Corporate Agenda: Murder Netrunner

Corporate Agenda: Murder Netrunner

AndrewMcAlpine     
1242   0
Android: Netrunner

When bad things happen to good games.

Android: Netrunner has been murdered, my friends.

Who did the deed? It's hard to say. The six-year-old cyberpunk card game was killed in a most appropriate fashion: through invisible, impersonal corporate machinations beyond any one person's control. Information is scarce at present as to exactly why Netrunner got the axe-apparently its existence was the result of labyrinthine licensing agreements that, for whatever reason, couldn't be renegotiated. Disappointed fans are already disagreeing on who to blame. Ultimately, though, it doesn't matter. In a nondescript conference room in a lousy office park, some suit decided Netrunner was no longer profitable to an adequate degree and moved on to the next agenda item. I bet the meeting was boring.

While the Netrunner community (including me) was certainly shocked by the news, perhaps we shouldn't have been so surprised. Expandable card games are born with a built-in kill switch. The need for a constant stream of product and support means that, unless your game starts with "M" and rhymes with "tragic," you're playing on borrowed time. And while it sucks that Netrunner was seemingly canned due to corporate bad faith rather than a drop in popularity, it had an exceptional run for a card game: two core sets, five deluxe expansions (with a sixth on the way), and eight data cycles. So why does this feel so sad?

I'm having a hard time talking about this with any sort of critical distance, because when it comes to Netrunner, I'm a true believer. I'm a card-carrying cyberpunk junkie, so when the core set was released way back in the halcyon days of 2012, I knew that I had found my game. Being in grad school, I didn't have the scratch to keep up with the relentless expansion pace, but I picked up sets here and there and now have a decent collection. These days I'm more of a Netrunner fan than a player-I'll play a game with friends from time to time but keep up on the news and watch the popular streamers. I know that the nerd community is famous for letting fandom act as a kind of critical blindfold, so I hope you'll forgive me when I say that I am sad right now because I think Netrunner is a very, very special game.

Let's start with the setting and theme. Netrunner is set in the universe established in FFG's 2008 board game Android, a flawed but charming murder mystery. It hits all the beats you expect from the cyberpunk genre, but little more: faceless corporations, gritty near-future tech, and unsubtle social commentary (guys, it's like racism, but against robots). Netrunner started out in this same well-trod territory, but as it expanded and started drawing inspiration from more diverse sources, it became a more and more interesting place to inhabit.

While Netrunner is centered on a familiar trope-lone hackers attempting to subvert the oppressive regimes of megacorps-it largely eschews the rainy streets and gray-on-gray aesthetic that has become the genre stereotype. Instead, it paints a vibrant and strange portrait of the near future, where the psychedelic and mythical frequently sit side-by-side with the almost comically mundane. In a game where digital constructs are named after dead gods and experimental drugs propel hackers through cyberspace, my favorite card depicts something so painfully ordinary it makes me cringe a little.

I'm talking about Day Job, a card that lets you trade your entire turn to make a few dollars. Its art is simple and brilliant-a punk hacker sits unhappily in a cubicle with her fingers pressed like a pistol to her head. Everything I love about Netrunner is right here on this one card: a perfect pairing of theme and mechanics, a sense of humor that extends beyond tired nerd references, and an understanding that sometimes the best way to show corporate oppression isn't through a cyberboot on some android's head, but through a mandatory name tag.

G.K. Chesterton, writing about fairy tales, posits that "they make rivers run with wine only to make us remember, for one wild moment, that they run with water." For being a game ostensibly set in a science fiction future, Netrunner feels like one of the only games I've played to accurately describe what it's like living in 2018. The game plays with hot button topics like mass surveillance, corporate dominance, and populist movements, all without preaching at the player or forsaking its pulpy roots. It reminds us how strange it is to live in the uneasy present, as a blip of data in a hostile, unknowable world.

