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FFGSteve

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  1. Yes everyone FFG will be at Celebration and we will have X-wing for sale, as well as doing demos all during the show. Please come by and say hi, you will also want to check out the amazing table we bring for demos. Hope to see you there. Cheers, FFGSteve
  2. I don't know where your friend got his information from but it is completely false. The three hundred copies we shipped to Gen Con were planned to sell out and sent to the the show to spark interest and excitement in the book and has nothing to do with the thousands of books heading to Europe for sale, nothing has changed or been diverted because of Gen Con. Stay tuned to the web site for details as we get closer to the launch of this awesome tome. Best, Steve Horvath VP Marketing & Communication Fantasy Flight Games
  3. Hello everyone, Card of the week will return this week, no conspiracy, we just got behind getting the new catalog out. So relax and look forward to much more Warhammer goodness for years to come. Trust me we are just getting started, as one of the in house play testers I can tell you that this next cycle will blow your mind. See you on the battlefield, Steve Horvath
  4. Sorry for the delay everyone. The Malleus Maleficarum tournament rules have been posted.
  5. Hello everyone, It’s finally time for the December 2009 SOTG. I have a lot I want to go over. First I want to recap/review the last two years of the game, I think it is important to see where we’ve been, to understand where we are at. So here we go: Release 8 came out in February 2008, selling well. Some concerns surfaced about the card pool and the impact it would have on the meta game, including the extremely hard to get starter box topper Blood Runs True. On top of that, shortly after the set’s release it was announced that Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) had bought UFS from Sabertooth Games (STG) and that STG was being shut down. This 11th hour rescue by FFG saved UFS from being shut down along with STG, but was a big shock to the play community. When combined with the issues release 8 caused with the card pool, the bad economy, and a general decline in CCG’s, we saw many players leave the game. In hindsight, it is also clear that many left because they were just ready to move on. The game was at its two year mark, which is longer than most CCG’s survive, and they were ready to go. Release 9 was slightly late but sold very well on release. The Darkstalkers set even sold out, which was the first time that had happened in quite a while. It was clear during the Summer tournament season that the meta game had improvement, but that cards would need to be banned. During that Summer, James Hata was hired to become the new lead designer and agreed to start after Gen Con so he could take his last shot at immortality. James did indeed win Gen Con, but the convention had issues in addition to the card pool, where we banned some key problem cards. There were space issues that forced us to run grinders to qualify for the main event, and while I was able to secure extra space at the last minute to accommodate everyone who attended, dozens of players stayed away because of the issue. Release 10 debuted at Gen Con and will unfortunately go down as one of the worst received sets in the game’s history. This, combined with the recent bans (which was a no-win situation because if we didn’t ban those cards, people still would have left), the lingering meta game issues, and a worsening economy, caused even more players to leave the game. Release 11 was better received but by now our extensive analysis of sales showed the player base had dropped to under 1,000 players and was in critical condition. FFG believed in the game and instead of canceling it, decided to put a massive push behind the game to try and turn it around. Several initiatives were enacted over the year, the first of which was the third anniversary promotion for the 12th release. Release 12 was slightly late and came out in March. This was also the month the UFS invitational took place, another huge and expensive effort to turn things around. Yes, I know that STG had promised to hold an invitational, but FFG did not have to follow through on a promise it did not make, especially for a game that was struggling so badly. Fifty one people attended the event but everyone had a great time, and I consider it a success. It was a good morale boosting event. Unfortunately the same can not be said for the third anniversary promotion, though we had around 200 stores sign up for the event and receive the free displays of product, sales increased only slightly. At this point, we needed to take more action to try and turn things around, analyzing every facet of the business. We decided to begin offering one set every release instead of two. With the economy in such bad shape, we hoped that releasing fewer cards, thereby making it easier to play the game, would bring back old players and attract new ones. We also made the decision to stop printing foil cards in an effort to hold down costs and minimize our losses. You see, when it comes to printing