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Anyone else disappointed by FFG?


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#1 thatfargone

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 05:16 AM

 So, this is the first FFG game I have followed since it's announcement. Actually this game is the game that introduced me to Fantasy Flight Games. I am a huge Star Wars fan but have also been a fan of WotC for sometime and I play D&D and Magic: The Gathering.  Lets just say I have come to expect a level of service and communication that is sorely lacking by FFG.  By being exposed to FFG through X-Wing I have also begun taking an interest in other games they have published like Arkham Horror and The Lord of the Rings LCG, nut I purchased all of them well after their release date.  Is this how all of their game releases are handled????  I mean, really?

Seriously, I am reading thread after thread of rules questions and not a single reply has been made by FFG.  One of the bigger, daily discussed rules about barrel roll should have been ruled on by now.  The community has asked for weeks now for sub-boards with no reply.  No one from FFG could even answer any release date questions.  There isn't even an attempt for customer service by at least touching base with the fans to help them understand their many questions on organized play etc.  I feel this whole release has been surounded by an air of incompetence and secrecy.

Then… we had the game release to Target stores without any update and before any LGS's even received stock.  The lack of a uniform release date, and a seemingly lack of any idea where their product is in their distribution system shows a complete lack of professionalism.  Also, from my years being a SW fan….I can say with certainly Lucas Film Limited is not at all fond of this type of customer serivce or lack of care with their liscense.  If FFG keeps treating this product this way I could totally see LFL pulling the plug, which would be unfortunate.  They've done it before…numerous times.

If WotC can announce a release date, ship a product that allows it to be available on that date and fully communicate with their fans… why has the "leading publisher" failed to do any of that?

Sorry Fantasy Flight Games…but to this new customer your operation feels bush league and sophomoric at best.

I hope this comes off as constructive…I do want this game to be successful…but the way this release has been handled, if typical of FFG, is a HUGE turn off that would certainly cause me to lose interest.  

 

 



#2 El_Tonio

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 05:27 AM

This is my first FFG game, too.  The game looks great, but I am very disappointed with their communication with fans.  So much so that I sent a letter (an ACTUAL letter sent via snail mail) to the CEO of FFG and also sent a copy to the head of Lucas Film Limited licensing department with my concerns about their poor communication with fans regarding the release.  I mailed it on Tuesday.  Probably won't matter, but seems like a poor performance from an organization that claims to be a leading publisher in the field.  I think when you get the rights to produce Star Wars games  you need to do better.

EDIT: I can understand the Target fiasco.  They probably shipped with a release date that was ignored in some areas since they received it early.  Not much they can do about that.  But, that still doesn't explain the poor communication in just about every other way.


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#3 tiepilot1138

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 05:29 AM

I can't say how other games have been launched, as this is the first one I've followed as well (since GenCon of last year!).  Interestingly, there was an article in the the Game Informer magazine I got yesterday (video game mag from gamestop, in case you don't know it) about how FFG is leading the rise of the board game genre in this era of video games and internet.

 

As a Heroclix player I'm used to release dates sliding (sometimes by months), but at least there is a publicly announced date, and it's in stores on time when that date is finalized.



#4 DavicusPrime

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 05:41 AM

There's another game I've been chomping at the bit for called Super Dungeon Explore by Soda Pop Miniatures.  And their lack of hard date and communication for the next expansion has been just as messed up.  I originally was going to grab both X-Wing and The SDE expansion as both were supposed to hit mid to late Sept.  As it turned out, I heard rumors that SDE had slid with no official word from the company and Mini Market unable to get better info either, I just doubled my X-Wing order and dumped the SDE expansion back to my wishlist.

Both companies had product to sell at the cons.  But unless you were fortunate enough to be at one, you're out of luck.

In FFG's defense, they did state that they were aiming for a mid to late Sept release.  They never promised a specific date.  I wish they had, but in the end they hit the target (no pun intended) with the same level of accuracy as the stated release time was given.  It is mid to late September after all.

It would have been nice to get more official chatter on the release, but I'm suspecting there is more behind the scenes wrangling going on than any of us are privy to.