Netrunner displays this same sort of subtle intelligence when tackling the thorny issues of race and representation, something games historically have been terrible at. The game imagines the future (and in doing so, the present) from a truly global perspective, filling its world with characters of all races, genders, and ages. This is a game where some of the star runners include a working mom, a journalist, a bunch of academics, a kid, and an old man. It also doesn't feel like the game is working through a checkbox or engaging in tokenism-rather, the creators of Netrunner realize that focusing on a diverse set of characters just makes things more interesting. By widening the scope of who gets to be a hero, it turns out we have better stories to tell.

Of course, none of this would matter if the game itself isn't good. Thankfully, it is. I won't get too deep into the mechanics of the thing, but I will say that what makes Netrunner such a compelling experience is that it keeps a laser-sharp focus on the most interesting part of a competitive game: your opponent. There's a reason that the Netrunner community likes to say a player "pilots" a deck. Because no matter how good your deck is, it doesn't mean anything unless you know exactly how to use it against your foe. Each game is built out of a series of feints, bluffs, jabs, and counterattacks. The game is clever because it makes you, the player, feel clever-it heightens your sense of fear, bravery, and brashness. Each decision leads to a new, equally interesting decision. And at the end of the game, you can look back on your duel and see, piece by piece, the story you and your opponent built together.

So, is it sayonara, then? So long and thanks for all the memories? That depends. On one hand, the lack of official support and new cards certainly means that an era has ended. On the other hand, perhaps the reports of Netrunner's death have been exaggerated. If we take away any lesson from the game's world, it's that we can't count on some corporation's whims to take care of us-we have to take care of each other. This is where the "punk" in "cyberpunk" will really be tested. Already plans are percolating for fan-run tournaments, expansions, and campaigns. These folks may not have the resources of a megacorp, but they have gumption, determination, and moxie. I think the community has everything it needs to jury rig the game and keep it humming for years to come, even if it's slightly more cult, slightly more underground. In some ways, it feels like that's what Netrunner should have been all along. I, for one, am optimistic about the broken, grimy, beautiful future.

Andrew  McAlpineFollow Andrew McAlpine Follow Andrew McAlpine Message Andrew McAlpine

Board Game Reviewer

Andrew McAlpine is a writer and teacher living in Northampton, MA. When he’s not gaming, he’s probably obsessing over poetry and music. He’s also a member of the Connecticut River Valley Poets Theater, where he writes, acts, and directs.

 

Corporate Agenda: Murder Netrunner There Will Be Games
For more information, reviews and articles on Android: Netrunner LCG Core Set click here
Log in to comment
Posted: 12 Jun 2018 07:43 by Legomancer #275191
Legomancer's Avatar
You're in Northampton? Where do you play games?
Posted: 12 Jun 2018 08:22 by Shellhead #275196
Shellhead's Avatar
Excellent writing. I've been a fan of the cyberpunk genre since reading Johnny Mnemonic in the early '80s in an issue of Omni magazine. I dabbled in the original Netrunner game, which was very playable right out of the starter deck. But it was a time of many CCGs, and I was having more fun with Vampire, Shadowfist, and Legend of the Burning Sands. I was glad that FFG brought back Netrunner, but by then I had seen too many card games come and go. As you mentioned in your article, new cards are crucial to the ongoing health of a game, and once there are no more new cards, most players lose interest. My game collection includes several cubic feet of cards for dead CCGs, including the original Netrunner.

I used to play the Cyberpunk RPG back in the '80s. The campaign setting was the backdrop for the original Netrunner CCG, and it was set in the year 2013. The second edition rules were set in 2020. One of these days, I should get out the old rulebooks and scenarios and see what they got right and wrong about 2013.
Posted: 12 Jun 2018 09:21 by Sagrilarus #275202
Sagrilarus's Avatar
Heroscape tournaments continue, though that's a much softer, more celebratory fare than Netrunner.

But here's my question -- FFG has lost the license. Does that me Netrunner is dead, or that some other company is going to continue it or restart it as Netrunner 2.0? All I've heard to date is that FFG will no longer publish it.

