Lawrence have been working on trying to get a Hawkmoon RPG from Chaosium out the door since '98 (if I am correct and my memory does not fail me), and it was going to happen with DarcSyde finally publishing it for Chaosium. And then nothing, nothing, nothing.
You're quite right.
After having awaited Hawkmoon from chaosium, after talking with chaosium in trying to get to use thier system for my setting, but everything degraded into snail pace bureacracy, and after asking politely several times about the future of Stormbringer and getting the silent treatment from Chaosium, I have only one thing to say to Mongoose;
Go! Go! Go! Hit them with the equivalent of a ten ton truck....
Part of the problem is that the EC line is a niche market and always has been. It was different in the early 80s when Stormbringer was first released; Moorcock's novels dominated the M section of the SF and Fantasy bookshelves, and Elric and co were getting fabulous press through bands like Hawkwind and Diamondhead.
But in terms of the games, they've always occupied a small niche and that's never really changed. Stormbringer, even at its height, was never a huge seller; just enough to warrant keeping it in print and ticking over into new editions. Then the CCG explosion rocked everyone's financial boat, and Chaosium experienced severe money issues (as did everyone save WotC) and lines that simply didn't sell much, like Stormbringer, had to go onto the backburner. The last thing you do when experiencing recession like that is throw money at a product that may only break even, or, at worst, make a loss.
Chaosium's through that patch, but the sales forecast for EC material has never been particularly rosy. I've discussed this with Chaosium many times and I know the score. The current raft of monographs has proved to be the best way of getting new material into print and keep the line breathing. And, if Mongoose can actively resurrect it and make the EC popular again, then that's a good thing all round: for Moorcock, his fans, us.
The relationship between MM and Chaosium isn't healthy, and I'm not dwelling on that here. There are complex arguments on BOTH sides, and clearly something needs to shift to break that stalemate and get things moving.
What I would say, though, is that Chaosium's inertia isn't due to them wanting ti simply sit on the licence and let it fester. It's been a combination of financial pressures, business pressures and a general lack of material to actively put out. As I've said, the games occupy a small niche in a vast market; they're not money spinners. Yes, they have a small, ardent following - but it's just that: small and ardent. It's difficult to make commercial decisions (which is what Chaosium ultimately has to do, and which Mongoose also has to do) if a product line has trouble paying its own way.
I can not see Chaosium being able to continue their current extremly relaxed production schedule, or their unwillingness to allow people to use their system any longer, not if they dont want MRQ to steal their carpet from under their feet.
There's been more EC activity in the past year or so than for many. Monographs on Law and Chaos; Old Hrolmar; Hawkmoon. That's not bad going. And clearly, if a deal has been struck with Mongoose, it shows that Chaosium still respects the line and wants to do something with it.
While I find Mr Lawrence's writing a bit dry sometimes, I suggest that if Mongoose are going to make a Hawkmoon setting for RQ, that they get him onboard.
Thanks! Better than my writing being 'wet'! But thank you for your kind words and support. We'll see what happens.