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Living (for a short while) Card Games

This has been my first blog post for a long time and my only excuse is the busiest post Essen and Christmas period in the Guru's five years of selling games. Mind you that should be no excuse as every Christmas has been busier than the one before. In the brief moments between packing games I have been playing 'Netrunner'. Lots of 'Netrunner'. And the most anticipated releases of 2013 became the Data packs for the game. Well they are here and I have yet to incorporate them into my plays - I'n still (20 plays in) enjoying the base set. Additional cards require another level of investment in the game - both money wise and also non playing time. To really enjoy the added depth the packs bring I will need to deck build. And whilst I can see myself tinkering with constructing as an omni gamer I am not sure how much time I want to take away from my other games to specialise. I think a lot of other gamers probably feel the same way and sales evidence supports this for other LCGs ('Living Card Games'). Lord of the Rings the Card Game was one of the most successful releases of 2012 and it has been interesting to track the declining popularity of the expansion packs over time. My sale records would indicate that only about 10% of people who purchased the original game are still buying expansions for the game. For older LCG's the decline is much more marked - with 'Call of Cthulhu' and 'Warhammer Invasion' down to less than 5%. The LCG that has stood the test of time is 'A Game of Thrones' and a rough guess would be that somewhere between 5 and 10% are still buying expansions. 'Netrunner' has been such a phenomenon (still at the top of the 'Geek hotness after 4 months) that I think it will follow AGOT in having a sizeable devoted following. Despite the fact 'Star Wars the Card Game' has only been out for a few weeks I predict that it might flop. Not because of the game play but because of the timing of the release - its too close on the heals of 'Netrunner'. Most gamers seem to only have time for one LCG and most have chosen 'Netrunner'. Unless 'Star Wars' picks up a large following outside of the harder core hobbyist then its going to struggle. The license should help with that but it's not a simple game and therefore not so accessible to the non gaming Star Wars fan. I hope I am proved wrong as its looks great - however I still have not got round to playing it because 'Netrunne'r is my LCG of choice.

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