Given how vanilla the Android setting is I could see the game getting reset in a Blade Runner world or some other, and being published by the original rights holder with all new content. Just a thought, don't have any evidence either way.
Posted: 12 Jun 2018 10:52 by jpat #275208
jpat's Avatar
The fact that many of the eulogies I've read contain lines such as "I used to play" is suggestive that maybe there wasn't enough money in it, as the OP concedes, but FFG was clearly operating, it would seem, under the assumption that the license would be renewed, else why a new core set? If, on the other hand, WotC saw this game as successful, rebooting it after stripping out the FFG universe trappings seems likely to annoy people, especially those who may have just gotten into the FFG game on the promise of the revised core. So I don't know. This is a game I always wanted to try, but even though it's probably, if anything, easier now, I know I probably won't because it's a dead game.
Posted: 12 Jun 2018 11:42 by Michael Barnes #275212
Michael Barnes's Avatar
Netrunner’s perfect state was like, 15 years ago when the game was “dead” but kept alive and supported by enthusiasts with zero financial stake in it. Playing starter deck matches was so much more fun than anything FFG did with it. The worst thing they did, IMO, was to take it out of that quaint 1990s dystopian setting and shoehorn in all of their lame proprietary Android setting.
Posted: 12 Jun 2018 12:15 by Shellhead #275217
Shellhead's Avatar
The most edgy aspect of the Blandroid setting was the androgynous characters.
Posted: 12 Jun 2018 12:18 by charlest #275218
charlest's Avatar
I kind of enjoy how they featured Africa prominently as well as many minorities. Gave the setting a bit of a unique feel.
Posted: 12 Jun 2018 12:45 by Sagrilarus #275220
Sagrilarus's Avatar
jpat wrote:
The fact that many of the eulogies I've read contain lines such as "I used to play" is suggestive that maybe there wasn't enough money in it, as the OP concedes, but FFG was clearly operating, it would seem, under the assumption that the license would be renewed, else why a new core set? If, on the other hand, WotC saw this game as successful, rebooting it after stripping out the FFG universe trappings seems likely to annoy people, especially those who may have just gotten into the FFG game on the promise of the revised core. So I don't know. This is a game I always wanted to try, but even though it's probably, if anything, easier now, I know I probably won't because it's a dead game.

I'm just saying that FFG losing the license doesn't mean the game is dead. WOTC may just keep running it, replacing Jinteki with Tyrell or Yoyodyne. Could even be backward compatible. Garfield may have other ideas. Don't know. Maybe not.

Why would you rescind a license for something you're not interested in publishing yourself? FFG was writing a check for it. Either they couldn't come to agreement on price, or WOTC wants it back. Don't know. FFG didn't announce discontinue, they announced they lost the license.
Posted: 12 Jun 2018 13:41 by ubarose #275234
ubarose's Avatar
jpat wrote:
The fact that many of the eulogies I've read contain lines such as "I used to play" is suggestive that maybe there wasn't enough money in it, as the OP concedes, but FFG was clearly operating, it would seem, under the assumption that the license would be renewed, else why a new core set? If, on the other hand, WotC saw this game as successful, rebooting it after stripping out the FFG universe trappings seems likely to annoy people, especially those who may have just gotten into the FFG game on the promise of the revised core. So I don't know. This is a game I always wanted to try, but even though it's probably, if anything, easier now, I know I probably won't because it's a dead game.

That’s a really good point about so many people saying “I used to play.”

I know nothing about Netrunner, but I think LCG need to be re-booted every few years to get new people interested. It’s too much work, and too overwhelming to get into a LCG after it’s been around for several years.
Posted: 12 Jun 2018 13:49 by Shellhead #275236
Shellhead's Avatar
ubarose wrote:
jpat wrote:
The fact that many of the eulogies I've read contain lines such as "I used to play" is suggestive that maybe there wasn't enough money in it, as the OP concedes, but FFG was clearly operating, it would seem, under the assumption that the license would be renewed, else why a new core set? If, on the other hand, WotC saw this game as successful, rebooting it after stripping out the FFG universe trappings seems likely to annoy people, especially those who may have just gotten into the FFG game on the promise of the revised core. So I don't know. This is a game I always wanted to try, but even though it's probably, if anything, easier now, I know I probably won't because it's a dead game.

That’s a really good point about so many people saying “I used to play.”

