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Redsavina

FFG is Losing My Trust

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I have been a dedicated board game player for almost 8 years now, and I spend a couple thousand dollars each year on the hobby. Right now, my Board Game Geek collection sits at 381 items. I own about 70 titles, and the rest of those numbers are made up of mostly FFG add on content.

I take my gaming seriously, and once I select a game to invest into, I typically go all in. I buy playmats, aftermarket tokens and components, storage boxes, extra dice, card sleeves, promo content, etc... 

However, after making my investment and showing support for FFG games, I feel disregarded and unsupported as a customer when they all of the sudden reboot a game, require additional purchasing requirements to continue playing the game, or simply quit the game all of the sudden. That's a very inconsiderate way to treat your customers.

As excited as I get for new releases, I am now becoming extremely cautious about buying FFG games. These issues have happened to me with Mansions of Madness (had to buy conversion kits for v2), X-Wing (asking $150 plus the v2 core box in order to keep playing), Cosmic Encounter now has a new Core Box v2, and now my Android Netrunner collection is wasted (I own over 3/4 of all released content).

In the past, I have freely invested in FFG titles that looked interesting, but my purchase decisions are changing to adjust for FFG's recent business model. Now, I am going to keep my money in my wallet or spend it on other products which are supported and maintained by other companies who care about their customers. If FFG doesn't need my money, that's fine, but I am done with investing in games that die or get rebooted and require additional money to keep playing.

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Nobody is coming to your house to burn all of your n-1th Edition products. If FFG releases something new, it’s because they think they can either make improvements and/or get the attention of new users.

As for Netrunner it’s unfortunate but if the license partner doesn’t want to continue the arrangement there is nothing they can do. 

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A buddy of mine helped me keep things in perspective when you compare the cost of games to a movie ticket. These days, a ticket costs you about $12, not counting snacks. That gets you about 2-ish hours of entertainment. So in comparison, a $50 board game should in essence get you at least 8-9 hours of entertainment to equate. Anything more is bonus. I am pretty sure you (the OP) have gotten more than your money's worth out of your current BG collection. And nothing says that you can't still keep playing it as is. But going all in on everything pretty much falls on your shoulders, not FFG. They don't say you need all promo cards, 3rd party tokens, accessories, etc.... Those are added expenses you decided to add to enhance your personal preference of playing experience (and there is nothing wrong with that at all). But things happen. We don't know for sure why NR is getting shut down and probably won't ever (unless some higher up who was apart of the conversation leaks the details) so it is what it is. X-Wing was obviously in need of an overhaul and has been out for a ridiculously long time. I know I got an insane amount of entertainment per dollar for the investment I have made in that game. 

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Who forced you to buy the 2nd edition of Mansions of Madness?  Was the first edition rendered unplayable? It's not a competitive game. 5 years between editions is ok. It had been 3 years since the last product was released. A 2nd edition was the way to go.
The conversion kit buy in is painful for X-Wing, but if you want to stay current, it's necessary. 1E has been going through odd changes for most of its life cycle. It might not need the 2nd edition we're getting, but it needs one. Again, the game has been out for 7 years without an edition change; that's a good run.  I daresay dedicated Warhammer and MtG players have larger drains on their wallets.
Look on the bright side; at least there's an end in sight for your Netrunner collection.  You can still play. 

I'm sorry you feel like FFG is doing you wrong, but none of the reasons you've listed are objectively bad moves on their end or part of an exploitative business model.  If anything,  X-wing should have gotten a make over 2 -3 years ago. Cosmic Encounter has what, over a dozen editions?

I've fallen more and more out of love with FFG's expandable competitive games. I know there are reasons to be frustrated with them.

Edited by qwertyuiop

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4 hours ago, Redsavina said:

I have been a dedicated board game player for almost 8 years now...

I've been a dedicated board/CCG/LCG player for ~23 years. These things aren't new, and are a normal part of the hobby. Companies don't know us like our gaming buddies or the FLGS owner who knows us by name, so it's a waste of energy to care too deeply about a company that doesn't care about you. They release products, and we vote with our wallets if we like what they're offering. The hardest of the hardcore fans can get as vocal as they want, but in the end sales are what drives business decisions. There was gnashing of teeth when WHFB changed over to AoS, some guy even filmed himself burning his minis in protest, but in the end the sales figures told GW that they made the right decision. WotC killed off Netrunner because it didn't immediately sell at MtG levels (that was painful to witness), and when FFG demonstrated how a dead game with great mechanics sells well when it's properly invested in, the whole industry was publicly shown that WotC made a huge mistake. It wouldn't surprise me if the licensing agreement was allowed to die out of sheer spite.

