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Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

Hey all,

This story is still developing.

It started with the announcement that Fantasy Flight Interactive is shutting down, but now I'm hearing from a number of former employees that I used to work with that their entire RPG department has been axed.

I'd've thought a Star Wars RPG would be a license to print money, but apparently not.

   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





The newest news post on FFG's website is literally the announcement of a new RPG book...
   
Made in ca
Heroic Paladin





British Columbia

Unfortunate. Not sure if it's always a case of licensing issues/costs but they've made many great games I've really enjoyed and am very happy to have in the collection that are no more.

40k Conquest, Chaos in the Old World, Deathwatch and Black Crusade chief amongst them

 Crimson Devil wrote:
That's what 7th edition is about. Yelling "Forge the Narrative Pussy!" while kicking your opponent in the dick.
 BlaxicanX wrote:
A young business man named Tom Kirby, who was a pupil of mine until he turned greedy, helped the capitalists hunt down and destroy the wargamers. He betrayed and murdered Games Workshop.


 
   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

 Sqorgar wrote:
The newest news post on FFG's website is literally the announcement of a new RPG book...
Their website doesn't mention a single thing about anything being shut down. Doesn't mean it isn't happening.

Besides, RPGs are often completed long before they're announced. This I know from experience.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/01/08 03:52:43


   
Made in ca
Legendary Master of the Chapter





Could be that the star wars lisence is coming up for renewal and for whatever reason they're not likely to get a renew on the RPG portion of it?(and thus only have the minitures aspect) if thats the case well.. the rest of FFG's RPG product line is pretty much small scale so I could see FFG just moving to shut it down.

my biggest fear is that FFG will shut it down and their lisence will maintain the same, which means a complete absence of star wars products, which is a shame given that the sequal trilogy has just completed and the Mandalorian has given us such a great nitty gritty peak at the universe.

and yeah RPG products are produced far in advance, I';ll confirm this, FFG could shut it down and put out new books for the next year or two easily.

if FFG is shutting it down it's because some beurcrat running it has detirmined RPGs take ten times as much effort to write as Mini game rules and don;t get as good returns.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/08 04:00:51


Opinions are not facts please don't confuse the two 
   
Made in us
Rampaging Reaver Titan Princeps




RPGs in general don't make much money.

Dungeons and Dragons isn't significant enough for Hasbro to bother putting it in annual reports most years. They track Wizards of the Coast's Magic the Gathering money, but the RPG division's costs and profits aren't even worthy of a footnote.

But the interactive division of FFG going down isn't a surprise, for a lot of reasons. I'm amused that they're based out of Wisconsin likes its still 1986.
But as a subsidiary of Asmodee, having their own digital games studio is a questionable business decision, especially since they've produced very little compared to their parent. And doubly since the one thing they have produced bombed *and* is tied to pricey license.


BrianDavion wrote:my biggest fear is that FFG will shut it down and their lisence will maintain the same, which means a complete absence of star wars products, which is a shame given that the sequal trilogy has just completed and the Mandalorian has given us such a great nitty gritty peak at the universe.

That seems pretty unlikely. Most companies avoid making license agreements live on after the other company goes splat (anymore. A lot of stuff got mired in the Atari quagmire, including D&D licensed games). I'd expect the contract to have language that it reverts (to Disney) or their parent company (Asmodee) inherits it.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/08 04:09:46


Efficiency is the highest virtue. 
   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

BrianDavion wrote:
Could be that the star wars lisence is coming up for renewal and for whatever reason they're not likely to get a renew on the RPG portion of it?(and thus only have the minitures aspect) if thats the case well.. the rest of FFG's RPG product line is pretty much small scale so I could see FFG just moving to shut it down.
That's very possible. The SW license is very compartmentalised, and very specific over what they can produce (even what mediums they can use - print vs PDF, and so on), so it's possible that they license for miniature games and RPGs separately.

   
Made in us
[DCM]
Longtime Dakkanaut





FFG has never really had much luck with RPGs seams like. 40k did decent out where I am because it saw it in lots of stores. Don't think I've really seen Genisis or any Starwars outside of the old red starter box they did. Then there's the long stream of games they just acted as publisher for that I've only ever seen in bargain bins.

