Tag Archives: Game business

[Link] Rolling Thunder Post-mortem: Collectability in card games

This article now only exists on an archive website. I’m puting it up as a pdf in case that too should vanish from the net. It’s a valuable piece of game design history.

Hidden Emperor

It’s 1997. Magic: the Gathering is flying off the shelves. (I mean, it’s flying off the shelves even more today, but now we’re used to it). And this despite its seemingly customer-unfriendly practice of selling cards in randomized “boosters” with arbitrarily-assigned card “rarity”. Well a plate on a door affords pushing, and the thing to do with unsatisfied customers is to offer them a superior product. This is what Ryan Dancey (then of the Five Rings Publishing Group, later the driving force behind Dungeons & Dragons‘ unheard-of Open Gaming License) did, using the Legend of the Five Rings Collectible Card Game and a few others as guinea pigs.

The whole saga is an entertaining read, but most important is its conclusion:

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