|Living Card Games | Published 31 December 2009|
Since its introduction almost two years ago, the LCG™ (Living Card Game™) format has come to be immensely successful for FFG. The core sets for each of our three LCGs are in their second printing, and sales continue their growth rate in both domestic and international markets. In fact, the first printing of A Game of Thrones: The Card Game sold out in Spain within just a few short weeks of its release! Fans around the world have enjoyed augmenting their LCG core sets with our fixed 40-card monthly packs, and have experienced the strategy of deck building without the financial strain of random card packs.
So why a change?
We have consistently been receiving feedback that the LCG™ model could go from a solid success to a huge success with only one adjustment. With the greater-than-expected sales of our LCG™ games, FFG has been able to muster the resources to make this adjustment happen.
Today, we’re proud to announce a coming improvement in our monthly LCG™ expansion packs, and we think you’ll love it.
Each of our current monthly expansion packs (for all three of our LCGs) consist of 10 unique cards in single copy, and a second set of 10 unique cards in triplicate copies (for a total of 40 cards), with each expansion pack retailing for $9.95 U.S.
For players desiring maximum flexibility in deck construction, this has meant purchasing three monthly packs (for close to a $30 total retail price) and an undesirable overage of 60 cards (having nine copies, instead of three, of half the cards.) Though still an attractive solution when compared to Collectible Card Games, the LCG™ collation was not ideal for players. Not only that, but FFG had consistently feedback that (although LCG™ sales were successful) the monthly 40-card pack collation caused confusion and resistance with many otherwise-interested players.
So, in the months ahead FFG will be changing the collation of our monthly packs, adopting an approach that both existing and potential LCG customers have been requesting. Once fully implemented across all of our LCG’s™, your monthly packs will include 60 cards, consisting of 20 unique cards in triplicate copy, and will retail for only $14.95!
This means with one convenient purchase, you’ll be able to acquire three copies of each new card... at less than half the current cost.
When will this change take place?
That depends on which LCG™ you play. Over the next several months, we’ll be “phasing in” this improved model.
The upcoming cycle Defenders of the North, which is scheduled to start shipping in January ’10, will still be released in the current (40-cards per Chapter Pack) format, but subsequent cycles will incorporate the new format described above.
Players that are currently delving into the horrific and wonderful Dreamlands Asylum Pack cycle will soon have their hands on Search for the Silver Key. The final Asylum pack in that cycle, Journey to Unknown Kadath, will follow soon thereafter. The unveiling of the next gripping Call of Cthulhu cycle is right around the corner, and will incorporate the new format.
Once all six of the Battle Packs in The Corruption Cycle have been released, the next cycle of Battle Packs will be in the new collation format announced today.
. . .
We think you’ll agree that the forthcoming improvement to LCGs™ is one that is wonderful for its many fans, offering more convenience at a much lower cost. As always, we thank you for your support!
If you have any questions on any of the above, you may be able to find some answers below.
Why can’t you change the upcoming packs to the new format immediately?
The production cycle for LCG™ packs is quite long, and FFG produces all six packs of a cycle at the same time (so that we can ship them on a consistent monthly basis.) This means that cycles that have already completed production (such as the A Game of Thrones: Defenders of the North Cycle) will still contain the 40-card format.
What about the larger special expansion releases such as Secrets of Arkham?
While Secrets of Arkham will still contain two copies of every included card, we’re looking to move most of our special expansion to a three copies of each card/set, if the scope of the expansion allows it.
What about the LCG™ core sets?
We believe that variety of cards in the core sets, for a varied game experience, is much more important than providing triplicate copies of all cards. The LCG™ core sets will therefore continue to be sold in their current format. Even the most enthusiastic players, who purchase multiple copies of the core set, will still find themselves spending less on this than the cost of a single CCG booster display.
Why didn’t you release the monthly packs this way in the first place?
For several reasons. At the time we launched the LCG™ format, it was important to FFG to keep the monthly decks below the $10 price point, which placed restrictions on the contents. Then we had to guess not only whether the format would be popular enough to support a long-term business, but whether the typical customer would want to purchase one or three decks (making the 40-card format a reasonable middle ground that also met our costing restrictions). As we already had successfully published several experimental Asylum Packs in the 40-card format for the Call of Cthulhu CCG, it seemed prudent to launch the LCG™ concept with this collation.
