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Why is nobody else making LCG's?

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Fantasy Flight may have the rights to the "LCG" name, but they do not have exclusive rights to the concept of selling customized-deck games in a non-collectible format with regular releases.

As far as I can tell, the concept is a good one.  It's been well-received by the gaming community, has revitalized their games that were doing poorly as CCG's and given them a second life, and is making enough money that they can afford to acquire some rather prestigious licenses and are coming out with more LCG games based on those.

In short, it seems quite successful.  Successful things tend to breed competition, and yet this hasn't.  I cannot name another company that is putting out a game following an LCG-like model.  I've heard *talk*, but nobody's actually put it into practice.

Why is that?  In this part of the forum we stand around talking about what other games we'd like to see redone as LCG's.  We talk about the problems of FF getting the licenses from the companies that control those games.  So why don't they do it themselves?  Why doesn't someone else?  Why doesn't someone make up new ones?  If the model works (and it seems to), where are the imitators?

 

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 A good question.  My initial thought is that perhaps there is more money to be made with CCGs.  If we look at the daddy of them - Magic the Gathering - it takes 3 booster packs (at least in the UK) to get to the same price as a LCG expansion.  But I remember in the days when I was a big MtG player, it was very rare that I only bought 3 packs a month.  Then when I opened them and didn't get the cards I wanted it was back to the shop.  So i'm guessing if they reach critical mass, its more profitable to release games as CCG rather than full set expansions.

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 but except for them full mass ones its way exspensive i remebr trying to play three when i was younger and then I slowly went to just one until I even dropped that now for the same price I can have everything and have everything

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Yeah, as with the above posters, I understand and don't understand it. It's possible the other companies are simply set in their ways. After all, the CCG methodology had been highly profitable for a decade when Fantasy Flight decided to buck the mold, and it was quite a risk. If poorly received, they'd have lost a lot of money.

 

However, as we all know, it didn't fail, and has been very well received. So, even if companies are set in their ways and leery of change, why not follow an obviously profitable mold? It's possible that, in the case of Magic, it would lose them money, as they have such  a large player base they're able to bleed them with the need to buy loads of boosters.

 

The problem is that they fail to take into account the amount of customers they could have if they converted to an LCG model. I have loved card games since Ice Age came out for Magic, and I've played everything from Battletech to Doomtown to Wyvern to Spellfire. Yet, I was never able to focus on more than one game at a time simply because of cost. It was unwieldy to buy dozens of boosters and because of this I settled on Doomtown and all those other games lost my business. However, with the LCG's, I own Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and Call of Cthulhu. I fully intend on buying Warhammer Invasion, and I also intend on collecting the full sets slowly over time.

 

If the LCG model had existed back then, I might have continued playing ALL those games. Instead, we have companies constantly creating then canceling games as they fail, yet it's also a tried-and-true method.

 

You know, it seems like the Old Media vs. New Media arguments. A new way of doing things has emerged, it's profitable and well liked, but the dinosaurs just can't bring themselves to get involved.

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There’s a thread over on BGG on the L5R forums asking if AEG would ever go with the LCG model. The response was, they have considered it, but at this point they are still doing so well with the CCG model, they would never abandon it. I would say the same goes for MTG.

The reality is, FFG could afford to take the risk when trying the LCG model. If it failed, they would lose money sure, but not enough to put them out of business by any means. LCGs are not FFGs “Cash Cow”, however, L5R is AEGs. If they went with the LCG model and lost a ton on it, it would hurt. As for Wizards, well they’re the Walmart of the gaming industry and the sheep are eating that MTG crap up by the bale full, and that’s all they care about.
 

 

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I think it has a lot do with with how these games make money. Sure 90% of ccg games fail, but the ones that do work out make a ton of money. a CCG is basically a licence to print your own cash. This is a terribly attractive concept top developers. You see this in online subscription video games. Everyone wants to make the new wow and have 14 million subscribers paying 20 bucks US a month and rake in around 280 million dollars a month. Companies are inventing billions to try and make the next hot mmo, almost all of them fail and fail badly, many end up as free2play and in fact still pull in nice incomes.. not the crazy incomes but incomes non the less.

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 It's certainly an interesting question.  If you look at the success of Dominion on the Deck Building Game side of things, it has spawned many imitators from other companies, each adding their own twist on it.

Off the top of my head;

Ascension

Thunderstone

Nightfall

Resident Evil

 

And I think FFG was even involved in a Penny Arcade one?  Anyways, the Deck Building Game seems to have taken off, and like our LCG's here, involves buying a Core Set, which is functional on its own, but provides players the option to regularly expand the card pool to add diversity to the game.

Perhaps another company might give it a shot, and use a popular IP, like Bandai and Resident Evil, to get people interested in trying it out based on a familiar theme.

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The Highlander CCG converted to "living"/non-collectible, but proceeded to die again.  Or should I say again again.

