FFG Star Wars & Other Roleplaying Games Aren't Going Away After All

A couple of weeks ago rumours surfaced that Fantasy Flight Games‘ Star Wars and other RPGs were going away permanently (this followed earlier reports of layoffs at the company). It looks like this is quite not the case, however -- instead, according to a presentation they did at the GAMA trade show this week, they'll simply be moving to owner Asmodee's imprint Edge Entertainment. So, Star Wars, Genesys, and L5R are safe!

Asmodee, the owner of FFG, already owns the company called Edge Entertainment based in Europe. This company will continue to print the existing RPG books, and produce new ones. Asmodee acquired the Spanish company in January 2017, which is known for its translations of tabletop RPGs.

edge.jpg

photo from I'm Board! Games & Family Fun Facebook page
 
Last edited:
Russ Morrissey

Comments

TrickyUK

Explorer
Just seen this on Reddit, so panic over?!

Reddit user Bartlebad said:

"Attended the GAMA Asmodee Keynote an hour ago. The FFG branded role playing games will be transitioning to a new European company over the course of this year. The company is called Edge Entertainment. Old books will still be printed, and new ones will be made. New books will still work with existing ones, so it's not a new edition. "
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
Edge Enternaimet is a Spanish company what later was bought by Asmodee/Fantasy Flights. It publishes translations to Spanish languange, not only by FFG but also some titles of Zombicide, Call of Chulthu and Dungeons & Dragons. Some weeks ago the Xanathar Guide was published. Also it has published some own titles, for example "Anima: Beyond Fantasy", or the corebook of a fantasy far west "Steam States".
 
Last edited:

ActiveNick

Villager
The part about reprints is good. The part about all the FFG layoffs is still very bad.

What I find questionable is how a company that is mostly known for translating books going to publish new titles? They don't even have an English website. Sure, they have some experience with minor games of theirs, but losing access to all the original FFG designers means we'll probably see a severe drop in content quality, including conflicting rules, information, and continuity issues.

And then there's the matter of the relationship with the Star Wars IP owners at Disney/LFL. Star Wars is not an easy IP to manage. Do they still have the people who managed this relationship? Do they have the right credentials to get the IP license renewed when it expires? There's gonna be some serious ramp-up to do here, and to be perfectly honest, "I have a bad feeling about this."

The bottom line is all these layoffs were clearly designed to cut costs, streamline the company, and probably prepare themselves for an acquisition by a larger fish. None of this was designed to serve the fans-their customers-and provide better products.
 

Von Ether

Adventurer
I wonder if this about not only a move to freelancers but also free art? In France, a RPG company can get it's art subsidized. I wonder if Spain has a similar policy?
 

JeffB

Legend
None of this was designed to serve the fans-their customers-and provide better products.
Agreed, but this hasn't been the case (serving the fan-base) with Star Wars for decades. And now we are talking Disney- this is several orders of magnitude bigger than even the front RPG player, WOTC. The SW RPG is a teeny blip compared to Toys, T shirts, lunch boxes, Lego sets, Cereal boxes, Halloween costumes, "Graphic Novels", Play-Doh sets, Coloring Books, etc. Heck, I'd wager The FFG mini's games eclipse the SW RPG sales..


general commentary:

I don't want to see the (FFG SW RPG) system go, but I think the system is pretty tapped out on a supplement level. I also think Star Wars has orders of magnitude larger base of products that SW GM's can and do use, which impacts sales: The movies, the novels, the EU, the sourcebooks, the past RPGs, cartoons, etc. The bookshelves are filled at local stores- Walmart, Target, B&N, etc. Star Wars is everywhere and has been for a long time. Heck the D6 community is still pretty active online- so much so that FFG re-released the original game (competition to their own system). And the FFG system is pretty easy to re-skin and stat up all the tech and creatures.

I wouldn't get my hopes up much for many (if any) SW RPG products coming out until the license goes elsewhere.
 

Von Ether

Adventurer
I don't want to see the (FFG SW RPG) system go, but I think the system is pretty tapped out on a supplement level.
Reality check:
That is the catch 22 for TTRPGs, a publish or perish industry, isn't it? If you stop making new stuff, you are a "dead" game and your sales stop.

But at some point you run out of reasonable ideas for new books or you have rules bloat. So for many companies, they clear the decks with a new edition, which bring on it's own heartache with fans and splits your audience. (I know dudes who pullout their 2e FR stuff any chance they get and still think WotC is a conspiracy to make money. [duh.])

