Oh man, what I wouldn’t give for an easy multiquote function on here!
I do agree that the initial buy-in is too steep. We don’t KNOW how many kitchen meta players are out there (people who basically treat it as a boardgame and only play it with 1-2 other people, and stick to core-only or at most buy a handful of expansions) but considering that most game stores I’ve ever walked into seem to have a copy of the core set even if they don’t carry ANY other Netrunner products, it must be substantial. More than the active community who go to regular casual meets and the occasional tournament? I don’t know, but probably. That community must be a few thousand people globally, and I don’t think that’s enough to be profitable considering the number of people working on Netrunner, even if everyone spends $15/month on it. (Not talking just about Boggs, obviously, but all the production, editing, proofing, testing, art and design, etc.)
I believe FFG have themselves acknowledged that 5-7 cycles is too many. Shortening it to 4-5 cycles might be better. I suspect that the big kitchen meta players also favour big boxes over datapacks (for obvious reasons), which may have affected their decision to do another deluxe. But if that’s gonna happen regularly, I would favour big box rotation too.
Getting the supercasual players to attend competitive meets is crucial for the health of any game. I’ve met a lot of people who spent months and months playing nothing but core-set-only netrunner in a small friends-only meta, actually got really good at it, but never went to a single meet outside their homes because they were poor studetns so buying a full collection was never an option for them.