By Andrew Dodson on September 13, 2014 at 2:28pm
In somewhat of a surprise move by Fantasy Flight Games, the popular game company sent a cease and desist order to NetrunnerDB, a fan-built site dedicated to "Netrunner" deck building and strategy.
NetrunnerDB developer, Alsciende Della Rocca, relayed the news to the community by posting on BoardGameGeek:
Hi guys. I'm very sad to report that I received a C&D email from FFG, asking me nicely, but under the threat of legal action, to immediately shut down my website http://netrunnerdb.com. To be honest I'm surprised by that move. Their recent decision to watermark the images on CardGameDB worried me, but I never thought netrunnerdb would pose any threat to their activity/income. I think fan sites bolster the public's interest for a game. [sic] Alsciende Della Rocca
NetrunnerDB is one of the most popular deck-building websites for the very popular "Netrunner" game. As one can assume, fans of the online deck-building system are furious by the move and confused by Fantasy Flight's motives.
It is assumed that by shutting down NetrunnerDB, the idea is that fans will start using Fantasy Flight's own deck-building site "Cardgame DB," which it recently purchased. "Netrunner" players find that website slow and clunky compared to the much smoother experience that NetrunnerDB was offering.
Another thought is that Fantasy Flight Games is simply trying to reel in their own intellectual property so its all under the same net (no pun intended) in order to prevent people from playing the game without ever having bought any cards.
Either way, it is a widely unpopular move by Fantasy Flight Games - a move that has caused a lot of fans to draw parallels between the Fantasy Flight and the evil corporations that you run against in the "Netrunner" game.
Currently, there is a banner on the NetrunnerDB website which announces the cease and desist order, tells users that they should download their decks and links to change.org where people can sign a petition in hopes of changing Fantasy Flight Games' decision.
Whether or not Fantasy Flight listens to the petition is up in the air right now. According to fans of the game, they feel that rather than shut down a working system like NetrunnerDB, they should instead either send guidelines to the different websites, detailing how their intellectual properties can be used without legal action or find who is making the more popular websites and hire them to give CardgameDB a much needed update to make it competitive with fan-built websites.
NetrunnerDB Change.Org Petition