New Book & New Game: Bastei Lübbe AG and international best-selling author Ken Follett strengthen their collaboration and for the first time conclude a multimedia agreement

Bastei Lübbe AG / Key word(s): Miscellaneous

27.11.2014 / 11:41

New Book & New Game: Bastei Lübbe AG and international best-selling author Ken Follett strengthen their collaboration and for the first time conclude a multimedia agreement

Agreement concluded on new novel. Bastei Lübbe also secures global rights for the simultaneous release of the computer-game to "The Pillars of the Earth".

Cologne, 27 November 2014. The Cologne-based media company Bastei Lübbe and international best-selling author Ken Follett will continue their successful decades-long collaboration and will in future expand into new media channels worldwide. The company has reached an agreement with the British author on the publication of his new novel. Ken Follett, who has just completed a successful tour of Germany, revealed to his fans during his appearances that his next novel will see a return to Kingsbridge, thus building on his worldwide success with "The Pillars of the Earth" from 1989; with over 23 million copies sold, it is amongst one of the 100 most successful novels worldwide, and in a survey by ZDF in 2004 it was voted third most popular book in Germany after "The Lord of the Rings" and the Bible. In "World Without End" (published in 2007) the Welshman returns to Kingsbridge; the story takes place 200 years after "The Pillars of the Earth" and was also a huge success. For the new novel, which will be published in autumn 2017, Ken Follett is planning yet another large leap in time. He would like to write about Kingsbridge in the 16th century, during the time of Queen Elizabeth I and the first secret service which was developed on behalf of the regent.

"From the start, Ken Follett has been a unique image-shaping author for our company. This is why we are especially proud that we will not only continue to work together, but that we will also expand," explains Thomas Schierack, CEO of Bastei Lübbe AG. In addition to the new novel, part of the future collaboration involves a computer-game of the most successful title to date, "The Pillars of the Earth", which can be played on all consoles, PC and mobile devices. "We have agreed with Ken Follett that a computer-game will be released simultaneously alongside the launch of the third Kingsbridge book in autumn 2017," said Schierack, at the same time immediately securing the world rights for his company.

"I'm delighted that Bastei Lübbe will publish my next book, a new story about Kingsbridge, the fictional town in which I set "The Pillars of the Earth" and "World Without End". I'm hoping to finish it in time for publication in 2017. I'm thrilled that "The Pillars of the Earth" - which is probably my most famous book - is going to be turned into a computer-game by Daedalic, now part of the Lübbe organisation. I believe this will bring my work to the attention of a new generation of readers. I've been working with Bastei Lübbe, and with the Lübbe-family, for 35 years now. It has been a most congenial partnership, and a very successful one. So I'm very happy that our association is being continued in these exciting ways." says Ken Follett.

The Game Publisher Daedalic, which is owned by Bastei Lübbe AG, will now develop and implement the idea for the game. Carsten Fichtelmann, CEO and founder of Daedalic, knows about the responsibility of this task: "'The Pillars of the Earth' is one of the most widely read novels of the world with an enormous fan base. It will be a great challenge to meet the demands of millions of fans with our game. But we are happy to rise to that challenge." It is planned that the game will be released in up to 10 languages and will be marketed worldwide. This move promises the Cologne-based media company huge potential with several million users from around the world.

For publishing group Bastei Lübbe, this multimedia collaboration marks a move into new industry territory as it openly admits: "To our knowledge this is the first time that a computer-game has been produced with such effort at the same time as a new novel by an international best-selling author," believes Felix Rudloff, CCO of Bastei Lübbe AG. In addition to the sales expected for the game, which the company believes will be up to tens of millions of euros, Rudloff expects further synergies: "Not only will the novel have a positive marketing effect on the game, but also vice versa. The game will buoy book sales positively too."

The agreements for the new novel as well as the agreements on the development and worldwide marketing of the game have been signed.

About Bastei Lübbe AG:
Bastei Lübbe AG is a media company in the form of a publisher. The company is based in Cologne, Germany, and has around 335 employees. In the context of its business activity, Bastei Lübbe publishes books, audiobooks, eBooks and digital products with fictional and popular scientific content as well as periodically released magazines in the form of paperback novels and puzzle books. The business activity of Bastei Lübbe also includes the licensing of rights and the development, production and distribution of gift, decorative and merchandising items. Bastei Lübbe has been the market leader almost continuously in the growing fictional hardback sector for many years, and the Company was also number 1 in the area of fictional eBooks in 2013. In 2013, Bastei Lübbe AG celebrated its 60-year anniversary and was listed on the stock exchange. Bastei Lübbe AG shares are listed in the Prime Standard section of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (WKN A1X3YY, ISIN DE000A1X3YY0).

Contact Bastei Lübbe AG:
Barbara Fischer
Head of Press and
Event Marketing
Tel.: 0221 / 82 00 28 50
Email: barbara.fischer@luebbe.de

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