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

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
So... Spelljammers??
No, it definitely felt Star Warsish in a way that SpellJammer never did. It made use of the d20 chassis but had a number of variations from the D&D standards. For one, it made use of the Vitality point/Wound point differential and Jedi spent vitality to power many of their Force powers (which were handled like skills). But in general, it was class-based so Jedi Guardian, Jedi Counselor, Scoundrel, Soldier, Noble, etc...
 

Sunsword

Adventurer
So... Spelljammers??
I wish. There just wasn't a lot of innovation, unlike say Star Wars Saga Edition. It wasn't a very ambitious adaptation and maybe that was what the client wanted.

In fact, I wonder if having had a past experience with Star Wars, would that make Paizo more or less likely to pursue the license?
 

Bacon Bits

Adventurer
Also -- wow do people around here HATE Star Wars.
I don't hate Star Wars. I really like SW. I have been rather disappointed by the main series, though. The stories Lucas (via the prequel trilogy) and Disney (via the sequel trilogy) have chosen to tell aren't very interesting or aren't told particularly well, in my opinion. I really like the Star Wars universe, but the movies have problems with writing and direction. But, I mean, I feel the same way about a lot of franchises. I only like the first two Predator movies. Same with Alien. I only like the first two Rocky movies, and find the rest are too derivative. I liked LotR but thought that The Hobbit movies were pretty bad in spite of good casting. Very, very few movie series hold up. It's a bit like the Peter Principle: a new movie is produced until one loses too much money.

The problem I have with SW as an RPG is that the thing that makes SW really compelling -- Jedi -- is both difficult to work into a credible narrative because of the in-universe political situations, and difficult to balance between characters due to the utility of the Force (Sense, Alter, and Control are universal and highly potent). So you feel like you have to make Jedi rare and powerful... but then not everyone can be a Jedi or you spoil the tone of the game.

In the end, I'd rather play something like Savage Worlds The Last Parsec for my SW fix. Then I don't feel so bad when the magical space wizard-knights with laser swords aren't significantly more useful in every situation than the droid or the smuggler pilot, and you don't have to nerf the wizard-knight or their sword at all from the fiction's continuity.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
WotC has plans for its own sci-fi franchise, d20 Future, Gamma World and maybe some Hasbro toys. This "d20 Future" will arrive after Spelljammer because this is being planned as an intermediate step.

WotC is the best bidder for the licence, but it is too soon for its plans for a d20 sci-fi. And SW is a franchise too expensive for the rest of publishing houses. Maybe Disney could allow licences for TTRPG of other "useless" and forgotten franchises (and expendables, then easier to test some changes).

If Paizo had got the licence then the projects for Starfinder would be slower or even stopped. No, they would rather to have got total creative freedom.

* I have tought about WotC buying L5R to create a mash-up and adding more things, but I think WotC would rather to start from zero creating a new world as Kara-Tur.
 

Bacon Bits

Adventurer
WotC has plans for its own sci-fi franchise, d20 Future, Gamma World and maybe some Hasbro toys. This "d20 Future" will arrive after Spelljammer because this is being planned as an intermediate step.

WotC is the best bidder for the licence, but it is too soon for its plans for a d20 sci-fi.
Nah, I think a d20 or D&D style system with leveling and linear increasing hit points is exactly the wrong kind of game system for something set in a sci-fi or even modern setting. The last thing I want is a setting with guns or higher tech is a system where you gain levels that grant you extra health reserve (no matter what you call it) and that health reserve makes you so hard to kill that you're not afraid of taking a shotgun to the face or a heavy blaster to the chest.

I can suspend disbelief that it works with melee weapons or simple ranged weapons and even magical blasts, especially when it's become an established trope. However, there's just no believable narrative to a system where protagonists are basically bulletproof even when they're stark naked.

I don't want a Star Wars RPG to ever feel like D&D in Space, even if it's D&D in Space with Space Wizards. I also don't want a Call of Cthulu RPG to feel like D&D in Arkham, MA. I don't think D&D's class system, skill system, or advancement system is a useful fit for either of those two types of games. I think it's a disservice to the tone of both games.
 

Emirikol Prime

Explorer
There is literally NOTHING coming out of Disney's SW lines, except another season of Clone Wars, and the Mandalorian. One has nothing new, the other very limited new. There are NO cartoons or movies coming, and a one show, since Obi-Wan is on hiatus. Yes, we can see the quality of the stories that has come out from Disney SW, and their success. Sucking or not, the Vong sold A LOT of product, and created years of story.
The theme park is a disaster, there are numerous facts to back that up. So they have one thing, that isn't enough to create RPG products consistently. Let alone anything else.
I get it you hate SW now but factually the theme parks are now killing it.
 