I know nothing about Netrunner, but I think LCG need to be re-booted every few years to get new people interested. It’s too much work, and too overwhelming to get into a LCG after it’s been around for several years.

It's easier with a game like Magic where the primary skill is deck design, so you can quickly catch up by copying some good deck designs off the internet. Netrunner involves more skill, especially bluffing, and that isn't something that can be easily acquired online.
Posted: 12 Jun 2018 13:59 by Black Barney #275237
Black Barney's Avatar
i used to play this
Posted: 12 Jun 2018 14:32 by ubarose #275241
ubarose's Avatar
Shellhead wrote:
ubarose wrote:
jpat wrote:
The fact that many of the eulogies I've read contain lines such as "I used to play" is suggestive that maybe there wasn't enough money in it, as the OP concedes, but FFG was clearly operating, it would seem, under the assumption that the license would be renewed, else why a new core set? If, on the other hand, WotC saw this game as successful, rebooting it after stripping out the FFG universe trappings seems likely to annoy people, especially those who may have just gotten into the FFG game on the promise of the revised core. So I don't know. This is a game I always wanted to try, but even though it's probably, if anything, easier now, I know I probably won't because it's a dead game.

That’s a really good point about so many people saying “I used to play.”

I know nothing about Netrunner, but I think LCG need to be re-booted every few years to get new people interested. It’s too much work, and too overwhelming to get into a LCG after it’s been around for several years.

It's easier with a game like Magic where the primary skill is deck design, so you can quickly catch up by copying some good deck designs off the internet. Netrunner involves more skill, especially bluffing, and that isn't something that can be easily acquired online.

I’m not talking about the skills required to learn and play a game. I’m talking about getting into a game when there has been years worth of product released. It’s daunting to figure out what you need to start, and then you see the price of what you are getting into. It’s easier when you come in at the beginning of that train ride. You get a core set and then picking up a pack of cards every couple of months is painless. Re-booting an LCG is probably good for business. It opens up your market to new players, and a large enough chunk of the old players will probably continue to buy., to make it worthwhile.
Posted: 12 Jun 2018 15:03 by Shellhead #275247
Shellhead's Avatar
It still depends on the game. A new Magic player can safely ignore most of the sets that have been published, because competitive play only uses the most recent base set and a fixed number of recent expansions. The new Magic player wouldn't necessarily know that, but can easily find out after playing with other Magic players or doing some Googling. And of course the new player would need to learn a bit about the five colors of mana. By contrast, a new Vampire player would soon need to learn about a few political factions and 28 disciplines (similar to colors in Magic). Then they would need to know about the 40+ clans, each of which has three specific in-clan disciplines. The combat was significantly more complex than in Magic, and then there was the voting rules.
Posted: 12 Jun 2018 16:01 by Not Sure #275249
Not Sure's Avatar
ubarose wrote:

I’m not talking about the skills required to learn and play a game. I’m talking about getting into a game when there has been years worth of product released. It’s daunting to figure out what you need to start, and then you see the price of what you are getting into. It’s easier when you come in at the beginning of that train ride. You get a core set and then picking up a pack of cards every couple of months is painless. Re-booting an LCG is probably good for business. It opens up your market to new players, and a large enough chunk of the old players will probably continue to buy., to make it worthwhile.

The ironic part in the timing of the announcement is that FFG basically just did this by releasing new core sets. In the other thread the "going forward" recommendation was "a couple of those, the most recent expansion, and some stuff not out yet". Not "all the shit from the last six years".

FFG really had to have been expecting that license renewal to have gone through easily. They did a lot of work over the last year to create a reboot, only to watch the power get pulled at "Loading.... 90%"
Posted: 12 Jun 2018 17:02 by Erik Twice #275256
Erik Twice's Avatar
charlest wrote:
I kind of enjoy how they featured Africa prominently as well as many minorities. Gave the setting a bit of a unique feel.
Shellhead wrote:
The most edgy aspect of the Blandroid setting was the androgynous characters.
For me the great thing about it is exactly the opposite: It was never "edgy" in the way it portrayed characters. There was a sense of normalcy, of things just being, well, realistic and logical with the world being portrayed.

