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:


 
Last edited:
Russ Morrissey

Comments

darjr

I crit!
Somebody posted something somewhere that it will impact digital and ttrpg products.... I’ll find it in a bit.
 

evilgaz

Co-host of What Would The Smart Party Do? Podcast
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.
You could well be right. Going off memory (again, could be wrong) I seem to recall GW or a similar company requiring a fixed price for the IP plus points on the product. A guaranteed annual return sounds right.

Whichever way it's been done, the financials around that are more likely to drive the product schedule than anything else I'd guess - which might be what powers the RPG line for a while longer.
 

RSIxidor

Explorer
Somebody posted something somewhere that it will impact digital and ttrpg products.... I’ll find it in a bit.
Needs some clarity on whether this only impacted FFI and RPG or also impacted the internal group that works on companion apps for games like Mansions of Madness, Journeys in Middle Earth, Imperial Assault, etc. My understanding is the group working on the companion apps is not affected.

So far FFI has only one game/app publicly said to be there's, The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game, which released last August. Certainly makes sense that it might affect RPG and TLOR:ACG and any potential games that FFI was working on but hadn't announced but I think the companion apps are untouched by this. I guess time will tell.
 

timbannock

Explorer
For the RPG side alone, I simply can't imagine a model that continues to be cost effective for them with the likely exorbitant prices they must be paying for a SW license, and the fact that they pretty much dried up their release schedule by launching three big game books (with a lot of duplicated content) early in the life cycle.

Here's hoping all the folks laid off land on their feet. FFG has always been consistently high quality in their output regardless of other factors, so that at least bodes well for the folks behind its titles.
 

GreyLord

Adventurer
Needs some clarity on whether this only impacted FFI and RPG or also impacted the internal group that works on companion apps for games like Mansions of Madness, Journeys in Middle Earth, Imperial Assault, etc. My understanding is the group working on the companion apps is not affected.

So far FFI has only one game/app publicly said to be there's, The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game, which released last August. Certainly makes sense that it might affect RPG and TLOR:ACG and any potential games that FFI was working on but hadn't announced but I think the companion apps are untouched by this. I guess time will tell.
From the little I've looked into it (I'm not one of the ones in the know on this subject), the actual departments would be the FFI which ONLY worked on one app/game.

The other apps which are for their games are not affected per se. That is, they are developed on the Boardgame side rather than the Interactive side. Now, some of it was based via other companies (aka...Mansions of Madness). In that sense, it should not be affected.

On the otherhand, when closing down that deparment, unless everyone was simply useless, you'd want to consolidate and keep the best programmers from both. Not doing that...can raise questions. At this point, I'd say the most recent games are safe in either case (Journeys for example).

Other departments supposedly affected are the RPG and marketing departments. PR and customer service may have also been affected.

14 were confirmed lay offs from the thread people seem to get the information from, but that's just FFG.

The layoffs apparently also extended to Asmodee itself and the numbers are thought to be at least 20 when including them as well.

Imperial Assault is supposedly done. I'm not sure what that means for future updates in regards to that app (no updates on an app can mean it ceases to work within a few iterations of updates for the OS's).

Mansions had the company with it stop back in June/July, though I think FFG may have been keeping it updated thus far. Journeys I think is safe no matter what at this point.

However, with the information that's come out, the only thing for certain is that FFI, which worked on ONE app, is out. The boardgame portion that worked on the apps for the boardgames is still up and running.

Edit: Also note, that Asmodee ALSO had it's own app/interactive group. This could simply be them seeing that there was no need for two groups working at the same time and consolidating the work to their primary Asmodee group, in which case no idea how that would affect the boardgame apps side of thing.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
It is the end of the videogame studio, but this isn't too rare in the industry... and this doesn't mean a crisis for the rest of the company. Asmodee is a big fish in the market. In the worst case it could be bought by Hasbro, and the licences would continue in the almost same hands.
 

Maggan

Writer of The Bitter Reach
That thing I find most interesting is that not even FFG having at least one rpg line in the top 5 of the ICv2 ranking for 28 straight quarters saved the rpg group. I'd give someone's right arm to know the numbers behind those rankings.

/M
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
That thing I find most interesting is that not even FFG having at least one rpg line in the top 5 of the ICv2 ranking for 28 straight quarters saved the rpg group. I'd give someone's right arm to know the numbers behind those rankings.

