|A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 04 January 2010|
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™.
Does this mean that FFG is planning future games using the LCG™ format?
Of Co…. Wait, that wasn’t one of the approved questions!
Guards! Get this guy out of here…
No buts, we’re done.
This is a great change! Thanks FFG.