Asmodee NA and FFG: stop Galápagos Jogos's attack on the X-Wing community!

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To Fantasy Flight Games and Asmodee North America,


regarding the Brazilian distributor, Galápagos Jogos, and recent events.

 

We, the undersigned, are Brazilian X-Wing players, podcasters, YouTube video-makers and much more; in sum, active players and content producers of our nationwide community. We write this to call the attention of FFG and Asmodee NA to the recent behaviour of their Brazilian partner, Galápagos Jogos, and to manifest our complete dissatisfaction regarding the way the company has handled the X-Wing products distribution and Organized Play and, more importantly, its customer relations.


It is no secret that Galápagos Jogos has been having serious issues with the distribution of X-Wing Second Edition and other products, aggravated by a shipping accident that resulted in  the loss of all first wave conversion kits and core sets for that game. However, those are not the only issues that impacted the the community, and the majority of them are not due to a freak accident but due to clear mismanagement, going back close to two years.


As consumers, we have consistently had our access to X-Wing waves only months after their international release (and in the case of some of the products, no access at all). The problem here is that the community is left in the dark regarding what we can expect for the future. Vague and dismissive responses from the company have led to the meme “Soon... Soon…” as being the only response one can expect of any questions directed at the company.


When it comes to the competitive community, we have had it even worse. Ever since the current person in charge of Competitive Play for Brazil took office, this front has been a complete mess. This person has the title of “TJO” and should be responsible for organizing the whole OP structure in the country. The efforts that the community had put in up to that point, in concert with the previous TJO, were completely undone by the new policies of the company through its new TJO. Below are some of the main issues we faced from that point onwards:

  • Tournament kits were distributed to partners and stores based on their volume of purchases from Galápagos Jogos and not on their capacity or willingness to hold events. This led to promo pieces being sold or given to customers as bonuses for purchases made at that store, without any competitive events having been held at those venues.
  • Galápagos Jogos would not order season/store kits despite being constantly reminded by members of the community about deadlines which were put in place by FFG.
  • There is a complete disparity between our local (and already lacking) events schedule and the international schedule.
  • Major events, such as regional and national championships, were held in less than ideal dates and conditions (compromising the attendance of many players) because they were not properly planned in advance.

Those broader issues  - as well as the complete lack of proper communication on the part of Galápagos Jogos - became even worse with the coming of X-Wing Second Edition. In the particular case of the lost shipping container, it took Galápagos Jogos five months to give the community any sort of proper information on the matter, and they did so by launching what they call “Galápagos on demand” - an unrealistic On Demand service for importing the products based only on consumers demand. The delivery deadlines for this service are still 3-6 months after product release, which solves none of the issues the players face and in fact could even create more issues, as there is no readily available product to help bring newcomers into the game.


Unsurprisingly, the criticism of Galápagos Jogos and of its TJO grew in face of those facts, with the company dismissing any inquiries made in public forums and not responding to emails. In some instances - such as during our second National Championship in 2017 - the person in charge of TJO accused the community of being unsupportive, using derogatory terms while doing so. The situation escalated over the past few months with an increasing number of posts criticizing Galápagos Jogos being created in our national community Facebook group (and sometimes utilizing offensive language).


With the situation reaching an extreme point the past week, Galápagos Jogos responded with two posts on their company blog (these are linked at the end of this letter). In one of them, they threaten to take legal action against community members that are overly critic of the company on the X-Wing Brazil Facebook group, stating some of these posts attack their employees personally. In the second blog post text and in their reply to community comments, Galápagos Jogos blames the community for the X-Wing product line’s lack of financial success in Brazil, even though we have one of the largest active communities worldwide and have had no product for over six months. Moreover, representatives of Galápagos Jogos have been engaging in a witch hunt on Facebook, reporting any critical posts towards the company to Facebook and to the Facebook group moderators. Faced with the threat of legal action, the moderators have decided on the defensive approach of deleting those posts.


The antagonizing of the community members by Galápagos Jogos is disrespectful and fails to recognize how central its members have been in creating both an active and livid community and a viable market for the product in Brazil. Community members have been spending their own energy and money in providing events, game nights, content and support to new players and people interested in the game since way before any official support from Galápagos Jogos started. Even now, faced with empty shelves and no support, the community (and consequently the potential market for this game) is being kept alive only by the ongoing efforts of community leaders across our nation.


While we do not condone personal offenses, we believe that, as a company, Galápagos Jogos should be held to higher standards of professionalism than the occasional community member who exceeds himself. The not taking of responsibility for their own mistakes, the threatening of community members with lawsuits, and the immaturity in how they handle community criticism denotes the company's inability to contribute to the building of an active and healthy community for the game. Moreover, it reflects poorly on the partner companies of FFG and Asmodee NA and on the intellectual property of X-Wing and Star Wars.


Links to the Galápagos Jogos blog posts:

https://www.galapagosjogos.com.br/blogs/14/posts/comunicado-oficial-star-wars-x-wing

https://galapagosjogos.com.br/blogs/14/posts/linha-direta-x-wing