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Android: Netrunner» Forums » General

Subject: So why did FFG lose the Netrunner license.... A theory. rss

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John Jarvis
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First I'll start by saying sorry if someone else has posted this elsewhere or on another forum, I had a quick look but couldn't see it.

After multiple years working at different companies, some small and some large, and getting involved in contracts and licensing etc. I have seen stuff happen which is similar to what I suggest below.

So far people seem to be saying it's FFG's or WOTC's fault, I think at least one mentioned Asmodee North America being to blame.

Comments on forums seem to be suggesting that FFG wouldn't pay the license fee that WOTC had set. This because WOTC were greedy and jacked the price to a stupid level. Or that WOTC just pulled the license because they have plans for it. Or some version of this.

I have an alternate theory.

The narrative from FFG seems to suggest it came as a total shock to them. It appears they expected the license to continue. Could be good acting but personally I don't think so. I believe it's genuine shock.

So it could be the situation where WOTC set a price that FFG thought was fair. FFG would have to get sign off / present a business case to ANA. Why, because ANA effectively 'own' FFG. FFG may have even had verbal approval from ANA. All that was required was a sign off at a board/management meeting at ANA and off we go. It could be the license renegotiation has nothing to do with FFG at all and is all done by ANA.

Ok here we go... Perhaps ANA / Asmodee's owners Eurazeo have put an embargo on major outgoings / spending on all Asmodee subsidiaries, why ? Because Eurazeo have put Asmodee up for sale I believe.

If you want to sell a company you want the balance sheet to look as healthy as possible during the due diligence checks any potential buyer would make. i.e. no major spending.

Perhaps it was all agreed between ANA, FFG and Wotc then the Eurazeo hammer came down before ink was put to paper, hence the 'shock' at FFG ?

So it could be that it's not FFG, WOTC or even ANA that are to blame.
It's a fallout of Eurazeo being put up for sale ??

My gut feeling is it was ANA that 'caused' this, maybe due to Eurazeo as suggested above, or that they thought WOTC asked too much or whatever.

But I'm not convinced of anything, the above could be a big truck load of nonsense whistle





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Matt Tonks
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I don't mean to be rude or blunt, but who cares? Does it really matter when either way the end result is the same?

I would rather spend more time enjoying AN:R as it is (or other games) than on constant speculation that so many people seem to like doing.
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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tonksey wrote:
I don't mean to be rude or blunt, but who cares?


I do.
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elitusprime
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SuperJoeUK wrote:

Ok here we go... Perhaps ANA / Asmodee's owners Eurazeo have put an embargo on major outgoings / spending on all Asmodee subsidiaries, why ? Because Eurazeo have put Asmodee up for sale I believe.


Very well could be. I have worked with companies which have lost major clients for this very reason. They were happy with the service we were providing and had nothing but positive things to say, but canceled because they were up for sale and wanted the short term financials to show as much profit as possible.
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Ralph Tricoche
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Didn't even realize they lost the license. Its a shocker to me. I thought it was a good seller for them.
 
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Matthew Schoell
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Maybe Hasbro didn’t offer the renewal. They are a big toy company, perhaps the fact one of their largest retail customers, TousRUs is kaput has spooked them. Maybe they looked at Netrunner, saw success, and wanted to reclaim the license to expand their options.

In some way I expect that one of the parties thought hey could make more money by severing the agreement, but I’d say the only party it’s not likely to be is FFG, leaving Asmodee or Hasbro
 
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Ralph Tricoche
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Isn't FFG owned by Asmodee?

Doc Mage wrote:
Maybe Hasbro didn’t offer the renewal. They are a big toy company, perhaps the fact one of their largest retail customers, TousRUs is kaput has spooked them. Maybe they looked at Netrunner, saw success, and wanted to reclaim the license to expand their options.