CCG’s it is all about volume – the more cards you print, the cheaper they are. However, by this point in time the volumes were so low that the print costs for each display were astronomical. Also, to address the meta game we banned several cards over the Summer in an attempt to open things up. We also announced a special mini-block format that we hoped would serve two purposes. One, give the players upset with the current meta game another format to play and enjoy. Two, it was a great way for new players to get in the game without having to chase down so many older sets. Eighty six players played in the World Championship at Gen Con, and it was clear that the number of massive bans over the Summer was not enough, and that the meta was still in bad shape. This presented a problem that only drastic action could address, as the number of cards that would need to be banned was unacceptable. We decided that we had to go with the nuclear option that we had hoped to avoid, and we announced early rotation. Pre-orders for the new Tekken set spiked almost overnight. We did ship out more Tekken at release than we had of any set since the Release 9, and it looked liked things were finally turning around. Sadly, it turned out that the rotation announcement, combined with the beefed up pre-release kits, caused the sales to front load and therefore orders were scarce. Even though people really loved the set it has sold only a little stronger than each of the release 12 sets. This means that everything came down to the performance of the new Soulcalibur 4 set. To give it every chance to succeed we made a new fight life kit at an incredible price. We also added sets from release 12 and earlier to our recent Christmas sale, to try and get more people in the game. Sadly, we sold very, very little of ether the kit, or the Christmas sale product. Even worse, the Soulcalibur numbers have declined slightly. As painful as it is for me to say this, it is no longer viable for us to continue to move forward publishing the game. We have had significantly fewer than 1,000 players for over a year now, and the time has finally come to stop. This means we will not be printing anymore UFS and that the OP kits we are shipping out this month are going to be the last. All OP will end with these kits. We literally emptied the store room and sent virtually everything we had left. We were shorted promos during this last print run, and I had hoped to fix the situation with the next printing, but unfortunately no more new cards are coming, and that will no longer happen. Not only have we cancelled UFS, but we also announced today that the Kingdom Hearts CCG is cancelled as well. FFG is now officially out of the CCG business as the category has declined beyond the point where we can make it work for us. Only Magic and a very small handful of CCG’s are still viable in today’s market and nearly all of those others have a cartoon or anime behind them. We will instead focus on our other categories where we are experiencing much greater success, including our LCG category which has beaten our most optimistic expectations. I know many will ask why we do not convert UFS into a LCG? The biggest reason is that it is not feasible to work with the multiple licenses it would require, and frankly with a player base of fewer than 1,000 players for over a year, it is beyond recovery. UFS had an amazing run of nearly four years, which is forever in the harsh world of declining CCG sales. If you add the more than two years during which we worked on the game before launch, I have dedicated more than six years of my life to this game. I simply cannot express to you the deep sadness I feel, which I know many of you share. I want to thank everyone who has worked on or helped this great game over the years, from my Spartans in Memphis (without whom none of this would have been possible), to the folks here at FFG who continued to support the game to try and turn it around beyond all reason, as well as the rules moderators, play testers, tournament organizers, and the amazing players who did so much over the years. No one could ask for more, or a better group of people. This is my final SOTG. Thank you all for the greatest ride of my life. I look forward to playing the game for years and years to come, as it will always be one of my all time favorite games, but first I need to put it aside for a while as it is just too painful right now. Final round - fight, Steve
  6. Hey everyone, I know everyone is waiting for the SOTG, I am crazy busy getting several things done before the holiday but I promise to ahve the SOTG up by December 21st at the latest. See you in the arena, Steve
  7. contact Rick Nauertz at: rnauertz@fantasyflightgames.com darklogos said: How do we get setup with b2b. I've been trying to find out but I found no links. My store owner is a bit out of the loop on things. So the b2b stuff makes it harder on me as the scout. Is there anyway for me to get around this. There are a lot of good cards being offered I would like to get to my players but man it seems I'm locked out of this.
  8. Yea the deadline is November 13th, sorry about that. Steve ROTBI said: P.S. Steve, it says the deadline to order is in August.