I'm not the most concious gamer around and this may seem even uncharasteritic of me, but when I play games I always think about sexism and how minorities are portrayed. I can't help it. I always have this hum, this constant analysis going on my head and this is included onit. I notice when games have absurd male ratios or when everyone seems to either follow a gender role or crudely subvert it. When I sit down to play **Blood Rage**, I notice that factions are exclusively male except for one, which is exclusively female. And that makes me think about some pretty crappy stuff and I come to some pretty sad conclusions.

But not Netrunner. It just fit. The brownish cast made sense. The abundance of Asian characters made sense. Women, lesbians and transexual people made sense. The hum quiet down and I could think about the fun things instead of crappy attitudes sipping into gaming.
jpat wrote:
The fact that many of the eulogies I've read contain lines such as "I used to play" is suggestive that maybe there wasn't enough money in it
One thing to keep in mind is that the game hit a low spot after some broken cards were released and many people left or, simply, stopped joining. The game was actually rising again at a pretty good rate after the new head designer passed a great Banned & Restricted list that made the game fun and got rid of much of the crap.
Posted: 12 Jun 2018 17:14 by san il defanso #275257
san il defanso's Avatar
One underrated aspect of this whole process is that the FFG LCG line is now basically dead. They are still doing LOTR I think, and maybe GoT, but Netrunner was the big fish.
Posted: 12 Jun 2018 17:46 by ubarose #275259
ubarose's Avatar
INot Sure wrote:
ubarose wrote:

I’m not talking about the skills required to learn and play a game. I’m talking about getting into a game when there has been years worth of product released. It’s daunting to figure out what you need to start, and then you see the price of what you are getting into. It’s easier when you come in at the beginning of that train ride. You get a core set and then picking up a pack of cards every couple of months is painless. Re-booting an LCG is probably good for business. It opens up your market to new players, and a large enough chunk of the old players will probably continue to buy., to make it worthwhile.

The ironic part in the timing of the announcement is that FFG basically just did this by releasing new core sets. In the other thread the "going forward" recommendation was "a couple of those, the most recent expansion, and some stuff not out yet". Not "all the shit from the last six years".

FFG really had to have been expecting that license renewal to have gone through easily. They did a lot of work over the last year to create a reboot, only to watch the power get pulled at "Loading.... 90%"

I agree. That is strange. They probably were expecting the license to renew.
Posted: 12 Jun 2018 20:38 by Shellhead #275264
Shellhead's Avatar
san il defanso wrote:
One underrated aspect of this whole process is that the FFG LCG line is now basically dead. They are still doing LOTR I think, and maybe GoT, but Netrunner was the big fish.

Legend of the Five Rings is still going strong.
Posted: 12 Jun 2018 20:56 by san il defanso #275265
san il defanso's Avatar
Shellhead wrote:
san il defanso wrote:
One underrated aspect of this whole process is that the FFG LCG line is now basically dead. They are still doing LOTR I think, and maybe GoT, but Netrunner was the big fish.

Legend of the Five Rings is still going strong.

You're right, I forgot about that one. Hopefully it has a long lifespan.
Posted: 12 Jun 2018 22:01 by DarthJoJo #275269
DarthJoJo's Avatar
san il defanso wrote:
Shellhead wrote:
san il defanso wrote:
One underrated aspect of this whole process is that the FFG LCG line is now basically dead. They are still doing LOTR I think, and maybe GoT, but Netrunner was the big fish.

Legend of the Five Rings is still going strong.

You're right, I forgot about that one. Hopefully it has a long lifespan.

Forgetting Arkham Horror too which is the greatest expression of the monthly LCG format.

Not to drift too far from the thread, but the LCG model is fine and, this lost license withdstanding, better than ever. Fantasy Flight is experimenting with starter decks (Thrones), six packs in six weeks (Five Rings), upgrade boxes (Arkham) and rotation (Netrunner...oops). The model had been stagnant, relying on its supposedly more consumer friendly release, but they’re pushing and trying new things. It’s fine.
Posted: 13 Jun 2018 08:52 by AndrewMcAlpine #275284
AndrewMcAlpine's Avatar
Legomancer wrote:
You're in Northampton? Where do you play games?

