Fantasy Flight Games Acquires LEGEND OF THE FIVE RINGS

Fantasy Flight Games has purchased Legend of the Five Rings! Created in 1995 by Alderac Entertainment Group, L5R is set in the world of Rokugan, a place based roughly on feudal Japan. Over the years, it's been a card game, an Oriental Adventures setting for D&D, novels, and, of course, a roleplaying game. FFG, of course, is known for boardgames, card games, RPGs, and more, with big licenses such as Star Wars, Warhammer 40K, and many more. new products are slated for Gen Con 2017.


AEG's announcement reads:

"For twenty years, Legend of the Five Rings has held a unique place among Collectible Card Games (CCGs) and Role Playing Games (RPGs). It is not only one of the oldest around, it stands out by being driven by its story…a story that has, in turn, been driven by legions of devoted fans over the past two decades. We at AEG are thankful beyond words to all of the awesome players of our games for making these past twenty years so special.

The time comes, however, when any healthy enterprise has to take a step back and look hard and critically at itself. We’ve now reached that time in the life of the L5R Brand. The focus of AEG has progressively shifted toward other types of games over recent years, so, after some hard and detailed analysis (and, yes, some deep soul-searching), we’ve concluded that it’s time to start a new chapter in the story of L5R. Accordingly, the upcoming Evil Portents expansion for the CCG, and the “Atlas of Rokugan” for the RPG, will be the final products for L5R produced by AEG. The L5R Brand will continue under a new owner, Fantasy Flight Games (FFG). We believe that the good folks at FFG, some of whom have themselves been involved with the L5R Brand for many years, will do an excellent job of carrying the L5R Brand and the story of Rokugan on into its next twenty years. Fantasy Flight Games anticipates that its first L5R product will be a relaunch of the card game as a Living Card Game (LCG), with a debut event at Gen Con 2017.

One major implication of all this is that our staffing will be dramatically changed. Many of our current members of the L5R Brand Team will be leaving us either immediately, or in the near future. We want to express our most sincere gratitude to these awesome people, who have helped bring L5R to where it is today.

Of course, many questions will almost certainly occur to you as you read this. Foremost among them, you are probably wondering what will happen to our upcoming events, including the Fall Kotei Season and the European Championships. All of these events currently scheduled will go on as planned, as CCG events. We’ll continue collecting the results, and will add those to our list of all currently outstanding tournament and event results. All of this will be provided to FFG, who will do their best to incorporate it into L5R and its setting once they’ve relaunched the Brand.

You will also have noted that Evil Portents will be the last CCG product, and would reasonably ask, why would I want to spend money on a product that’s essentially obsolete the moment it hits store shelves? Why would any retailer even bother carrying it? Well, we’re going to be making Evil Portents available to retailers and players through a pretty remarkable deal–essentially, we’ll be virtually giving it away for free. Details of this will be forthcoming shortly.

We realize that these are probably only a few of your questions. We will be sharing more information with you about the transition of the Brand in the coming days. In the meantime, you can direct your enquiries to and we’ll do our best to answer them. Again, all of us at AEG want to thank all of YOU for your dedication to the L5R CCG, the RPG, and the story of Rokugan for the past twenty years. We can’t wait to see how L5R evolves under the stewardship of its new owners at Fantasy Flight Games!"


FFG's announcement reads:

"Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce that it has entered into an agreement to purchase the Legend of the Five Rings intellectual property from Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG)!

Legend of the Five Rings is a legacy brand collectible card game (CCG) and roleplaying game (RPG) with a dedicated, passionate community and a story that spans the last two decades. Legions of players have traveled to the land of Rokugan and the Colonies, joined the noble samurai and shugenja of their favorite clan, and taken an important hand in shaping the story. Now, as Legend of the Five Rings moves over to Fantasy Flight Games, certain changes are coming to the realm of Rokugan. To learn the initial details of these upcoming changes, read below.

Honor Is Stronger than Steel

“The queen of ants cannot count her servants, but she knows that they are loyal. Though the Emperor does not know of me, still, I know of him. And it is the Emperor, and Hantei alone, that I follow. With every word and deed, I do his bidding.”
–Seppun Murayasu

The current incarnation of the Legend of the Five Rings CCG will be complete with the release of the Evil Portents expansion from AEG. After that release, the game will go on hiatus until FFG relaunches Legend of the Five Rings as a Living Card Game®, or LCG. The Legend of the Five Rings LCG is scheduled to be released in two years at Gen Con Indy 2017.

For players unfamiliar with the LCG model, a Living Card Game offers regular, non-randomized releases that include full playsets of every card. In its new form, Legend of the Five Rings will use this release format, rather than “blind” boosters that contain randomly assigned rare, uncommon, and common cards. Instead of spending their time chasing hard-to-find cards, the LCG distribution model allows players to focus on building decks by buying a single expansion that includes a full playset of every card in that expansion. For more information about Living Card Games, click here.

The transition of Legend of the Five Rings from CCG to LCG impacts far more than just distribution model. As the game is reimagined and relaunched as an LCG, we will be implementing significant design changes, but we will ensure that the spirit and emotional impact of Legend of the Five Rings remains intact. By introducing a new mechanical design, we hope to open the game for a new generation of players to join the veteran samurai who still battle for Rokugan. Across the transition to LCG, our developers will ensure that the game maintains its pervasive themes of honor, nobility, magic, intrigue, duty, and warfare and that these themes continue to drive the game and the narrative forward.

