Thursday, January 28, 2010

Is the Collectible Game era coming to a close?

I noticed this interesting discussion over at ForuMini, the Website devoted to Axis & Allies miniatures.

The short version is that the original poster wondered if the "collectible" (i.e. random purchase) model was dying out, aside from a couple of well-established brands such as Magic: The Gathering.

And my short answer is that I think so, and hope so. The only collectibles I'm keeping up with are the Axis & Allies land and naval miniatures lines, which are really kind of mild as far as collectible games go. They avoid many of the worst excesses of other collectible games. They're not too hard to collect. There are no super rare chase figures or convention exclusives. They don't pump out a new expansion every quarter, so you can keep up with them for a reasonable price. Their grounding in history seems to keep power creep at bay.

There's a relaunch of Heroclix under way, but it's off to a relatively slow pace. There's Monsterpocolapse and Arcane Legions trying to make a go of it, but they're going a semi-collectible route that guarantees certain minimum results. D&D miniatures is doing the same.

Meanwhile, games such as Heroscape and AT-43 show that there's another strategy can can work just as well -- expandable games. I think if the A&A line were launched today it might even have followed that pattern instead. It's already copying it with the new Starter sets for both the land and naval games, which expose the entire contents of the package to prospective purchasers, in contrast to the first edition Starters which had random packaging.

I wouldn't be surprised if both games evolved in that direction down the road, just as DDM did.

No comments:

Post a Comment