The tabletop studio that developed a now-cancelled RPG for Zack Snyder’s science-fiction film Rebel Moon - Part One: A Child of Fire has “amicably” settled its lawsuit with Netflix. Evil Genius Games found itself at odds with the giant streaming platform after Netflix accused the studio of breaching its confidentiality agreement at GAMA in 2023.
Evil Genius Games’ owner D. Todd Scott released a joint statement with Netflix on January 24th claiming that both parties have buried the litigious hatchet, and the tabletop maker would reach out to retailers about issuing pre-order refunds “within the next 7-10 days”.
“The parties are pleased that they were able to amicably resolve this dispute. Netflix thanks Evil Genius for their hard work and professionalism,” the statement reads. “We will not be releasing a Rebel Moon game, but stay tuned for more amazing Cinematic Adventures and an upcoming sci-fi project. And thank you again for your amazing support!”
It’s a somewhat anticlimactic end to a perplexing chain of events that began when Evil Genius Games, which previously adapted action films such as Pacific Rim, Total Recall and Kong: Skull Island for its 5E RPG system Everyday Heroes, apparently wowed both Netflix and Snyder with its plans for an expansive RPG set in the Rebel Moon universe.
Snyder reportedly always wanted to complement his Star Wars-sans-serial-numbers film - the first in a supposed Snyderverse - with a tabletop RPG for Rebel Moon, and he said as much to Netflix. When Evil Genius Games clinched the deal, the studio stopped work on all other projects and developed a massive “world bible” in 2023 that, according to the eventual lawsuit, “supplied all the missing pieces and created a cohesive backstory for the entire Rebel Moon franchise.”
Evil Genius Games took the resulting 430-page Player’s Guide and 337-page Game Master’s Guide to tabletop trade show GAMA in April 2023 alongside representatives from Netflix and showed artwork to retailers and distributors. Netflix claimed this action breached the confidentiality agreement and “Netflix’s trust”, and work on Rebel Moon’s tabletop RPG was immediately halted. Evil Genius Game additionally claimed Netflix attempted to seize the world bible as belonging “solely and exclusively to Netflix”.
Evil Genius game seemed bent on taking Netflix to task in September of last year, claiming the streaming video leader effectively signed a $50,000 cheque “to basically go away, forgive Netflix for its pretextual hijacking of the project, and hand over the game to them”. Their lawsuit claimed alleged breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and unjust enrichment to make up for massive expected profits riding the popularity wave of Snyder’s Rebel Moon film.
Perhaps it was for the best, as the film is currently sitting at a score of 31 on Metacritic and boasts a Rotten Tomato rating of 23% (not even the 58% audience score can save face). Whatever your opinion of licensed tabletop products, they normally need an established fan base willing to spend more time in their specific world. Maybe if Netflix had Evil Genius’ world bible, Snyder’s attempt to launch his own cinematic universe would’ve sputtered less off the launchpad.