Five stages…

The intro…

Hey there! Welcome to this week’s blog. For reasons that are, more than likely, very obvious by now, this week’s blog will take a slightly different format.

Let’s get started.

The preface…

On the 13th of June 2024 AMG released the following statement.

This was shortly followed up by a post from Asmodee:

Well, as I’m apparently known for saying now:

Balls.

The reaction…

I’ll get to my feelings in a minute, first I want to talk about the community reaction as a whole.

Something struck me as I took part in multiple group chats and individual conversations as word spread like wildfire across social media in the minutes and hours following the release.

The stages of grief.

  • denial
  • anger
  • bargaining
  • depression
  • acceptance

The more I looked, the more that every post or comment or reply that I saw actually fell into one or more of these categories.

I’ll share a few which I think highlight the points well or accurately. Now, just a little warning – I don’t (generally!) swear and don’t on here. Some of what I’ll post here might contain language you won’t normally find here. Just wanted to say that before we go there…

And these are just from the Facebook post of AMG’s announcement. I haven’t yet delved into the AMG Discord server (though I’m aware of one or two who have been banned so far) and at time of writing, I’ve not looked at Reddit either. I don’t think I need to. I know what it’ll say. Exactly the same as what’s above (but perhaps a little less filtered). These are the sentiments of X-Wing players all over the world, upset at how our precious game has been treated. Some posts are well reasoned, others are an unfiltered (or barely filtered) outpouring of disdain.

The one step you might find missing here is denial. Plenty of anger, some depression, a sprinkling of acceptance. Maybe a little bargaining here and there. No denial though. You could probably say we’ve been living in that for a while now.

What ties all of this together is the grief itself. You do not get feelings like these for something that you don’t have passion for.

This game means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For some it’s simply a pastime, something to think about instead of work. For others it’s a lifestyle. Spending time with friends playing or theorising or producing fan content. Travelling all over the country (or the world!) to meet other people just as passionate.

It’s not just a game.

I’ll let Liam Baker sum it up better than I do…

At some point, for many people, this stopped being just a game. It became a community, a place of acceptance, a place to just be.

The worry for many will be about what the future holds. Will their local store keep running game nights or tournaments? What will happen to their community?

When I think about the game, I never thought about how long I’d be in it for. That’s not something you normally ponder over a cup of tea. If I engaged my logical brain, did I think it would last forever? Of course not. Things like this, with some exceptions (40k, Pokemon, Magic) will have a certain shelf life and then come to an end.

The frustrating thing though is that this feels premature. It feels like more could have been done. There are avenues unexplored, stones unturned, ships unreleased. The bones of the game are still good. Secret dials are an amazing game feature. No matter which version you play, it’s all fun. And that’s what we’re in this for, right?

There could have been a 2.75 or a 3.0 total reboot and, like I’ve said before in various posts, there WOULD be uptake. I’m sure some people would bow out and sell up but getting new product on shelves and some decent marketing using one of the best known IPs in the world WOULD have made money. To not have done that just feels lazy and like a complete waste.

I’m going to say a thing now but bear with me before you get mad, ok? The compassionate side of me sympathises with AMG on this. I repeatedly got the feeling that they were given a roster of games that they were unprepared for both in terms of staffing, resources and general appeal to take on. They looked at it, made changes to maybe make themselves like it more but in the end it’s not worked out.

The cynical side of me thinks that AMG were given these games simply to make it simpler (paperwork/red tape-wise) to hold the IP license. Shatterpoint was clearly in development for a good while and transferring the license should have enabled them to basically print money.

It doesn’t appear to have worked out that way so far. Sad.

Perhaps this has all worked out to the worst possible outcome for all of us. We, the community, have lost support of development of the game we love. AMG now holds the dubious honour of killing the game that, at one point, reportedly rivalled 40k in sales.

Here’s a little snippet I came across. I can’t guarantee the info but I think it’s pertinent to share at this time and gives and interesting perspective on what we’re seeing.

Who will all of this work out best for? It’s FAR too early to say. But i know where my money would go if I was a betting man…

My own take…

As I start writing this it’s still less than 12 hours since the news dropped. I’m feeling MANY things and in all honesty struggling to untangle them all in my brain.

Looking at the 5 stages again:

  • denial
  • anger
  • bargaining
  • depression
  • acceptance

In all honesty, I’ve probably been feeling the first two for a good while. Years, even. Ever since X-Wing moved over to AMG I was apprehensive but always trying to be positive about the future. AMG had said it planned 10 years. Did interviews and spoke positively. But actions speak louder than words.