-DavicusPrime



#5 Nalydd

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 05:43 AM

DavicusPrime said:

It would have been nice to get more official chatter on the release, but I'm suspecting there is more behind the scenes wrangling going on than any of us are privy to.

-DavicusPrime

Yeah, like all of the FFG staff have gone to the Bahamas with all of our money!



#6 DavicusPrime

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 05:48 AM

Nalydd said:

 

Yeah, like all of the FFG staff have gone to the Bahamas with all of our money!

Actually, they were attending multiple conventions marketing their shiny new games with so much success, such that we're whining about having to wait a few extra weeks to get our own copies.

Mission Accomplished, FFG.

-DavicusPrime



#7 Highball

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 05:50 AM

tiepilot1138 said:

 

I can't say how other games have been launched, as this is the first one I've followed as well (since GenCon of last year!).  Interestingly, there was an article in the the Game Informer magazine I got yesterday (video game mag from gamestop, in case you don't know it) about how FFG is leading the rise of the board game genre in this era of video games and internet.

 

As a Heroclix player I'm used to release dates sliding (sometimes by months), but at least there is a publicly announced date, and it's in stores on time when that date is finalized.

 

 

 

I bolded the highlighted part for the truth.  One other point on the Target thing.  Heroclix has also recently started using Target for limited releases and they too have had Target break  "street date" each time due to a couple of things.  First you are in a situation where a small company is trying to tell a huge company what to do (never going to work).  Second, as told my multiple Target employees in other forums, many of Target's sections, including certain areas of games and collectables, are stocked by 3rd party suppliers.  Target has seperate stock shelves in the back of their stores and if a product is placed there the 3rd party stockers put it out on the shelves without any care for street date as they are paid by keeping their area full and the product moving.

 

Still, despite forgiving the Target release issues, FFG's lack of customer support is horrendous.  It makes it even worse that they have employees that post corrections or comments on BGG's forums but don't bother to post on their own website!



#8 Highball

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 05:55 AM

DavicusPrime said:

There's another game I've been chomping at the bit for called Super Dungeon Explore by Soda Pop Miniatures.  And their lack of hard date and communication for the next expansion has been just as messed up.  I originally was going to grab both X-Wing and The SDE expansion as both were supposed to hit mid to late Sept.  As it turned out, I heard rumors that SDE had slid with no official word from the company and Mini Market unable to get better info either, I just doubled my X-Wing order and dumped the SDE expansion back to my wishlist.

Both companies had product to sell at the cons.  But unless you were fortunate enough to be at one, you're out of luck.

In FFG's defense, they did state that they were aiming for a mid to late Sept release.  They never promised a specific date.  I wish they had, but in the end they hit the target (no pun intended) with the same level of accuracy as the stated release time was given.  It is mid to late September after all.

It would have been nice to get more official chatter on the release, but I'm suspecting there is more behind the scenes wrangling going on than any of us are privy to.

-DavicusPrime

 

Actually, multiple FFG employees/volunteers quoted 8/31 as the release date at GenCon.  I heard this first hand multiple times at their booth.



#9 El_Tonio

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 06:00 AM

All you have to do is look at this screen shot that I took on Tuesday morning after talking to customer service to know they are not doing a good job communicating with fans.

It says Q2 (and it is now Q3 and almost Q4) and that it is "on a boat".  All when it had already been shipped to distributors and was released (even if accidentally) by Target. 

There is no way it could be released in Q2, "on a boat", at distributors, and at some retailers at the same time.  They should have updated this page a long time ago.  I'm not saying it was my call that did it (maybe they were just about to do it anyway and this is just a coincidence), but they changed it within 30 minutes AFTER I called customer service to ask for the CEOs info so I could complain about the situation. FFG needs to work on this for future releases.

The one thing they did that I am very happy about is that the released the rules before the game. I also appreciated the previews. So, there is at least some bright side.