In some way I expect that one of the parties thought hey could make more money by severing the agreement, but I’d say the only party it’s not likely to be is FFG, leaving Asmodee or Hasbro
 
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Jim Patching
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Asmodee own both FFG and WOTC don't they? I've not been following the story but I didn't think it was a case of FFG losing the licence. Maybe the later expansions just weren't selling so well? Or at least, not as well as something Star Wars related might ...
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Roy Stephens
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John Jarvis
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tonksey wrote:
I don't mean to be rude or blunt, but who cares? Does it really matter when either way the end result is the same?

I would rather spend more time enjoying AN:R as it is (or other games) than on constant speculation that so many people seem to like doing.


It's a fair statement, I don't really care, I'm just a little curious and was bored at work hence the post. Can't really bust out my decks and have a game during the work day
 
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John Jarvis
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panzer-attack wrote:
Asmodee own both FFG and WOTC don't they? I've not been following the story but I didn't think it was a case of FFG losing the licence. Maybe the later expansions just weren't selling so well? Or at least, not as well as something Star Wars related might ...


Nope Hasbro own WOTC, and FFG's netrunner license was not renewed i.e they lost it. And by the sounds of it they were not expecting it to happen, probably, maybe.
 
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Matt Tonks
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SuperJoeUK wrote:

It's a fair statement, I don't really care, I'm just a little curious and was bored at work hence the post. Can't really bust out my decks and have a game during the work day


Sure you can, if you have a willing colleague. I play LotR LCG with a colleague during our lunch break somewhere out of sight at least or 3 times a week
 
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John Jarvis
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hockeyjedi wrote:


None !

But it's basic human curiosity, some of us would like to know.
If we didn't have basic human curiosity we would still be living in caves.
Caveperson one "I wonder what's over that hill"...
Caveperson two - "Who cares"...
You get the picture.
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Ralph Tricoche
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I do the same with Onitama.

tonksey wrote:
SuperJoeUK wrote:

It's a fair statement, I don't really care, I'm just a little curious and was bored at work hence the post. Can't really bust out my decks and have a game during the work day


Sure you can, if you have a willing colleague. I play LotR LCG with a colleague during our lunch break somewhere out of sight at least or 3 times a week
 
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John Jarvis
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tonksey wrote:
SuperJoeUK wrote:

It's a fair statement, I don't really care, I'm just a little curious and was bored at work hence the post. Can't really bust out my decks and have a game during the work day


Sure you can, if you have a willing colleague. I play LotR LCG with a colleague during our lunch break somewhere out of sight at least or 3 times a week


Oh I do play at lunchtimes, I have three decks here, and play a couple or three times a week too.

But I didn't post during my lunch hour... ninja
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Dean L
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tonksey wrote:
I don't mean to be rude or blunt, but who cares? Does it really matter when either way the end result is the same?

I would rather spend more time enjoying AN:R as it is (or other games) than on constant speculation that so many people seem to like doing.


And yet you opened a thread entitled "So why did FFG lose the Netrunner license.... A theory." - what were you expecting to read?
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Matt Tonks
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Deano2099 wrote:
tonksey wrote:
I don't mean to be rude or blunt, but who cares? Does it really matter when either way the end result is the same?

I would rather spend more time enjoying AN:R as it is (or other games) than on constant speculation that so many people seem to like doing.


And yet you opened a thread entitled "So why did FFG lose the Netrunner license.... A theory." - what were you expecting to read?


Exactly that. I tend to read a lot of subscriptions, particularly if it's slow at work
 
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Wally Jones
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I have an opposing theory.

FFG is a bunch of greedy crap heads who continually make stupid business decisions like Revised Ed or 2nd Ed to all their games.

No wonder Wizards lost confidence in FFG.

I’ve lost confidence in FFG.

I won’t buy another FFG game. Why should I when I know a Revised 2nd Ed will soon follow.

And there many other gamers like me out there.


Apologies for “offending” but this is true.
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Brian Long
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Yes, they want to close down a popular line of business ... to make the company ... look more attractive ... to a buyer

The license is an asset

The game is net positive presumably (they are not LOSING money on the license)

By your logic they should cancel the star wars license too, right?

