Fantasy Flight Games Distribution Model: The LCG (R)

Time for some background information on Fantasy Flight Games LCG (R) model for those who don’t know what it is.

The company was formed in 1995 and their primary success has been with Board Games.  It began exploring collectable card games in 2002 with the license of A Game of Thrones book series by George R. R. Martin.  What FFG learned from its time in the CCG market was that they felt there was a better way of engaging the market in the waning years of the CCG era.  In 2008, A Game of Thrones: The Card Game moved from a CCG to an LCG (or Living Card Game) (R).

A Living Card Game  (R) is similar to Collectable Card Games in that they have regular expansions and deck building customization like CCG’s but are much cheaper to the consumer than the blind purchase model of CCG’s.  Everything is self contained in the purchase you make.  The Core Set for each game contains at least 1 copy of every card in the set (and usually contains multiple copies of some cards).

The Base Sets will contain multiple preconstructed decks so that even just a casual fan can by just the Core Set and start playing.  So far these Core Sets have been around $40 MSRP.

Expansion come in two forms.
Expansion Packs are released usually on a monthly or bimonthly basis.  These expansion packs run around $15 MSRP and usually contain around 60 cards (for example, Netruuner ones have 3 copies of 20 different cards).
Deluxe Expansions are released on a regular basis.  They typically run around $30 MSRP and usually contain around 165 cards (for example, Netrunner ones have 3 copies of 55 different cards).

Core Sets and Deluxe Expansions currently do not rotate however, Expansion Packs ARE subject to rotation. (https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2014/11/5/a-new-stage-of-growth/)

Since the creation of Living Card Games  (R), there have been others who have mimicked the idea, such as what AEG is doing with Doomtown: Reloaded and what Upper Deck is doing with the VS. System 2PCG.  Even so, the term Living Card Game  (R) and LCG (R) are both trademarked by FFG so only their games may use this terminology.

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Yoritomo Arashi

A member of the Mantis Clan, Yoritomo Arashi has been masterful at gathering information for the Silken Sect. The master of information founded The Kolat Informant blog in March of 2011 and The Oni's Eye Podcast in October 2013.