Audience desires
Ideally for many gamers, they want to buy a core book that never changes (and they never have to buy again until the binding falls apart) along with supplements to go on and on for decades after (or more likely like the library of potential supplements they could buy if they ever decide they need a change of pace.)

Between those desires and that reality check, it's hard to make a business model that threads the needle. Which is where I can see why WotC is putting out content veeery slowly.
 

ActiveNick

Villager
I agree about RPG revenues being tiny in comparison to the rest, they're essentially at the same level as an accounting rounding error to be honest, and I've heard this from other TTRPG publishers who manage smaller "big IPs". That said, this was a move by Asmodee, not Disney. FFG started on the right foot with the RPGs, but this "layoff & reorg" is a pure corporate cutthroat move on Asmodee's part can only negatively affect their products. I mean how can you justify cutting expenses by laying off a team when their products have been 90% out of stock for ages, therefore hurting their ability to generate revenue?

I also agree that we have plenty of books, both for the FFG Star Wars RPG and in the wider Star Wars universe of books and material. That said, there's still a wealth of opportunities to publish two types of books given everything that has not been covered to date + the material from the new movies:
  • Locations Sourcebooks: There's so much here, new planets, new species, new vehicles, new ships, new equipment, etc.
  • Adventure Modules: There's so few of these. Only 3 hardcovers for EoE, and 2 for AoR and FaD each.
Now, I know that Adventure Modules don;t sell as much since players typically skip them, but I would be 100% of if Asmodee/FFG took a page from WotC and published adventure books like those for D&D 5E where each book as a GM section and a player section. You could essentially merge location sourcebooks and adventures together into the same book. Each "location" book could therefore include the following:
  • Unique planet / system with various locations, cities, maps, points of interest, lore, history, etc.
  • Playable species based on aliens from that planet
  • New enemies, NPCs, and creatures for GMs to throw at you.
  • New equipment, ships, vehicles, and other gear related to that location.
  • Adventure module set in that location that makes use of all the above.
 

ActiveNick

Villager
But at some point you run out of reasonable ideas for new books or you have rules bloat.
See my post above. If they focused on new sourcebooks that combined a location, species, enemies, NPCs, creatures, gear, + a full adventure in said location, they would still have ideas for years to come, even if they only published 2-3 books per year. No rules bloat, just more content, and it would appeal to both players and GMs.
 

RSIxidor

Explorer
I don't want to see the (FFG SW RPG) system go, but I think the system is pretty tapped out on a supplement level. I also think Star Wars has orders of magnitude larger base of products that SW GM's can and do use, which impacts sales: The movies, the novels, the EU, the sourcebooks, the past RPGs, cartoons, etc. The bookshelves are filled at local stores- Walmart, Target, B&N, etc. Star Wars is everywhere and has been for a long time. Heck the D6 community is still pretty active online- so much so that FFG re-released the original game (competition to their own system). And the FFG system is pretty easy to re-skin and stat up all the tech and creatures.

I wouldn't get my hopes up much for many (if any) SW RPG products coming out until the license goes elsewhere.
As long as Disney keeps making new Star Wars content, there's more room to make supplements for. All the High Republic stuff coming this year, more TV series, eventual movies in a few years (there's still one on their slate for 2022 or 2023). We might not get anything for awhile but I could see something next year around the High Republic stuff.

Generally speaking, I'm really starting to dislike Asmodee.
 

Cergorach

The Laughing One
Edge Entertainment has a long history with FFG, they have done many of the French/Spanish translations/publishing for FFG products, and in turn FFG did the English translations/publishing of the Anima games. So there already was a strong relationship before the buyouts by Asmodee.

EE does have experience in making their own RPG(s), but they are far and few between (Anima being the one that is most well known). EE is only 4 years younger then FFG. Imho translating RPGs is a lot closer to making your own RPGs then compared to say... Making boardgames is related to RPGs, FFGs origin... A lot of writing, art, and rules development is outsourced to freelancers by most, but the largest publishers. I suspect that this will happen here as well. Most of what we now call 'top' tier writers/developers started as freelancers one way or another. How consistent were the writers across the FFG SW books? I know that across the D20 books it wasn't.

As others have mentioned, I don't expect a lot of core products for these lines, unless FFG renews the SW license. Which I really doubt... X-wing 2E lost a LOT of players, the secondary market is full of great deals of 1E ships with 2E upgrades. Destiny and Imperial Assault were killed, the LCG, Rebellion and Outer RIm haven't had expansions in a long time. That pretty much leaves Legion, Armada, and X-wing 2E as product lines... FFG has a history of dropping IPs when they don't perform like they should. Moving the RPGs to EE does keep them on life support.