So why is charging half the amount of money for three copies of each card now possible when it wasn’t upon launch?
There are four primary reasons.
First, the LCG™ format has been so much more successful than we had planned. This higher volume has allowed FFG to recoup our fixed investment faster (design, development, testing, artwork, etc), in turn providing FFG with the opportunity to pass part of that upside along to our LCG™ customers.
Secondly, we believe that this new collation format will allow the LCG™ concept to really expand its already impressive growth, attracting even more new players, thus furthering the virtuous cycle that enabled this positive change in the first place.
Thirdly, the new format allows FFG to print 60 fewer cards and two fewer pieces of packaging than the equivalent three 40-card packs. Not only can we pass some of these savings along to players, but this approach is better for the environment.
Lastly, FFG is willing to make this investment because we believe the LCG™ format to be, along with board games and roleplaying games, one of the main pillars of our games business. You may note that we have recently made several important decisions towards this same effect. For example, FFG announced last week the cancellation of our two remaining Collectible Card Games, in part to allow us to focus on LCGs™.
That seems like a very solid move. One that keeps the customer base in mind. I can appreciate that.
Great move FFG.
An idea, would be to re-release the previous chapter packs with 60 cards at the new price tag, or alternatively release booster packs for the previous chapters packs with the missing 20 cards at half the old price tag, or do a bespoke service where you can order individual cards (worldwide).
This would be great for someone like myself (being selfish) who has a single copy of every chapter pack! ;-)
All in all, I look forward to this new coalation...
Good job, FFG!
Will the currently available expansion sets be changed to this format too or is that only for the upcoming ones?
haha, i just finished buying 3x of the the little packs for Warhammer... and later on itll only cost half the price i spent to get the same quantity. Not bad. either way i have friends, and its always good to pass off a few "useless" cards to new commers :)
Awesome news! I can not wait for this format change.
From a retailer's standpoint, this is great news. I'll make it easier to manage the products and it'll help drive home the point that LCGs are an inexpensive alternative to CCGs.
Great to hear for LCG fans. I love the whole idea behind it but not really interested in any of the settings of the three games available. Any possibility of a fourth property? ::coughStarcraftorMiddle-earthcough:: Sorry, had to clear my throat.
I play Warhammer Invasion. The changes to the system are fine. I would like to see an occasional foil or opportunity to get limited edition cards. The LCG format lacks the excitement of opening a deck to find a rare card. It's a trade off which I recognize, but I still like the game.
There's another opportunity FFG is missing out on here. With the old format for CoC there were 10 unique cards in each Asylum pack. To have the 3 card tourney limit that meant you had to buy 12 extra asylum packs for each series (total $120). Perhaps FFG could reprint the 60 unique cards from each Asylum pack series and sell them as a new booster pack called "Antileuvian Dreams Epilogue" or "Twilight Sleeper Tourney Booster" at some price point between $14.99 - $120. FFG makes some extra money and it will make purchases easier for new buyers (Oh just buy every unique named pack and you have a tourney amount of cards for that Asylum series).
Love it. I was struggling with getting three sets of each, but for 5 extra bucks I get the whole thing. It's a no brainer.
Wow. This change is getting a very positive response, so I guess it's the right move. I got hooked on a CCG once when I was young and single, and even though the LCG format looks "safer", as a recovering collector I am still reluctant to get sucked in again. However, Warhammer: Invasion looks like so much fun that I was planning to risk it and pick up a copy of the Core Set very soon. I was thinking my wife probably wouldn't be too annoyed if I spent $10 on a Battle Pack to add to it every once in a while, but if they're going to cost 50% more now, I might be better off just playing with the Core Set and leave the Battle Packs to the "hard core" collectors who apparently need to have three of everything (which is fine. I've been there, but I'm not going back). I think $5 packs of 20 single cards would have been a better option for us "non-completists" (of course then the packaging costs would go way up), but for the majority of LCG players, I think FFG has in fact made the right move. It just means that I'll have to rethink my plans and my 2010 game budget.