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3 hours ago, Grimwalker said:

Nobody is coming to your house to burn all of your n-1th Edition products. If FFG releases something new, it’s because they think they can either make improvements and/or get the attention of new users.

As for Netrunner it’s unfortunate but if the license partner doesn’t want to continue the arrangement there is nothing they can do. 


Grimwalker, 

Do you really have to troll on everyones posts?

How do you know what FFG's intentions are?  Do you work for them?  Ever consider this is a business, and its a strategy to gain financial resources?  You think their CEO is up at night worrying about the customer experience when they do stuff like this?  Its more about $$$ than anything else.  Your responses are annoying bro.....

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2 hours ago, qwertyuiop said:

Who forced you to buy the 2nd edition of Mansions of Madness?  Was the first edition rendered unplayable? It's not a competitive game. 5 years between editions is ok. It had been 3 years since the last product was released. A 2nd edition was the way to go.
The conversion kit buy in is painful for X-Wing, but if you want to stay current, it's necessary. 1E has been going through odd changes for most of its life cycle. It might not need the 2nd edition we're getting, but it needs one. Again, the game has been out for 7 years without an edition change; that's a good run.  I daresay dedicated Warhammer and MtG players have larger drains on their wallets.
Look on the bright side; at least there's an end in sight for your Netrunner collection.  You can still play. 

I'm sorry you feel like FFG is doing you wrong, but none of the reasons you've listed are objectively bad moves on their end or part of an exploitative business model.  If anything,  X-wing should have gotten a make over 2 -3 years ago. Cosmic Encounter has what, over a dozen editions?

I've fallen more and more out of love with FFG's expandable competitive games. I know there are reasons to be frustrated with them.

Forced.....no, nobody forces you to buy board games, come on now.  However, it was entirely possible for them to create an app for the original game, then add content to it without resetting the entire title.  Their decision to do that is primarily financial, and as a customer, it makes loyal customers question the companies loyalty to their customers, who are the ones who provide revenue for their business.

I believe whatever problems that exist with X-wing falls upon development.  Whats the primary problem, power creep?  Havent the developers listened to a few episodes of "Drive To Work" and realize that after a couple of waves, they will begin to experience this problem?  No, not when $$$ is involved. Cash grab now, then deal with the ramifications later.  Wow....

Bright side with my Netrunner cards?  As of last week, I could have sold my collection for $225 probably, but now I would be lucky to get $50 for it.  Doesnt sound so bright to me.  Oh, and ethically I would need to disclose to any buyer that the game is dead, and then lets see if it will even sell for $50.

After all of these examples, I think FFG should be forced to place an Expiration Date on their games.  Some type of disclosure on the front of the box that says "If you invest in this game, we are going to either stop supporting it or require that you purchase revised content by XX/XX/XXXX."  I know that would make me think twice about investing in a title.  At least that would inform customers, rather than just seeing a random post on their website that your $500 investment is worth nothing now.  Oh, but that would require them to reveal their marketing strategy from the beginning of the release of a new title, which would hurt sales.  

I am all for a company making money to produce great games, just be up front and honest with your loyal customers.

Edited by Redsavina

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7 hours ago, Redsavina said:

I have been a dedicated board game player for almost 8 years now, and I spend a couple thousand dollars each year on the hobby. Right now, my Board Game Geek collection sits at 381 items. I own about 70 titles, and the rest of those numbers are made up of mostly FFG add on content.

I take my gaming seriously, and once I select a game to invest into, I typically go all in. I buy playmats, aftermarket tokens and components, storage boxes, extra dice, card sleeves, promo content, etc... 

However, after making my investment and showing support for FFG games, I feel disregarded and unsupported as a customer when they all of the sudden reboot a game, require additional purchasing requirements to continue playing the game, or simply quit the game all of the sudden. That's a very inconsiderate way to treat your customers.

As excited as I get for new releases, I am now becoming extremely cautious about buying FFG games. These issues have happened to me with Mansions of Madness (had to buy conversion kits for v2), X-Wing (asking $150 plus the v2 core box in order to keep playing), Cosmic Encounter now has a new Core Box v2, and now my Android Netrunner collection is wasted (I own over 3/4 of all released content).