Genesys and Lot5R RPGs might suffer the same fate, life support, support... ;-)

Personally I think that liking or disliking companies is a foolish endeavor. They tend to change employees, owners, etc. Instead like or dislike individual products, because even if the previous ones were good, there is no guarantee the next ones will be as good...
 

Von Ether

Adventurer
See my post above. If they focused on new sourcebooks that combined a location, species, enemies, NPCs, creatures, gear, + a full adventure in said location, they would still have ideas for years to come, even if they only published 2-3 books per year. No rules bloat, just more content, and it would appeal to both players and GMs.
That sounds good at the start of it, but once you wrap up the famous planets, your future sales would taper off dramatically into a smaller but more hard core group. And the challenge will be trying to keep the "new but was always there" planets fresh. We would already have two jungle planets (Endor and Kashyyyk) and two desert planets (Tatooine and Jakku), coming up with the third and fourth ones will be a bit trickier without a call back.

OTH, doing the WotC thing of 3 books a year would draw that out for a time. The question is the famous "If you can keep 1,000 fans happy, can you make a profit?"

If the RPG company isn't a corporate sub-sub division, then the answer is closer to yes. Ask Catalyst Games how it's been working for them and Battletech. (Not a rhetorical question, this has been their strategy for a while.)
 
Last edited:

RSIxidor

Explorer
As others have mentioned, I don't expect a lot of core products for these lines, unless FFG renews the SW license. Which I really doubt... X-wing 2E lost a LOT of players, the secondary market is full of great deals of 1E ships with 2E upgrades. Destiny and Imperial Assault were killed, the LCG, Rebellion and Outer RIm haven't had expansions in a long time. That pretty much leaves Legion, Armada, and X-wing 2E as product lines... FFG has a history of dropping IPs when they don't perform like they should. Moving the RPGs to EE does keep them on life support.
I don't think the Star Wars license will leave Asmodee as long as they can hold it. It's a license that can make money if the right product is put behind it.

While XWTMG2 isn't performing the same as XWTMG1 did (where it once was beating WH40K) it was still in the top 5 non-collectible mini games on ICV2 last fall. FFG currently pushing Legion quite a bit, and it was in the 4th spot of the top 5 ahead of XWTMG2. Armada seems to be on the backburner for now, assuming we ever see more of it.

I suppose I could see them only continuing the "miniature game" part of their license and letting the RPG and card game portions go. Or we might finally see a cooperative Star Wars LCG in a year or two following Marvel Champions.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
Maybe there is SW by FFG for some years, but later it will be by WotC. Now Hasbro and Disney have got a good relation. WotC would like a d20 SW someday, but not yet, the new d20 isn't ready yet for the sci-fi with high-tech.

Maybe I am being too daredevil to say it, but I wouldn't be too surprised in Hasbro buys Asmodee someday.
 

ActiveNick

Villager
Maybe there is SW by FFG for some years, but later it will be by WotC. Now Hasbro and Disney have got a good relation. WotC would like a d20 SW someday, but not yet, the new d20 isn't ready yet for the sci-fi with high-tech.

Maybe I am being too daredevil to say it, but I wouldn't be too surprised in Hasbro buys Asmodee someday.
Ugh, I know you may be right, but I hope not. I'm so tired of seeing the super limited d20 system used everywhere, especially considering how shallow D&D 5E is. That said, buying Asmodee would do very little since the Star Wars license is bound to expire and require a renewal soon. And since WotC seems to prefer very few but lucrative product lines, I don't see Hasbro buying Asmodee.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
Asmodee has got a lot of own franchises and board games. We aren't talking about only RPGs. It could be a serious rival for Hasbro, and remember this has bought some companies in the past, for example MB or Parker if my memory doesn't fail.
 

Bluenose

Adventurer
And then there's the matter of the relationship with the Star Wars IP owners at Disney/LFL. Star Wars is not an easy IP to manage. Do they still have the people who managed this relationship? Do they have the right credentials to get the IP license renewed when it expires?
The RPG was pretty incidental to FFG compared to the various miniatures games (X-wing in particular) and those are still with FFG. I expect the managers who arranged that have been kept on, though it's possible Asmodee have made some changes.
 

Advertisement

Latest threads

In Our Store!

Advertisement

Top