RPGs are a pretty low margin business and it's probably too hard to justify to investors such a low return on investment. I know when D&D popularity wanes there's always some talk on investor websites if Hasbro should offload the game.

As for the Starwars RPG. I had friends at Wizards when they had it and I've heard the licensing terms WoTC had with Lucas Arts were pretty crazy where it was pretty hard for them to make money off of the RPG unless it was almost as popular as D&D. Something like 20% of all sales went to Lucas Arts in addition to the normal licensing fees.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/08 04:14:35


 
   
Made in us
Rampaging Reaver Titan Princeps




 H.B.M.C. wrote:
BrianDavion wrote:
Could be that the star wars lisence is coming up for renewal and for whatever reason they're not likely to get a renew on the RPG portion of it?(and thus only have the minitures aspect) if thats the case well.. the rest of FFG's RPG product line is pretty much small scale so I could see FFG just moving to shut it down.
That's very possible. The SW license is very compartmentalised, and very specific over what they can produce (even what mediums they can use - print vs PDF, and so on), so it's possible that they license for miniature games and RPGs separately.


I've seen hints that they have to do it movie by movie as well. The RPG has done TFA but nothing else, and the old announcements of that agreement made it sound really specific.

EA has mentioned that they really don't like the oversight from Disney (they're required to submit a lot for approval), and Disney has previously made noises about their own digital games division being built up for when that license finally ends in 2023.
Unlike EA, I doubt FFG had the clout to get a 10 year license out of the Mouse House.

Efficiency is the highest virtue. 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Longtime Dakkanaut





Also doesn't asmodee have an interactive studio? Pretty sure they're doing the Bloodrage game for CMoN. Probably makes sense to just have one digital studio for the greater company.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
Also FFG has L5R right? Crap, I'm going to have some pissed friends if that dies again.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/08 04:20:33


 
   
Made in ca
Legendary Master of the Chapter





 H.B.M.C. wrote:
BrianDavion wrote:
Could be that the star wars lisence is coming up for renewal and for whatever reason they're not likely to get a renew on the RPG portion of it?(and thus only have the minitures aspect) if thats the case well.. the rest of FFG's RPG product line is pretty much small scale so I could see FFG just moving to shut it down.
That's very possible. The SW license is very compartmentalised, and very specific over what they can produce (even what mediums they can use - print vs PDF, and so on), so it's possible that they license for miniature games and RPGs separately.


heck it could be they're losing the entire SW lisence... that'd hurt FFG, although they could proably take X-wing, adapt it to a unique game (or even lisnece another setting with it) and do alright.

Opinions are not facts please don't confuse the two 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Longtime Dakkanaut





Also a post on Reddit confirms that the RPG group is "Most if not all gone" https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/elfkbq/massive_layoffs_at_ffg

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/01/08 04:29:05


 
   
Made in us
Rampaging Reaver Titan Princeps




 Monkeysloth wrote:
Also doesn't asmodee have an interactive studio? Pretty sure they're doing the Bloodrage game for CMoN. Probably makes sense to just have one digital studio for the greater company.


Yep. Its a decently sized library of titles too, though mostly digital versions of board games you already likely know.
https://www.asmodee-digital.com/en/

But it makes an FFG-specific interactive studio redundant, though a lot of publishers keep a stable of developers around to work on different project simultaneously. No idea if Asmodee is invested enough in digital products to go that route, though.

Efficiency is the highest virtue. 
   
Made in ca
Legendary Master of the Chapter





 Monkeysloth wrote:
Also a post on Reddit confirms that the RPG group is "Most if not all gone" https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/elfkbq/massive_layoffs_at_ffg


this could mean they'll keep doing RPGs and instead mostly rely on a stable of freelancers. this would be pretty typical of the industry TBH

Opinions are not facts please don't confuse the two 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Longtime Dakkanaut





More from Reddit
https://www.reddit.com/r/rpg/comments/elg0d7/ffg_rpg_department_rumored_to_be_shut_down/

The other post was from Same Bailey who use to be a game designer at FFG. He follows up saying that more then likely FFG will outsource RPG stuff to keep costs down.