Don't think your theory holds much water
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Josh Wood
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I have an opposing theory.

FFG is a bunch of greedy crap heads who continually make stupid business decisions like Revised Ed or 2nd Ed to all their games.

No wonder Wizards lost confidence in FFG.

I’ve lost confidence in FFG.

I won’t buy another FFG game. Why should I when I know a Revised 2nd Ed will soon follow.

And there many other gamers like me out there.


Apologies for “offending” but this is true.


What game company has released a card game, minis game, expandable board game, or RPG without ever releasing a new core set or updated rules set?

If not buying a game anymore because it may likely get a revised or 2nd edition is reason enough to not buy from a company anymore, you're gonna be hard pressed to find any companies to buy from.
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John Jarvis
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newobj wrote:
Yes, they want to close down a popular line of business ... to make the company ... look more attractive ... to a buyer

The license is an asset

The game is net positive presumably (they are not LOSING money on the license)

By your logic they should cancel the star wars license too, right?

Don't think your theory holds much water


You have assumed the new buyer understands the value of the netrunner license. The current owners of Asmodee probably know nothing about the day to day business and could not care less. They just look at balance sheets. So paying out would put a dent in said balance sheet hence it’s not attractive to a new buyer. Asmodee own loads of companies now, do you think a new buyer would look in detail into every single brand at every single company ? I seriously doubt it. And as said above I have been in a similar position, as has another poster in this thread. And all the current owners cared about was bottom line. Not the potential roi on a brand.

Edit - Star Wars is not the same, Do you think potential buyers, financial houses whatever, have not heard of Star Wars ? Do you think they have heard of netrunner ?

 
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John Jarvis
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Doc Mage wrote:
Maybe Hasbro didn’t offer the renewal. They are a big toy company, perhaps the fact one of their largest retail customers, TousRUs is kaput has spooked them. Maybe they looked at Netrunner, saw success, and wanted to reclaim the license to expand their options.


I thought this was a strong possibility too, although I was just listening to a podcast on the way home and they said that asmodee is the European distributor for mtg. If that is true would WotC/hasbro want to annoy asmodee by doing that ? Hearing that asmodee distribute mtg in Europe has changed my mind, a little bit anyway, on that theory.

 
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Brian Long
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So the bottom line is just ... "costs"?

Not profit and loss?

Not free cash flow?

What do you think costs more, the license, or the development/production/marketing etc of the product line? Why do you think everyone would be so fixated on the "cost of the license"? It's just another cost associated with making the product. One of many. Every product line has associated cost centers. The product is almost certainly profitable - board game companies don't seem capable of having "loss leaders" - so ...

Anyway it doesn't matter, at all, at the end of the day.
 
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Lou Lessing
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I proposed a similar theory in another thread --

Whoever buys Asmodee would have to renegotiate this license agreement. So, whoever is ultimately making the decisions, they aren't negotiating for the right to keep making netrunner, just the right to sell the right to renegotiate with WOTC for the right to keep making netrunner.

It is hard to know if that adds anything at all to the sale value of Asmodee as a whole. Unless they think it adds more than whatever they're going to have to pay upfront to WOTC, they won't pay for it, they'd just be throwing money away.

My guess is WOTC offered them basically a renewal of the same deal they had, and some higher-up decided it wasn't worth it.


I expect we're going to see a LOT of these in the next year. Netrunner is not the only casualty at FFG, it looks like Battlestar Galactica too, probably others.
 
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I think your theory is very plausible. Private equity companies like Eurazeo generally don't create these companies to run them. They want to boost the value as much as possible, then sell them at the right time to capture a fat return.

Boosting the value as much as possible often means taking measures that are bad in the long-term, but great in the short term. Ending the Netrunner license seems like a no-brainer by this standard.

Does this mean that, after a buyer is found and the dust settles, Netrunner could be relicensed, resurrected, and reprinted? We can only hope.
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