In the past, I have freely invested in FFG titles that looked interesting, but my purchase decisions are changing to adjust for FFG's recent business model. Now, I am going to keep my money in my wallet or spend it on other products which are supported and maintained by other companies who care about their customers. If FFG doesn't need my money, that's fine, but I am done with investing in games that die or get rebooted and require additional money to keep playing.

Again, don't get what you are so upset about.Do you like the games you invested in? what prevents you to keep on playing them? Would it be because they are no longer the latest thing in fashion?

Enjoy what you have. This is what is great with our hobby. It physical. It stay in your home. No one will take it away from you. You would be cut from the world for 6 month and wouldn't have heard from the stop of ANR, I bet you would still dedicate time to it.

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1 hour ago, Redsavina said:


Grimwalker, 

Do you really have to troll on everyones posts?

Yes he does, he really really does.

 

Look, coming out with the shinny new model is what companies do. I don't care what that company produces. Seriously, how many times does Microsoft have to reinvent the word processor? New editions is how they stay in business since they aren't making any money today off the stuff people bought yesterday.

The question is, is there value in the new edition? Was MoM 2 better than MoM 1 and worth paying for? If no, don't buy it. If yes, well you got an upgrade. It is up to us consumers to maximize the value of the products we buy and not go chasing after the next new pretty until we are ready to do so. You don't need to buy a new phone every year but then again, when your phone breaks and there is a new pretty on the market, maybe you aren't so heart broken.

If the games you own aren't broken, play them and enjoy them.

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4 hours ago, qwertyuiop said:

I'm sorry you feel like FFG is doing you wrong, but none of the reasons you've listed are objectively bad moves on their end or part of an exploitative business model.  If anything,  X-wing should have gotten a make over 2 -3 years ago. Cosmic Encounter has what, over a dozen editions?

I agree with OP as far as the collectible front of FFG is concerned -- their brand can only be considered highly untrustworthy now. Shipping and fulfillment problems, sudden cancellations, and a tendency to reboot collectible product(s)...Yikes. 

1 hour ago, Grimwalker said:

Just today, Team Covenant dropped a video detailing all the whys and wherefores for X-Wing 2nd Edition. There were problems that needed solving. 

I've said this before on Board Game Geek and I believe on these forums as well -- Team Covenant puts out fantastic content, but their business model as far as I'm aware relies almost exclusively on the existence of FFG's line of collectible products. If FFG were to suddenly disappear overnight, so too would TC's business. At this point I consider TC an extension of FFG's marketing arm.  

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11 minutes ago, Mep said:

Look, coming out with the shinny new model is what companies do. I don't care what that company produces. Seriously, how many times does Microsoft have to reinvent the word processor? 

I think that analogy works better for board games proper than it does for collectible games. Hearing, "Hey thanks for supporting X-Wing over the last Y years! Now please deposit $150 if you'd like to keep playing the game in tournaments with your friends" is a tough pill to swallow.  

13 minutes ago, Mep said:

New editions is how they stay in business since they aren't making any money today off the stuff people bought yesterday.

Not (traditionally) for collectible games. That has been the function of expansion packs. They add new content to the game to keep players interested and refresh the revenue stream for the company.

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3 minutes ago, Kong said:

 "Hey thanks for supporting X-Wing over the last Y years! Now please deposit $150 if you'd like to keep playing the game in tournaments with your friends" is a tough pill to swallow. 

Hard to disagree with that. All we can hope for is that $150 buys us an improved game and stays around longer and makes what we currently own worth more in the long run. What is our collection of ships worth if they don't fix the game and everyone loses interests and leaves the game? It might be a good buy. At the same time, people may not like the changes and leave the game and well that $150 is a huge kick in the ***. FFG is making a huge gambling and we are the ones putting the chips down on the table.

Also, new editions/expansion/sku all the same thing.

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XWing was dead in the water if they didn’t reboot it. The degree to which all the ships were feeling more and more the same, no design space for anything new to be special while simultaneously all of the old ships being more and more obsolete. One or two more waves then done. 

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6 hours ago, Grimwalker said:

XWing was dead in the water if they didn’t reboot it. The degree to which all the ships were feeling more and more the same, no design space for anything new to be special while simultaneously all of the old ships being more and more obsolete. One or two more waves then done. 

Sure. There were major design flaws that required the entire game to be overhauled. The reboot of X-Wing can both be entirely needed and representative of the problems plaguing FFG's brand of collectible products. The two are not mutually exclusive. 