Yep, in Noho. I tend to play with folks here and in Amherst. I don't do a lot of in-store gaming, but I like going to the WW2 club's occasional game days. What about you?
Posted: 13 Jun 2018 09:09 by AndrewMcAlpine #275285
AndrewMcAlpine's Avatar
jpat wrote:
The fact that many of the eulogies I've read contain lines such as "I used to play" is suggestive that maybe there wasn't enough money in it, as the OP concedes, but FFG was clearly operating, it would seem, under the assumption that the license would be renewed, else why a new core set?

Yeah, I get the sense that this was at least something of a surprise to FFG--it seems they were ready to stick with Netrunner for the long haul. But in any case the model, while friendlier than CCGs, is still such a financial strain that I just don't think it's built to last for either players or companies.

I do think something like Arkham Horror is much, much easier to dabble in. Due to its cooperative nature, you can pick at the menu a la carte style, paying as you go, versus having what is essentially a monthly subscription fee to stay competitive in something like Netrunner. And heaven help you if you drop out of a card game and want to buy your way back in later.

It's kind of a shame, because when I think of the audience for LCGs or CCGs I tend to think about folks with a lot of free time and a lot of expendable income. Most of the working adults I know might have one of those things, but probably not both. Netrunner is such a complex and rewarding game that I think a lot of folks who aren't interested in the collectible model would really dig it--it's a bummer that its fate has been tied to these capricious market forces.

I guess it's time to snag what I can find / afford and mess around with preconstructed decks or draft or something that will extend its life with casual folks.
Posted: 13 Jun 2018 10:52 by waddball #275294
waddball's Avatar
I love this game, original and reboot. I helped playtest the FFG core set and first expansion cycle (my daughter was excited to have her name in the credits), but I never really intended to keep up. The LCG release cycle is just too fast.

Plus, other than in playtesting, I also never intended to do any serious deckbuilding, so in a sense I only ever "used to play" this game. Instead, I've always played a draft format of my own invention (simulating a starter + a few boosters old-school NR sealed format).

I'm sad for the dedicated fans of the game, but really, I wonder how much more game space it had left to explore. Outside-looking-in over the last few cycles, I saw quite a few repeats/refinements of ideas, rather than radical new mechanisms. Anyway, original NR was played long after it died, and I see no reason why this won't be as well. I wouldn't be shocked if someone comes along and reboots it yet again.
Posted: 14 Jun 2018 00:25 by Jur #275352
Jur's Avatar
A game lives not because of new releases but because of players. If anybody murders a game, it's the players
Posted: 14 Jun 2018 05:19 by Sagrilarus #275360
Sagrilarus's Avatar
Jur wrote:
A game lives not because of new releases but because of players. If anybody murders a game, it's the players

Sounds like something a corporate spokesman would say.
Posted: 14 Jun 2018 12:45 by Erik Twice #275411
Erik Twice's Avatar
AndrewMcAlpine wrote:
It's kind of a shame, because when I think of the audience for LCGs or CCGs I tend to think about folks with a lot of free time and a lot of expendable income. Most of the working adults I know might have one of those things, but probably not both.
In my experience, this is not true.

These kind of games don't really take any more time than other hobbies, playing once a week is more than fine and more than enough to have fun. That's not a huge investment and not one dissimilar to other boardgames.

Staying up to date costs about 13,5€ a month plus tournament fees. All in all, less than 25€ a month which is less than the vast majority of people spend in their hobbies and significantly less than the average boardgamer does.

Personally, Android: Netrunner is the cheapeast boardgame I've ever played. I have about 2400 plays of it plus many hours of deckbuilding and game discussion which is a lot for the price. The closest a boardgame I own comes in price is Terraforming Mars which I have about 120 plays on and, hence, comes to about 0,5€ per hour.
Jur wrote:
A game lives not because of new releases but because of players. If anybody murders a game, it's the players
I'm sorry, but this is a exceptionally bad take. This kind of games are not self-contained. They require an engaged community to be enjoyed to their full extend and it's extremely difficult to keep that community around without tournaments, retailer support and a stale metagame. And no cards for sale and no publicity.