In addition to the new incarnation of the Legend of the Five Rings CCG as a LCG, we are excited to explore new possiblities for Legend of the Five Rings in the roleplaying space. At the current time, we don't have many details about this, but we will reveal more as the details become clear.

FFG and AEG on the Legend of the Five Rings Transition

Regarding the agreement to purchase Legend of the Five Rings, Steve Horvath, SVP of Communication at Fantasy Flight Games, said, “The prospect of working on Legend of the Five Rings is very exciting for us. The AEG team has done an amazing job creating a truly rich history and a universe with a deep narrative that fans have connected with for twenty years, and we are looking forward to the potential to build on that legacy moving forward.”

John Zinser, CEO of Alderac Entertaiment Group, said, “L5R is and will always be our first gaming love, but over time, we've changed our company focus further and further away from those roots. Our friends at Fantasy Flight Games have staff with a long history with the L5R property and its games, who are excited about the prospect of taking the brand into the future. When we recently decided it was time to end our own work on the story of Rokugan, we knew they were the best possible stewards for the world, the story, and the community we love and want to see continue to succeed and grow into its next twenty years.”

Enter the Emerald Empire

“Understand the Will of Heaven and you make all things possible. Ignore it, and you will accomplish nothing.”
–The Tao of Shinsei

Vast changes are coming to the land of Rokugan, leading to a new chapter in the history the Emerald Empire. Prepare for a new era to begin at Gen Con Indy 2017!W

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Well now I'm curious about this. I must admit that I lost interest in the storyline sometime during the Hidden Emperor arc and mostly played and GM'ed 1st edition RPG.

My feeling is that over time the game suffered from an overtly complicated metaplot that was hard to follow if not playing the CCG and reading all the weekly fiction.

Also the hopes I had from early 4th edition (of the RPG) of having a more streamlined, easy to GM, game were soon crushed by the the realse of massive tomes of (unnecessary) lore & game options.

I can only hope that any plan FFG will have for the CCG and RPG involve a reboot of the sotryline rather than a continuation.


First Post
From everything I have read, the games that are out as we know them are done. Evil Portants is the last CCG product and Atlas of Rokugan is the last RPG product.
Come 2017 the game will return, but as a Living Card Game only. Who knows what timeline they will use, or even how much of the current history will be in it. Only time will tell.
As someone who has played the card game for 18 years and the RPG for about 10, I am extremely upset. It is a game I enjoyed wholeheartedly, and I am upset to see it end. I just hope the LCG is even half as good as the current games.


First Post
The Living Card Games by Fantasy Flight are pretty good. I've been playing the Lord of the Rings LCG with a friend lately and it's been very engaging. Also FFG titles are all beautifully produced to a really high quality.

I've played a little of L5R 4e but I have to say I do find it a bit overwhelming as there is so much lore and backstory I feel quite lost. If FFG can make it more accessible I think I'd be pleased.

FFG's Star Wars RPG is a nice balanced system, if a little unusual, so I think there is a lot to look forward to.


Crap, does that mean 4e is now OOP? Will pdfs still be for sale from OBS? I'm kind of late to the game, as I've known about Rokugan for years, but didn't really check out L5R until recently due to reading abut AEG in Designers and Dragons and hearing about L5R being played on Happy Jacks podcast.

I like FFG's SW RPG, but I'm quite content with L5R 4e. I hope I don't have to rush out an buy a zillions books before they disappear....

Then again, looks like FFG is more interested in the license for the LCG. That's not surprising. I bet they rake in a ton for Netrunner, and AGoT probably sells well, too.


To be honest I hope FFG will keep the mechanics from the RPG. When the game was first released the setting was accessible but in the last 20 years so much lore and details were added that it made it impossible to just "discover" it.

One of the first change they could do is to take a step back in the whole "big event of the cycle" thing. It is what imho destroyed the setting. By focusing on more small scale stuff it won't create a situation where if you play the RPG you won't need to updated the whole game every couple of years because of the latest world shacking event.

In the RPG they shuld focus on delivering more focused stuff like what AEG did with the City of Lies boxed set. Make it easy for a starting GM to enter the world of rokugan without throwing at him 20+ years of lore and rulings.

aramis erak

A new edition of the RPG needs to do a crisp, clean version of the setting. Maybe a century past the timeline...

I like L5R 3E, but it's just so intimidating to players. Until they get rolling, at least. And it's a natural fit to take the extant CharGen mechanics, and switch from R&K to FFG Star Wars mechanics of play.


This is interesting news.
I wonder what the reaction amongst devoted RPG and card game fans of L5R will be.
I have a buddy who's a big L5R fan and he's been bemoaning its slow slide out of popularity for years. I think he's going to be excited by this. He likes Fantasy Flight but he's not a big fan of the Star Wars RPG mechanics with the dice. If they do that for Rokugan...he may not be that happy.
I guess we'll all see when they announce RPG plans.

Stacie GmrGrl

Another big game movement this year. It's been a huge year this year in the board and rpg game hobby industry.

I am betting we'll finally get some good Rokugan board games. I can see the world of Rokugan being a fantasy world they can use for an updated version of Twilight Imperium.

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