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.