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slope123

Who Created the LCG Business Model?

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Hello, I am a college student working on writing a report on Fantasy Flight Games and their innovative decision to use the Living Card Game business model, however, I can't seem to figure out who actually came up with the idea of the living card game.  My best guess is the designer on the first LCG Nate French, however, there doesn't seem to be anything confirming or denying that information.

If there are any LCG veterans on here who remember the early days and know some sort of information that could help me that would be much appreciated.

btw, I also posted this on the main LCG thread, but that one seems rather inactive so I decided to also post it here to get more traffic.

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Nate French is the last man standing probably from that era, but at the time Christian Petersen,  Corey Konieczka, Damon Stone and Eric Lang all still worked at the company.  Eric Lang was very involved with the designs of the early LCGs.  My educated guess is to say Christian was the motivation for the business model change considering he was the guy in charge.  Also he was very hands on with the games early in the company's life, but I've never heard an interview covering those topics.  I suspect you'll maybe need to write the company to ask for details if you wanna go in depth on the topic.

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It's important that first LCG card game was a just active TCG game (AFAIK Call of Ctulhu CCG)  and they changed its distribution model during its life. 

 

PS. ATM FFG leaves LCG model for competitive games and focus more on TCG/Unique stuff. AGoT and L5R are actually last and only competetive LCG games. And only L5R have bright future as they announed they drop actual system for AGoT and focus on deluxe expansions only. And that for 99% means game is going to be closed down.  

Edited by kempy

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Yup, L5R is positioned to be the last competitive LCG in the line up.  What that means for L5R in the future is anyone's guess, but it's interesting.

As Kempy points out the LCG model was an attempt to save their failing CCGs from cancellation.  It was sort of a design shift by necessity, and came on the heels of an over saturated CCG market.  They've said that in public interviews several times.  Andrew I believe reiterated it in his last livestream. 

Edited by phillos

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It's also worth having a look at the rolling thunder distribution AEG briefly did for L5R (Scorpion Clan Coup sets). It was close to the LCG model but you still bought packs. Others may have to correct me,  but I believe it was the following:

  • The set was split in 3 so packs had a pool of about 50 cards.
  • There were no rares, so it was easier to get all the cards.
  • Releases were once a month.

So if you bought, I dunno, maybe 10 packs? you had a good chance of getting all the cards from the set and you'd have a bunch of spares. This seems very similar to the current LCG approach. Interestingly, it was a complete disaster for numerous reasons. There's an interesting interview with some of the AEG guys involved here:

https://roxolan.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/rolling-thunder-interview.pdf

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58 minutes ago, kempy said:

Yep. They also used Rolling Thunder in Doomtown for some expansions (Episodes) and it failed as well.

Pretty sure it lasted for one Doomtown cycle and the first 6 Hidden Empire sets before they said nope not working and dropped it.

Funnily enough they did test an other version of fixed rarity in 7th Sea years later when they released the first Black Freighter set where the deck was fixed pre-con deck and there was no "rarity" per se (although a few of the cards were 1 or 2/deck, but you could include up to 3 of some of them if memory serves so there was incentive to buy multiple decks to get "sets" of the cards). 

Edited by Schmoozies

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And also "fixed" sets were in L5R till the end (Heroes of Rokugan, 1,000 Years of Darkness, Dawn of the Empire, Test of Enlightenment, Test of Emerald&Jade Championships, Death at Koten, Imperial Gift 1-3, Forgotten Legacy, The Shadow's Embrace, Coils of Madness).

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21 minutes ago, kempy said:

And also "fixed" sets were in L5R till the end (Heroes of Rokugan, 1,000 Years of Darkness, Dawn of the Empire, Test of Enlightenment, Test of Emerald&Jade Championships, Death at Koten, Imperial Gift 1-3, Forgotten Legacy, The Shadow's Embrace, Coils of Madness).

Main difference was most of those were "limited" run direct order form AEG, whereas the Freighter decks were regular retail.

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10 hours ago, Schmoozies said:

Main difference was most of those were "limited" run direct order form AEG, whereas the Freighter decks were regular retail.

Exactly, those were special editions sets, not regular retail, so they don't count. Freighter would count, but I the Balrog sets I mention predates it by a few years.

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The Highlander CCG also did this  with Persona collections for Methos and Duncan right before the Balrog set for MECCG was released. 
 

Really, the only differentiator in the LCG mechanic was the monthly release frequency and with six packs making up a more traditional themed set. They didn’t invent the fixed distribution model, they merely altered a traditional set or blocks release schedule to work with a fixed model.

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