In just the past year off the top of my head the collectible games have suffered from; Lack of prize support, broken game mechanisms, entire game reboots, unpredictable release schedules, sudden product cancellations, lack of product stock, questionable product decisions.

 

 

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13 hours ago, Kong said:

In just the past year off the top of my head the collectible games have suffered from; Lack of prize support, broken game mechanisms, entire game reboots, unpredictable release schedules, sudden product cancellations, lack of product stock, questionable product decisions.

This is all true and why the explanation that makes the most sense is that FFG just didn't want to pony up the cash for the license renewal. FFG makes great games but at the same time they do bonehead things which causes everyone to get frustrated with them. This is just another in one in the long list.

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So as a dedicated X-wing player I can say I've seen huge excitement over 2.0 and while it is a pain and a big buy-in, the conversion kits actually demonstrate them bending over backwards to make it as painless as they can while remaining a for-profit company. For some of our collections it's awkward as ****, but the amount of stuff in there is huge, and the reworked game shows a great deal of care and response to the community.

If you want a contrast and to see what happens with a company that tries to use something like this to cash in, look at WizKids and the abomination of Star Trek Attack Wing. With so many problems in the game it has needed a huge reboot for some time. So they released a new core set and large faction packs along with revised rules, but these only triaged a couple of issues such as nigh-on-infinite dice stacking so that you could *only* add up to three dice to an attack or defense roll.

They also re-costed a bunch of ships which were then featured in these $40 faction packs, which came with 3-4 models and cards to go with. These ships were sometimes pretty good, sometimes meh, but the discount in points effectively rendered all the other content unplayable in any sort of competitive sense all while they claimed that everything from the past was still fine because you could technically still play it. Why would you take the old version of a ship for 20 points when the new named version was 14 and the generic 12? Even the good individual abilities were dwarfed by the cost decreases and a few other tweaks, so that you effectively had to use the new stuff to be remotely competitive, effectively contracting the game. 

One great example: they added a card that could potentially blow up an opposing ship IN THE SETUP PHASE.

Meanwhile, the rules changes we were hopeful about turned out to be skin-deep and they almost immediately released new game-breaking card combos and ships that make the term power creep completely inadequate. So they turned out some bigger-ticket new products to get their remaining players excited and reap a short term profit, and now the last couple of hold-out communities for the game are dying away. I quit after sticking around far too long just because I like Star Trek and found a couple of cool dudes to play with. 

Edited by PenguinBonaparte

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5 hours ago, Mep said:

This is all true and why the explanation that makes the most sense is that FFG just didn't want to pony up the cash for the license renewal. FFG makes great games but at the same time they do bonehead things which causes everyone to get frustrated with them. This is just another in one in the long list.

Literally none of that supports that conclusion. 

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3 hours ago, Grimwalker said:

Literally none of that supports that conclusion. 

Can we just ignore this Mep guy? He's turning every single discussion into a vehicle for him just saying the same thing again and again and again. I'm starting to lose my fondness for Mon Calamari.

Edited by PenguinBonaparte

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On 6/11/2018 at 6:15 PM, Grimwalker said:

If FFG releases something new, it’s because they think they can either make improvements and/or get the attention of new users.

Actually, I'm quite sure the no.1 reason is floundering sales. It's a well known fact that sales of board game expansions are always declining. I.e. the first expansion will sell less than the base game, the second expansion will sell less than the first expansion, etc. At some point sales are so low that the product line needs to get rebooted. Then the whole process starts anew.

And this isn't limited to board games. It's true for every product line, no matter the branch.

If you want to be 'safe' from a new and improved product superseding an older version of a product you already bought, you have to make sure to never, ever buy any product.

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On 6/11/2018 at 3:58 PM, Redsavina said:

Forced.....no, nobody forces you to buy board games, come on now.  However, it was entirely possible for them to create an app for the original game, then add content to it without resetting the entire title.  Their decision to do that is primarily financial, and as a customer, it makes loyal customers question the companies loyalty to their customers, who are the ones who provide revenue for their business.

I believe whatever problems that exist with X-wing falls upon development.  Whats the primary problem, power creep?  Havent the developers listened to a few episodes of "Drive To Work" and realize that after a couple of waves, they will begin to experience this problem?  No, not when $$$ is involved. Cash grab now, then deal with the ramifications later.  Wow....