4 X-Wing  •  3 Y-Wing  •  2 A-Wing  •  2 YT-1300  •  4 B-Wing  •  2 HWK-290

 

8 TIE Fighter  •  2 TIE Advanced X1  •  5 TIE Interceptor  • 2 Firespray 31  •  6 TIE Bomber  •  2 Lambda Class Shuttle

 


#10 thatfargone

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 06:08 AM

 Well to comment on a few things….what WAS the "street date"  I saw nothing anywhere…just the vague mid-september.  My guess is there was no date.  Based on reports it seems everyone started selling as soon as they got them. With Target seemingly getting them first.  I'm critical of the non-communication.  A simple…hey guys we just realized we did start shipping them.  Sorry we were unable to give you a better idea.  This is simple customer service.  They didn't update the site, didn't respond in the threads…they just sat their silent which to me is the polar opposite of a "leading publisher" and to me shows an utter lack of care for their fan base.

I'm aware production delays occur and behind the scenes issues happen in business all the time…which is why when it always happens to the same companies…to me it is a red flag of them not doing business very well.  Again, this is mainly me being used to other publishers and their treatment of their fans.  The ability to handle those delays and issues without tipping off your customers or making them "wait" is the mark of a quality business.  Rule #1 of customer service is "under estimate, over deliver"  If FFG gave a hard mid October release date on an actual date, received their stock, shipped it to all retail at the same time with a street date…we would all have the game on the same day…without waiting with no idea of exactly when it comes.  FFG seems to not understand the basis of great customer service.  Its sad since this is again my first experience with them and needless to say it had really come across to me that maybe this company isn't worth supporting with my sales if they care so little in keeping their fans content in a professional manner.  Much like El_Tonio wrote a letter I feel I should do the same. However, this thread would be the perfect opportunity for FFG games to do better at communicating with us, the supporters of this product and do anything to try and insure us they will strive to do better in the future.  

 

Is it THAT hard for them to have someone look into the forums and occasionally say hey guys…hold on more info is coming?  



#11 thatfargone

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 06:10 AM

Highball said:

DavicusPrime said:

 

There's another game I've been chomping at the bit for called Super Dungeon Explore by Soda Pop Miniatures.  And their lack of hard date and communication for the next expansion has been just as messed up.  I originally was going to grab both X-Wing and The SDE expansion as both were supposed to hit mid to late Sept.  As it turned out, I heard rumors that SDE had slid with no official word from the company and Mini Market unable to get better info either, I just doubled my X-Wing order and dumped the SDE expansion back to my wishlist.

Both companies had product to sell at the cons.  But unless you were fortunate enough to be at one, you're out of luck.

In FFG's defense, they did state that they were aiming for a mid to late Sept release.  They never promised a specific date.  I wish they had, but in the end they hit the target (no pun intended) with the same level of accuracy as the stated release time was given.  It is mid to late September after all.

It would have been nice to get more official chatter on the release, but I'm suspecting there is more behind the scenes wrangling going on than any of us are privy to.

-DavicusPrime

 

 

 

Actually, multiple FFG employees/volunteers quoted 8/31 as the release date at GenCon.  I heard this first hand multiple times at their booth.

 

Soooo what about us that were not at GenCon?  Still shows a lack of care and professionalism.  How hard was it for them to post in the forum.  Hell, if any FFG games guys had a smart phone…why didn't they take 30 seconds to post in the forums while at Gen Con?  Why not add it to their official site coverage???  All these things scream unprofessional.



#12 dvang

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:03 AM

FYI:

You have no idea whether this is Q2 or Q3 for FFG.  Company Quarter period dates will differ between companies, and do not necessarily follow the actual yearly season. For example, in some companies Q1 doesn't start until March. So, Q2 for FFG could end in October for all we know.

I'm not saying that FFG isn't having problems with poor customer service. Sometimes the product pages don't seem to get updated often enough, and yes, FFG response on the forums has gotten worse, such that it is a rare case where an FFG employee will make a comment now.



#13 Highball

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:09 AM

When the company has said 3Q for X-Wing release and it shows up in September, then says wave 2 will be targeted for December and the preview says 4Q, it is pretty definite that they work on a normal fiscal cycle.

 

Further, to not be on a normal fiscal cycle but to use your own definition of quarters anyway would go beyond miscommunication and and border on deception in my mind.  I highly doubt any company would do this.



#14 kaffis

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:22 AM

DavicusPrime said:

Nalydd said:

 

 

Yeah, like all of the FFG staff have gone to the Bahamas with all of our money!

