Lay-offs at Fantasy Flight Games?

Rumours have been posted over on Reddit that layoffs are taking place at FFG, which produces the Star Wars and Genesys RPGs, amongst many other things, most notably a metric ton of board games.

Its unclear what’s the situation is, but Sam Bailey, formerly of FFG has reported 14 layoffs, and Tim Gerritson confirms on LinkedIn that Fantasy Flight Interactive has been shut down.

This report suggests that the RPG department is a casualty. And this blog post has a good summary of what's currently in the pipeline, product-wise.



This post on LinkedIn confirms that Fantasy Flight Interactive is being closed:


 
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Russ Morrissey

Comments

vpuigdoller

Explorer
Rumours have been posted over on Reddit that layoffs are taking place at FFG, which produces the Star Wars and Genesys RPGs, amongst many other things, most totally a ton of board games.

I saw the news in linkedin it even said confirmed. Let me try to fetch it up.
 

Ulfgeir

Explorer
That's not good. I hope the people involved quickly find some new employments, and I hope it doesn't affect their current rpg's too much
 

innerdude

Adventurer
Much more worried that they'll cancel reprints of the LOTR Living Card Game than I am about their RPG properties.

I'm guessing, though, that the total shutdown of FFI means that the Steam version of the LOTR LCG never really took off for them.

Really a shame.
 

Zaukrie

Adventurer
Good luck to everyone that is losing their job, and good mental health to those keeping theirs. Survival guilt is real....take care of yourself. I used to run a website for people that got laid off. I make no money there....it still temporarily exists. If anyone wants some content about looking for work, handling the stress, etc, let me know.
 

GreyLord

Adventurer
Interesting and unexpected.

So, with their more recent pushes lately where boardgames require apps to run them (which would seem to go hand in hand with any other app creation and integration) what does this say about that end of their business.

I would imagine that it would be easier on some fronts to fold the FFI end into the boardgame portion and pick and choose the best programmers of both sections to be involved with the app update and creation for their boardgames.

If they did not do that...I'm wondering why not and what's up with that. Would that mean something in regards to their boardgame interactive app design...and if so...does that also mean that they may stop supporting some of their boardgame apps (with the exception of perhaps their more recent Journeys/Middle Earth game and perhaps MoM)?

They keep one or two programmers max for updates, and let the rest go?

It seems to be an interesting move as far as their apps are concerned and what it APPEARS (meaning appearances may be deceiving) they did in regards to FFI.

RPGs seems to be a trimming. It could be they saw some of what WotC has done in the past few years and are keeping a smaller core staff with freelancers being utilized for work beyond what the core staff does. Basically the core staff coordinates and works issues while using freelancers for some of the other lifting.

This could also reduce their RPG staff tremendously while at the same time improving quality (depending on who they kept) and focusing more on certain elements of their RPGs.

Or, it could be something entirely different.
 

evilgaz

Co-host of What Would The Smart Party Do? Podcast
Be interesting to see how the RPGs go. It's entirely possible they could reduce down to one or two line developers or other role and freelance stuff. Depends on the people in charge of the purse strings of course, tabletop RPGs are frequently unattractive uses of resources in pure profit and loss terms. May also depend on licencing arrangements - e.g. what period of licence is still valid for Star Wars? Can't imagine it was cheap and a new film is just out, so there's opportunity there (depending on the shape of the contract signed).

It'd be a shame to see the FFG game lines go altogether.
 

JeffB

Hero
The only way I'd pick up a Modiphius Star Wars is if Jay Little somehow gets to keep his rights to the FFG dice system and replaces the 2d20 system he designed for Modiphius.

This sucks. Best for the former employees. Guess I better pick up the EotE book now to go with my AoR book and box. And some dice.
 

GreyLord

Adventurer
Be interesting to see how the RPGs go. It's entirely possible they could reduce down to one or two line developers or other role and freelance stuff. Depends on the people in charge of the purse strings of course, tabletop RPGs are frequently unattractive uses of resources in pure profit and loss terms. May also depend on licencing arrangements - e.g. what period of licence is still valid for Star Wars? Can't imagine it was cheap and a new film is just out, so there's opportunity there (depending on the shape of the contract signed).

It'd be a shame to see the FFG game lines go altogether.
I'm not sure. I believe they still have the license until 2021 when negotiations will be done.

Interestingly enough, I think they have a minimum number of RPG books they HAVE to publish (unsure of how many, if it is merely 1, they have it in the bag for the rest of the year) as it is also connected to the rest of the license they currently hold.

With how they took the Star Wars license, I'd imagine they may be looking at possibly dropping it in the future anyways considering how much they probably paid for it (can't be helping their bottom line, and as these layoffs seem to me to be more about streamlining the money...expensive licenses can really drag that down at times) over other companies that were thinking about lesser amounts for it.

On the otherhand, with their Legion and other games they are putting out, I'm not sure what they'd have to replace it.

OR, they could be looking to fold FFG main into Asmodee for the most part and keep FFG more as a warehouse with Asmodee being the main company at this point. The interactive and apps/games were already doubled with the Asmodee portion doing more and being more successful than the FFI portion, so cutting down and folding much of FFG exercises into the Asmodee main would not be surprising.

No involvement with their company on my part, so these are all wild tosses of the darts in the dark on what may be happening with them and their licenses though. I really have no idea...

Sorry for those that lost their jobs in the streamline/downsize. Hope they have luck finding other jobs. I know the former FFI head released something on linkedin (I think that was it) where I think he says he is going to try to help those that were with him relocate into other areas or find jobs and such, and that he also is looking for work at this point.
 

evilgaz

Co-host of What Would The Smart Party Do? Podcast
With how they took the Star Wars license, I'd imagine they may be looking at possibly dropping it in the future anyways considering how much they probably paid for it
Yeah, I'm similarly speculating. I would imagine it was an upfront cost and then percentage on every product. Having swallowed the initial purchase price, producing more seems good, but only if the books are generating enough sales to be worth it, given economies of scale.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Yeah, I'm similarly speculating. I would imagine it was an upfront cost and then percentage on every product. Having swallowed the initial purchase price, producing more seems good, but only if the books are generating enough sales to be worth it, given economies of scale.
Going off memory, so I could be off a bit. You don’t ‘purchase’ a license as such, but there is usually an advance on guaranteed royalties.

For something like Trek it’s in the region of a $20K advance and 10% royalties last I looked into it (long before Modiphius took it on). For Wars I’ve heard it’s more in the $100K range, with a similar percentage. There will be a yearly guaranteed minimum royalty payment.

I recall when FFG first started producing the SW RPG they were required to bring out a product within a year. That was too tight a timeline from start to finish, so they squeezed in some cards or something like that at the end of the first year in order to fulfil the obligation. I can’t for the life of me remember exactly what that product was now.
 

innerdude

Adventurer
Doubtful the Star Wars license is going anywhere, with Armada / X-Wing / the Destiny card game / Imperial Assault / the Star Wars LCG.

But for the RPG line, what little content we see will be for Genesys, and it will only be from existing IP or new IP of their own creation.
 
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