Bright side with my Netrunner cards?  As of last week, I could have sold my collection for $225 probably, but now I would be lucky to get $50 for it.  Doesnt sound so bright to me.  Oh, and ethically I would need to disclose to any buyer that the game is dead, and then lets see if it will even sell for $50.

After all of these examples, I think FFG should be forced to place an Expiration Date on their games.  Some type of disclosure on the front of the box that says "If you invest in this game, we are going to either stop supporting it or require that you purchase revised content by XX/XX/XXXX."  I know that would make me think twice about investing in a title.  At least that would inform customers, rather than just seeing a random post on their website that your $500 investment is worth nothing now.  Oh, but that would require them to reveal their marketing strategy from the beginning of the release of a new title, which would hurt sales.  

I am all for a company making money to produce great games, just be up front and honest with your loyal customers.

 I'll address these in order.  

Are you mad that you had to buy a 2nd edition, or that you can't say your 1st ed stuff is worth as much any more?  FFG certainly could have created an app for the existing game and reissued the 1st ed main game. The draw that would have on new players is debatable. The draw that a new edition with refined rules has on new AND returning players is less debatable.  A business makes decisions primarily on the financial. 

The vast majority of expandable games experience power creep.  Rotation and new editions generally show to be the primary factors in mitigating power creep.  Unforeseen issues arise, and things can be overlooked in development.  Sometimes the company makes a mistake. Sometimes the company makes the mistake of listening too closely to its play testers. Sometimes things are missed in testing. Sometimes the Scum faction is released.

Does FFG have any responsibility to maintain an aftermarket value for the products it sells? I'm gonna say no.  I'll also say that for you to have any expectation of this is laughable. Additionally, I question your understanding of ethics. Finally, when products are popular (we'll call this demand) but availability (AKA supply) is low, prices tend to increase.  The game is good enough that secondhand prices will most likely hold where they were before cancellation (if they even dropped) or increase in value once retailers exhaust the remaining stock. But if you love the game so much, why sell it? It's not like FFG's riveting organized play system is what draws people to this game.

FFG should be forced to place expiration dates on their games?  Ok, Buttercup. You might want to get that Entitilitus checked.  There's nothing beneficial to FFG in doing so. There is no ethical responsibility to do so. To "force" them to do so would be a vast overreach of any governing authority. For you to even suggest this is childish.  Should people entering into a relationship be forced to set expiration dates on the experience or experiences therein with similar disclosures? Should vehicles come with expiration dates? Should Grimwalker be forced to put trigger warnings before his posts?  At what point are you responsible for your own purchases and your own fun?  I'd have placed an expiration date on this post, but I don't know how quickly you read.

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9 hours ago, jhaelen said:

Actually, I'm quite sure the no.1 reason is floundering sales. It's a well known fact that sales of board game expansions are always declining. I.e. the first expansion will sell less than the base game, the second expansion will sell less than the first expansion, etc. At some point sales are so low that the product line needs to get rebooted. Then the whole process starts anew.

And this isn't limited to board games. It's true for every product line, no matter the branch.

If you want to be 'safe' from a new and improved product superseding an older version of a product you already bought, you have to make sure to never, ever buy any product.

Exactly what I meant, particularly in the case of board games. However, in the cases of AGOT LCG and XWing, there truly were qualitative improvements which were a major driver. 

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Well 3 LCG games canceled within the course of a couple of years is cause for concern and lack of trust in LCG products and FFG in general. As for second editions, I don't consider that a dead game, it is just a replaced game. And to be honest that is not a bad thing, otherwise we will all still be playing monopoly and scrabble.

However the nature of collectable games including LCGs is that they cycle out and are continuously updated. Thus they are a considerable investment because it isa regular payment not a 1 time lump sum like your standard board games. But I have lost my faith in the LCG as a viable business model which is a shame (I won't buy any Destiny products because it doesn't fit that same model). I have finished updating my collection for netrunner then after that I am going to sleeve them and lock them away. I will go play on Octagon or something like that. There should be no reason that site goes defunct.

Edited by Marinealver

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I don’t think this is an indictment of the LCG model or at least, if so it’s the result of FFGs overall business practices with licensed properties.

Conquest and Netrunner died because the licensing agreements weren’t extended. Maybe we as fans want to consider whether that’s a foreseeable risk, but it’s probably not a large one for the remaining LCGs. I’ll certainly consider it before investing in future products.

Star Wars LCG died because its sales were in the toilet. It was a weird game overall and Destiny cannibalized much of its customer base.

I don’t think these three test cases show that there are problems with the LCG model itself.

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