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Android: Netrunner Is Officially Over - And Its Unofficial Rebirth Begins Today

UPDATE: Project NISEI has unveiled their first Organized Play kit, to be released in December. More details will be coming in mid-November.

Fantasy Flight Games' license for the Netrunner name has officially expired, allowing the fan-run NISEI organization to continue in its place.

Android: Netrunner is a two-player, asymmetrical, cyberpunk heist competitive card game. It is a battle between a scrappy hacker - the Runner - and a mega-corporation, with the latter trying to keep their secret agendas safe and secure before the Runner can expose them. It's maybe the best card game ever made, and on October 21st, it was officially discontinued by Fantasy Flight Games.

FFG had been publishing ANR for 6 years before making the announcing in June that their licensing agreement with Wizards Of The Coast - makers of Magic: The Gathering, as well as original owners of the Netrunner name (and first iteration of the game from the '90s) - had come to an end without a renewal in sight. As of October 22nd, FFG would no longer have anything to do with the game.

That initial announcement was met with sadness and anger, at first, which eventually transformed into something greater: fans coming together to celebrate their favorite game. Take, for instance, 2018's World Championships for the game, which saw its highest turnout ever, with about 400 people converging on FFG's In-Flight Center near Minneapolis, Minnesota in September. Every one of them there to share their love for the game.

The biggest and best of the fan attempts to keep Netrunner going is Project NISEI (or Nextrunner International Support & Expansion Initiative).

Project Nisei features a number of personalities already well-known in the Netrunner community, and their vision of Netrunner's future is bright. They will be producing Organized Play kits (including play mat prizes), maintaining the FAQ and lists of banned and restricted cards, writing lore for the game's universe, and, of course, designing new cards to breathe life into the game on a regular basis.

via Project NISEI on Stimhack

Time will tell whether their efforts are successful or not. The best case scenario is that NISEI can keep the game alive for the diehard fans, while also offering something accessible to newcomers. After all, the only thing a new player really needs in order to get into the game is a color printer and some opaque sleeves. Questions about how to get into the game now that it's ending still pop up on the subreddit frequently, so there are certainly people out there who want in.

Android: Netrunner may be officially dead, but for many, the game is just beginning.

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