs...
[...]
Has anyone ever proposed a web petition in order for HG and Big West to finally admit they both aren't selling the same stuff and should be allowed to both sell on the other's turf? Especially since Macross no longer even look like it's origins; and that Robotech only "need" to use this stuff in order to fastly run away in another direction? (We have both in Canada and people don't have to fight over it. It's rather nice.)

Quite apart from the fact that there’s nothing in this world quite so ineffectual as online petitions, your basic assumption that they’re not selling the same stuff is demonstrably wrong.

Firstly, the vast majority of Robotech fans don’t really remember or care about any part of the series besides the Macross Saga. That was the iconic part, the one that drew them in and kept them watching. It’s that style of storytelling, that art style, those characters, those mecha, etc. that define Robotech in the eyes and minds of most fans. That HG can’t replicate the famous art and storytelling styles or reuse the iconic designs in new work is a major stumbling block for attempts to continue the Robotech story, leaving the fans perpetually unsatisfied and frustrated by attempts that don’t live up to their fond memories of the classic Macross series created by some of the anime industry’s greatest creators.

Knowing that, is it really surprising that Harmony Gold would want to avoid having to compete in the same market with a far more successful, far better funded franchise run by the same people responsible for all those parts of the original that Robotech’s fans consider memorable and iconic which has no obstacles (legal or otherwise) to stand in the way of using the iconic design works in future installments? (For instance, the VF-1EX's in Macross Delta or the VF-1X++'s in Macross Frontier and its side story Macross the Ride.) Macross could very easily steal Robotech’s thunder and cause Robotech fans to desert Robotech by offering more of what they love about the story.

Secondly, because the vast majority of Robotech fans don’t really remember of care about any part of the series besides the Macross Saga, HG has built its merchandise line around the Macross Saga. The New Generation merchandise doesn’t sell nearly as well (leading to them cutting limited edition runs 66% in the past), and the Masters Saga is so unpopular that there’s nobody willing to seriously even make the attempt. Without Macross Saga merchandise, they don’t really have a merchandise line. They’re still trying to shift Masterpiece Collection Alphas that came out a decade ago where VF-1 toys sell out right away.

Literally the whole reason Harmony Gold started trying to block Macross imports was that they knew they and their licensees couldn’t compete with Macross toys imported from the Japanese domestic market in quality or variety. It was all about protecting their new licensee, Toynami, and the nascent Masterpiece Collection toy line. The MPCs were far better than the previous Robotech toy lines, but they weren’t anything special compared to the toys being made for Macross by Yamato or Bandai around that time. The quality of the merch that’s being made for Robotech hasn’t really improved since 2002 or so and the only distinctive line that Macross doesn’t have a rival for is the 6 inch character figures being run out by a little one-man indie outfit. The availability of much higher quality VF-1 toys from Arcadia and Bandai’s DX Chogokin and HiMetal R lines would demolish Robotech’s recent offerings (to say nothing of having MANY more variations and color schemes with more being added all the time), while Macross also offers toys in the same lines for a much wider selection of mecha like the Destroids, the SDF-1, more variants of VF-1, more optional equipment, enemy mecha, and so on. Macross has vastly superior quality in publications, in video games, in comics, in apparel, and in toys. It has chart-topping hit music where Robotech has tone-deaf caterwauling, and it’s got dozens of hit albums where Robotech has almost nothing. It has multiple lines of plastic kits where Robotech has nothing. It has all of its shows remastered on Blu-ray disc where the Robotech franchise is still stuck on DVD. It has new features coming out ALL THE TIME. It has novelizations, manga side stories, original light novels, a highly successful mobile game…

In short, Robotech desperately needs to keep Macross out of the markets it’s in because any direct attempt to compete would be suicide.



xunk16 wrote:
(Themes are almost all different, except the "sex change the world" thing. And even then, it's developed in wildly different directions since Macross insist on culture while Robotech does it on evolution.)

Robotech doesn’t really have a theme in its TV series, what little it got in the way of themes came from the original shows and expanded universe material.

Macross’s setting evolved, Robotech’s didn’t… because Robotech never did get a successful continuation going.



xunk16 wrote:
Has anyone thought of starting a web petition for Big West to buy HG and produce both Macross AND Robotech, recognizing that they have both their own fandoms and can be pushed in different directions?

HG is privately owned, it can’t be subjected to a hostile takeover. The Agrama family would have to want to sell it, and it’s unlikely that they would given that a thorough investigation of company records could turn up all kinds of fiscal improprieties if there’s anything to the IRS’s and Italian justice system’s suspicions.

Also, pretty much nobody (incl. HG itself) is kidding themselves that Robotech would have any staying power once it was face to face with Macross.



xunk16 wrote:
*Raises shield before rotten vegetables begins to be thorwn.* :wink:

Barriers won’t protect you from the synchro-tomatoes. :p :lol:

_________________
Macross2.net - Home of the Macross Mecha Manual

Zer0 Kay wrote:
Damn you for anticipating my question. I've really got to unfoe you, your information is far more valuable than my sanity when dealing with your blunt callousness. :)


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