Mods have confirmed the OP to be former employee Sam Bailey and he has now confirmed 14 layoffs. He believes any future RPG titles will be done through freelance work rather than an in-house team.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/08 04:33:00


 
   
Made in ca
Legendary Master of the Chapter





freelancers is pretty typical for the industry it's not a suprise to me at all. it's apparently rare for a RPG studio to have a entire in house team and not just rely on freelancers.

Opinions are not facts please don't confuse the two 
   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

Most of the people who worked on the 40K RPG books were freelancers and not employees of FFG. Even people like Andy Chambers and Andy Hoare would have been classified as 'freelancers' despite their lofty status.

Lot of good people that I worked with probably got the axe due to this: Sam Stewart, Tim Flanders, Tim Cox and the indelible Tyranid Tim himself, Tim Huckelbery (yes, a lot of Tims for some reason).

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/08 04:37:20


   
Made in us
[DCM]
Longtime Dakkanaut





Asmodee NA also got hit as a poster in the Boardgame Reddit thread posted

Can confirm, was just laid off from Asmodee North America, which shares offices with FFG
The company bit off way too much too fast and is collapsing under its own pacing. Too many game lines cannibalizing from one another, too much reliance on expensive licensing deals, too much disregard for institutional knowledge and getting farther and farther away from their own stated values.


Seams like a larger Asmodee restructure. At least in NA.

More from the same person


The Marvel license is going to do great both Crisis Protocol and Champions are great games on their heads though (the creation of Atomic Mass studios was I think one of the better moves recently) but at the same time the Infinity Saga hype is on the downswing as they got the license
SW is a rocky fandom right now but hopefully new ships and characters from IX and Mandalorian will boost some lines. Look for a big Armada push soon since X2 isn't carrying the water like it did, Destiny is effectively dead, ImpAssault also dead
Agot they only have the book license so until George writes another one they've literally done everything they can
The biggest issue with the licenses is the amount of back-and-forth approval steps (especially with Disney) and the sales promises that have to be made to get the deals (international licensing is a whole other can of worms)

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/01/08 04:48:42


 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





 Monkeysloth wrote:
Also FFG has L5R right? Crap, I'm going to have some pissed friends if that dies again.
Honestly, I'm a bit worried too. When FFG bought it, it was made obvious that it was a passion project for a lot of the staff at FFG - some of which are no longer there. The card game is good, but struggling, and now the RPG line is probably at risk...

Frankly, FFG has killed almost every game system that I've liked - often, and with extreme prejudice (how do you screw up BattleLore three times?). At this point, I feel like every FFG game has terminal cancer and I should just be thankful for whatever time I have left with them.
   
Made in us
Dangerous Outrider






too much disregard for institutional knowledge and getting farther and farther away from their own stated values.


That's corporate speak if I have ever heard it.

Sad to hear about FFG, but since Christian left the company it seemed to be headed in a bad direction since then..

Also I would agree that Disney wants big money for their license. The Star Wars RPG release was starting to show
signs of heading to a new edition with a number of compilation books being released. Plus locally X-Wing does okay but
not like the numbers I would see during first edition. Legion seemed to be doing Okay also even with the odd scale size that
people complained about when it came out.

But if the big bosses don't keep track of what is making money or not.. this will happen..

 
   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

Yeah the gak Disney puts Hasbro through over sales promises is why they've been having difficulties lately (and why you can find toy bins filled with unwanted Rose Tico and Supreme Leader Snoke toys, among other things).

   
Made in ca
Legendary Master of the Chapter





 H.B.M.C. wrote:
Yeah the gak Disney puts Hasbro through over sales promises is why they've been having difficulties lately (and why you can find toy bins filled with unwanted Rose Tico and Supreme Leader Snoke toys, among other things).


as if it's Haebro's fault no one wants Rose Tico or Snoke toys.

Opinions are not facts please don't confuse the two 
   
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 H.B.M.C. wrote:
Yeah the gak Disney puts Hasbro through over sales promises is why they've been having difficulties lately (and why you can find toy bins filled with unwanted Rose Tico and Supreme Leader Snoke toys, among other things).


Not just Rose and Rey and Snoke...

Bins of 5 different scales of figures. It's like suddenly Hasbro forgot how to do collectable action figures.

GI Joe had 3 scales. 2 of them mattered.

