collectible card game

Although Steve Jackson Games does not have any shareholders (other than Steve Jackson himself), it does have a lot of people that take part in its success.  The company refers to these folks as stakeholders and their annual report is directed towards them (employees, distributors, retailers, designers, artists, volunteers, and people who play their games).  The annual Stakeholders Report gives a transparent look at some of the inner workings of Steve Jackson Games.

Munchkin and Zombie Dice, the evergreen games of the Steve Jackson Games (SJG) lineup, dropped to $5.5 million (down $500,000) from last year. Even with the drop in sales of these titles, SJG anticipates a break even or slightly profitable year. Due to the decline in sales, SJG plans to try and keep the top ten Munchkin games and expansions available at all times, but everything else will see out-of-stock times with the possibility of going away for the immediate future.

SJG is making slow progress with their employee manual and acknowledges the need to finish this to have more established processes in-house.  Additionally, the company is having a hard time meeting deadlines without involvement from upper management.

Those were the low points of 2017, but there were some high points, too.  The Fantasy Trip, a roleplaying game, is being worked on for Kickstarter.  This is Jackson’s first RPG from 1977, published by Metagaming.  When Metagaming went out of business, the rights to the game were in limbo, but SJG has since secured the rights.

Munchkin still receives a lot of attention from SJG and Munchkin Shakesphere, Munchkin Spell Skool, and the Munchkin Gift Pack all did well in 2017.  The Munchkin Collectible Card Game is set to go on sale on February 21, 2018, as well and is receiving a lot of attention due to the collaboration from Eric Lang and Kevin Wilson.

Steve Jackson Games also partnered with CMON and Asmodee Digital.  Their partnership with CMON allows CMON to create Munchkin-themed board games.  Their partnership with Asmodee Digital is aimed at bringing a Munchkin video game to fans.

In addition to all of these exciting things, the Ogre Video Game launched in October, Munchkin Valentines sold well, the forums remain active, and GURPS added on-demand printing to Amazon.

SJG saw mixed success/failure with the Ogre Miniatures Set 1 (behind on delivery), Ogre Reinforcements (slow sales), and Ghosts Love Candy (reprint was stopped).  SJG changed their staffing structure to try to focus the creative team on making games, but it didn’t work out as planned and the company is exploring new ideas.

Steve Jackson Games saw failure with the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (took a lot of time from upper management and is costly, but selling well), Port Royal (cheaper European copies are outselling SJG copies), and sjgames.com (it’s an old site that requires a lot of attention).

SJG’s priorities for 2018 are to support the Munchkin CCG, complete all outstanding Kickstarter commitments, maintain support of the original Munchkin games with a new tuck box expansion set and two or three new base games, and launch a successful new edition of Car Wars on Kickstarter with a 2019 or 2020 delivery date.

There’s more covered in the Stakeholder’s report, but this gives a glimpse at 2017 for Steve Jackson Games.

Magic the Gathering is going to be celebrating it’s 25th anniversary next year and so there are lots of new things coming down the pipe in celebration.  To kick it off they have their Community Mananger Nate Price interview several folks about the upcoming Hour of Devastation and Ixalan sets that will be releasing in July and September respectively.  Also being announced are:

To read the full announcement you can head over to the Magic the Gathering site to help stoke that hype train for all these upcoming releases.

Panini Games, the publisher of the Dragon Ball Z card game since it’s reboot 3 years ago, has announced that they will no longer be publishing the game.  The reason for this is that a new collectible card game based on the new anime series, Dragon Ball Super, will be released later this year and they don’t want to over-saturate the market.  In the mean time they are working to remove all the bugs and card conflicts for the game so that it can continue to be played, even though official support for the game will end.  You can check out the blog post on Panini’s site, and look forward to the new Dragon Ball Super CCG.

magic banner

Announcement day was only a short while ago and in that they announced several new products and updates coming to Magic.  Here is what you have to look forward to in the coming year;

  • “Rise Among the Worthy” on the plane of Amonkhet. Discover a world ruled by Nicol Bolas when the first set of the Amonkhet block releases April 28, 2017.
  • Nicol Bolas is among the most powerful beings in the Multiverse—don’t face him alone! Much like the original Archenemy release, Archenemy: Nicol Bolas pits you and two friends against a single powerful foe where you must work together to survive—or fall to Nicol Bolas himself.
  • The second set in the Amonkhet block, Hour of Devastation, releases July 14, 2017.
  • In the same spirit as Duel Decks: Anthology and Planechase Anthology, Commander Anthology gathers four previous Commander products together in one convenient package, releasing June 9, 2017.
  • Draft like a master once more as we release Modern Masters 2017 Edition March 17, 2017—featuring cards from Eighth Edition through Magic 2014, including new trips through Innistrad and Return to Ravnica.
  • Brains or brawn? Cunning or strength? Test your guile and brute force with Duel Decks: Mind vs. Might, releasing in May of 2017.
  • Updates to Magic: The Gathering: Puzzle Quest are here, with Kaladesh content!

