After six years, publisher Fantasy Flight Games announced today that Android: Netrunner, one of the all-time best card games, is ending.
In a blog post today, Fantasy Flight Games wrote that as of 22 October 2018, they will stop selling all Android: Netrunner products and hosting organised play events.
To explain why Android: Netrunner is ending, head of studio Andrew Navaro wrote that, while he can't give specifics, the licence agreement between Wizards of the Coast and Fantasy Flight has reached its conclusion. (Wizards of the Coast has published Android: Netrunner's precursor, Netrunner, since 1996. In 2012, Fantasy Flight Games released Android: Netrunner under Wizards' licence.)
'.The card game Android. Netrunner does not feel like a game. Jacked into its system, Android. Netrunner's thorny mechanics melt away until all that's left are electric impulses in my brain interfacing with my opponents'. It becomes a stylish dance of psychology..'
Android: Netrunner is an asymmetric cyberpunk card game in which one player is the hacker and the other is a corporation. The hacker's goal is to break through the corporation's defences, steal their agenda cards, and earn points.
In Kotaku's review, I called Android: Netrunner the most captivating card game I've ever played, with the caveat that it isn't even remotely as accessible as genre blockbusters such as Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering.
In Fantasy Flight's same post, lead developer Michael Boggs said that when he learned Android: Netrunner was ending, he felt "sadness, confusion and nostalgia... Android: Netrunner was something extraordinary. It was unique in its theme and mechanics, sure, but its true specialty came from the people around it."
Fantasy Flight added that this might not be the end to Android: Netrunner's brilliant, cyberpunk world: "The worlds of Android will continue to be explored, from the gritty streets of SanSan to the warring colonies of Mars, in future products from Fantasy Flight Games."
Kotaku reached out to Wizards of the Coast for comment but had not heard back at time of writing.