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What is actually in that license?

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On 6/12/2018 at 5:46 AM, Grimwalker said:

As in all things, Mep, you’re stating your speculation as fact. You’re not a lawyer.


You should stop to consider that perhaps a game company that makes its living making creative products might not take a cavalier view of what a game company could or could not claim to own. Especially one with so much invested in maintaining the goodwill of many license partners such as Bethesda, iD, Lucasfilm/Disney, and other relationships with Hasbro for other properties.


I’ve had enough conversations with people at the company to know that what you think isn’t true actually is what they did. As far as FFG is concerned WOTC owns the original game Netrunner, lock, stock, and barrel, and their right to publish a modern edition of that game is a matter of licensing the original property.


Further reading: 


The article does not go into detail on the exact nature of the issue. Not too helpful. Never the less there can be an "Android LCG" that can be in the same setting with the same people/corporations, etc that FFG developed. I'm sure if FFG want's to a very similar game could be made.

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All I have to say is Opoly is a thing. Google it. They are shameless. Yes, you can play Cat-opoly. You won't pass go, you scat. You don't go to jail, you get stuck in water. Cats don't get free parking, they get free catnip. Their work arounds are creatively funny if unethical but legal.

They usually don't go so far but they do steal bits and pieces of other games and use them in their own games. This is why you have categories of games and people can say, "oh, you move your piece around the outside of the board to mark progress just like, in all these other games", or "oh, you put this hex tile down as the game progresses, just like all these other games".

Now I doubt we'll be seeing a netrunner rip off a la Opolies but don't kid yourself, they steal mechanics from each other all the time if not outright steal a game almost entirely. This is because game mechanics are not copy writable and patents expire.

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Things we will never know (short of theft or someone breaking a NDA):

  • what was in the licence
  • why the two companies didn't agree a renewal.

Things that will not happen:

  • FFG won't create an asymmetrical, 2-player game of hacking corporations LCG called NotRunner set in the Android Universe. 

Things that might happen:

  • Wizards might produce a new version of Netrunner set in the cyberpunk 2070 universe. I rate it as highly unlikely but not impossible.
  • FFG will create  new games set in the Android Universe. Highly likely.
  • FFG might produce a new LCG set in the Android Universe. Depends on whether they think they can capture enough of the market and justify the costs of designing a new LCG. Seems unlikely to me. They have a lot of CCGs on the go and I don't see much evidence that they had much of a budget for Netrunner LCG. (They can amortise art across products.)

Things that will happen:

  • People will continue to play Netrunner.
  • Within 3-5 years someone else will pay WotC money to licence the game and name. 
  • I will be hailed as omniscient prophet. (This may be in the wrong category.)

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