Players can try to save a game. In fact, they are trying right now. But it's almost impossible to do. The games that have mantained any sort of presence over the years can be counted on one hand.


PD: FFG just announced they are releasing the full art 2017 Championship decks.
Posted: 14 Jun 2018 13:16 by Shellhead #275415
Shellhead's Avatar
Last month, Black Chantry brought back my all-time favorite CCG Vampire/Jyhad back into print as an LCG. But their cards are 2/3 reprints and 1/3 new, and there is no new base set or starter decks. So it feels more like a dead cat bounce than an actual return. Some local friends played a bit recently, but forgot to invite me. I am taking a wait-and-see stance for now.
Posted: 14 Jun 2018 13:21 by Erik Twice #275418
Erik Twice's Avatar
Shellhead wrote:
Last month, Black Chantry brought back my all-time favorite CCG Vampire/Jyhad back into print as an LCG. But their cards are 2/3 reprints and 1/3 new, and there is no new base set or starter decks. So it feels more like a dead cat bounce than an actual return. Some local friends played a bit recently, but forgot to invite me. I am taking a wait-and-see stance for now.
Many of the local Netrunner players used to play VTES and I would have loved to own a set for casual play so it was dissapointing to hear there were not going to be new base sets or starters.

I think both games will return one day. There's too much good in them for them not to.
Posted: 15 Jun 2018 00:19 by Jur #275435
Jur's Avatar
Erik Twice wrote:
Jur wrote:
A game lives not because of new releases but because of players. If anybody murders a game, it's the players
I'm sorry, but this is a exceptionally bad take. This kind of games are not self-contained. They require an engaged community to be enjoyed to their full extend and it's extremely difficult to keep that community around without tournaments, retailer support and a stale metagame. And no cards for sale and no publicity.

Players can try to save a game. In fact, they are trying right now. But it's almost impossible to do. The games that have mantained any sort of presence over the years can be counted on one hand.

I'm not claiming that a game will blossom as much as when it is supported, but if the game has merrit by itself people will keep playing it. Like with Bloodbowl. It didn't die.

But perhaps competition players are different from casual players, and they need the constant feeding and support to stay interested. I've never heard anyone say they won't play Puerto Rico anymore because there aren't tournaments and new expansions. I have heard competition players saying that about a game. So maybe not "This kind of games", but "this kind of players"?
Posted: 15 Jun 2018 21:58 by cranberries #275516
CranBerries's Avatar
Shellhead wrote:
Excellent writing. I've been a fan of the cyberpunk genre since reading Johnny Mnemonic in the early '80s in an issue of Omni magazine. I dabbled in the original Netrunner game, which was very playable right out of the starter deck. But it was a time of many CCGs, and I was having more fun with Vampire, Shadowfist, and Legend of the Burning Sands. I was glad that FFG brought back Netrunner, but by then I had seen too many card games come and go. As you mentioned in your article, new cards are crucial to the ongoing health of a game, and once there are no more new cards, most players lose interest. My game collection includes several cubic feet of cards for dead CCGs, including the original Netrunner.

I used to play the Cyberpunk RPG back in the '80s. The campaign setting was the backdrop for the original Netrunner CCG, and it was set in the year 2013. The second edition rules were set in 2020. One of these days, I should get out the old rulebooks and scenarios and see what they got right and wrong about 2013.


Screenshot_20180615-215738.png
Posted: 16 Jun 2018 05:49 by Shellhead #275524
Shellhead's Avatar
Whoa, maybe I could just sell my old Cyberpunk stuff and cash in. I really should, because it's not likely that I will play it again.
Posted: 16 Jun 2018 07:27 by Colorcrayons #275529
Colorcrayons's Avatar
Probably is a good time to cash in. Nostalgia only works for so long on stuff like that. It's not like millenials will wax nostalgic for stuff they didn't live through, and thus not appreciate as much to throw that kind of jink at.