The inimitable Android: Netrunner card game is drawing to a close after six years.
For those not in the know, Android: Netrunner is a two-player, asymmetrical, cyberpunk heist competitive card game made by Fantasy Flight Games, based on an original design from the '90s by Richard Garfield, the creator of Magic: The Gathering. Wizards Of The Coast, which still own the rights to that original design, had been licensing the game to Fantasy Flight for the past 6 years. Though we don't know the details yet, it seems that licensing agreement has come to an end, and with it, one of the greatest card games ever made.
Netrunner was special in several ways; true to its cyberpunk setting, it was a game in which information was a crucial resource, where bluffs and traps were as essential to the game as powerful combos. The game was truly asymmetrical, with one player taking on the role of a hacker (or Runner), and the other a Corporation trying to keep their servers secure from incursion. The Corp played defense (mostly), building a fortress, or a labyrinth, to keep the Runner out. The Runner, meanwhile, built up their rig, hired connections, and made death-defying plays to get the goods. The game was also a Living Card Game, which means that it went through non-random expansions - there was no rarity or collectible nature to the game, and thus not as expensive as Magic or Yu-Gi-Oh to play.
Now, though, that irreplaceable mix of poker, chess, and, yes, maybe a little bit of Magic: The Gathering has come to a close. It's a surprising turn for events - the game has a new lead designer, with a hotly-anticipated expansion coming out in the next few months. After that, though - nothing.
The game will see a dramatic conclusion to competitive play, however. The final World Championship will see players competing to affect the overall story of the Android universe, which will continue in other tabletop and roleplaying games.
Needless to say, a lot of diehard fans of the game are pretty depressed by the news. If anyone has good ideas for other competitive card games that won't break the bank to play, they'll be glad to hear them!