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We’ve got more competitive card games based on existing fantasy video game series than anyone wanted

Extraneous online card game 'Fable Fortune.'
Image: mediatonic

Yesterday’s announcement of a collectible card game based on Dota 2 was the moment that the video game industry reached its saturation point with card games.

When Hearthstone came out in 2014, Blizzard unwittingly set off an avalanche of copycat online collectible card games. Developers undoubtedly saw the success of the World of Warcraft-based card game and thought, “Hey, we can do that, too,” and now all of these projects are trickling out of development darkness and scrambling to stand out in the competitive card game dog pile.

Within the past five months, The Elder Scrolls series has gotten a card game, the Fable series has gotten a card game, and The Witcher 3‘s card game Gwent has started its stand-alone open beta.

That’s already more competitive card games based on existing fantasy video game series than anyone wanted. The crowd’s groan-filled reaction to Valve’s reveal of the Dota 2 card game, called Artifact, speaks to exactly how everyone else in the world feels about yet another online card game.

Enough.

Just because you build it doesn’t guarantee people will come.

Magic: The Gathering perfected the art of competitive card games and brought them online, and then Hearthstone followed up with its own fantastic take on the genre. There’s room for card games, but we don’t need every developer with a successful fantasy game creating a their own spin-off.

Collectible card games are heavy on the wallet as it is; most of them encourage players to buy card packs, DLC, and other nonsense to have a chance at getting something worthwhile and keep up with the ever-changing meta.

Once upon a time, you could have argued that superfans who are itching to play anything with their favorite game’s name on it would have made this business model a viable one. The people who paid money to attend this year’s Dota 2 International, where Artifact was revealed, proved this argument wrong.

Who would buy tickets to attend a Dota tournament and watch professionals play the game they love? Dota superfans. And who wasn’t impressed by the reveal of Artifact? You guessed it: Dota superfans.

Just because you build it doesn’t guarantee people will come.

Hearthstone worked (and continues to work) because it took the genre and made it its own. It had its foot in the door early on and continues to succeed because it built the foundation for its community over three years ago, developing its own following and building up a huge competitive scene.

Fable Fortune, The Elder Scrolls: Legends, Gwent, and Artifact have all come three years too late. Competitive card game fans already have better options. Why take the time to learn a new set of cards, a new set of rules, a new meta?

Our bet is that most people aren’t going to find a good enough reason why.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/08/09/enough-card-games/

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