  9. Welcome to the state of the game for October 2009. A somewhat quiet month but there are a few things to cover, so lets get started. First up the pre release for set 14 will be held on the weekend of November 20, 21, 22. Find full details here: http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=861 make sure your store does not miss out. Next up is store championships, the deadline to sign up is October 23rd. Make sure your store signs up before it is to late. Details can be found here: http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=852 To help people who are coming back to the game catch up, we have a new Fight life kit available next week from our web store. It includes one display of Soulcalibur boosters, one display of ShadoWar boosters, two copies of The Devil Within promo card, two copies of Heir to the Storm promo card, two copies of power of the Edge, and two copies of Clash of the Ages promo card. All for only $49.95 plus shipping, retailers who wish to order please contact Rick Nauertz at: rnauertz@fantasyflightgames.com I know there are problems with the tournament software, we are working to have a new version ready by early next year. No bans or errata this month. That’s about it for this month, short and sweet. James will start previews. Oh yea my Mitsurugi deck is still wreaking house! See you in the arena, Steve
  10. A very interesting thread, thank you for the insight. See you in the arena, Steve
  11. Welcome to this months SOTG. First I want to congratulate the new UK champion Joe Hill, who also was runner up at worlds this year, well done Joe! Tekken is out now and seems to have gotten a good response. The new rotation is in full effect now with several reports of renewed play groups with players coming back to the game now that it is fighting game again. I know this was a highly debated issue but it was clearly the right thing to do. We have announced store championships, see this article for details if you missed it http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=807 Currently I’m playing Astrid, Zi Mei, promo Jin, Kazuya, and Mitsurugi from the next set. the most decks I’ve had built in years. Mitsurugi has only lost to Hata playing himself and it came down to game 3 when he killed me he was at 4 life. At Gen Con I talked about set 14, Soulcalibur IV, releasing in October. With the renewed interest in the game and returning players rushing to catch up with set 12 and the excitement surrounding set 13 we have decided to release it the first week of December instead. This blocks cards will be around for a very long time and this should give everyone plenty of time to get what they need the long run and to fight it out for the store championships! Remember you can play in as many store championship tournaments as there are stores running them that you can get to, how many titles will be able to take? City championships will start early 2010. Pushing the release of set 14 back will also help ensure that we are back on a regular three month release schedule, with set 15 coming out in March 2010. As I’ve stated the sets will get bigger with set 15 to help balance out having less sets release in a year while still making sure it is not to much product a year. We want to make sure we find the best possible balance. Which will mean reviewing the release schedule over the next several months (listening to players, retailers, and distributors along with reviewing several factors,etc.) to see if it might be better to maybe release six sets a year (basically every other month) or maybe five sets year (one every ten weeks). As I said we will be looking at this very hard over the next several months. No bans this month. That’s it for now, short and sweet. Until next month... See you in the arena, Steve
  12. Hey everyone, I'm working on the SOTG and hope to have it up today or tomorrow. So don't panic it is on it's way. See you in the arena, Steve
  13. Hey everyone, If you have won a regional championship this year before Gen Con please e-mail me at: regionalchampion@fantasyflightgames.com You need to include your name and mailing address. I will double check this against our list and hope to mail out the extra championship prizes by mid September. Congratulations again to all of the winners.
