August 14, 2001

Rings Announcement Wows GenCon Attendees
John Kaufeld

Excitement ran high as GenCon began, with whispered rumors of "something big" happening Friday afternoon. Throughout the convention's opening day, the buzz increased as lucky attendees showed friends their coveted tickets to Decipher's by-invitation-only announcement event. Who would get in? What might they hear? The Lord of the Rings fans from all branches of the game community descended on Decipher's booth, hoping for admission to the super-secret event.

With a couple hours still to go before the event, gamers already started lining up to ensure their place inside. Since seating was strictly first-come, first-served, the early arrivers watched with a grin as the attendee line slowly grew until it snaked down the hotel's long central staircase and around the corner through the lobby.

When everything started a few minutes past 3 p.m., Decipher media personality Mark Tuttle entertained a standing-room-only crowd. Joining him on the stage were members of Decipher's The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game design team, Chuck Kallenbach, Tom Lischke, and Mike Reynolds, and The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game design team, Christian Moore and Steve Long. Over them all loomed the image of the One Ring, accompanied by Tolkien's famous words, "One Ring to rule them all." The crowd shimmered with enthusiasm.

After trading barbs with the crowd over the ever-present, giant 64 oz. Mountain Dew jugs favored by many attendees ("What's the next size up from that? Does it come on a two-wheeled cart or with its own truck?"), Mark launched into Decipher's vision for The Lord of the Rings games. The crowd hung on his every word.

New Line Cinema plans three consecutive holiday releases for their The Lord of the Rings movies. The release cycle starts in just a few months, in Holiday 2001, when The Fellowship of the Ring hits theatres. The Two Towers follows in Holiday 2002, with The Return of the King concluding the series in Holiday 2003.

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