Edit: at the time of writing this I was unaware of the wholesale clean out of the designers who have invested so much of their lives in providing us with so many great games and I am saddened and frustrated to have learned how they appear to have been treated. They deserved better than that for their commitment and dedication and I am disappointed that this has happened. Their labour has given me so much personally and I will always be truly grateful to all of them for that.
Well, that was a big announcement right? Atomic Mass taking over from Fantasy Flight Games on our beloved X-Wing. It’s very, very easy to hit the panic button and declare the sky is falling, but it’s also a really bad idea and more than likely incorrect. Here are my immediate thoughts on why everything is looking really exciting going forward.
Who is in charge now?
For a start let’s look at the game Atomic Mass have been responsible for: Marvel Crisis Protocol.
Here’s the link to it’s profile on Board Game Geek. At the time of writing it has a MASSIVE rating of 8.4. That’s really good. Like, stupid high, especially when you consider that it is a Miniatures Game, which is not something that BOARD Game Geek always goes in big for.
Just to highlight the quality, X-Wing Second Edition comes in a 8.3. So both games have a similarly strong and prominent rating. This is a good thing, we can expect consistency of quality.
The highest rated game on BGG is Gloomhaven with 8.8 to give some perspective.
Next up let’s look at the games that members of the Atomic Mass Team have been involved in creating.
- Warmachine – 7.3 https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/4741/warmachine
- Hordes – 7.5 https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/19679/hordes
So while these games don’t break the 8 mark for their rating they do have a very solid score. To make it more positive their newest game, Crisis Protocol is rated more highly than either of these two. So general opinion is they have got better at making games.
That bodes well for us. These guys have a good track record.
Hand Over, Not Take Over
This is a planned move by Asmodee North America to consolidate like for like studios. This move will allow FFG to continue to focus on it’s traditional strengths. Super high production value board games like Twilight Imperium and the incredibly successful LCGs like Marvel Champions and Arkham Horror. Atomic Mass will only be focussing on miniatures games, which should mean better continuity, better specialisation and more attention to detail.
They are not taking over X-Wing to kill it, that would be a pointless move. This is all part of the same company, there is no way that anyone with a Lucasfilm/Disney license is going to take steps to end that agreement and not continue to use the intellectual property to make money… If anything this is a great step, with innovation and new ideas we could well be looking at a 3.0 at sometime in the future which will have more advancement, more engaging with technology in a better way and more content.
A smooth transition is of benefit to everyone, plans that are in place will remain in place, they aren’t going to suddenly turn around and cancel production and release of product that has already gone to print.
X-Wing is in a massively strong position right now, through out COVID it has continued to perform well and generate money for Asmodee (as have Armada, Legion, and Imperial Assault). The releases we have had in the past few months have been phenomenal and unexpectedly strong successes as proved by shortages of certain products. People are buying X-Wing. It’s great. Why would a business risk that my not ensuring that they look to sustain sales rather than threaten them?
Supply and Demand
The distribution network will still be the same. Asmodee is still going to be the distributor, they still have the biggest reach in the world for getting products into customers hands and into shops.
Crisis Protocol has had a staggeringly aggressive release schedule, mini after mini has appeared on a monthly basis expanding the game and the options there in. Atomic Mass clearly understand that new product flowing into a game at a good tempo is important for sustaining interest and keeping things exciting.
This is the tough one, Organised Play has taken a hit over the last 12 months, and we genuinely don’t know what is going to happen with it going forward. But X-Wing was the shining star in the FFG OP crown, it had the biggest events with the most passionate support. They know that it matters to us, the players, so hiatus: not end.
Until COVID is a bit less of a threat to the well being of the world I’m not expecting much in the way of OP but I would be genuinely shocked if it doesn’t come back. It might not look exactly the same, but Crisis Protocol has OP kits, Warmachine and Hordes had OP kits. Expect more OP kits in the future.
And if you haven’t noticed, community driven OP has been pretty successful over the past few months. (Thank you Dion and co) so we are still able to generate stuff ourselves in the meantime!
This is the Way
So it was inevitable that this might come up….
There are new toys being released on Friday the 27th of November. We have seen leaks of things yet to be officially announced in the past. These ships are going to be painted. Why on earth would they move away from the model that they have used for the last 8 years of X-Wing and just decide to stop painting stuff? It’s a feature of the product.
There is so much content being produced. Disney are on a roll with Star Wars. The whole project of bringing new content to small screens is rife with rumour and plans. We’ve already seen a whole lot of characters in the Mandalorian being mentioned, there’ll be more space ships, there’ll be more stories. As long as the Star Wars Galaxy keeps expanding there will be content to keep the game going. As long as we keep buying the new content, they will keep making stuff. This is our game, this is our hobby and our passion, there is no reason that it stops unless we do.
Whistle stop tour. But TL:DR expect things to not change to much in the immediate future. Give them time and watch how things evolve. And do so with expectation that this is a good step.