Fantasy Flight Games Discontinuing RPGs?

Back in January, it emerged that FFG was laying off a lot of staff, including RPG staff. Now, GM Chris over at d20 Radio is reporting that the company is discontinuing all RPG development, including Star Wars, Legend of the Five Rings, and its relatively newer Genesys universal system.

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He says that all currently announced products will be produced, but in the long-term the RPG production is ending. There's some speculation regarding sales of companies to each other (FFG's owner is Asmodee, which is owned by PAI Partners who bought it from Eurazeo), but it's only conjecture. More info at the link below!


FFG's Katrina Ostrander appears to have confirmed the news:


Back in January, FFG laid off over 14 staff, and shut down Fantasy Flight Interactive. Reports were that the tabletop RPG department had been "shuttered" -- reduced to a couple of full timers. It sounds now like the cut is more severe even than that.
 
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Russ Morrissey

Comments

Tyler Do'Urden

Soap Maker
Pity... I'm not a big fan of their systems, but I am a fan of Star Wars and don't like seeing that license orphaned for too long. It probably won't be out of circulation for awhile- somebody will probably pick it up- but you never know...
 

eyeheartawk

Works 60% of the time, every time
Not surprising given the earlier news. Margins on board games are much better and consistent, no surprise they want to focus efforts there.

I don't expect the Star Wars license to remain fallow for long, even though I hear it's very expensive and a huge pain with approvals etc.

L5R? Yeah, I expect that to sit around for a good long while with nothing happening. AEG and FFG likely kept these lines going as long as they did since they were also making the card games. I'm not so sure it's very appealing on its own. The barrier for entry on that line is higher than most. In addition to learning a new game system you also have to learn a whole new set of customs.
 

James Wallis

Explorer
I noticed yesterday that the webpage for The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen 3e (which I wrote, and which was published by the FFG RPG division) has been taken down, as has its listing on the Asmodee store, and all the ebook versions of the game. I have not received any official notice that the game is being discontinued.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Last I heard on the SW license - and this was years ago - was that it was in the region of a $100K advance on royalties. That was all through the rumour-milll though. If that's the case, not many RPG companies could do it -- who's had a big Kickstarter in the last couple of years? Or, if all else is lost, Modiphius only has 7,942,274 licenses right now!
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Pity... I'm not a big fan of their systems, but I am a fan of Star Wars and don't like seeing that license orphaned for too long. It probably won't be out of circulation for awhile- somebody will probably pick it up- but you never know...
But if someone does pick it up, it will probably be, yet again, another new rule system. All because some equity capital investment company could strip it (or more accurately Asmodee) in an effort to boost its apparent value and eventually sell it off for a profit. Hey, no matter that people lost their jobs - some investor has money to make based on the value those unemployed people built up.
 

Malkinban

The Torn
Last I heard on the SW license - and this was years ago - was that it was in the region of a $100K advance on royalties. That was all through the rumour-milll though. If that's the case, not many RPG companies could do it -- who's had a big Kickstarter in the last couple of years? Or, if all else is lost, Modiphius only has 7,942,274 licenses right now!
It would certainly be a shame to have an era with no Star Wars RPG.
 

eyeheartawk

Works 60% of the time, every time
But if someone does pick it up, it will probably be, yet again, another new rule system. All because some equity capital investment company could strip it (or more accurately Asmodee) in an effort to boost its apparent value and eventually sell it off for a profit. Hey, no matter that people lost their jobs - some investor has money to make based on the value those unemployed people built up.
I imagine the rights would revert to the rights holder. I doubt FFG can "sub-license" Star Wars.

If you're talking about the Genesys game system more broadly, I don't know how much interest there is to license that in the greater RPG market. My guess is it would be marginal.
 

Undrave

Hero
I don't expect the Star Wars license to remain fallow for long, even though I hear it's very expensive and a huge pain with approvals etc.
I bet it's worse with Disney... they've been so utterly devoid of imagination and are so risk averse the resulting game would be super boring and limited. Probably kept in a precise period of the canon...
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I imagine the rights would revert to the rights holder. I doubt FFG can "sub-license" Star Wars.
Technically speaking, FFG will continue to have a license to produce SW games until their license expires, even if they're not using it. That said, when they first got it, there was a clause in it that they they had to produce stuff within timeframes (which is why their first product, after a year of getting the license, was just a card accessory, as the actual RPG was longer in development). So perhaps the license will self-immolate after a year of no product.
 

Malkinban

The Torn
Technically speaking, FFG will continue to have a license to produce SW games until their license expires, even if they're not using it. That said, when they first got it, there was a clause in it that they they had to produce stuff within timeframes (which is why their first product, after a year of getting the license, was just a card accessory, as the actual RPG was longer in development). So perhaps the license will self-immolate after a year of no product.
Maybe, but X-Wing is still selling well, so I doubt it would come down to losing the contract over no Star Wars products being produced.
 

eyeheartawk

Works 60% of the time, every time
I bet it's worse with Disney... they've been so utterly devoid of imagination and are so risk averse the resulting game would be super boring and limited. Probably kept in a precise period of the canon...
The license definitely would come with pre-set limits as to what time frames etc it could cover. The days of wide open West End Games style Star Wars RPG production, where they were able to invent tons of lore, are far behind us.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Maybe, but X-Wing is still selling well, so I doubt it would come down to losing the contract over no Star Wars products being produced.
I guess it depends how the license is written. If it's an overall license for tabletop games, then FFG will still have it. Could mean nobody can product Star Wars RPGs but then, who are choosing not to. That would suck.
 

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