With the announcement that FFG will be changing how the game works, the CCG is now history. The game itself will never be the same. That being said, I first want to say a few words about the L5R CCG and its 20 year run.
First of all, I want to thank AEG / FRPG for the 20 years you invested in this IP. I also want to thank every person who ever worked on this IP with FRPG / AEG / WotC. No game that I have played has been more welcoming than L5R has been. No game has ever had the story that I have been attached to like L5R. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
I believe AEG did the right thing by selling L5R to FFG. Fantasy Flight Games has a great history of purchasing IP’s from other companies and resurrecting them back into the IP they once were. They have a great track record so far. Let’s hope that continues :).
Now something you might not expect me to say: L5R needed a reboot in the card game area.
While I have enjoyed the years that I have played this game and the many changes, the game was losing steam in a lot of areas and it was time for a change. The LCG model fits L5R much better than the CCG model and FFG understood this. AEG didn’t seem to want the game to change but FFG convinced them that change needed to be done and they seemed to convince them that FFG could do so.
My understanding about the acquisition was that FFG contacted AEG about purchasing L5R. Now this to me is important as FFG wanted the L5R license.
Now more about FFG.
People may not be aware of this, but the Senior Vice President of marketing at Fantasy Flight (second in command I believe) is Steve Horvath, and he was instrumental in this purchase. Steve was previously Brand Manager for L5R in the 90s when WotC owned L5R, and in fact was the one who worked the deal to sell L5R back to AEG. 15 years later, he is buying it back. Steve is also a long time fan of L5R and was formerly a player who placed in the Top 4 on the Second Day of Thunder.
This tells me that they have an understanding of the IP’s history.
Fantasy Flight Games has a lot of things that AEG didn’t have. FFG’s resources are much larger than AEG could ever have. The sales & marketing at FFG can do so much more with the IP than AEG. Having the Warhammer, Star Wars, Netrunner and A Game of Thrones brands amasses a lot of strength here.
Now, this is the entire IP. FFG could go with a miniatures line (I’m expecting this BTW) as well as a board game line as well as an RPG and the LCG.
Hopefully in the coming months leading to the re-release of L5R under the LCG format, I can continue to gather the information about the game as I once have. I don’t plan on leaving the game because of the change, I plan on being there at the release in 2017.
Obviously, the blog will change somewhat over the next month or so to accommodate more than just L5R during the hiatus but this will still be a focal point leading up to the release.
Until then, there is no escape from the tiger!