No product, no points, no plan, unanswered questions on the future. I’d thought that a year of organised play events being planned was a positive step but it turned out to be a ‘farewell tour’.

There was anger and, in a way, denial that the game had been set off on a downward trajectory that it could never recover from.

Bargaining came next. Even recently. Surely a string of GT events means that the game has a future? If they’re spending money to run GTs then there MUST be something planned we just don’t know about. Maybe we can petition as a community? What if the game moved to a different studio?

I’m not sure whether depression is one that I’ve covered so far. I’ve been very confident for a long time now that if the game was ever abandoned that the community would pick it up and run with it.

I’ve got concerns on that front, to be sure. Already I’ve seen posts of returning to 200 points or 40 points or dogfight only. Half points in all scenarios or dropping scenarios altogether. And that was just int he first few hours. I guess my biggest fear is that in our enthusiasm to do something, that the community will fracture into a million little pieces all running a slightly different but ‘my version is the best’ version of the game.

I’m of the mind that the most important thing right now is unity and patience. We need to stick together, come to a consensus and hang on while things are sorted out. And I don’t want that. I’m pretty sure nobody does.

On that front, my feeling right now is pretty much at acceptance. AMG ‘s surprised nobody with this announcement. The writing has been on the wall for a long time, it’s just that many (myself included) were avoiding looking at the wall.

Oli Pocknell summed it up very nicely when he said…

The Welsh Open…?

Of course this announcement raises some huge questions about future events so let me just say this – The Welsh Open will of course continue as planned!

We’ve poured ourselves into making this event the very best that it can be and while we can’t currently guarantee what that means for 2025, we are aiming to make 2024 one to remember.

I’ve had confirmation that the official prize pack has been shipped and on our front, participation prizes are in production right now with Cog O Two and we’re making some other goodies as well…

Now I do feel like we need a little clarification on the rules and format. I did get sent this message and it did cross my mind to consider it….

BUT

As we’re just a few weeks out, squad builders haven’t made any changes, there’s a growing consensus that current points should be kept through the GT AND because we’re past the point of refunds being available for anyone who would want to opt out, I can confirm that we will be using the current point and rule set.

The side event? Well, maybe we’ll see but I really do want to try a cross faction event…

So, if you’re looking to get together with other nerds to play pewpew or maybe you want a last hurrah of 2.5 before we head into the wild west of a community driven game, coming along to the Welsh Open is what you need!

https://www.thebattlefields.co.uk/events-at-the-battlefields/star-wars-x-wing-welsh-gt-2024-cardiff

The conclusion…

Ok, so it’s all a bit doom and gloom, right?

Well, no, not exactly.

Let’s face it, this has been a long time coming. As I mentioned earlier, the lack of engagement or planning has sparked a LOT of speculation and while some people seem to be very happy just to have been proven right, others are actually taking steps towards the future.

Many are feeling like the game ahs been ‘freed’ and that now the community can take it on and find a direction that people enjoy.

The great news is that there’s no shortage of community leaders and organisations who are stepping up to start looking at how things could maybe look as we move forward.

Then, in pretty bold and absolutely epic move, Adepticon posts this…

Working with the community. WITH. THE. COMMUNITY. Something AMG stumbled over so many times I’ve lost track.

When AMG released 2.5 it cracked the X-Wing community into pieces. Some people rage quit. Loudly. Some people tried it, hated it and left.

Some people decided that 2.0 was worth the effort and kept it going –https://x2po.org/

I will freely admit that I’ve not looked at 2.0 rules since the AMG changes – mostly because 2.5 was what big/official tournaments and our local play group would be using. As I mentioned in last week’s blog, I’m not against going back to 200 points but the most important thing to me is that there’s still a game to play and that as many people as possible are playing the same version.

While the details of what the future of X-Wing holds might be up in the air right now, it’s VERY early days. There’s a long list of GT events coming over the next 10 months or so which I’m fully expecting to use the current AMG rule set. With that in mind, there’s really no rush to get community X-Wing off the ground just yet. But I know that it will. And when it does, I’ll be there.

The infamous Louis Leong made a post yesterday which is worth a look…

#ImNotDone

For now let’s do the farewell tour. Let’s support the game. Let’s spend time with friends playing pewpew. Let’s break out ships we’ve not used for ages. Let’s have fun. The future is coming and when it’s here, let’s be ready.

X-Wing is dead. Long live X-Wing…

The outro…

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