Not sure I follow. Why wouldn’t it be unlimited if the demand is there?

I mean, maybe their manufacturing can’t keep up with demand, and that’s one thing. But I don’t understand why they would intentionally stop making and selling the cards when there’s a high demand (and a very high margin) for them.

I can’t think of a successful CCG in history that has stopped printing a base set, unless that base set was replaced by a new edition of the base set…

Well because if it’s unlimited the cards really don’t have any value other than their printing costs.

That’s not to say that “rares” won’t still be worth more, but the more in print, the less sound of an “investment” (chortle) they are.

WoW has the added “collectible” advantage of the scratch off codes on the cards. So even if “Dwarven Blunderbuss” becomes less valued because the print run is 2 billion instead of 1 billion, Blizzard can (at any point) slap a “Turtle Mount” code (or whatever) on any card and presto!

Go search ebay for “warcraft snapjaw.” The turtle mount cards are already going for $200+

Do NOT buy any Upper Deck games as an investment; you will always get the unscrupulous store owner that will sell the first set at 150% the price “uh, because it’s like Alpha”, but UDE will not sell out quickly. The fleecing was over for VS system after people realized 6, 12, 18 months later that it was still easy to get Marvel Origins boosters. Comparing to Magic is a huge error. Besides, if the Yu-Gi-Oh!!1 trend is taken with the WoW game, don’t expect your “super-rares” to be worth anything after a year or so; they will be reprinted. Even certain Magic cards are being reprinted that people thought would never be seen again.

And I haven’t seen any in the game yet. Think what the demand will be like once players start seeing these things in the game and want one of their own? Could there be a better advertisement for the card game?

If this CCG is halfway decent, it could be really big. Maybe not Pokemon big, but quite successful. I may even try to find people to play against when I get my CE.

Let’s look at the games with relatively few cards printed. Let’s use… Simpsons CCG by WotC as an example. The cards are worth crap because there’s no demand.

It’s the demand in a game that inflates the secondary market. Printing cards in higher numbers does make cards more common in absolute numbers, but that’s a misleading statistic. The real relevant value is the percentage of rarity in the existing cardpool, which never actually changes. But as the game gets more popular, the price of all cards past a given rarity level increases. (Usually that line is drawn between uncommon and rare – the line being drawn at the saturation point between an average player having and needing enough copies to meet their needs.) If/when that set/edition goes out of print, sure, the secondary market for those cards will generally go up even more as long as the game remains popular.

But the secondary market for CCG cards does not go down with increased demand and consumption. It actually goes up. It’s only when the demand falls off that the cards plummet in value. Which for game geeks is great, because you can buy boxes of great games like NetRunner and Doomtown, including rares, for fractions of their original cost, because there’s no critical mass to their communities. But old Magic cards are still worth crazy money (for now…)

To boot, Upper Deck was very smart about having such ultra-rare cards in their set from the get-go. No matter how many cards they print, epics and legendaries will always be elusive for the majority of customres, because their rarity is so high.

Keep in mind that more sales mean more customers, and therefore more people who want the cards. And with loot cards especially, they’ve managed to created demand for these people outside of the CCG game’s community, which is yet another strong upward force to the price of unscratched loot cards specifically. Add that to the fact that these unscratched loot cards – already the most rare by an order of magnitude – are CONSUMABLE and you realize these cards will never be worthless. At least not until all demand and utility for them has passed, which will likely be well over a decade in this case.

The high demand and high prices of those cards will in turn sell more cards, because people will hope to get the legendary loot cards – kinda like buying a lottery ticket except you actually still have something pretty cool to show for losing that lottery.

So from all evidence I see, printing more cards (of this specific game, especially,) will not drive down the secondary market. Printing as many cards as the market demands will only earn more revenue for Upper Deck at insanely high margins.

Gah, sorry for the long post. I’m a dork about this stuff.

Wizards had the right idea to use the “white-border”/“black-border” differentiation to allow people buying the original printings of the base set to be getting something special and more collectible than later printings.

UDE seems to not particularly care about emphasizing the collectible aspect of their games, instead focusing on selling as many packs as possible while people are still willing to pay. Big short-term gain at the expense of taking the chance to build a long-term money machine.

Magic was greatly aided by having Alpha, Beta, and Limited releases of the original base set before releasing Unlimited.

Again, not trying to be difficult, but not sure I follow.

How does having overpriced early cards benefit WotC? Sure, it happened to work out well for early adopters, no doubt. But I’m not convinced it’s a major contributor to WotC’s bottom line. WotC doesn’t make money from those cards, and I don’t see how it sells cards now. Surely nobody things that by buying a 9th edition pack they’re going to get a beta black lotus…

Magic does well because it’s a sound and well-designed game, it’s been well-run and supported over the years, and being the first in the genre, it was able to build critical mass without tough competition.

