Iron Crown Enterprises
Iron Crown Enterprises has produced role playing, board, miniature, and collectible card games for over 20 years. Many of ICE's better-known products were related to J.R.R. Tolkien's world of Middle-earth, publishers of the Middle-earth Collectible Card Game and MERP, but the Rolemaster rules system, and its science fiction equivalent, Spacemaster, have been the foundation of ICE's business.
ICE was incorporated in 1980 after the principal founders graduated from the University of Virginia. ICE's primary focus, then and now, was on non-electronic, or "table top", role-playing games (RPG's) marketed to the RPG hobbyist market.
ICE's Tolkien-based RPG, Middle-earth Role Playing, was the second best selling fantasy RPG after TSR's Dungeons & Dragons. Their products have been developed and refined over a twenty-year period, and have achieved commercial and critical success, selling over $30 million of game products. ICE products have been given several game-of-the-year awards domestically, including those from the Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) in 1996. They also won several awards overseas.
Despite ICE's many successes, the company entered bankruptcy and made the decision to wind itself up under Chapter 7 in October of 2000. In 1997, ICE suffered financial difficulties due to the rapid decline in its distribution net where nearly 70% of ICE's distributors either went bankrupt or became moribund. In December of 2001, ICE was purchased by Aurigas Aldebaron LLC, an intellectual property ownership company backed by several wealthy individuals.
Unable to publish Middle Earth Role Play or any other material based on the works of Tolkien, ICE have pressed forward with their new game, High Adventure Role Playing and its setting, Cyradon.