I feel the only appropriate way to get started on this subject is to just put this phrase out there into the world, “collectible card game.” With those three short words I'm sure I've conjured up all kinds of feels for everyone who might find themselves reading this. Maybe there's a feeling of nostalgia. Perhaps a hearkening back to an age of innocence when you collected Pokemon cards for fun and tried to teach your little sister how to play Yu-Gi-Oh! with you. Maybe you feel a sense of happiness, with fond memories attached to card games that you've played in person with friends or online with strangers. Or maybe, just maybe, you're becoming jaded and bitter like me, and CCG is an acronym of hate.
I'm being a little harsh, as I dabble in CCGs here and there. Hearthstone facts and strategies were drilled into my head by some friends in the past. When Gwent: The Witcher Card Game released, I gave it a try and found that I genuinely liked it as a free-to-play game. It definitely made for some really hilarious wee hours of the morning with my boyfriend when he refused to go to sleep before he beat me at least once. And while I recognize it for the cash grab that it may be, Fable Fortune actually looks like it might kind of be fun. At the least the style is different than most, with it's chess style characters on the board.
While I have all of this positivity towards CCGs, there's still plenty of room for negative impressions. My hatred is largely due to the fact that the market has become so flooded with card games. It seems that literally everyone is trying to get a popular card game out there. When I was prepping for this opinion piece, I learned that there were even more large card games out there that are based on bigger franchises. Everyone knows Hearthstone, Gwent, Fable Fortune, The Elder Scrolls: Legends, and the newest announced Artifact which is based on Dota. But just today I learned that Hand of the Gods: Smite Tactics exists, as well as Pathfinder Duels. All of the big names have begun to try their hand at card games. It's just ridiculous.
One of the biggest griefs I have is the fact that the most recent ones are based on larger franchises. This is a gripe that many share with me. Why are some of these developers working on silly card games when they could be working on actual full entries in their series? The most recent announcement of Artifact from Valve really angered a lot of people. At this point, I don't think any of us really believe that Half Life 3 is going to happen, and yet we still like to hope. When Valve releases something like Artifact, it feels like a slap in the face. There are bigger and more widely asked for games by fans, and yet here we are handed a collectible card game. It's the worst consolation prize.
The world truly does not need more collectible card games. I can understand the hype when you're a fan of a series and maybe being excited about a different way to enjoy your favorite characters. Like Gwent, which was a mini-game within the larger Witcher series. There was a target audience for this particular CCG, and I understand why it became a stand-alone game. But no one asked for Artifact. No one was shouting to the heavens that an Elder Scrolls card game was exactly what the world needed. If you have a game with a card game already in it and you want to bring it to more people, that's one thing. But if you're looking to just grab as much cash out of people's wallets as you can, make some other kind of spin-off mobile game with microtransactions.
I can't be the only one who's sick of looking left and right and seeing new collectible card games based off of larger franchises. How do you feel about this explosive trend of copy-and-paste repeats? Do you enjoy every new CCG that releases? Or are you feeling like there are just way too many cards on the table? Let me know your thoughts below!