We went back over the past year and put all of the events of note in chronological order to show what appears to be a timetable of trouble at FFG.
FFG just announced they are slashing their parts replacement program, as more details emerge that the RPG studio department may have been shut down as well.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first troubling thing we’ve heard from the Asmodee/FFG front. With big layoffs just reported there, and now a policy change concerning how customers return their product, we’re not exactly sure of the mentality of the company.
Let’s take a look at the latest:
December 2018: Founder and CEO Departs Company
He left the company at the end of 2018. This was his letter to everyone at the time:
Since I founded Fantasy Flight some 23-plus years ago, I’ve had the great honor to work in the business of publishing tabletop games. During that time, I’ve met hundreds and hundreds of wonderful people in the tabletop industry: colleagues, suppliers, retailers, distributors, and many more. As I sit here in my office on this last day of the year, on this last day of my tenure at FFG/Asmodee, my thoughts are of appreciation to you, the player, who made this place and this great life possible. Thank you for bringing home our “stories and dreams in boxes” and for making them your own.
Thank you for your suggestions, for your passion, and for the voices of encouragement. Thank you for your patronage. Thank you for playing. With my shelves empty, walls naked, boxes packed, I leave now humbled and grateful for my journey with FFG. I don’t turn off the light behind me, for those that remain will carry on the fantasy flight. In every respect they are the most amazing and experienced crew of game makers I could ever have hoped to gather in the same place. I sincerely hope that you’ll extend to them the same trust and patronage as you did to FFG during my time.
Personally, I cannot wait to see what they will do and play what they will make. As for me, I’ll see what lies behind that bend in the road just ahead. I hear that new stories and dreams are found there.
Best Wishes. Christian T. Petersen
Fantasy Flight Games
Summer 2019: First Signs of Trouble? Trade Sales Team Office Closed
It’s also worth noting that last summer an email was sent to stores that purchased FFG’s products at the wholesale level. It looks like their dedicated FFG sales department has closed permanently and now their products are available to retailers through the mail Alliance Games Distributors Channels.
That may have been the first sign of trouble at the company last summer and may have been the first round of “fat trimming” at the company.
Roughly around the same time as everything above was spotted making rounds across the web, FFG was spotted directly selling their products on Amazon for WAY less than what you might normally pay for in a store.
We’ve covered the sale in an earlier post and it’s important to note that some products have since dropped in price even more. Nobody really knows what’s going on here.
December 2019: Head of Studio Departs Company
One year’s later after the departure of FFG’s founder and CEO, Andrew Navaro also left the company:
Fantasy Flight Games studio head Andrew Navaro (who had been at that position since 2016) Had this to say in his goodbye:
It feels strange for my time with FFG to be coming to an end, almost fifteen years to the day from when it began. If you’ve ever worked somewhere for an extended period of time and left, or retired, you probably have some sense of what I’m feeling. I’m 45 years old, so the math is simple: I’ve spent a third of my life working at FFG—longer than I dreamed possible when I first started. I’ve worked on a ton of amazing projects, and was able to work with literally all of my favorite IPs. It’s been an absolute dream—even the nightmarish parts. I look back on it all with only gratitude and joy. Be you a fan or a colleague, thank you for everything. I’ll see you soon.
Peace and love,
Jan 2020: Departments Closing & Layoffs Reported
As of publishing time, neither FFG or Asmodee has commented publicly about any sort of layoffs or restructuring. Affected employees have taken to forums such as Reddit, and Linkedin to address the situation, however.
According to former FFG Employee Sam Bailey layoffs have occurred to both the Fantasy Flight Interactive and RPG departments.
Fantasy Flight Interactive is set to be closed down completely.
Most, if not all, the RPG department has been laid off.
Numerous other employees have been cut in a large reorganization of the entire studio following the departure of several key members of the company that have been there for years.
Head of FFI Tim Gerritson has confirmed that department’s layoffs on Linkedin and was looking to help his team land on their feet:
Tacking on even more strange interaction between Asmodee and the consumers, they’ve just updated their return policy for games on their website.
At the end of the day, we can all probably agree that there has been some very odd and nearly-unexplained behavior coming from Asmodee/FFG over the last several months. Hopefully, this is the last of the bad news from them.
So with all of this covered, what do you think the reasoning for rumored department closures could be? Is the company struggling?