Decipher Acquires Coveted License for The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

August 10, 2000 – Decipher Inc. of Norfolk, Virginia, announced today that it has been granted the worldwide, exclusive rights to create and market trading card games and digital trading card games based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings. Decipher is the second manufacturer to announce a license for The Lord of the Rings from New Line Cinema, producers of the highly-anticipated screen adaptation of what has been called the Book of the Century.

The agreement with New Line grants Decipher rights to all three motion pictures: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003). A parallel agreement with New Line and Tolkien Enterprises also grants Decipher the same category rights for all of the literary properties related to The Lord of the Rings. This far-reaching deal gives Decipher the opportunity to explore in depth the entire universe of The Lord of the Rings for an initial period of six years, with a renewal right for an additional five years. The agreement also grants Decipher an option to develop trading card games and digital trading card games from The Hobbit (the trilogy’s literary “prequel”) and any new eventual Hobbit motion picture.

“We are extremely proud to be involved with such a wonderful property and production,” said Warren Holland, Chairman and CEO of Decipher. “Everything we have seen from script to film footage points to a motion picture experience of monumental proportions. Our goal is to recreate and enhance that movie experience long after people leave the theater. We have a team of enormously creative employees who are passionately dedicated to this property and we will be bringing to life some of the most valuable and collectible game cards ever created.”

“Decipher has proven time and again that they are the preeminent company when it comes to translating epic- sized properties to the collectible card game medium. Lord of the Rings could not be in better hands” commented David Imhoff, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Licensing & Merchandising, New Line Cinema.

While details of the games were not announced, it’s safe to say that Decipher intends to use the film (and photo-realistic images generated in house on their state-of-the-art Silicon Graphics systems) to illustrate both the physical trading card game and its digital counterpart. Both versions of the game are scheduled to launch at about the same time, which should be very close to the opening of the first movie in December 2001. As Warren Holland said in his announcement, “The future of film and the future of trading card games are about to be forever redefined with a new standard of excellence.”

Jonathan Quesenberry
Public Relations Manager
August 10, 2000