 

 

Actually, they were attending multiple conventions marketing their shiny new games with so much success, such that we're whining about having to wait a few extra weeks to get our own copies.

Mission Accomplished, FFG.

-DavicusPrime

This, basically.

 

The street date for the game was, what, yesterday? And I think a lot of people in this thread, particularly those who admit they're used to WotC, overestimate how big an operation FFG is. They don't have a huge staff, guys, and that staff is just coming off the convention cycle. That's a lot of busy activity for them. They've been scrambling with the release of Android: Netrunner and X-Wing within a span of a week or so, and they've just announced the first expansions for each game this week, too.



#15 Feqz

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:35 AM

As I don't know the FFG definition for Q1 etc. your argument could be right. On the other hand it is for the unlearned reader (us) so I'd guess Q1 should mean somewhat between january and march. 

But that is not an uncommon thing in the gaming industry. Publishers tend to scedule their products early. Most of the time this will not be the real release date. Sad but true.

Another thing is a question concerning a game rule. I can understand you that you'd like to have an quick answer in the forums but may be this is not the best sollution concerning all players (some might miss it and in the end you get a confused player base). I personally tend to like quick updated FAQ and errata.

While a quick answer sometimes in the forum would really be much appreceated I've come to see the FFG-forum a place to look for help from other gamers.

Having said this much of my opinion I do undersand you and yes at the moment reactions tend to be slow. I also guess that's due to the work which came with the actual conventions and fairs. AND I HOPE THIS WILL GET BETTER SOON

 

FFG PLEASE UPDATE THE LOTR QUEST LOG!!!



#16 herozeromes

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:38 AM

The main thing people don't realize is that FFG people don't really get on these forums at all. These forums are for the fans of their games to discuss things on. If you contact them directly by emailing them with a question you will usually get a response within 2-3 days, which is completely reasonable for a company of this size. I have learned to email them directly if no one on the forums has any idea and I have been satisfied with the timeliness of their email replies.



#17 El_Tonio

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:40 AM

Highball said:

 

When the company has said 3Q for X-Wing release and it shows up in September, then says wave 2 will be targeted for December and the preview says 4Q, it is pretty definite that they work on a normal fiscal cycle.

 

Further, to not be on a normal fiscal cycle but to use your own definition of quarters anyway would go beyond miscommunication and and border on deception in my mind.  I highly doubt any company would do this.

 

 

+1… If they are not on a standard annual cycle, they need to be clear about this further supporting the point.

Also, when I talked to customer service I thought they said they had 90 employees in at least 2 different buildings.  If this is correct (does anyone know?), this is not huge, but not small either. 


4 X-Wing  •  3 Y-Wing  •  2 A-Wing  •  2 YT-1300  •  4 B-Wing  •  2 HWK-290

 

8 TIE Fighter  •  2 TIE Advanced X1  •  5 TIE Interceptor  • 2 Firespray 31  •  6 TIE Bomber  •  2 Lambda Class Shuttle

 


#18 thatfargone

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:45 AM

kaffis said:

DavicusPrime said:

 

Nalydd said:

 

 

Yeah, like all of the FFG staff have gone to the Bahamas with all of our money!

 

 

Actually, they were attending multiple conventions marketing their shiny new games with so much success, such that we're whining about having to wait a few extra weeks to get our own copies.

Mission Accomplished, FFG.

-DavicusPrime

 

 

This, basically.

 

The street date for the game was, what, yesterday? And I think a lot of people in this thread, particularly those who admit they're used to WotC, overestimate how big an operation FFG is. They don't have a huge staff, guys, and that staff is just coming off the convention cycle. That's a lot of busy activity for them. They've been scrambling with the release of Android: Netrunner and X-Wing within a span of a week or so, and they've just announced the first expansions for each game this week, too.

kaffis said:

DavicusPrime said:

 

Nalydd said:

 

 

Yeah, like all of the FFG staff have gone to the Bahamas with all of our money!

 

 

Actually, they were attending multiple conventions marketing their shiny new games with so much success, such that we're whining about having to wait a few extra weeks to get our own copies.