/M
Depends on who's making the decisions. Are they paying attentions to metrics like the ICv2 rankings or just some bottom line calculations? If the cuts are in response to PAI Partners's analysis, it's probably bottom-line heavy and not taking much account of market position according to ICv2.
 

pemerton

Legend
That thing I find most interesting is that not even FFG having at least one rpg line in the top 5 of the ICv2 ranking for 28 straight quarters saved the rpg group. I'd give someone's right arm to know the numbers behind those rankings.
Depends on who's making the decisions. Are they paying attentions to metrics like the ICv2 rankings or just some bottom line calculations? If the cuts are in response to PAI Partners's analysis, it's probably bottom-line heavy and not taking much account of market position according to ICv2.
I thought that was Maggan's point - that you can have a strong and stable position in the RPG market and yet be highly vulnerable to being cut on rational financial grounds. So there is at least a hint here about the nature of the RPG market (ie not super-viable for most commercial players).
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
FFG have had cuts to Customer Service, Roleplaying and Interactive; people at Asmodee North America have also lost their jobs.

A short timeline (via Wikipedia):
1995: Asmodee founded
2007: Asmodee gets a 40% cash injecton from Montefiore Investment.
2010: Asmodee takes over Esdevium, the largest hobby games distributor in the UK
2013: French private equity firm Eurazeo acquires Asmodee for €143 million
2014: Asmodee merges (takes over) Fantasy Flight Games and Days of Wonder
2015-8: lots more mergers/take-overs
2016: Asmodee takes over Z-Man, Plaid Hat and Filosophia
2018: PAI Partners, another private equity firm, acquires Asmodee for about €1.2 billion.

Asmodee, at this point, are the second-largest board game publisher behind Hasbro.

FFG and Z-Man (in particular) haven't been the same since their acquisitions.

Cheers!
 

Jacob Lewis

The One with the Force
Unfortunate news, but not unheard of in this industry, especially these days with never-ending cycles of buyouts, acquisitions, and turnarounds. It's a shame to think what we might miss going forward, but I think it is too early to say what real impact this will have on our tables.

As for the fate of the Star Wars RPG, I`m good. Thank you, FFG. The Force will be with us, always. (As well as "Edge" and "Age"!) ;)
20200108_214114.jpg
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
Apropos of nothing, it's weird seeing those two posts right next to each other!
I am a pessimist, and saw hints of it in various posts and Q&A's...

The end result of a multi-national merger generally are to move IPs worth anything to the central office, and anything else gets sold off, often cheap... I would expect that the entire FFG catalogue is likely to be moved to "No reprint, PDF when legal, extract all value until sales stop, then take any reasonable offer."
 
I just saw where the collectible dice/card game for star wars is being "completed" is ending. Wonder if that i signs of more bad things to come for them and Star Wars. .
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
Now Star Wars is a golden egg goose to stop the production, a serious mistake of management. I start to wonder about the future of Asmodee will be sold to Hasbro.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
More or less called this months ago. Said something like I doubt they will renew the RPG license.

Then people pulled the top 5 RPG line u suspect the top RPG matters the rest not so much.

I suspect Disney will want more money and a Star Wars RPG fees are going to make it hard.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
This is sad because Asmodee could become the second Hasbro, a big fish in the board-game industry but now PAI Partners are pruning the branches. Not allowing to growing up, because they don't understand how really this industry works.

Our hope all those franchises and IPs to be sold to other company to be in better hands, for example L5R by Chaosium or WotC.

If Fantasy Flight Games finally loses the SW franchise, I guess it will be again in Hasbro/WotC's hands because this would be the best bidder. In case this happens, I hope a sourcebook set in Legends/Expanded Universe to be published.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
This is sad because Asmodee could become the second Hasbro, a big fish in the board-game industry but now PAI Partners are pruning the branches. Not allowing to growing up, because they don't understand how really this industry works.

Our hope all those franchises and IPs to be sold to other company to be in better hands, for example L5R by Chaosium or WotC.

If Fantasy Flight Games finally loses the SW franchise, I guess it will be again in Hasbro/WotC's hands because this would be the best bidder. In case this happens, I hope a sourcebook set in Legends/Expanded Universe to be published.
I doubt that Hasbro will let Wizards spend that much on a license they previously gave up.

As for the Destiny line, it's been a flop overall in my local area, and despite the fact that I love it, it's not gotten a strong enough base for sustainability. I know I quit buying over a year ago... because no one wanted to play. X-Wing and Armada, and the other boardgames seem to be doing quite well - the FLGS rack has about 10-20% turnover monthly for X-wing, and 5-10% for Armada and one of the ground ones.
 

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