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A Game of Thrones: The Card Game (Second Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: How alive is this game? rss

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Ernie Bilko
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I just received this game as a gift and I really like it and would love to get more involved (financially), but... Is this game going the way of Netrunner and is just going to end soon? Or is it going the way of LOTR LCG with small print runs? Or is their no cause for concern?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
 
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andy scott
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Well I don't play any more, BUT Netrunner died because the license was not renewed with Wizards of the Coast. And FFG doesn't own Game of Thrones license - so will it run forever? Prob not. 2nd edition has been going for 2 years now - these things typically go in 5-8 year cycles so you have a number of years before I would worry about losing the IP.

FFG doesn't own Lord of the Rings either, so you never know when that could go away.

They do have the Arkham Line and they bought the rights for Legend of the 5 rings if you are worried about any of that.

Of course FFG might get sold off when the private equity firm that owns Asmodee and FFG (and a bunch of others) cashes out in the near future.

 
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Anne L
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Maybe try checking the reddit and/or facebook groups. There is way more activity on any of those than on here.
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Barry Miller
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AngelRage wrote:
Maybe try checking the reddit and/or facebook groups. There is way more activity on any of those than on here.

I've often wondered why this is the case. I mean, following a conversation on either of those platforms is painful and awkward.

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Jim Hansen
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It's still going pretty strong. Worlds had over 132 people this year, which is an increase from the year before. There is a pretty good community that is mostly concentrated on Facebook. Search for "AGoT 2nd Edition" or "A Game of Thrones LCG 2E Community" groups on Facebook.

I'm not aware of a significant community in Kansas, but there are good groups of players in Springfield, MO and Denver / Colorado Springs.

There is no shortage of product and if you are willing to buy used you can probably get a collection for ~60% of MSRP.

There is no indication of the game dying anytime soon and the license is still hot. That said, FFG does manage to screw these things up sometimes. If I were a betting man, I'd wager that there is another 2-4 years of new product.

I'm pretty active in the community, so let me know if you have more questions.
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Nils B.
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In the US it has quite the community. There are big tournaments at GenCon, KublaCon, Nationals, Worlds and so on. Additionally, there are a lot of fan -organised tournaments all over the US. It definitely depends where you live, at some places are no activity at all.

The biggest tournament in the world had about 350 participants in Germany, although in Germany we have a relative small community. In Europe, Italy, UK, France and countries in the east have the biggest communities.

FFG has the license already for almost 20 years so I wouldn't expect a loss of license in the near future, especially because they release several games based on that license, f. e. the boardgame.

To get an overview over the activity, just check out thejoustingpavillion.com

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Brian Lelas
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It's very healthy, has been consistently strong for a long time.
 
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Hedyn Brand
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I can't remember a time it ever seemed properly alive around my parts :/
 
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Jacek Deimer
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I would be actually very cautious with it, especially in terms of longevity.

The game seems to be driven by the franchise popularity and with TV show ending this year it is going to go down.


I suspect FFG will be done with it after the release fo last House Box, somewhere next year.

The game was never that popular in the first place, and lathought there is some activity on Reddit there is not much talk about it anywhere else.


LCG's have their lifecycle and there is a point when thay are simply discontinued. Typically it is around 5 years. What already had 3 examples of 3 LCG wchich ended naturaly after similar period AGoT 1st ed, Warhammer: Invasion and Star Wars.
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Jim Hansen
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Game of Thrones is different than other LCGs though because it has effectively been in existence for 15 years, since the CCG came out, then first edition. There is a very dedicated community. Tournaments like Stahleck in Germany, as mentioned above, get 350 people and I believe it sells out in less than a day.

I imagine that fewer new players will come to the game after the TV show ends, but the existing players will continue playing for a long time.
 
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Jacek Deimer
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Teamjimby wrote:
Game of Thrones is different than other LCGs though because it has effectively been in existence for 15 years, since the CCG came out, then first edition. There is a very dedicated community. Tournaments like Stahleck in Germany, as mentioned above, get 350 people and I believe it sells out in less than a day.

I imagine that fewer new players will come to the game after the TV show ends, but the existing players will continue playing for a long time.


Fans or no fans, what matters are sales figures which have to justify development costs. Those are my humble observations and conclusions:

1. The AGoT2 products are neither sold-out quickly, neither reprinted on regular basis. THey are also never on top lists of bestsellers in online shops. This shows that sales are probably not that great.

2. During FFG Black Friday Sale, AGoT2 products were highly discounted. Unfortunately in 95% of cases it means that game is over or is going to end soon.

3. Current FFG is no longer FFG, it is part of Asmodde which is owned by one or another investment group. I expect that nowadays revenue margins for product to be commercialy vaiable are much higher than in the past.

