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Collectible Card Battler: It's IN now, but is it a fad?

A repost from toucharcade's forum.

Edmund Ching, Blogger

November 19, 2012

3 Min Read

I initially wanted to post this on the developer's sub-forum, but then I thought its a question that I should hear opinions from non-developers (gamers) as well.

Collectible Card Battler, by now I'm sure many of you would have tried at least one of such games. For those who didn't, I'll give a very brief description here. It is a game where you collect cards by doing very simple quests (button spamming). For most of such games, these cards usually serve as your party, they are usually nicely drawn artworks of various character types. The combat system range from the simplistic "my party's total power vs your party's total power" to very rpg-ish turn base attack volleys. Your cards can "power up" through "fusion" (sacrificing another card to the card you want to power up) and rarer cards can be obtained through "evolution" (fusing two cards that belongs to some recipe). And such games would contain the infamous Gacha system where you spend points/currencies to get a random card.

Despite being called a CCG, they play more like Pokemon with autobattles rather than... let's say Magic the Gathering or Ascension. The draw is not in the combat, but the process of obtaining the rare cards and completing collections. It preys on the compulsive collection nature in many of the players as well as the gambler's mindset ("Just one more try and i might get the card i need in the next drop")

Games with collection aspect has been big in Japan for a while now, not just on the mobile. Dragon Quest Monsters, Pokemon, Digimon, even before these popular monster collection gams, the Japanese was already in card collecting frenzy, as far as I can remember, as a kid some maybe 18-20 years ago, Dragon Ball Z cards were big and I'm sure in Japan, they had CCGs for various popular animations back then.

Now, the card collecting craze hits the mobile platform. People now collect cards on their phones and tablets and challenge others to battle online. At one point the Top charts of Japan's App Store consist of mainly CCGs. It didn't stop there and in recent times we are seeing more and more such CCGs being released or localized for the non-Japanese speaking audience. New titles are upping the ante by mixing up the genres (ie Puzzle+CCG "Puzzle & Dragon") or implementing stuffs like Guild Battles, Boss Battles etc. All trying to stand out from one another, but very few could achieve the success that Rage of Bahamut did

Some says such games has no depth to it (generally comparing to CCGs like MtG or YuGiOh) and is seriously repetitive. Others say these are just right for the mainly casual gamers of the mobile platform. I say its just hooking a large group of players with its features like how Farmville hooked their players.

Is this genre's trend at its peak yet? I can see saturation in the market like how Farming/Tycoon sims use to flood the store (they still are actually). 

->For Players: Are you getting sick of it yet?

->For Developers: Given the resources would you attempt to make one such CCG because "its trending and profitable"?

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