  14. Luthon said: WIll FFG print more SCIV booster boxes? My LGS likes to keep up with the current format but we cant seem to get SCIV packs for some reason we can get decks but not boosters. this is strange because we still have it in stock. Steve
  15. Hello everyone, welcome to the August 2009 SOTG. It is one of the most important ones I have ever written, if not he most important. So please read it carefully take five minutes then read it again before you start posting. OK lets get started. By now it looks like everyone has heard the news talked to people there or seen the video, etc. Now let me go into more detail and answer lingering questions I see on the boards. Before I get into the big announcement I want to congratulate house UFS for winning team worlds and capping an amazing year with team member Paul Bittner breaking his finals curse and walking away the new world Champion, also big props go to Ryan Riley for taking the Legacy championship crown this year, well done guys. First of all this was not a decision made on a whim or taken lightly as some people suggest. I have said for while now that the meta was a in a bad place and drastic measures needed to be taken to fix it. That is why james and I banned and errata so many cards the past couple of months, hoping that would make the environment healthy enough to get by until the next rotation. Rotating was a nuclear option only considered when everything else failed to work. Just think about it for a minute, making hasty decisions is not in our best interests, we have too much at stake. Now before I go any further I want to point out that if your play group really liked block 3 you can still run all of your events that way every month ( I will explain how OP is changing to make that work below) the only tournaments that we saying need to be block 4 are the store championships, which I had already announced months ago so nothing has changed there. Let me say this one more time. If you want to keep running block 3 events (or any other format you want, legacy, 4 point only, etc.) in your store you can, all you need to do is make it clear beforehand so players are not surprised when they show up to play. So as I was saying early rotation was only done after every other effort, including creating a mini block format to help stores and new players get into the game easily did not work. I understand why some people are upset and I’m truly sorry for that, if there was some way to make everyone happy of course I would do it but sales, tournament attendance, number of stores carrying the game, etc. showed why this had to be done for the overall health of the game. I’m making sure that you have a good, strong, healthy game to play 1, 2, 5, years from now. Already I’ve had stores, and even a distributor contact me to say they are seeing a renewed interest in the game. More excitement than I’ve seen in well over a year. Now back to OP. We are making it easier to run whatever type of event, league, format you want. This is how it will work. Your scout or store signs up for tournament support and we will send out a support packet that you run run whatever type of event you want as long as you announce it before so that everyone knows what to expect when they show up to play. Your group only wants to play legacy go ahead, you want to run 4 star only events, alright, you want to stay with block 3, great here is your support, and of course you can run the new standard block 4 events, which many people have told me that is all they are running after Gen Con. I will announce full details in a few days but you can see it is a much easier, more comprehensive system. I also want to say a few words about legacy. You can see from the above legacy will have more in store support than it has ever had and yes we will run championship events for it at US Nats and Worlds with trophies and other prizes. Now just to make sure everyone is on the same page I am going to go over the announcement I made at Gen Con again. AS of September 1st, 2009 block 3 (4 point shuriken) will rotate out and the new block 4 format will become the new standard format. On top of that rotation is being reset to happen right after Gen Con every year going forward and with the reset of rotation 5 point shuriken cards will not rotate until after Gen Con 2011, just like the first few sets lasted when the game first came out. One of the questions has been if I’m concerned about not having enough characters in the new format. No, for a couple of different reasons. First the block 4 characters are on a much more even playing field than has been the case for most the games existence, meaning that they are all much more playable. We have had times in this game where we had literally hundreds of characters to choose from but only a hand full that ever saw play because the others were just not good enough. Also we just printed 13 new promo characters with the latest round of promos, only one of which (Astrid, who will most likely only be used to stack with the current one) is brand new. this gives us a total of 21 characters for the format Sept 1st (8 each from the base sets, 5 more from Tekken) The 12 new promo characters mentioned above that we will release as a priority, and 5 more SC4 characters coming in October which brings the total to 33 very quickly. Other have asked about concern about the size of the block 4 card pool. Again we do not believe this is an issue as the 2 base sets are close to almost 300 cards plus promos, Tekken brings another 99 plus promos, add to that another 99 from the upcoming SoulCalibur 4 set, and the fact that future sets will get a bit bigger, which also means more characters. We strongly believe the game will recapture the same great feeling it had in the beginning and might even be more fun than even then. Finally, people have asked why this announcement was done at Gen Con, well it is the biggest single gathering of players I had access to and it is a complicated issue that I believe was better to talk about face to face with as many players as possible. That’s all for now, if you have questions post them to this thread and I will get to as many as possible in a couple of weeks during Septembers STOG. Until then. See you in the arena, Steve
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