4. There is no Christian Petersen anymore. I suspect he cared a lot more about player and company's image a lot more than new management.


Looking at bigger picture, I believe that both AGoT2 and new Lot5R LCG are struggling on the market.
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Barry Miller
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Here in my neck of the woods, (St Louis suburbs), we used to have a local store tourney once every 4-6 weeks, up till about six months ago. But a few of the participants moved and that was enough for the tournament scene to crumble.

The store is willing to keep it going, but interest has waned, which is unfortunate.

 
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Ernie Bilko
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Reid666 wrote:

1. The AGoT2 products are neither sold-out quickly, neither reprinted on regular basis. THey are also never on top lists of bestsellers in online shops. This shows that sales are probably not that great.


That was my concern. Both Arkham and LOTR LCGs tend to move through product fairly quickly and seem to be out of several cycles at some point. Has me concerned that this game will be dead here shortly. Sad considering I was just getting into it.
 
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Jim Hansen
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Changes at FFG are a valid point. We don't know what new management will do. But IMO that is the only legit fear.

It's easy to look at the typical lifespan of LCGs are apply it to Thrones. But, let's take a look at the LCGs that have died in the past:

Netrunner - Had a 6 year run, was just revitalized with a new core set and was going strong, but got abruptly killed by a licensing issue. Attendance at the time of death was slightly lower than Thrones, IIRC.

Conquest - Had a 3 year run, but got abruptly killed by licensing.

Thrones 1.0 - Had a 7 year run, but became competitively unbalanced so they rebooted it. Attendance and sales at the end of 1.0 were significantly lower than Thrones 2.0 right now.

Star Wars - Had a 5 year run and was cancelled due to sales and in part because they didn't want to compete with destiny. The drops in sales coincided with frequent licensing issues and product delays that caused the players to disengage from the game. For reference, Star Wars attendance numbers when it died were less than half of what Thrones is at now.

Call of Cthulhu - Lasted 7 years and was eventually discontinued with much lower attendance at tournaments than Thrones is at now. I don't believe this game was ever close to as popular as Netrunner or Thrones.

Warhammer Invasion - Had a 5 year run. I don't know much about this one, but I believe they killed it because they wanted to start Conquest.


IMO, Netrunner is the closest comparison to Thrones in terms of popularity and lifecycle. Netrunner had at least another 2-3 years left when it ran into licensing issues. So you'd be looking at an 8-9 year life cycle. Thrones 1.0 lasted 7 years, and it didn't even die as much as got rebooted. Meanwhile, Thrones 2.0 is only at 3 years. I'd be shocked if it didn't have at least another 3 years, assuming there are no drastic licensing / management issues.

L5R is a unique case because they drastically changed the game from the previous edition and they decided to go with the terrible distribution model of 6 packs in 6 weeks, then 5 months with nothing. The community and sales have shrunk dramatically in the first year, which is not the normal trend.

The co-ops, Arkham and LotR, are like apples and oranges. Those games survive and do well because it is easier to start the game and just buy a few packs. So there are always new people buying the old packs and the stores are able to sell them. With the competitive LCGs, there are a lot of people that buy the newest pack, but there are not many new players that buy the old packs. So, Thrones packs sit on the shelf for a while. It was the same with Netrunner, Conquest, etc. Arkham and LotR are unique.

In conclusion, if you look at the reasons why the previous LCGs have died, none of those reasons apply to Thrones. I've been making a similar argument in the LotR forums for at least the last 3+ years. People are always saying that game is dying, too.
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Jim Hansen
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bgm1961 wrote:

Here in my neck of the woods, (St Louis suburbs), we used to have a local store tourney once every 4-6 weeks, up till about six months ago. But a few of the participants moved and that was enough for the tournament scene to crumble.

The store is willing to keep it going, but interest has waned, which is unfortunate.

This is unfortunately true of many local communities. On the flip side, new communities also crop up when players move or new players get into the game.
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Hedyn Brand
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Teamjimby wrote:
they didn't want to compete with destiny.

We're always competing with destiny, if you believe that crap.
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Barry Miller
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Teamjimby wrote:
The co-ops, Arkham and LotR, are like apples and oranges. Those games survive and do well because it is easier to start the game and just buy a few packs.

Don't leave out that the co-ops, by their nature, also solo very well. So these games get in tons of plays that the other LCGs never get, because of their solo friendly nature. Those extra plays equate to longer life for the game.

And also, I'd contend that new people today, who are content playing at a casual level, can just as easily get into Thrones today by just buying the core and a few early packs and a Deluxe expansion or two. And that's it. I stopped buying Thrones packs/expansions early last year and still haven't explored half the collection that I own.