JeffB

Legend
I don't hate Star Wars. I really like SW. I have been rather disappointed by the main series, though. The stories Lucas (via the prequel trilogy) and Disney (via the sequel trilogy) have chosen to tell aren't very interesting or aren't told particularly well, in my opinion. I really like the Star Wars universe, but the movies have problems with writing and direction. But, I mean, I feel the same way about a lot of franchises. I only like the first two Predator movies. Same with Alien. I only like the first two Rocky movies, and find the rest are too derivative. I liked LotR but thought that The Hobbit movies were pretty bad in spite of good casting.
100%
 
I've long considered myself a Star Wars fan until I realized that I liked two movies (ANH and ESB) and begrudgingly accepted a third (RotJ). The prequels were bad and the Disney SW has been uneven. I've had no interest in the Clone Wars. So I've had to reassess my feelings for the franchise.
As far as the game, I haven't been a big fan of the FFG system, its strange dice, and its odd resolution mechanic. It just doesn't fit my style. I do know many who love it, though, so I'm sad and see it end on one side. The other is that I'm hopeful someone can make "a normal game" out of it instead of this weird storytelling GM Fiat system. (Even after running a campaign, I still don't get it.)
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
With Ewoks.
Mythu'nn folk (from Savage Coast Mostrous Compedium.

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Sci-fi shooters with leveling up? We have Starfinder but also the videogames Borderlands or Mass Effect.

And today you are going to find more dark fantasy works with Lovecraft's myths, because now it is public domain. And a Chulthu d20 hasn't to be bad if it something with enough style, as Ravenloft and its gothic horror. But I understand you, Call of Chulthu and D&D are gameplay totally different. That is more about investigation and this is more about kick in the door and killing monsters.

To allow a easier adaptation from other systems for d20 my house rules were to add two abilities scores: acuity (astuteness + perception) and spirit (courage, but also faith, hope, karma/fate/luck/divine grace/guardian angel) and two different pools of leveling up. One would be the classic power level and the other the knownledge level. If we use as example a MMO if a player come back to lowest level region and it is nerfed then the power level would change but not the knownledge level (all learnt tricks, as crafting recipes, fishing and hunting skills, languanges...).
 

Sketchpad

Explorer
WotC has plans for its own sci-fi franchise, d20 Future, Gamma World and maybe some Hasbro toys. This "d20 Future" will arrive after Spelljammer because this is being planned as an intermediate step.

WotC is the best bidder for the licence, but it is too soon for its plans for a d20 sci-fi. And SW is a franchise too expensive for the rest of publishing houses. Maybe Disney could allow licences for TTRPG of other "useless" and forgotten franchises (and expendables, then easier to test some changes).

If Paizo had got the licence then the projects for Starfinder would be slower or even stopped. No, they would rather to have got total creative freedom.

* I have tought about WotC buying L5R to create a mash-up and adding more things, but I think WotC would rather to start from zero creating a new world as Kara-Tur.
Do you have a source for info on d20 Future and Gamma World? I'd love to find out more.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
I have no sources at all, only I use the pure logic. If you are Hasbro/WotC you should have plans for future no-medieval fantasy TTRPGs, maybe adaptation of other franchises, G.I.Joe and Transformers, for example. Hasbro knows the best advertising to sell more toys are the media, movies and cartoons but if paying royalties for lincenses is too expensive, then better you create your own multimedia franchises, sometimes starting from zero. You can bet WotC CEOs would love a d20 superheroes but this system isn't ready yet. And Muntant & Mastermind isn't compatible with D&D. Think about that. If Hasbro has got agremeents with Blizzard or Epic Games... why not a d20 Overwatch or a d20 Fortnite: Save the world? Let's use psychology and try to imagine how is the CEOs' minds to think about future market strategies.

After Spelljammer the next step should be Gamma World because it a setting with high-tech but where usually you would rather to fight hand-to-hand to save ammo for the hardest enemies, like spellcasters with Vacian system. My suspects is really the videogame studios are who are designing the next d20 Future. If it works they could buy forgotten videogame franchises.

Other theory (by me) is they want to create a d20 Mass Battles, for miniature wargame, but also for some Real-Time-Strategy videogame, maybe set in Birthright. And a open door for musou games (one-man-army against troops).

* Legend of five Rings will not be sold to WotC because you can guess this would change the lore too much, adding new PC races and mixing with elements from Korea and China. And after Kara-Tur maybe WotC would rather to start his own version of Wuxia fantasy. I suposse if Asmodee goes bad, then it would be sold to a publisher with experencie in card and TT games.

