The latest CCG trend is to under-print cards, which I'm guessing is an attempt to create the illusion of incredible demand. Upper Deck just did this with their latest Yu-Gi-Oh release, with big announcements of how their set sold out. But wait! There's a special edition set of the same cards coming out soon. The World of Warcraft CCG, also an Upper Deck product has done the same, under-printed cards creating artificial demand, often with an increased price point. Bandai has been doing this for two years now, with their last two sets of Naruto sold out, the last set not even fulfilling distributor pre-orders.
I understand that there could be some hype and excitement, as well as high perceived value in the "secondary market" for under printed singles, but what these publishers don't understand is their games hang on by a thread. That thread is organized play and in-store tournaments. How exactly do they expect me to host an event for their game without any cards? They key now is to educate our customers as to the nature of the shortage, but inevitably, someone online has a stockpile they're willing to sell them. Unfortunately, these games aren't popular enough for us to stockpile, and in the case of Bandai with Naruto, they under-delivered anyway. For now we're stuck with a big tournament turnout with no card sales.
Mazda does this with Miatas - to hold up both their retail price and their resale value. Harley Davidson does it with motorcycles.ReplyDelete
I don't wholeheartedly agree with it in either case, but it is an accepted business practice.
Upper Deck does seem to be sending out a mixed message by not allowing retailers to be sure of the supplies needed to effectively market their games. Maybe they need to fall on their face with no retail support, and then they will improve their practices.
You have to be sure your product is as desirable as you think. About half the Naruto crowd spontaneously switched to Kingdom Hearts on Sunday, because of the problems. Then again, Fantasy Flight does KH, so it's not like I expect much better.ReplyDelete
So the consumers are switching to a game with a more reliable (at least for card games) distribution system?ReplyDelete
That's exactly the kind of thing that you, as a retailer, should encourage.
Sounds like market forces are working - as Upper Deck attmpts to inflate demand by artificially creating a scarcity of supply, competitors move in with a comparable product that is more readily available.
Yeah, that kind of marketing works with Harleys because you're buying a brand as much as you are a motorcycle when you buy a Harley.ReplyDelete
It works for Miatas because there's no competition. The only other two seater roadster that I can think of is made by BMW and goes for a lot more.
Sounds like Upper Deck may soon learn that such a strategy doesn't work so well when you have competition with a brand as powerful as your own.