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Jacek Deimer
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Quote:
IMO, Netrunner is the closest comparison to Thrones in terms of popularity and lifecycle.



I would be surprised or even actually shocked if AGoT2 were anywhere close to Netrunner in terms of popularity. Netrunner products were frequent bestsellers in most online shops, AGoT2 never were.


I think you are looking at the situation too optimistic.


CoC, AGoT 1, W:I, Star Wars were all discontinued due too dropping sales and lack of return from the investment. Secondary, because design space has been explored already very well. The reasons you mentioned are tertiary at best.

Tournament attendance is not the best way to judge game popularity. Torunament players are fraction of buyers. Casual players and small local communities are the most important groups who create revenue.

Quote:
In conclusion, if you look at the reasons why the previous LCGs have died, none of those reasons apply to Thrones.


This looks more like a wishfull thinking, than an objective opinion.


I tried to simply gather the facts, and based on those facts and FFG previous and recent moves on the market to simply predict the future of the product. When it comes to FFG my predictions are something like 9/10 right. In recent years the only surprise for me was that Fallout got expansion pack.
 
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Jim Hansen
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Reid666 wrote:
Quote:
IMO, Netrunner is the closest comparison to Thrones in terms of popularity and lifecycle.


I would be surprised or even actually shocked if AGoT2 were anywhere close to Netrunner in terms of popularity. Netrunner products were frequent bestsellers in most online shops, AGoT2 never were.

Netrunner had a bigger peak in the beginning, but I think after the first year or two it came down. Thrones never had the same peak, but has been fairly steady with much slower declines than Netrunner or L5R.

I don't have sales numbers to look at. But at least in terms of attendance at tournaments, Thrones is similar to Netrunner.

Reid666 wrote:
CoC, AGoT 1, W:I, Star Wars were all discontinued due too dropping sales and lack of return from the investment. Secondary, because design space has been explored already very well. The reasons you mentioned are tertiary at best.

We can disagree on this. I talked this morning with a former world champ of Star Wars LCG who is good friends with the designer. Yes, dropping sales were a major factor. But they dropped waaaay more than where Thrones is. There were major licensing issues (in part related to Disney acquiring Star Wars), product delays, and poorly designed cards that killed the community. Competition with the upcoming Destiny launch was an added factor. The causes of the sales drops in Star Wars have not occurred in Thrones.

Regarding AGoT 1, there were major core design issues with the game that had developed over 7 years to the point that it was broken. If it was just due to poor sales, I don't think they would have rebooted it.

Quote:
Tournament attendance is not the best way to judge game popularity. Torunament players are fraction of buyers. Casual players and small local communities are the most important groups who create revenue.

I agree that sales numbers are more important than tournament attendance. Do you have access to any sales numbers? If so, I would love to see them. Tournament attendance is certainly more reliable than anecdotal community or FLGS stories.

Quote:
I tried to simply gather the facts, and based on those facts and FFG previous and recent moves on the market to simply predict the future of the product. When it comes to FFG my predictions are something like 9/10 right. In recent years the only surprise for me was that Fallout got expansion pack.

Like I said, your points about recent FFG changes are valid and could be the deciding factor that proves me wrong.
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Teamjimby wrote:

Warhammer Invasion - Had a 5 year run. I don't know much about this one, but I believe they killed it because they wanted to start Conquest.


I don't think this was the case. I think it was a combination of low playerbase, unbalanced competitive play, and lessons learned about the lcg model they were unable to implement with an existing lcg. Great summary otherwise though.
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Jacek Deimer
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We could disagree for main reason of first edition end and reboot.
But it is natural that barrier for entry gets bigger and bigger as the game progresses and each new expansions sells usually less than previous ones. Poeple leave the game for variety of reasons or feel that they not need more product. In the end the sales of new product drop.

Of course you can consider those anecdotal sources, but this is reflected in amount of forums activity, frequency of reprints, cancellations of non-English editions.

I'd even risk a statement that it was never as successfull as FFG hoped it to be in the first place.

Teamjimby wrote:


Quote:
Tournament attendance is not the best way to judge game popularity. Torunament players are fraction of buyers. Casual players and small local communities are the most important groups who create revenue.

I agree that sales numbers are more important than tournament attendance. Do you have access to any sales numbers? If so, I would love to see them. Tournament attendance is certainly more reliable than anecdotal community or FLGS stories.


As we all know numbers are only know by FFG. But there is quite a bit of circumstancial evidence that sales are undewhelming and that FFG is done with the game:

1. Black Friday Sales - this is biggest red sign here. In 95-99% cases it means that FFG is done with the game. This has been rule for the last 4 or 5 years. Multiple AGoT2 products has been put there, including Core Set.