Star Wars had ONE. And it was compatible all the way back to the beginning. Why they decided to throw out a dozen more scales is beyond me.

Mob Rule is not a rule. 
   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

BrianDavion wrote:
as if it's Haebro's fault no one wants Rose Tico or Snoke toys.
I'm not blaming Hasbro at all. I'm blaming Disney and their required conditions to have the license.

   
Made in us
Posts with Authority





Disney's a good part of the reason you won't likely see an Old Republic Legion army.

Mob Rule is not a rule. 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





Honestly, and this may come off salty, but I used to love FFG. That love has wilted in their current path they've ventured down.

Making my X wing forces useless without spending hundreds in upgrade packs or buying them all over again, killing off other games I enjoyed before they even really felt done ( Conquest ).

They just seem to put out a game, on a very short life clock and I can't trust them anymore so I have to vote with my wallet and walk away.

To put it in a way they can understand, they were supposed to bring balance to gaming, not leave it in darkness and they broke my heart.

If anything they are going down the path in my view of a more flaky GW. Which is probably why some of their IPs aren't doing as well as they once did, people can only be fleeced so much and so often or stung so many times with dying games they just up and cease to support for whatever the reason may be.

I won't touch any of their games outside of single purchase offerings I can love as one and done and I fear for anyone buying heavy into any of their current systems.
   
Made in us
Grizzled MkII Monster Veteran






 H.B.M.C. wrote:
Hey all,

This story is still developing.

It started with the announcement that Fantasy Flight Interactive is shutting down, but now I'm hearing from a number of former employees that I used to work with that their entire RPG department has been axed.

I'd've thought a Star Wars RPG would be a license to print money, but apparently not.

FFG's SW RPG has never been a license to print money. More like it's always been barely in the black.
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut




Fantasy Flight Interactive seemed like a terrible decision from the start. As far as I know they've only produced one thing: the LoTR digital card game that replaced the physical game. That's a pretty terrible return in almost 3 years, especially given we're not talking AAA game production here. Developers are expensive too. It's been mentioned a few times that the traditional games developers for their non-digital games aren't exactly on huge salaries but in software development you have to pay good wages to get good people. The RPG side of it always seemed kind of random to me. Maybe it's because most of my FFG experience comes from the miniatures and card gaming side but their RPGs felt undervalued even within the company itself and I rarely saw then mentioned in the wider community, even the Star Wars one.

FFG does seem to have expanded too quickly in some areas and made some questionable business decisions. X-Wing has taken a bit of a downturn since 2nd edition, though I think with the state 1st edition was in towards the end that downturn would also have happened if they hadn't done something to change it and 2nd edition is, IMO, a vastly better game than 1st. It's quite similar to GW's LotR bubble, I think, where X-Wing caught people's attention just at the right time when SW hype was becoming a thing again and now it's starting to tail off a bit. The Runewars miniature game was perhaps a wake-up call for the company too, which showed their own IPs aren't really very strong and I imagine that debacle cost them a fair amount of money and lost time.

I would hope these issues don't spill over into their other games and maybe this will help the company to refocus efforts on the core business and core games now.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut





The state of X wing really was a mess of their own creation and poor design with the bloat running unchecked in 1st. Ed I doubt the total revamp earned them favors with initial players of the system not happy to throw down twice over for the same items.

I think trusting longevity to their systems or having confidence they won't pull the same with other core lines is being amazingly optimistic.

Completely off topic, sorry for fans the of the RPG books and those who lost their jobs. Hope everyone lands on their feet from it.
   
Made in at
Rough Rider with Boomstick





I was under the impression the Star Wars RPG was pretty damn popular? Most people knew of, or at least had played it. They were churning out content for close to a decade now (EotE was 2012 right?). Most people were whomping at the bits to get Rise of the Separatists.

Ugh. I'm having 40k RPG flashbacks all over again. With Tome of Decay being the 'amber flag' when Undivided and Nurgle content shared a book, I guess the people theorising compilation tomes for weapons/equipment/vehicles would herald an end to the Star Wars line were correct.

What makes this worse is that the Star Wars RPGs aren't available in PDF format officially, meaning whilst most other games these days at least live on in that form, going forward if you don't want to pay £300 to a scalper, your only option are shaky-cam photos.
   
 
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