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clique84 said:

The Highlander CCG converted to "living"/non-collectible, but proceeded to die again.  Or should I say again again.

 

Yes, but it only made it through 2 release dates consisting of 2 generic, 4 persona, and 1 versus set. If only there was someone else in charge, then this LCG business model would work great for Highlander. In the "which property would you like to see as an LCG" thread, I did post the idea that Highlander LCG by FFG would be great if FFG could get the rights to the game.

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gdotbat said:

There’s a thread over on BGG on the L5R forums asking if AEG would ever go with the LCG model. The response was, they have considered it, but at this point they are still doing so well with the CCG model, they would never abandon it.

Could I get the link to that? I've tried to find it, but had no success thus far. 

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I think there are two reasons game companies have avoided LCGs:  the first is that game companies that have a successful CCG model don't want to give it up; and the second is that the game companies whose CCGs failed will not touch customizable card games with a ten-foot-pole at this point.

In the first category are the few remaining CCGs that are still alive, primarily Magic but also Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon (I think - sorry, I'm totally behind on all of this).  Wizards has an enormous audience conditioned to spend enormous sums on the most-recent-cards-only-allowed treadmill, so they have no interest in abandoning their model.

In the second category are the many, many game companies who lost a lot of money chasing Magic and failing to get even close to catching it.  They have little to no desire to go back, and strongly prefer safe choices like Euro games, wargames, and the deck-building games that are all the rage at the moment.

FFG is in an interesting place because I am not sure they had a successful CCG previously - so they would more or less be in the second category - but decided to give CCGs another go, only with a modified model that took away the variability that so many gamers hate.  I think they've been successful, enough to keep going with it, but not so much that other game companies are tempted to join them, which is really too bad.

I think the perception that CCGs have had their day is based on burnout with the Magic model (e.g., buy a whole booster box, go through them all and not find even one copy of the card you need four of, go to the game store and pay rapacious prices to get the four copies you need, only for it to land on the restricted list), rather than with the broader concept of collecting cards to build your own deck with, which I think is still appealing.

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Decipher tried something like an LCG, Fight Klub. it was kinda a crossover between LCG and TCG, the problem is they tried to go to big. They needed dozens of lisences and such. Plus the game itself was only OK. After their crash and burn with LotR TCG, I think they'll be out of the TCG game for a while.

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NotAZombie said:

 

After their crash and burn with LotR TCG, I think they'll be out of the TCG game for a while.

 

 

"Crash and burn?" When did this happen? I was under the impression that LotR was one of Decipher's most successful TCGs of the 2000's. They even produced a paid online version that proved to be successful for a while.

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After the release of Shadows, the game lost players in gobs. Decipher had some issues with interal thievery and such so the game went down hill and turned quite a few people off. Many people, including myself, still play it, but after the movies were over they really dropped the ball on the game.

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 That, and a lot of retailers have abandoned Decipher products after how they mishandled the LotR property and botched things up internally.  They peaked high back in the day, but now they just churn out mediocre liscensed material that attempts to present itself as part of the hobby market.

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 Beyblade and .hack were financial fiascos that were horrible in design and play.  The Star Treck CCG underwent so many changes and revisions during it's life, hardly any fans remained towards the end, and most that I knew bought it did so out of either a loyalty to the source franchise or so the could dominate in what organized play remained (and the latter only bought the product when it got discounted so a brick and mortar store could at least get back some of the product cost).

The Fight Klub game that they have been promising since 2007 is an ill-conceived attempt to cash in on multiple film franchises, many of which are old and stale by now.  It's a display of how they cannot create anything that stands well on it's own.

I feel bad that so much was stolen from the company, likely promoting them to abandon more creative work back then.  But really…  the company may like gaming, but that doesn't mean they make good games anymore.

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 Summoner Wars also does fixed distribution to great success.

The state of Decipher is sad.  I liked Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Wars, and Young Jedi.  Fight Klub looks awful, but I haven't tried it.

I think LCGs may be a hard sell because stores eventually have too many SKUs to stock if the game is going to pick up, whereas for a CCG they just need a booster box and some starters to get a game going.  Not that I know anything about selling games.

I like the new model for Cthulhu and would like to see other games (FFG's or other's) give it a whirl.

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As someone that worked games retail for 7 years, that's not a problem.  Usually it's all about the money it takes to stock things, and in that area LCG distribution is much much easier on retail business.

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Adam said:

 Summoner Wars also does fixed distribution to great success.

Is Summoner Wars a deck construction game?  I haven't played it, but I thought the setups you could get were more fixed.

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PWBrian said:

Adam said:

 

 Summoner Wars also does fixed distribution to great success.

 

 

Is Summoner Wars a deck construction game?  I haven't played it, but I thought the setups you could get were more fixed.

With the expansion packs, it's now a deck construction game, and not just fixed sets.

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Summoner Wars isn't a game where you can design a deck, it's more like one where you can customize your deck a little bit by swapping out a few cards.  Still a good game though.

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