2. Very sparse reprints, no recent reprints and no reprints on upcoming list. Of course the upcomming page can be taken with grain of salt as it often not very accurate.

3. Lack of activity on multiple social channels. The amount of activity on BGG or FFG forums is abysmall. There is a bit of activity on Reddit but it is minimal. Of course I might be wrong, and there are some Facebook or Discord groups or other communication channels with vibrant community.

4. Intro Decks - this product also shown that FFG is trying hard to atractc new players. No other previous LCG needed such a product. Of course it could just coincidence and it was just experiment on the FFG side.

5. Those anecdotal online and FLGS stories. Just have look at online shops in UK or USA and in how many of them new AGoT2 products are bestsellers? Yes, that's right. Netrunner was usually alway there,even late in it's release cycle. Then look at how many of recent products are out of stock. This combined with lack of recent reprints can tell you how well the game is selling.


Of course you could disregard all of those, but if many idependent factors point in the same direction, then it is highly likely they are right.
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Jim Hansen
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Reid666 wrote:
1. Black Friday Sales - this is biggest red sign here. In 95-99% cases it means that FFG is done with the game. This has been rule for the last 4 or 5 years. Multiple AGoT2 products has been put there, including Core Set.

2. Very sparse reprints, no recent reprints and no reprints on upcoming list. Of course the upcomming page can be taken with grain of salt as it often not very accurate.

3. Lack of activity on multiple social channels. The amount of activity on BGG or FFG forums is abysmall. There is a bit of activity on Reddit but it is minimal. Of course I might be wrong, and there are some Facebook or Discord groups or other communication channels with vibrant community.

4. Intro Decks - this product also shown that FFG is trying hard to atractc new players. No other previous LCG needed such a product. Of course it could just coincidence and it was just experiment on the FFG side.

5. Those anecdotal online and FLGS stories. Just have look at online shops in UK or USA and in how many of them new AGoT2 products are bestsellers? Yes, that's right. Netrunner was usually alway there,even late in it's release cycle. Then look at how many of recent products are out of stock. This combined with lack of recent reprints can tell you how well the game is selling.

1. Black Friday sales are not a good sign, I'll give you that.

2. Also not a good sign. But like you said, FFG has been pretty terrible about their reprints. Some LotR packs have been out of print for over a year.

3. As an active member of the community, I can tell you that ~95% of the activity is on the Facebook groups. There's a touch on Reddit and Discord, but nobody uses BGG, FFG, or CardgameDB (the home for the 1st ed community).

4. You view the fact that they are actively trying to recruit new players as a bad thing? Why would they invest money in a new intro product if they are planning to kill the LCG?

5. I don't normally look at those lists, so I'll take your word for it.

I'm not saying the game is the most popular thing ever. But it has a very committed, longtime player base that is sustaining fairly consistent sales at least of new product. It's definitely difficult to attract new players with the current size of card pool, which is why they aren't selling much old product. I think the intro decks have helped a bit with that.

I've heard from playtesters that they have unofficially confirmed the next 3 cycles. With their distribution schedule, that's ~2 years minimum. Could the game die after that? Perhaps. But it's not so dire that I would tell someone to not get into the game.
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Derek J
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I personally stopped playing midway through the 3rd cycle but this was my first LCG and I loved it. But after my wife got pregnant I knew it was only a matter of time until my free time to go to game stores to play in tournaments would dwindle to nothing so I gave it up.

I still have an itch every now and then to get back into it since online play is so easy but the card pool is gigantic now and very intimidating. I think that’s the general problem that FFG has with their competitive LCG’s. Rotation is far too slow and there’s way too many cards now.

I would love to be able to go back in time and play with just Core + first 2 deluxe + first 2 sets of chapter backs but that time will never exist. That was a fun time with Lannister being OP, then Fast Eddy dropping, then Mirri Maz Murder and big dude decks and Put to the Sword and Tears of Lys everywhere.

I don’t even know what the meta is anymore.

I think most people also just bounce from card game to card game. From LCG’s to Destiny to Keyforge, always chasing the next hottest thing. I’ll give FFG a lot of credit for maintaining design and art teams for their games for years on end even when they aren’t as popular anymore.
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Barry Miller
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yayaba wrote:
I don’t even know what the meta is anymore.

I never knew, and yet have enjoyed the game very much.

But then again, the theme is a major factor for that enjoyment, and I suspect that's the case for a lot of people. So as the TV series ends and the books... books? ... what are they?. So, yeah, I can see how the game will taper off and that this edition (2nd) will be the last, and is likely done now.

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