Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Collectible part 2

Collectible games are a double edged sword. They require a great deal of commitment from both the publisher and the customers. When there was only one collectible game around, Magic, that sort of commitment was easy to come by. Times have changed.

What the gaming world might need is a new sort of collectible. Starter Games + Booster Packs + Organized Play might be a formula that's played out.

Why are collectible games sold in randomly assorted packs?
* The format emulates sports cards, which the genre is ultimately based upon.
* The mystery and excitement of opening the pack has value to the player.
* It allows the publisher to have a huge variety of game pieces, while limiting the number of SKU's to a minimum.
* The format encourages players to purchase more than they might otherwise, in order to get just the card (or whatever) they want.
* Individual boosters have low price-points, so packs can and often are an impulse buy item.
* Players are familiar with the format.

The only other way to sell a collectible game is like traditional wargame miniatures, where the buyer gets 100% choice of what they purchase, beyond the requirements of the game rules.

Is there a better way to make a collectible game than the pure random of CCGs and the total choice (but no surprise) of traditional miniatures?

I don't think there is, but I do think there could be.

10 comments:

gnome said...

Well, if everything was equally rare and the gamer had the option of buying everything at will, the games wouldn't be so colectable... Thus, the booster is the only logical format.

Interesting article, thanks a lot!

Anonymous said...

I've always felt the CCGs went the wrong way about Rarity.

In most CCGs, the rarest cards are the most powerful cards. In a licenced game, the rarest cards are the hot characters.

So you get stuck with a lot of underpowered cards and just a few cards that you play with...this does not promote buying more.

The common cards should be the cards that everyone needs in their deck, like basic lands...cards that fill the majority of the deck.

The uncommon cards should be the power cards...these are the ones that have high costs to play, but push the game in your favor.

The rare cards are cards that make the game special. They are not the power cards, but they are the unique cards that people want to build decks around. Rare cards should be the ones that inspire different deck designs...These cards should only be useful in one or two types of decks...not versatile game killers.

Clout does it well...dragons are rare and you can't use them in every stack...but they are cool to get and interesting enough to want to build around.

About the collectability...

I'd love a game in which there was a choice of booster. Say I liked attacking with my deck...put out a booster that contains more attack cards. Or a booster for more defense...or a booster for more speed...

A single 400 card set broken down into 100 card sets would give the gamer a choice when purchasing to buy cards that fit their strategies....

coffeedream

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