Tabletop publisher Fantasy Flight Games has opened a digital studio

netrunner

If you’re even just a little bit familiar with tabletop gaming, you’ve probably heard of Fantasy Flight Games. It’s the publisher behind titans like Star Wars: Armada and Android: Netrunner, and over the years it’s absolutely bled me dry with its elaborate and very expensive games. And now it’s moving into our neck of the woods, establishing its own digital development studio: Fantasy Flight Interactive.

This isn’t the publisher’s first digital venture. Some of its games, like XCOM: The Board Game, include app integration, and it’s also created some video game adaptations of its board games, like Elder Sign: Omens. It will continue to release these types of tabletop-video-game hybrids, while Fantasy Flight Interactive will focus on more expansive projects.

Ex-Irrational studio director and Human Head CEO Tim Gerritsen is heading up the team. He’s been involved with Human Head’s unreleased version of Prey, BioShock Infinite and Rune, which was also converted into a tabletop game.

Fantasy Flight Interactive’s website is devoid of information aside from the press release at the moment, and we don’t know what they’re working on, so it’s time to start speculating and constructing a wish list.

Android: Netrunner. Please. Not a CCG, because I simply don’t think any CCG could be better than the tabletop version, but rather something set in the Netrunner universe, with different mechanics. Running a team of anarchist hackers, managing a corrupt conglomerate, there are a lot of directions it could go in. I really do just want to see more of that world, though.

OK, this next one will never happen, but a boy can dream. Star Wars: Armada The Video Game. Let’s forget for a moment that EA has the Star Wars license until the 2020s and hasn’t exactly treated it kindly. I’m thinking of Star Wars: Empire At War’s space sections, Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock and Battlefleet Gothic: Armada — big capital ships colliding and battering each other in the uncaring void. Shivers!

I can’t speculate alone, so share all of your hopes and dreams (specifically about Fantasy Flight Interactive, but if you want to share other hopes and dreams I’m open to it) in the comments.

[Arkham Horror please – ed]

22 Comments

  1. Shiloh says:

    Eldritch Horror please. There’s actually an excellent EH book-keeping app which takes a lot of the hassle out of set up (it basically gets rid of the need for sorting and shuffling all the encounter/Other World/research cards) and which I use every time my group plays, but some kind of official tie in would be great too.

    • ExitJudas says:

      Eldritch and Arkham horror type games which both contain quite a lot of bookkeeping, and work really well as single player games are prime candidates.

  2. Gothnak says:

    So here’s a question. If you could pick any board game ever made to make a digital rendition of, what would it be?

    • Kamestos says:

      Imperial Assault, with the campaign rules.
      Lord of the rings card game.
      Arkham horror card game.

      • Gothnak says:

        LOTR LCG is my most played card game… They are all Fantasy Flight games too..

        Single Player/Co-op do suit computer games much better in general. Imperial Assault is more Skirmishy.

        • Kamestos says:

          Campaign rules would do a fine single player mode.
          Skirmishes for multiplayer, local or online.
          Descent would work too, just port the Road for Legend app.

      • unitled says:

        Arkham Horror LCG is fantastic, and the new campaign that has just started, The Path to Carcosa, is absolutely knocking it out the park.

    • lglethal says:

      Warhammer 40K – direct turn based translation, with all the armies and NOT another f$%king RTS!!!

    • zombiewarrior07 says:

      Any game ever made?
      I would go for Space Empires 4X, by GMT games, or War of the Ring, by Ares games.
      FFG games only, I would pick Middle Earth Quest, or Star Wars Rebellion.

  3. welverin says:

    Why Star Wars: Armada and not X-Wing?

  4. MrUnimport says:

    Interesting. Android: Netrunner is a really delightful integration of lore and mechanics, perhaps unparalleled in the amount of fun flavour stuff going on. But I can’t help but feel like a lot of that is inherited from the strength of the original Netrunner setup, without which the Android universe kind of falls flat. I like Jinteki traps and Weyland riches, I like corporate wetwork and political influence. I like the diversity of the setting (cultural as well as ethnic). But every time they try to do a story thing with the universe it ends up being a boring, cliched genre-fest. The same well-worn cyberpunk tropes that are fun and cool when instantiated as card mechanics just seem pedestrian when they’re supposed to carry the narrative.

    I really hope they do bring an Android game to PC, and if it’s not digital Netrunner I hope they nevertheless manage to capture some of what makes that game cool.

    • Vandelay says:

      I think it would be great for them to do a Netrunner PC game (or Game of Thrones or Legend of the Five Rings – which looks to be another great LCG from them,) but I would want to see them not just doing a copy of the table top game. Introduce elements that could only be done in a video game.

      Netrunner’s bluffing game could introduce some really interesting stuff, such as being able to switch cards out without your opponent knowing which ones or being able to see cards without giving away what you have seen. Viruses that multiply in fancy ways or other fancy traps could be really interesting and really enhance the flavour.

      Similarly, Game of Thrones you could tweak. I’ve always thought the plot cards in that could be made more interesting by actually setting you some kind of goal to achieve in order to trigger the ability (such as kill 2 enemy characters to kill a third, end the round with more gold to gain 2 power and the like,) would add cool thematic scheming element to the game. A digital version could do some even more interesting stuff with that sort of mechanic.

      • xenoss says:

        I think even a direct translation to digital would be great (with visual effects and house keeping done automatically).

        I have been wishing for digital versions of the LCGs since Hearthstone and Magic was a thing.

        Imagine in AGoT where power counters are applied automatically, Winter and Summer traits from the plots create visual changes to the board to indicate the status.

        Netrunner would also obviously benefit from the special effects and the many house keeping benefits done automatically, as well as fit thematically.

        But even if LCGs aren’t coming to digital, there are plenty of FFG stuff I love anyway. Anything would do, really. I am so excited.

  5. Lars Westergren says:

    Fantasy Flight Games+ Ex-Irrational studio director.

    Yes. Yes. I’m nodding very enthusiastically right now. This is something to keep an eye on.

  6. hfm says:

    God yes…
    Call of Cthulhu Card Game FOR SURE.
    Eldritch Horror (Arkham Horror maybe, but Eldritch is a little more streamlined, lets start there)
    Mansions of Madness might be nice..
    Star Wars: X-Wing/Armada (F.U. EA)
    Something Netrunner would be nice

  7. xenoss says:

    HOLY SHIT I could not believe my eyes when I saw this article. FINALLY!

    I have been hoping for FFG to take this step for a long time. Although my hope is to have digital versions of the LCGs, which may not be the case here but hell, there’s hope yet.

    Playing Netrunner and AGoT on PC and mobile would be freaking great.

  8. malkav11 says:

    What I want from this: Fantasy Flight doing ports of their best (particularly solo/coop) boardgames to PC and mobile, with all the frills of their Elder Sign port but with far better games at the core (Elder Sign is the single worst of the Arkham Horror-and-friends line they’ve been doing).

    What they apparently want from this: to do videogames based on their extraordinarily tepid original IPs.

  9. buzzmong says:

    Obviously it’s not one of FFG’s games, but if someone could convert Necromunda, I’d be quite happy.

  10. dontnormally says:

    Twilight Imperium.

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