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Android: Netrunner, widely considered the most successful and popular LCG from Fantasy Flight Games, is shutting down at the close of this year.
News from late last week came that FFG no longer holds the license to Android: Netrunner due to contract expiration. Much like the case was with Warhammer 40K: Conquest, it seems quite obvious from the state that Netrunner will be leaving us in that this was not FFG’s intention at all. With a large active player-base, rotation finally coming into effect, a 2nd Edition core set recently released, and the metagame health being in a relatively good place, the news that Netrunner will no longer be produced or sold in several months time is sure to come as a shock to many.
For me, despite not being an active Netrunner player (my last foray into the tournament scene was back in the second Noise + Personal Workshop), I’m saddened to hear the news. I’ve always had a soft spot for the cyberpunk world, and the truly unique mechanisms that the game offered were a breath of fresh air in a realm populated by creature/character combat games. No longer will cunning runners try their best to slip through the defences of seedy corporations. The most successful chapter in the history of the LCG model is coming to an end.
There does seem to be an interesting “loophole” if you will to this whole licensing mess. FFG still has the Android license, their own in-house universe. Game mechanisms also cannot be copyrighted (to my understanding), which leaves open the possibility of a relaunch of Netrunner under the Android name. While this is possible, and would likely rustle many a gamer (and a certain company)’s jimmies, I’d be surprised if this ended up being the case, given that the well received Warhammer 40K: Conquest has not yet been reimplemented.
Of course, the question remains as to what truly went down between Wizards of the Coast and FFG. It’s unlikely that the dedicated fanbase will ever find out, unfortunately. As such, Netrunner will likely, like Star Wars LCG, Warhammer Invasion, Call of Cthulhu, and Warhammer 40K: Conquest before it, fade into memories of good times with friends.
Australian Tabletop Gaming Network in many ways cut it’s proverbial teeth with Android: Netrunner. Some of our oldest (and greatest) content to date surrounds the game. For a trip down memory lane take a look at some of the articles we have written over the years. Below are just a few of the many matches we have recorded on our YouTube channel.