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Why are card games tolerated and widely accepted when they have some of the worst monetization and business models in the industry?

Content of the article: "Why are card games tolerated and widely accepted when they have some of the worst monetization and business models in the industry?"

Ok, sure, possibly not as bad as some mobile games or some of the shit the likes of Activision or EA have tried to pull, but still.

Read the whole post or not at all, don't form a conclusion till you've heard me out.

For the record, I've put over 300 hundred hours into Gwent, over 50 into Hearthstone and over 200 into Mythgard. So I have a decent amount of experience with different card games.

Let me preface by saying: I don't just wanna shit all over card games, I think they can be quite fun but this particular aspect ruins them for me. I hope this post can open up a constructive discussion.

With all this hatred in the gaming industry towards loot boxes and microtransactions, including cosmetic, (keep in mind many card games implement all of the aforementioned on top of this) it baffles me as to why most people have no issue with how collectible card games are monetized.

Here's the bottom line, CCG's expect you to either: drop hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars just to acquire the basic tools required to play the game (the cards) or, to play for hundreds (if not thousands) of hours to unlock them all FTP. This is true even of supposedly "generous" card games.

This is not only BS, anti-consumer monetization, it also makes card games a joke to play competitively on ladder. How can a game be competitive if all players don't have the exact same tools and resources available to them to build from?

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Here are some of the major arguments defending card games and I'll explain why I have an issue with them:

"It's justified because it's FTP."

A game being FTP has never justified predatory or outrageous monetization.

"There are other FTP games in which all tools available to the player are not immediately accessible (Champions/Heroes in FTP MOBA's like League or Dota, for example). Besides, you don't need every card in the game to build one deck."

It's possible those games have set a concerning precedent for the industry. However, the two aren't even comparable. At least in those MOBA games you genuinely don't need all the heroes accessible from the start to play. It's not ideal, but you can still play the game with the heroes the game starts you with and have fun. And the competitive modes for those games often require you to have a minimum amount of heroes unlocked before you can play comp so you can effectively synergize with your team or counter the enemy. By the time you've learned all the heroes you already have, you should be able to unlock some more.

Now compare this to CCG's: The whole point of a CCG is to build your own decks and pilot them against other players. Decks often require a defined archetype/theme and rely on synergy between specific cards to be effective.

So, you may be interested in a certain archetype and decide to build a deck around it only to realize that you don't have the cards required to make that archetype work. Alternatively, you discover a really cool card that you wanna build a deck from but realize you don't own any cards that synergize well with or enable it. Sure, you don't need all the cards in the game to build one good deck and you could just look up a strong meta deck online and work towards crafting it, but the best part about card games is the deckbuilding, experimenting on your own and without all the cards at your disposal you can not do this.

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"Collecting cards is part of the game; it's just like normal progression."

This is the only argument that could be somewhat fair. I could see a world where expanding your collection and the feeling of unlocking a new legendary card is what makes these games fun for some people. Unfortunately, the tradeoff is that players are not on an even playing field and you can not freely experiment with deckbuilding which, in my opinion is the most important thing in a card game.

The solution? Just monetize via cosmetics, you know, like every other reasonable FTP game in existence.

Shit, I could be wrong, like I said I don't wanna take a big spicy dump all over card games, I think they can be quite fun when they work, but this aspect does ruin them for me. I wanna open up a discussion here and I'm particularly interested to hear from avid card game players.

Edit: Formatting, Grammar

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