Mission Accomplished, FFG.

-DavicusPrime

 

 

This, basically.

 

The street date for the game was, what, yesterday? And I think a lot of people in this thread, particularly those who admit they're used to WotC, overestimate how big an operation FFG is. They don't have a huge staff, guys, and that staff is just coming off the convention cycle. That's a lot of busy activity for them. They've been scrambling with the release of Android: Netrunner and X-Wing within a span of a week or so, and they've just announced the first expansions for each game this week, too.

kaffis said:

DavicusPrime said:

 

Nalydd said:

 

 

Yeah, like all of the FFG staff have gone to the Bahamas with all of our money!

 

 

Actually, they were attending multiple conventions marketing their shiny new games with so much success, such that we're whining about having to wait a few extra weeks to get our own copies.

Mission Accomplished, FFG.

-DavicusPrime

 

 

This, basically.

 

The street date for the game was, what, yesterday? And I think a lot of people in this thread, particularly those who admit they're used to WotC, overestimate how big an operation FFG is. They don't have a huge staff, guys, and that staff is just coming off the convention cycle. That's a lot of busy activity for them. They've been scrambling with the release of Android: Netrunner and X-Wing within a span of a week or so, and they've just announced the first expansions for each game this week, too.

 

See thats EXACTLY what we are being critical of.  Regardless of size…there is certainly room for them as a company to improve communication.  I feel as a company FFG would welcome this type of thread and use it as an opportunity to improve and see it simply as constructive criticism. 

I guess you could boil my issues down to once simple thing:  Perception.

FFG is clearly trying to present themselves to the consumer public as The "leading publisher"  The fact they have so many big licenses,especially the indusrty juggernaut that Star Wars is…to me, demands a higher level of quality and customer service.  With that said, the game looks amazing, its why I pre-ordered my first FFG product.  I also feel that if they do continue to handle things like this, which in my opinion is a shoestring and amateurish, then the games longevity given LFL's expectations of how their IP is handled, is in serious jeopardy.  Also, since El_Tonio took the initiative I also planning to send a letter to LFL and FFG to express my opinion and hope this is not how every release will be handled in the future and urge anyone else new to FFG to do the same or at least fully explain your disappointment in this thread. I also urge FFG to look at how they handle releases and see if they feel they can as a company make improvements to the communication and expectations of their consumers.

Again, this is all coming from me as a first impression. I DO hope that impression changes.  I see no reason for a official "fan" forum.  They want to be seen as the leaders in their industry…they should welcome forum criticism and actually have a presence in their own forums.  It is good they answer emails, but is it THAT hard for them to have someone watch the forums  and open a dialog? Is it that hard to award longtime fans and forum members some moderation with a direct line to the company to speak on behalf of them?  I know for a fact other small companies use this in their forums ot great success. Until they address some of these criticism, its hard to take them seriously.  



#19 tiepilot1138

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:15 AM

While I agree that FFG communication has been lackluster, I don't think we need to go crying to LFL just yet.  They do have what seems to be a spectacular thing going here, and it would be a terrible shame to jeopardize that because we're impatient about getting it (me just as much as any of us).



#20 thatfargone

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:25 AM

 It is certainly not my intention to "ruin" anything.  If fans/consumers are unhappy LFL should know.  I mean…..this IS Star Wars we are talking about.  One of the largest if not the largest license in the world. 

FFG is showing a lower level of customer service than the last license holder, Wizards of the Coast ever has in my opinion.  Which is really the basis of my criticism.  Again…this is Star Wars…this is the big boys realm of licensing.  Trust me it will be FFG that will jeopardize the longevity of this game, not any of us that feel let down by their communication.  Which quite frankly should be much higher given the status in the consumer world of the Star Wars brand.  I certainly feel LFL would feel this way.  

Let's just say this isn't the first Star Wars star ship based collectible game I have taken an interest in…and lets also say none of them have ended well.  All were prematurely ended.  I just want FFG to know where they can improve because I am coming to this product as a Star Wars fan, not a Fantasy Flight fan and as this thread already suggests I am not alone in my expectaions for the Star Wars brand being handled better.






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