If Hasbro tried to buy or merge with Mattel, maybe one with Asmodde/FGG is possible if now the business doesn't go too right. It wouldn't be the first time Hasbro has bought other companies of board games. And until now Asmodee was the second best tabletop games after Hasbro.
 

atanakar

Hero
I have no sources at all, only I use the pure logic. If you are Hasbro/WotC you should have plans for future no-medieval fantasy TTRPGs, maybe adaptation of other franchises, G.I.Joe and Transformers, for example. Hasbro knows the best advertising to sell more toys are the media, movies and cartoons but if paying royalties for lincenses is too expensive, then better you create your own multimedia franchises, sometimes starting from zero. You can bet WotC CEOs would love a d20 superheroes but this system isn't ready yet. And Muntant & Mastermind isn't compatible with D&D. Think about that. If Hasbro has got agremeents with Blizzard or Epic Games... why not a d20 Overwatch or a d20 Fortnite: Save the world? Let's use psychology and try to imagine how is the CEOs' minds to think about future market strategies.

After Spelljammer the next step should be Gamma World because it a setting with high-tech but where usually you would rather to fight hand-to-hand to save ammo for the hardest enemies, like spellcasters with Vacian system. My suspects is really the videogame studios are who are designing the next d20 Future. If it works they could buy forgotten videogame franchises.

Other theory (by me) is they want to create a d20 Mass Battles, for miniature wargame, but also for some Real-Time-Strategy videogame, maybe set in Birthright. And a open door for musou games (one-man-army against troops).

* Legend of five Rings will not be sold to WotC because you can guess this would change the lore too much, adding new PC races and mixing with elements from Korea and China. And after Kara-Tur maybe WotC would rather to start his own version of Wuxia fantasy. I suposse if Asmodee goes bad, then it would be sold to a publisher with experencie in card and TT games.

If Hasbro tried to buy or merge with Mattel, maybe one with Asmodde/FGG is possible if now the business doesn't go too right. It wouldn't be the first time Hasbro has bought other companies of board games. And until now Asmodee was the second best tabletop games after Hasbro.
You can forget Gamma World and any other old IPs. WoTC as already stated that the new future/sci-fi game will not be based on an old IP. Having said that, do they consider Star Wars to be one of their «old IPs»? They never owned it, just payed for the license.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
But some ideas from d20 Future (Star*Drive/Star Frontiers) could be recycled and reused in Spelljammer, for example the races. It wouldn't be the first time. At least some alien races should be in the SRD, for example the fraals and the mechalus.

I notice sci-fi gets old very bad. Today new generations miss things from current age, the mobiles, for example, in the old productions. Since I myself bought my Eclipse Phase RPG I miss digital immortality and mind uploading in the rest of sci-fi games. Even the cyberpunk is now a old-fashion wave. I mean remake of old sci-fi is riskier and maybe they would rather to start new IPs.

WotC doesn't need to pay too much for a famous licence when it can get adaptation of popular but not too much franchises, for example videogames. Here they can try new ideas, without the sacred cows of D&D. Other companies would allow TTRPG adaptations as advertising. I have mentioned in some previous post Fortnite and Overwatch.

And if WotC allows a SRD for d20 Future maybe some 3PP could recover fiction from the pulp age because they are becoming public domain now. WotC has to create a sci-fi to become really popular, and my intuition tells me we could find as "guest artists" or "expy" elements from other Hasbro franchises, for example the famous transformers, now its most popular franchise.
 

Sketchpad

Explorer
I have no sources at all, only I use the pure logic. If you are Hasbro/WotC you should have plans for future no-medieval fantasy TTRPGs, maybe adaptation of other franchises, G.I.Joe and Transformers, for example. Hasbro knows the best advertising to sell more toys are the media, movies and cartoons but if paying royalties for lincenses is too expensive, then better you create your own multimedia franchises, sometimes starting from zero. You can bet WotC CEOs would love a d20 superheroes but this system isn't ready yet. And Muntant & Mastermind isn't compatible with D&D. Think about that. If Hasbro has got agremeents with Blizzard or Epic Games... why not a d20 Overwatch or a d20 Fortnite: Save the world? Let's use psychology and try to imagine how is the CEOs' minds to think about future market strategies.

After Spelljammer the next step should be Gamma World because it a setting with high-tech but where usually you would rather to fight hand-to-hand to save ammo for the hardest enemies, like spellcasters with Vacian system. My suspects is really the videogame studios are who are designing the next d20 Future. If it works they could buy forgotten videogame franchises.
So it's speculation on your part. Honestly, I've been asking fairly regularly since 5th ed started for both Gamma World and Star Frontiers to return. We can speculate all day, but unless WotC decides to release some further books beyond D&D, the reality is we're looking to 3rd party to do anything remotely like what you're talking about.
As for Star Wars, I'm sure someone else will pick it up down the line. Heck, who knows, maybe Disney itself will release the next version of the game. If I could choose, I would really like to see a return of the d6 version of the game with new official material.
 

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