Quoted from Aurich:
Nothing is automatic. Lawlor doesn't mean instant classic. But I do think it's a bit unfair to judge him based on games made during the dark years at Stern, when the games were stuck with crap licenses and low budgets and everyone was struggling. JJP will probably give him much more free reign with the BOM compared to those years (and a price tag to go with it I'm sure, for better or for worse) and an original theme has the potential to let him work his creativity.
As with any game I suggest keeping your wallet closed until you can play it.
I disagree. Some of the best games to come out of stern happened in those years. LOTR and TSPP ? Sopranos? His games all kinda blow ass. Only one I like out of the Stern years is RBION. I used to be a big Lawlor fan before I even knew who Lawlor was. Only games I wanted when I got into this hobby was ES, FH, TAF, and TZ. Then I was done. Look how that turned out. Had all those games and now I don't even own one of them. :/ Still love those games. Think they are brilliant. But all his shit feels the same. I had all 4 and all 4 felt like the same damn game. so 2 had to go. I think he's lost his edge. I think John B is better at not copying himself and open to more original layouts. Who made swords of fury, or Dungeons and Dragons, even Blackwater 100, or Escape from Lost world? Those games are unique as shit. Get those people to make a game that is out of the cookie cutter box.