It establishes that the “collectible” aspect of the game isn’t complete bullshit.

It provides a mythos and a history to the game - many new players have never even seen a Black Lotus or a Mox, and possibly never will. They’ve heard of those cards though, and maybe one has a friend whose cousin used to have one.

It aids in the perception of the game as a whole, and gives collector-types the kind of challenge they crave.

Wizards didn’t do that to make the sets collectible. They did it to distinguish them in games and were taken completely by surprise at how popular Magic turned out to be.

Well, for the record, this game actually calls itself a TCG – Trading Card Game. People like us use the old-school term of CCG, but they chose to go with TCG specifically because it has a different connotation.

I totally agree that’s a quality it gives the game, but to my understanding that wasn’t Wizard’s intent, nor do I think that helps sell cards to any significant degree. It certainly isn’t a basis for UD to purposefully cut back production when demand is high, which is the whole core of this discussion. If anything, they might be incented to rotate in a new base set edition, like I mentioned earlier.

The first part of that is a highly subjective statement, and I certainly wouldn’t agree for my own tastes.

Besides, collector-types have a steep challenge ahead of them, regardless of how many cards are printed. Getting a complete set, or a specific card for that matter, is a factor of how many cards a given player buys – not how many are printed – as long as the printed supply matches demand.

As long as a game remains popular and people are buying, the secondary market will remain strong and the manufacturer (upper deck) in this case has incentive to crank out as many as the market wants. It’s only when the level of demand takes a downturn that the publisher should ease up on production, lest they pay to make cards that people won’t buy.

And for what it’s worth, to my knowledge at no time did WotC ever knowingly cut back on production when demand was high. Do you know differently?

Anyone interested in swapping cards?

I got a little carried away at the store, so now I might as well try and complete the set. I’ve got a list of the card numbers I need, as well as a list of duplicates that I have.

Let me know if you are interested in swapping any cards. No trade too large or small!

[email protected]

I’m not going to argue over the semantic difference between CCG and TCG.

Magic’s first release was at the end of 1993. By the end of 1995 WotC had already released an official “No Reprint” policy and a reserved list of cards not to be reprinted for the purpose of securing the value of those cards for collectors.

WotC released Limited Edition Alpha and Limited Edition Beta in limited print runs (hence calling them Limited sets). Unlimited and shortly thereafter Revised were the sets of cards that WotC printed in whatever quantities were required to meet demand.

Hence my original assessment that:

Son of a Bitch I knew I should have ordered more cards from Matt. My EB is supposed to be getting them in but they price things at MSRP so I’d rather not buy them from them. Really I havent played a CCG since MTG and I sucked even then but this is WoW and WoW rulez.

Back then, they had absolutely no idea how popular the game would become, and they were limited runs, called alpha and beta, because WotC knew they weren’t ready for prime time yet. They were trial runs, of sorts. Thus the names.

Once it became obvious how well the game would do, they opened the flood gates.

Anyway, this post by Upper Deck addresses the issue pretty directly. They’re going to keep releasing product as long as there is demand, without flooding the market past that point.

But I think what they’ll discover is that there’s very high demand. I don’t know if this will grow past M:tG, but I think it will quickly settle into at least 2nd place and have a lifespan running at least a few years.

So who is going to set up the LA games?

Yeah, it’s doing well according to that post you cited:

“Interesting note - We doubled our original print run numbers, and then doubled them again after that and again doubled them after Gen Con Indy demos were so successful. So yes, we have a hit on our hands, hopefully people like the product and will stick with it for a long time. We certainly intend to support it for a long time.”

So they printed four times as many as originally planned and they seem to be selling out everywhere.

So are they saying they’re printing 8x as many as originally planned? Don’t know any absolute numbers, but that’s got to be a metric buttload of cards.

So you’re saying WotC stumbled upon doing something which was healthy for the life of their CCG. I agree. I never claimed that the practice of having their initial runs be limited was due to a conscious decision of WotC at the time to limit supply in order to increase demand.

However, their decision to make the Unlimited release distinct (white-bordered instead of black) combined with the limited nature of the releases of the black-bordered Alpha and Beta printings greatly enhanced the collector’s value of the cards their early adoptors had purchased, and was very healthy for the secondary market. A healthy secondary market in turn encourages people to buy new retail packs as sets are released, because they have faith that the new cards they purchase have an inherent value outside of gameplay.