You can read our previous announcement day coverage for info on products that are about to hit stores.

megaman card

Jasco Games has recently been releasing sets for the Universal Fighting System card game, a CCG style game where you can take characters from different video game franchises and pit them against each other to finally determine who would win in a fight.  Previous expansions include iconic games like Street Fighter, DarkStalkers, Soul Caliber, and Mega Man, and Jasco Games is now adding to that with the Mega Man: Battle for Power set.  This new set will bring more of your favorite characters from the Mega Man series of games and with it’s announcement also comes the v0.4 edition of the rules which changes some key elements of the game.  Look for this expansion to hits shelves on August 26th and you can see the announcement on the Universal Fighting System Facebook.

Image From ICV2

Image From ICV2

The Spoils is a fairly long running collectible card game (CCG) that has been around since 2006 and even received an Origins Awards nomination for best CCG in 2015, so naturally Arcane Tinmen would like to continue producing new content.  Thus in August you will be able to purchase a new base set to the game called Decade of Deckadence, in honor of it’s tenth year anniversary.  This new set will be a base that with 428 cards that will be able to play 4 to 8 people right out of the box, and if you put two sets together then you will have a complete set of all the best cards in the game, without having to buy any boosters.  This set is mainly meant to be a new entry point for players to be able to join in, and this set will be legal for use in all tournaments so if you are looking to jump into the game, this set is a good place to start.  You can read more about the upcoming release on the ICv2 website.

miraculous

Action Lab Entertainment will be releasing a new edition of the collectible card game Throwdown! based on Zagtoon’s hit Nickelodeon TV show Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir.  The game itself is a simple affair with only three steps, draw, attack, and discard, making it a very accessible game, even for young kids.  Each player will have their own character, and in this edition those will be based off the Miraculous TV show, and will have a starting deck of 36 cards tailored to that character.  In the game your character will always be out and active and on your turn you will draw a card, then you will attack your opponent (the player to your left in 3+ player games) with your character and any extra cards you play.  If your attack exceeds their defenses then they discard cards off their deck to make up the difference, and if they run out of cards in their deck they are eliminated.  Last one standing is the winner.

Having not seen the show myself (although after researching it I am going to) I can’t really comment on how the theme will come across in the game, but from the gameplay I imagine if you want a CCG to play with your younger kids or fans of the show, this would fit the bill.  While this starting set is planned for release on August 17th, no mention has been made yet on boosters to help expand the set.  You can head over to the ICv2 site to check out the announcement.

hologrid banner

Remember that chess-looking game that R2D2 played against Chewbacca in New Hope? Well, someone has created it. Tippett Studio and Happy Giant bring you Hologrid: Monster Battle, a blend of boardgames, CCGs and digital elements designed to give a truly unique experience.

hologrid glance

The game won an award at this year’s Penny Arcade Expo and frankly there just isn’t a lot to say here about the game. Most of the Kickstarter campaign info is sparse at best, but there is a gameplay video available and it certainly looks like an interesting idea, if very similar to the Eric Lang title Duelyst. Whether the game turns out to be something stable and amazing or just another gimmick remains to be seen.

The game has many different tiers of support depending on how many extra pieces you’d like to use for your game. The company is looking for a goal of $100,000 and expect to deliver the project in November of 2016. You can see more by checking out the campaign HERE.

duelyst banner

The Duelyst, a digital collectible card game, has left open beta.

Why are we discussing a digital game? Because one of the designers was board gaming’s very own super star Eric Lang!

Duelyst is a fast-paced collectible card game with a tactical battlefield. Matches last between five and ten minutes, focusing on thoughtful decision-making and rewarding players with new battle units every regular season. Assemble your deck from over 330 cards across 6 unique Factions and test your mettle against other players in ranked season ladder and draft mode tournaments.

Duelyst was designed by Keith Lee (Diablo III, Ratchet & Clank) and our own Eric Lang (XCOM, Blood Rage, Dice Masters, Warhammer, Game of Thrones, The Others: 7 Sins, Bloodborne). The game uses pixel art warriors to create a battlefield where players must use summons and spells to destroy the enemy general. The game feels very much like a collectible digital version of Summoner Wars where the play style revolves around not only building a good deck and playing cards at the right time, but also moving around the board and using strategic placement of units.

You can download the game for free by checking out their homepage: HERE.

The game is currently only for desktop computers, but mobile platforms are said to be coming soon.

 

codex

Codex is the 10-year culmination of trying to come at customizable card games from a completely different angle. What if there were so many things you can do with a deck that you might play it for years and have it still be interesting? What if almost any deck you could make is reasonably fair and matchups are generally won or lost by how you play them, rather than before the game starts?

This game is the answer to those questions. It turns out the key is having access to a wide enough range of effects that your deck is resilient to almost anything thrown at it.

codex cards

Sirlin Games is currently running a Kickstarter project for their new card game, Codex, a game that takes on the soul of a collectible card game from a different angle.  Codex is unique in the following ways:

  • You can build your deck as you play, selecting cards to use as the game unfolds via access to a large number of effects.
  • Codex has a real-time strategy theme, including concepts such as build orders, fog-of-war, economy, and managing buildings and heroes.
  • A new kind of combat system known as “The Patrol Zone.”
  • No collectibility, leveling the playing field for all players.
  • High-quality art that has been in development for years.

In Codex, your Codex is a book of many cards that you can use to build your deck as the game unfolds, creating a “fog-of-war” effect, as the other player will not know which cards you are likely to play.  Each player begins the game with 10 cards in his or her deck, and will add 2 cards to the deck from the codex each turn.

Codex will fund on March 3, 2016.  For more information and to support this project, visit the Kickstarter page here.